Pegasus 1/72 SPAD 12
The SPAD 12 was a direct result of France's leading ace of the time - Georges Guynemer - requesting SPAD to create a cannon armed fighter. Louis Bechereau - the primary aircraft designer for SPAD - based the 12 on the SPAD 7, then in wide use. However, it just wasn't a modified SPAD 7. It was larger and heavier due to the cannon. Unfortunately the SPAD 12 took a lot of effort to control - and fire the cannon - so it was not in wide spread use. It's thought that there were only eight that ever reached the front.
Even so, the SPAD 12 was to become a formidable aircraft in the hands of France's highest scoring ace of WW1, René Fonck.
The Pegasus kit consists of 11 injected molded parts, 11 white metal parts, one length of strut material and a piece of wire for the center struts. Decals are for a single machine; Madon's mostly red SPAD 12.
This is definitely the cleanest of Pegasus' releases to date. Most of the earlier ones I have appear to have dirt left in their mold because the surface was "rough". However, not so with the SPAD. The plastic pieces appear very well done, and with a little clean up the white metal pieces are nicely done as well. There is very little interior detail so the purist will want to add as much of the cockpit structure as he or she sees fit. Unfortunately it appears that Pegasus is in error in terms of the control column. Since the breech of the cannon ended between the pilot's legs, the SPAD 12 did not have the "standard" straight stick control column. Instead it appears the control column was an inverted "U" with a wheel on top for aileron control. But, since there are no photos known to exist of the cockpit, how it truly looks is unknown.
The other area I don't like is more of a personal preference, and not entirely Pegasus' fault. It is my feeling that any model that tries to represent an aircraft with a many-stringered turtledeck should have the turtledeck as a separate part, and not have the fuselage halves meet at a joint in the center of the turtledeck. If the seam is not a good one, then most - if not all - of the stringered detail will be removed with the obliteration of the seam. If the turtledeck were separate, then that problem would be eliminated.
Even though I feel the turtledeck should be separate, please don't let that stop you from purchasing this kit. The Pegasus SPAD 12 is so far the best kit put out by Pegasus. Plus it's of a subject not likely to be brought out by any of the other model kit manufacturers.