Alberto Casirati's Italian Models

The model is based on the 17/2nd scale vacuum-formed kit by Joystick. The kit engine cowling can be of use, at best, for a Ni.25, so it had to be replaced by a reworked Revell Ni.17 cowling. Interiors were scratchbuilt as usual, by means of plasticard, heat stretched sprue and copper or steel wire. The forward fuselage upper decking was cut away, to be later replaced by new, heat moulded a 0.3 mm plasticard item. To make lower wing assembly easier, new "spars" for them were added and the relevant opening was cut in the fuselage halves, which were then dry assembled. Lower wings were then glued in place and a false plasticard floor was added to hide the relevant area. Ribbing was replaced by means of decal strips. Engine, wheels and gun came from the kit, with some reworking, while the real laminated wood airscrew is by Martin Digmayer. All struts were heat stretched from plastic extruded lengths. Rigging is 0.004" stainless steel wire. Decals are the very nice work of Tomasz Gronczewsky. I chose to model the personal mount of the best exponent of the Ni.27 as a fighting machine: Sgt. Marziale Cerutti, who survived the war with a score of 17 confirmed victories, many of them gained at the controls of "MIR". More information can be found on Internet Modeler.

The Nieuport monoplanes have always appealed to me. Since no good kit was available when I conceived this project, I decided to have a go at scratchbuilding.

The fuselage top and bottom were built up in thick plasticard, with internal bulkheads to achieve the necessary degree of sturdiness. Fuselage sides are in 0.2 mm plasticard, the port one having been added after the cockpit was detailed.

Cockpit interiors were made, as usual, by scratchbuilding, using plasticard, heat stretched sprue and copper wire. Although some details are the result of guessing, I would not have been able to do much in this area if it was not for the kind and generous help of (in alphabetical order) Matt Bittner, Neil Crawford, Diego Fernetti, Len Smith and Pedro Soares, whose help is gratefully acknowledged here. Neil was particularly kind, stopping at the Swedish aviation museum to take some pictures of their original Ni.IV G. Thanks to all of you !

Wings were cut from 1mm plasticard and wrapped around a steel cilinder of suitable diameter, to achieve the relevant curvature. The whole complex was then dipped in hot water for about 1 minute, so that the shape was permanently got by the plastic parts. Ribbing was done by means of decal strips, while the typical bamboo strengthening ribs were cut from 0.2 mm heat stretched sprue lengths. The nose panels were cut from 0.1 mm plasticard sheet and heat moulded around a male balsa wood mould. I could not find a good Gnome 80 hp engine around, so I scratchbuilt one. The airscrew is real laminated wood, and was supplied by Martin Digmayer. All struts were cut from heat stretched plastic extruded material, so that they kept their airfoil section.

The machine I chose to model had a unique finish, with the overwing "band and circle" markings in white. Since the only picture I have of it does not show the aircraft side, it is doubtful whether the aeroplane carried the usual "Squadriglia ..." inscription, so I applied the old adagio: "if in doubt, don't".

The old rule about scratchbuilding did it again, and as soon as I completed the project A-Model announced their Ni. IV ! Oh well, I will have the chance to add a second Ni.IV to my collection without scratchbuilding...

This 1/72nd scale model of the Hanriot Hd.1 comes from the old Formaplane vacuum-formed kit. Nicely moulded, the kit suffers from several shortcomings, the worst of them being a too slim fuselage and undersized flying surfaces. Cockpit interiors and the engine cowling were scratchbuilt, together with all struts and tailplanes, the Vickers gun, the headrest and several other small details.

The real laminated wood airscrew comes from a Sopwith Camel propeller by Martin Digmayer, while wheels are from the Aeroclub catalogue. Roundels by Blue Rider, unit codes sprayed through plastic card masks over clear decal sheet.

The model represents Hd.1 6239, one of the Hanriots flown by the most successful Hd.1 pilots of WW1: Ten. Silvio Scaroni, who shot down 26 enemy aircraft at the controls of the type.

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