1:16 Model Expo Nieuport 28
by Jim Landon

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Kit: Model Expo (1:16)

This is the Model Expo 1:16 scale Nieuport 28. The kit is intended to be left uncovered to show the internal construction detail. I am fascinated by the interior structure of WWI biplanes, probably because it's simple enough that I can understand it. ... This kit was built a few years ago by my friend and fellow "listee" Ken Foran (http://www.wwi-models.org/Images/Foran/Nie-28/index.html). He warned me that the kit is terrible and not worth my time. He was absolutely right, but I wanted to use it for practice before building the Model Expo 1:16 scale Jenny (see http://www.wwi-models.org/Images/Reid/Jenny/index.html). That Jenny is my ultimate dream project. ... Meanwhile this kit was also built by another friend and fellow "listee" Chris Savaglio (http://www.wwi-models.org/Images/Savaglio/Nie28/index.html). But he was smart enough just to build it straight out of the box. I made the mistake of studying a complete set of drawings and a complete set of snapshots of an actual Nie 28 restoration, which in itself is not a mistake, but if I was going to use reference material I should have thrown the entire kit away and scratch built it.

Finished Model

Construction photos

March 15, 2005

The engine is the first thing the instructions have you build. Unfortunately the metal castings in the kit are terrible and everything requires a ton of filing, whittling and sanding. They're not castings, they're crude shapes from which you make the parts yourself!!! A modeler without a drill press, bench grinder, Dremel tool and coarse files would be at a loss to build this thing. Also the engine is not very accurate even after cleaning up all the castings. After doing the basic assembly of the engine castings I set it aside to be finished after I see how the rest of the model goes.

July 7, 2005

Unfortunately the wooden components are just as bad as the castings. See comments on each photo. But learning to laminate wood to make the wingtips was a great adventure and I now have a new skill. And looking at a semi-finished wing panel makes me think that when all is said and done it might turn out to be an attractive model.

August 8, 2005

The top starboard wing is essentially finished and rigged in accordance with reference photos and the beautiful drawings done by Bergen F. Hardesty dated 4-14-55 (borrowed from Wings Over The Rockies Museum here in Denver). I was pleasantly surprised to find that the kit wing panel I'd built fit almost perfectly over the Hardesty drawing that I'd recently borrowed and reduced to 1:16 scale at Fed-Ex Kinko's. With all the errors in the kit parts, I was afraid I'd find that the finished wing was way off. It isn't. Although the rigging would have been way off if I'd followed the kit instructions. The top port wing is ready for rigging.

October 20, 2005

The wings are 95% finished ... more surprises in the bottom wings than I expected ... the smaller ribs and the ailerons made the job much more complex.

December 3, 2005

The wings were set aside because I was anxious to get going on the fuselage. It proved to be quite a challenge too (for me anyway).

January 13, 2006

The rear section of the fuselage, aft of the cockpit, has been essentially completed. Next comes the joystick, rudder bar, engine mount, etc.

February 3, 2006

The kit parts for the rudder bar, joystick, oil tank and gas tank are all inaccurate, calling for a great deal of modification and scratch building. We have a local IPMS club contest coming up on March 1st, and I'm trying to have this model finished in time. Now, who's the wise guy that only put 28 days in February?!?!?

February 14, 2006

The kit parts and designs for the joystick, stabilizer/elevator and fin/rudder are also inaccurate and must be scratch built. The local IPMS club contest is now only 14 days away but I think I'm going to make it. (Famous last words.)

February 28, 2006

Here are some of the photos I snapped during my race to get the model finished in time for the March 1st local IPMS club contest. I didn't get it 100% finished, despite working long hours every day right up to time to set it in a box, stick some foam padding around it and leave for the contest. You'll see some of the reasons why in these pictures, but lots of trouble spots did not get photographed. More pictures to come as I find time to process them.

March 2, 2006

Here are the rest of the build photos plus some portrait shots I took the day after the contest.

Progress Since 3-2-06

Kit: Model Expo (1:16)

After the 3-1-06 contest the model got little attention. I corrected the shape of the prop and refinished it. I also reworked how the prop was attached to the engine. It had been hastily thrown together with rubber cement for the contest. No photos were taken. Then I was completely away from this model from 10-22-06 to 6-24-07 due to a job situation and a car accident and other events. The following set of photos covers some of what's been done to the model since 6-24-07 up to 9-8-07.

Progress Since 9-8-07

Kit: Model Expo (1:16)

More details added per reference photos and drawings. Also a pair of photos comparing the "in flight" and "on the ground" positions of the wheels.

Developments since 9-16-07

Kit: Model Expo (1:1)

This can't be called "Progress since 9-16-07" because it's basically setbacks. First the tail was damaged when boxing it up on the morning of the 9-22-07 local contest. The tail was partially repaired at the contest but I still didn't win anything. I could have just fixed the tail and declared the model finished. Then came what I have labeled "An Inconvenient Truth" (apologies to Mr. Gore). Since it will be some time before all this is resolved I decided to share my pain rather than sit on these photos.

Final Progress Report

Kit: Model Expo (1:16)

Here is the work done since the 9-22-07 local contest. I essentially refinished every square inch of it. On 11-17-07 I declared the model finished, which finally completes the saga that begun on 2-28-2005 (yes that's 2005). Or to be more accurate: I QUIT ! There are a million things I could attempt to improve but the kit "had too many strikes against it" when I "stepped up to the plate", and then I hit a gazillion "foul balls". But since it's for a museum [http://www.wingsmuseum.org] I tried to fix it up as best I could. The next submittal will be the final "portraits" of the finished model.

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