Eduard 1/48 Spad XIII Weekend
The Société Pour L'Aviation et Ses Dérivés (SPAD) developed the Spad XIII from the very successful Spad V.II. It was powered by a water cooled single overhead cam, V-8 220 hp geared Hispano-Suiza 8Bc or 8Be engine. 2 water cooled Vickers machine guns replaced the single gun of the Spad V.II. The new engine provided much better performance in flight and combat. The Spad X.III was faster than its contemporaries, the German Fokker D.VII and the British Sopwith Camel. It was one of the most effective fighter planes of the World War I and one of the most produced. 8,472 Spad X.IIIs were manufactured and another 10,000 were on order when the Armistice was signed, leading to the order's cancellation.
The Spad XIII kit consists of 86 parts on 4 sprues, one of which is clear. The clear sprue includes 2 different styles of windscreens. 4 of the parts are not used and are destined for your spares box. The plastic parts are up to Eduard's usual standards. They are very well molded, with minor flash on a few parts. The rib tapes on the wings and the control surfaces are quite subtle and nicely executed. There are some minor sink marks on the outside of the fuselage which correspond to raised detail on the inside. These will be easy to fill with GSI Creos (Gunze) Mr. Surfacer, Tamiya liquid putty, super glue or your favorite filler. There is also some convincing stringer detail under the "fabric" of the upper fuselage. The machine guns are nice and they will look great under an oil wash and dry brushed raised detail.
The interior is well detailed. It consists of 25 parts. I think that painting them will be a challenge, although the upper wing will make it hard to see much of the finished cockpit. Many of the parts are very small and I like Eduard's sprue attachment points: they're engineered so that the parts are easy to remove from the sprues without damaging them. The decal sheet also includes dial faces for 7 different instruments. All of the wing struts are of a convincing scale thickness. You also have 2 different propellers to choose from. I would recommend that you find pictures of your 1:1 subject, because the instructions don't tell you which prop is for which aircraft.
The decal sheet is also up to Eduard's customary standards. The colors are bright, and the decals are crisply printed, legible and in-register. It includes markings for 2 different aircraft:
"Red VI," Captaine René Fonck, Escadrille SPA. 103 (GC.15), Fall 1918. This colorful aircraft is Dark Earth, Dark Green, Light Green and Sand over doped linen. The cowl ring is bright blue.
"Black 26," Second Lieutenant Frank Luke, 27th Aero Squadron, September 1918. This plane is Dark Earth, Dark Green, Light Green, Sand and Black over doped linen. There is a diagonal band of black and white checks on the upper port wing and another identical band underneath the lower starboard wing. The cowl ring is dark blue.
The instructions follow Eduard's standard format. They include a parts map, color callouts for Gunze Acqeous paints, color profiles of the aircraft decal options, plus a rigging diagram. The instructions are well illustrated and they have a logical build sequence.
This is a nice kit of an historically important aircraft. I am a fan of World War I aircraft and the Spad X.III is certainly an interesting modeling subject. Eduard also produces a photo etch set as well as a mask set for this kit. I think that rigging the wings is the biggest challenge, so by all means take your time at this critical stage. I recommend this kit and I would like to thank Eduard for the review sample.
3) http://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/showthread.php?t=63684 (this is very useful Spad walkaround)