The tailplane and rudder can be cut from plasticard and covered with thin
plasticard scored on the inside. Assembly is tricky because it's important to
get everything true, I have'nt a good system for this except patience and fairly
slow settin glue! Making a jig might be worthwhile. Lot's of small details can
be added from strue, for instance the grill in front of the propellor and the
typical SPAD aileron mechanism on the lower wing. Struts can be made by heating
and pulling airfoil shaped strue, but thicker struts have to be sanded down
from plasticard. The undercarriage has a special attachment for the pulpit which
gives the main landing legs a difficult shape. I drew the shape on 1mm plasticard
cut it out in one piece and then spent an evening filing and sanding to shape.
Wheels are from a Sopwith Pup. I usually paint biplanes early on in the assembly
stage, on the SPAD you are more or less forced to because it ends up very fragile
and the less work done after assembly the better.
There are a few painting schemes possible, a standard french or a russian
scheme is easiest and most typical, french planes were clear doped giving a
pale straw finish, the russians used a different kind of cloth which started
white and turned light grey pretty quickly. Russian roundels varied considerably,
I reccomend the series of articles in Aifix magazine during 1979 on Imperial
Russian and early Soviet markings. There is also a photograph of a french machine
with a girl's name on the side in Air International xxxx 1978, which should
be quite easy.
Other references are Harleyfords "Fighter Aircraft of the 1914- 1918 War"
and Munson's "Fighters 1914-1919" .
Since I wrote this in 1987, a lot has happened, there is now a Windsock Minidatafile
available, and a good article in WW1 Aero. There are lots of better ways to
do things nowadays, but this was how it was done in the eighties.