Eduard 1/48 Nieuport 11






See review


Tom Cleaver


Profipak version


      The Nieuport 11, designed by Gustave Delage, emerged in 1915 as a smaller, single-seat version of the 2-seat Nieuport 10.  The sesquiplane design, in which the lower wing is less than half the area of the upper, provided excellent maneuverability for a light-weight fighter powered by an 80 horsepower LeRhone 9C rotary engine.  With its forward-firing Lewis gun mounted atop the wing to fire over the propeller arc, the "Bebe Nieuport" became the scourge of the "Fokker Scourge," driving the less-maneuverable German fighter from the skies during air battles over the Western Front in early 1916. At the Battle of Verdun, which began in February, 1916, eleven escadrilles of Nieuport 11s provided air superiority for the French, and every French ace flew the airplane.  It was replaced in service by the Nieuport 17 that summer.

      543 Nieuport 11s were manufactured under license in Italy by  the Macchi-Nieuport and OEF companies;  200 were produced in Russia, where they were in use as late as 1922 during the Civil War.  The airplane was flown by the Royal Flying Corps, the Belgian air force, and in Rumania, Serbia and the Ukraine.  Escadrille 124, "The Escadrille Lafayette," was formed in April 1916 on Nieuport 11s.


     Eduard no longer makes limited-run kits, and this Nieuport can be favorably compared with anything released by Tamigawa.

      Molded on two sprues in light tan plastic, the parts are crisp and free of flash; the wings still have the traditional "hills and valleys" meant to represent fabric-covered wings, but the effect here is muted and looks good.

      I particularly like the well-molded standing pilot figure the kit provides.  Done in three parts, the pilot is wearing a long leather flying coat and will be useable in creating a diorama for display of the completed model.

      As with all Eduard "Profipack" kits, this has a photo-etch fret that provides a better seat, seat belts, instrument panel and windshield, and a photo-etch gun mount that is more in scale than the plastic parts.



  Construction begins with the cockpit.  I used "dark wood" decal to do the natural wood interior panels, floor board and instrument panel.  I constructed and painted the photo-etch seat, which looks much better than the injection seat, then painted and installed the photo-etch airframe parts.  I finished by installing the seat belts. 

      The fuselage was glued together and the lower wing attached.  I used Mr. Surfacer to deal with the centerline seam, while I assembled and painted the engine.  The cowling was painted with SnJ aluminum, then polished out with the SnJ aluminum powder.

      I cut the control surfaces and posed them dynamically.  I also opened up the hole in the horizontal stabilizer that the elevator control wire goes through.



      I "pre-shaded the model along the airframe with dark brown, then painted the wooden section around the cockpit with Gunze-Sanyo "Cream Yellow".  I added some Gunze-Sanyo "Sail Color" to the "Cream Yellow" to lighten it and replicate clear doped linen. I then Futured the model.


      The kit decals were used and they went down with no problem.  When they had set, I applied another coat of Future.



This is a very easy kit to assemble, and it goes together easily.  With the wing "V" struts attached to the lower wing, and the cabane struts in position, the upper wing went on easily.  I then attached the landing gear and finished with the engine and cowling.


      I used .008 stainless steel wire for the simple rigging of the Nieuport.  This took about an hour to complete the process.


      The Nieuport 11 is my favorite of the Nieuport sesquiplanes.  It looks good sitting next to the Nieuports 17, 27 and 28 in my collection.  This is an easy kit,and would be a good choice for anyone who wants to try their hand at building a World War I biplane model.

Tom Cleaver

December 2002 


Thanks to Eduard for the Review Copy.

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