by J R Boye

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Bleriot XI-2 Artillerie

Kit: None (1:72)

This model represents BL 221, an aircraft of Escadrille BL3, October 1914. I wanted a model of a military Bleriot, so I bought an Eastern Express Bleriot kit to see if it could be reworked into a wartime aircraft. All I ended up keeping from that kit was half of each wing. Actually, the wings represent the sacrifices of two kits because they needed to be spliced together for the increased span. The stabilizer is made from leftovers in the spares box, with the elevator surfaces flipped to get the washout. The engine is a 7 cylinder rotary from somewhere (probably a Pfalz E-type kit). The cowling cheeks are sections of some car model fender, appropriately a Citroen, as I remember. Wheels are PE spokes with wire insulation tires. Everything else is styrene square rod, brass rod and styrene sheet. I used photos and drawings from the "French Aircraft of the First World War" by Davilla and Soltan for my references on this one.

Hanriot HD.1

Kit: Pegasus (1:72)

Lieutenant Willy Coppens of Belgium flew HD 24, one of a number of Hanriots assigned to him, in May of 1918. This was the aircraft he was flying when a German kite balloon he was attacking rose suddenly and caught his Hanriot from underneath. Coppens cut his engine to avoid his propeller getting tangled in the fabric of the balloon. When he slid off to the side, he was able to dive away and re-start his engine. This model was built following drawings and profiles from the Windsock Hanriot Datafile. The stabilizer marking is made from blue trim film, and rigging is colored "invisible" thread and stretched sprue. Dennis Ugulano was kind enough to free this old kit from his stash for me.

Le Rhone Rotary Engine

Kit: Williams Brothers (1:6)

Rotary engines are fascinating to me. With their cylinders in motion and the crankshaft stationary they had an incredible power-to-weight ratio for the time. The 80 hp Le Rhone was a mainstay of earlier Great War aircraft and I could not resist this detailed model of one. The kit push rods were replaced with ones made from brass rod for a better look. Valve rockers were moved to their relative positions based on photos of actual Le Rhone engines and cam rings. Inside, I added an axis shaft of brass tubing for extra strength while the engine is being rotated. Propeller hub bolts and mounting bolts are brass hardware. A nice feature of this kit is the throttle slide, which can be moved to different positions.

Morane-Saulnier Type Nm

Kit: Revell (1:72)

You are looking at a model of a Morane-Saulnier Nm of MS 12. This was a plane flown by Sous Lieutenant Jean Navarre in July of 1915. The Revell kit was re-worked fairly extensively to make it match Datafile drawings. The fuselage and wings were shortened and new tail surfaces made. I also gave it larger wheels. Rigging is colored "invisible" thread and stretched sprue. Right after I finished this one, the much more accurate kit offered by Rosemont Hobbies came out, but such is the nature of life (I'm building that one as a Type I).

Nieuport XXIII C.1

Kit: Eduard (1:72)

Eduard's bagged kit of the Nieuport 23 comes with markings for aircraft 3598. Using that kit, I built this model of the same plane, only with earlier markings. This is 3598 when it carried the famous markings of Poruchik Boris Guber in the fall of 1917, as part of the 19th Corps Aviation Detachment, Imperial Russian Air Service. Decals are from Blue Rider and Americal/Gryphon, with modifications. The pennant is from trim film. Rigging is colored "invisible" thread and stretched sprue. My main reference for this one was the article appearing in Windsock magazine, volume 17, no.6. This model was a participant in the Roll Models online contest in 2009.

Voisin III LAS

Kit: Flashback (1:72)

This one represents the Voisin III commanded by Capitaine Albert Fequant and piloted by Sergent Noix of Escadrille VB 101 in September of 1915. I've always been moved by the series of paintings by Henri Farre depicting Sergent Noix flying home with one hand holding his mortally wounded capitaine in the plane. The last picture shows him saluting as the dying Fequant is carefully lowered from the Voisin. So I decided to commemorate this brave crew with this model. The wings have been modified to fit drawings in the book "French Aircraft of the First World War" by Davilla and Soltan. The tail surfaces were replaced by new ones from sheet styrene. The rigging is colored "invisible" thread and stretched sprue and the decals are from Americal/Gryphon.

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