Model Airway Nieuport 28
by Chris Savaglio

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Kit: Model airways (1:16)

Upper Wing

Here is the beginnings of the Model Airways Nieuport 28.

Here, the rounded shapes are made by wetting and forming thin planks of wood around forms, essentially making plywood. I knocked all of these out early on, as well as cleaning up the 200+ white metal shapes referred to as parts in the manual.

The tanks are white metal frames that are supposed to be covered with sheet aluminum. I had a hard time getting aluminum to adhere to white metal. I tried a variety of adhesives, from CA to epoxy to contact cement. I ended up sheeting them with .020 styrene for the flat sections and .010 styrene for the curved sections. These were then sanded smooth, painted black, Futured, and Alclad'ed. They ended up looking better than any attempt I'd made with real aluminum.

Seat and Motor

The kit's white metal seat only looks ok from one side, the other being flat. In addition, the piece came apart when I tried to bend it to shape. And the shape was completely wrong compared to the NASM restoration. I first attempted a scratched seat out of wood, but I couldn't find anything thin and flexible enough to work. I ended using strips of plastic stock, weaved and glued at the joints. The weave was cut to shape and edged with more plastic stock. The bottom was shaped using the kit part as a guide and the holes drilled. I wrapped the seat back around the bottom and glued it down. It was then painted using my wood technique with oils. I haven't yet futured it to give it a good varnished shine. Brass dollhouse nails were punched through to mimic the real seat and the ends trimmed. Much nicer than the kit seat, despite the number of attempts it took to get it more or less right.

The motor is built out of the box, just with all the metal cleaned up. Epoxy was used through out as it helped fill in some of the gaps. Lots of dry fitting and filing was needed on this one. I painted it black and dry brushed it heavily. I will most likely go back and paint it metallic dark gray.


Here are the wings. These were done more or less out of the box, as much as possible, anyway. The spars in the kit were too small for the real thing, too big for the holes cut in the ribs. So, I went the other way and got spars to fit the holes. A concession made to keep my sanity. These are completed aside from the final sanding, staining, and varnishing.


Not much to say about the tail sections. These are awaiting sanding and shaping. Then, I can cut the rudder and elevators apart, make hinges and apply the final finish.

Fuselage and Prop

This is the fuselage in its early state. The formers were lined up using the jig in the kit. Rigging was completed using the kit string and some model ship eyelets. Too big compared to the real thing, but I think they look fine. A lot more work is needed to finish this up.

The prop is a Marty Digmayer carved piece, made special order for this project. It's incredible and much better than anything I'd be able to turn out.

Final Assembly

These photos display some of the final assebly of the kit. This actually was fairly uneventful and required only the expected trimming and fitment to get to work. The control surfaces should, in theory, work, but the controls are so delicate that they won't be used.


Here are the final photos of the Model Airways Nieuport 28. Final assebly went very well and proved to be the easiest and most straight forward part of the whole project. Even the top wing mounting was the easiest of any biplane I've ever done.

This model was started around Nov, 2005, and completed early in Jan, 2006. Total actual time spend on the model was around 4 months. There were very long breaks in between sessions as this is a very frustrating and energy sapping project.

It has been an entertaining an rewarding project, though. Although a lot of grumblings have been made about the kit, it's buildable. If you can deal with some of the issues with the kit, go for it. The Albatros and Jenny M.A. kits are high on my want list as well.

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