Heller 1/72 Caudron C.714

KIT #: ?
PRICE: A dollar or so in 1970
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Tom Draper
NOTES: Carpena decals 72.15 used



Based on the Caudron racers of the late ‘30’s, the Caudron C.714 was an attempt to make a lightweight fighter out of non-strategic materials that could compete with modern German combat aircraft.  However, the modest engine power that could be installed and the four .30 caliber machine guns that could be carried made the Caudron an ineffective weapon.  After a few aircraft were manufactured, C.714 production was halted.  The aircraft produced found themselves flown in combat by free Polish pilots more brave than successful.




The Heller kit is typical of the first wave of Heller models produced in the early ‘70’s in the manly and correct scale of 1/72.  Well molded for their time, with rich detail on the outside, but lacking in interior detail, the Heller kits can be turned into excellent replicas by those who still remember how to experience the fun of modeling by adding their own skill to a good, but basic kit. 




Armed with French modeling research materials and the excellent French Aircraft From 1939 to 1942 Volume 1, published by Histoire & Collections, I started in.  The photos show the changes that were made to the kit before painting. 


 After the interior parts were added, the fuselage was put together and the wings checked against the fuselage for correct fit.  Then the major customization of the kit was made.  On the actual plane there was a complete gap in the forward fuselage just aft of the exhaust stacks.  This most likely is the exit for the cooling air from the radiator.  To duplicate this feature, a right angle cut was made to the underside of the fuselage, followed by two angled cuts from the top of the nose just aft of the stacks.  This completely severed the forward inch or so of the lower fuselage.  The main fuselage and lower nose pieces were cut and sanded to duplicate the unusual opening.  The forward edge of the severed rear fuselage was chamfered on its ventral surface.  Then a band of plastic card was added to the interior of the rear assembly to prevent see-through.  The top cowl piece was added next to reestablish and retain the correct fuselage length.  Finally the front fuselage piece was glued to the top cowl leaving a convincing gap in the front fuselage.




Construction continued until the aircraft was ready to paint.  The C.714 was painted with a Pasache SA single action air brush in the random French manor using their standard four color scheme as shown in the French Aircraft… book.  I used the Xtracolor gloss French colors plus Humbrol Kaki.  Markings came from the Decals Carpena sheet 72.15 “Bataille de France” depicting an aircraft assigned to the Free Polish squadron flying this aircraft. (The kit decals were a simplified version of these markings, but were too far gone to use).  The Carpena roundels were unsatisfactory (as they all are, regardless of sheet) and were replaced by ancient ABT roundels, which worked fine after more than 25 years in the decal file.  I decided to depict the Caudron early in its life, when it carried a distinct white Polish design painted over the French roundel which was dulled by overpainting with Kaki colors.  The decals omit the underwing buzz number, which I created using Modeldecal British underwing serial numbers.




Next the canopy pieces were decaled and added to the fuselage.  The whole thing is asymmetrical and hangs all over the plane.  The Caudron wasn’t that small compared to other early war fighters, but it has its own virtually level sit.



A very interesting airplane and a very interesting build.  These older Heller kits were the Tamiya kits of their day and still can be used to make an outstanding model if the modeler is willing to put in some extra work.


Tom Draper

September 2008

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