Glencoe 1/48 Nieuport 28
Model and Text by: Marc Flake
Stock Number: GL5114
Glencoe’s Neiuport 28 is a resurrection of the old Aurora mold. Considering its age I was surprised at crispness of the casting. What little flash existed was easily removed—sometimes just by running a fingernail along it. The real treasure trove in the box are the decals. Markings for eight aircraft are provided, including Eddie Rickenbacker, Raoul Lufbery and Douglas Campbell.
The instructions for assembly are on one page with the typical exploded views in five steps. Two full pages provide the decal placement and painting guide.
I found the kit a little too dated and ordered Rosemont resin replacements for the cowl, vertical tail and wheels as well as Aeroclub guns, engine and propeller.
Because the cockpit is open to the air, it begs for detailing. Therefore I used some Evergreen strip styrene to lay in the formers and stringers and some .008-inch guitar string for the bracing wires between the formers. I used the kit floor and seat, but drilled out some lightening holes in the seatback.
The inside of the fuselage was painted ModelMaster Wood, with the formers and stringers painted a contrasting Humbrol Natural Wood. The seat was painted ModelMaster Leather and the back ModelMaster Aluminum. An Aeroclub control stick replaced the kit part.
The fuselage, horizontal tail and the bottom wing fit snuggly—a refreshing change from the short-run kits I’ve been building recently. The resin vertical tail was attached with CA glue. While this assembly dried, I stuck the engine on a toothpick and began painting. The crankcase was painted ModelMaster Jet Exhaust, the cylinders Humbrol Gun Metal and the pushrods Testors Silver.
The interplane struts were then glued to the lower wing and allowed a few minutes for the joints to meld. However, before the glue set, I flipped the model over and attached the upper wing to the struts, using a pair of tweezers to guide the pins into the locating holes. I prepared a makeshift jig of paint bottles to hold the upside-down aircraft in place while the assembly dried overnight. Care should be taken at this point to ensure that the wings are aligned properly.
The next day, I added the cabane struts, tailskid and undercarriage, without the wheels. Another makeshift paint-bottle jig was used to set the undercarriage in the appropriate alignment.
Painting and Decals
I opted to use a hand brush to paint the complex French five-color scheme with hard-edged color demarcation lines. I felt the task would be easier and quicker compared to airbrushing. It’s also a bit more realistic as there is no photographic proof that the French used airbrushes on their aircraft.
Besides the clear doped linen (Humbrol Cream) undersides the scheme consisted of Beige (Humbrol Sand), Light Green (PolyScale RLM 83 Light Green), Dark Green (PolyScale Fokker Dark Green), Chestnut Brown (Polyscale RLM Dark Brown) and Black (ModelMaster Flat Black). And that was the order in which I applied those colors to the model, working from light to dark. The firewall and inside of the cowl was painted Jet Exhaust. The tires were painted ModelMaster Gunship Gray.
When the paint had dried for a couple of days, I oversprayed with Gunze-Sangyo Clear Gloss. And when this dried, I applied the decals. I chose the mount of 1st Lt. Ralph O’Neal because he used a "shark mouth" theme on his cowling. As I am building a collection of "shark mouth" aircraft, this was a natural selection. It also has a cute Cairn Terrier for the squadron insignia (I own a Cairn for a pet).
Final Assembly and Rigging
After the muzzles were drilled out the guns, painted with Humbrol Gunmetal, were attached to the fuselage as was the venturi tube, which was painted ModelMaster Steel. The wheels were CAed to the undercarriage, the engine to the firewall and the cowl to the fuselage.
I used .008 steel guitar string to simulate the rigging. Use a pair of dividers to measure the approximate distance—estimate long, cut, then trim to fit. I dip each end into a puddle of medium viscosity CA, and then attach the wire to the appropriate place. Rigging this aircraft was very easy, requiring only about an hour’s effort.
A fine mist of Gunze-Sangyo Clear Flat takes the sheen down to a scale level. World War I aircraft were quite shiny. In contemporary photographs you can see the reflections of things in the wings. However, extremely glossy surfaces in 1/48 or 1/72 don’t look right. The Clear Flat mist also takes down the shine of the steel guitar string.
I found the Glencoe Nieuport 28 to be an
easy kit to assemble. It would have been even easier if I hadn’t added the aftermarket
parts and detailed the cockpit. The fit is good and required very little clean
up. Perfectionists beware, though. There are some major problems in the accuracy
area, including the number of stringers in the fuselage. The Blue Max version
is more accurate, but not as easily built.