Eduard 1/48 "Flyboys" Nieuport-17

By Charles Pecquet

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If you saw the movie. now you can build the kit!

Eduard has released a limited edition 1/48 scale plastic kit of the Nieuport 17. This WWI French-built biplane was used by American pilots flying for the French service in the Lafayette Escadrille. This fighter kit comes with decals for this famous squadron as seen in the movie Flyboys'.

In fact, you can build the kit in one of four choices of markings of the four main characters of the movie. My sons want to buy three more kits to complete the squadron.

The kit doesn't contain any history of this aircraft, so I thought I'd give just a little bit. The Nieuport II was a very popular aircraft in the early stages of the war. In 1916, Gustave Delage designed an improved version of this aircraft, the Nieuport 17. The newer version had a more powerful engine and a Vickers machine-gun synchronized to shoot through the propeller. The earlier Nieuports had non-synchronized guns mounted on the upper wing to avoid the propeller. This made them harder to aim.

After making its debut in March of 1916, the Nieuport 17 gradually replaced the Nieuport II as France's main fighter. British pilots also liked the aircraft, and by 1917 five royal flying corps squadrons were flying it. It became the favorite aircraft of several flying aces to include Albert Ball, Billy Bishop, Georges Guynemer and Rene Fonck. The Nieuport 17 coped well with the German Fokker E, Halberstadt D-II and the Albatros D-I/II.

I'm no expert on this aircraft, but the kit looks like a very good version of the original. A fair amount of detail can be seen. The detail is crisp and the flash is minimal. The parts are molded in a medium grey plastic. The kit has two sprues with 38 parts on one and 25 on the other and one clear plastic windshield. There are no photo-etched parts for the really small details. The cockpit contains the floor with seat, foot pedals,
and stick. It's fairly basic inside, but then so were the prototypes. Wings and tail surfaces are all molded in one piece with no separate control surfaces.

The engine is also pretty basic with no pushrod tubes or intakes. Cooling fins on the cylinders aren't overly pronounced. The kit contains an extra top wing and cowl to make a version not seen in the movie. However, the directions show what not to use.

The directions are very clear to follow. There are only six steps to the build. The kit allows the build of one of four aircraft as seen in the movie. Three are identical. The directions show how to build either the squadron leader's plane or one of three squadron members. The squadron leader's has a top wing mounted machine gun. - maybe being the veteran of the bunch, he was used to the older system. The others have the fuselage mounted synchronized gun. There are a lot of full color decals to create any of the four versions. To supplement the directions is a full color spread of the right, left, top, and bottom views of all four marking schemes of the aircraft making it easy to get it right. The directions also include an easy to follow rigging diagram for those wanting to add a little more detail to it. No rigging is included. The box art is well done and the decals and illustrations look like it should be easy to create what was seen in the movie.

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