Eduard 1/72 S.P.A.D. XIII
reviewed by Steve Jantscher
The S.P.A.D. XIII was a direct development, and improvement upon the successful S.P.A.D. VII. Fitted with a more powerful Hispano-Suiza V8 200hp class engines, the 'XIII could achieve top level flight speeds of between 120 to 135 mph (up to 220 kph). This was the mount of Frank Luck and Eddie Rickenbacher, as well as being one of the types flown by Georges Guynemer and René Fonck (the top Allied ace with 75 kills), noted French Aces. The S.P.A.D. VII and XIII, together with the S.E. 5a and Camel series, were the most important Allied fighters of the First World War.
Everything about the new 1/72nd scale Eduard S.P.A.D. XIII kit screams quality. Even the packaging shows a thoughtful attention to detail, with the two spues being locked together much as Revell did with their Ju 52 release of a few years ago. Together with a closed resealable bag, with the extra clear parts and included masks being stapled to the box, I'd venture to guess that there will be very few requests for missing or broken parts coming to Eduard from owners of this kit. Since at least the recent release of the P-39 series in 1/48th scale, Eduard has shown a whole level of improvement. A step up into the big leagues if you will. Needless to say again, the molded quality is beautiful, and if the fit is as good, this will be in all respect except for the subject, the equal of any Tamiya recent release. If the fit proves to be less than perfect, one still has the basis of an exceptional model.
With all that said, what is
there to criticize about this kit. Other than the scale (I build mostly 1/48th
and larger), I can't think of anything. Not only does one get a beautiful molding,
but the decals appear to be perfect, thin, opaque, and perfectly in register.
The kit even includes optional cowl rings and engine side plates, wheels and
props. But wait, there's more (I always wanted to say that). Also included is
a set of Eduard express masks, making the painting job just that much easier.
Decal markings and full placement and paint scheme color instructions are provided
for four individual machines. Pilots represented are Capt. Robert Soubiran of
the 103rd Aero Squadron, Sgt. Augustin Charvát of Belgium, Lt. Jacques
Swaab of the 22nd Aero Squadron and Lt. Charles Nungesser, GC 13/Spa. 65. These
are all colorful aircraft, with the standard four tone camouflage over "cream"
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