MAC 1/72 Spad VII C.1




$20.98 ($18.97 at Squadron)


three options


Scott Van Aken


Includes etched brass fret


French aero engines during the early years of the WWI seemed to settle on the rotary, a type that was simple, offered good power and was reliable. However, there were drawbacks with the type in that there was a definite limitation on the power available and there was the incredible torque reaction provided by the basic engine design. In early 1915 a light weight water cooled V-8 was developed that had a major impact on French and Allied aero engine design.

In  late 1915 S.P.A.D. developed a single-seat biplane around the 140 Hispano-Suiza V-8. This design was developed as engine power was increased to 200hp and the SPAD VII fighter finally reached the front in late 1916. It quickly became popular, not only for its power, but also for its robust construction. Piloted by such luminaries as Fonch and Guynemer, the pilots of Esc 3 soon gained local ascendancy over the German planes. These were definitely an improvement over the current crop of Nieuports. Probably its only weakness was that it was still a single gun fighter. The other Allies and the Germans used twin gun planes for a considerable period before the French finally brought out the two gun Spad XIII in early 1918.

Despite being over-gunned, superior tactics and the ability to dive at high speeds without losing wings made the Spad VII a very popular aircraft. Not only with the French but with other Allies such as the Italians and Russians. It was in use by the Lafayette Escadrille when it finally became the 103rd Aero Squadron in 1918. Spad VIIs were used by countries in Asia and by the US post war.


Molded in tan on a single sprue that barely fits the box, the MAC kit seems to be a major improvement over the only other readily available Spad VII previously done; that one from Airfix. The detailing is well done, if not a touch on the soft side. Flight surface ribbing is quite subdued and the fuselage isn't bad either. There are no problems with ejector pin marks/towers nor with sink areas or flash. Some parts have a bit more mold seam than others, but nothing major.

As a simple kit, there are not that many parts. Interior is quite small and a combination of etched parts and plastic allow for it to be well detailed. There are optional parts for the radiator and windscreen. Also included are some skis but no instruction info is given on them. One can pretty well figure out what goes where, though. Etched brass is provided for several interior components, including a seat harness and for some strut braces and a steps. Instructions are well done with clear construction sequences and they provide color information where applicable. A rigging diagram is also provided, but it would be much better if it filled a larger space so it would be easier to see. There is plenty of white space on the page for this to be done.

Over half the instructions are given to three views as well as painting and decal placement guides. Markings are provided for three aircraft. One is an Italian aircraft flown by Giorgio Pessi of 91 Squadriglia during July 1917 It is in Cream and Natural Linen with the lower wing painted in Red, White and Green segments. Another Cream and Natural Linen plane si that of Marcel Henriot of Spa 65 with a large Black Dragon on the fuselage. This is the box art plane. The final aircraft is a camouflaged version  of Armand Pinsard from Esc N26, commemorating the first air to air victory for the Spad VII. Decals are quite well printed by MPD and are also quite thin looking so some care should be done during application.


One by one the old favorites are being replaced by more modern versions with more detail and more in the way of marking options. Of course, they are also a tad more expensive than the originals, but for many, the extra detail is well worth the asking price.

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