SPAD Aircraft
by Paul Thompson

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Spad A2

Kit: Amodel (1:72)

Amodel Spad A2. 1/72nd scale. Kit decals go on okay but the lettering is too large. I've used some of the Part detail set. The kit is rather crude, but the PE addresses most issues. I've gone for a worn and beat-up appearance since most examples in the Datafile had seen better days. I left the gun off 'cos I felt like it. Ho hum. In the end I messed up the paint a lot and clogged the nice grillwork on the nacelle, but it's included on the site anyway since I think it gives a reasonable impression, although not a model that bears getting too close to.

Spad VII, Giorgio Pessi

Kit: Mac (1:72)

Started 18 months ago before we last moved house, and most of the details forgotten, this is the Mac kit, which is entirely wonderful except the wing TEs, which I left alone but they are really far too thick. The next one will be sanded to within an inch of it's life. IIRC the supplied roundels had the colours the wrong way for this partiular aircraft, S 1544/4707, as flown by Giorgio Pessi with the 91 a Squadriglia in 1917, so if I'm right I'll have replaced them with Pegasus decals. There are details and a profile in SPAD VII C.1, by Tomasz Gronczewski and Seweryn M. Fleischer. Due to the length of time this build was on hold the paintwork and details have suffered, but I've submitted it because it's a Spad, and I'm strange that way.


Kit: Pegasus (1:72)

Spad VII A6633 of 19 Squadron, France, 1917. From a profile in the Spad VII C.1 book by Gronczewski and Fleischer. Markings from the spares box, Pegasus RFC serials and black decal stock. Started at the same time as the Italian Mac Spad, and finished the same time, with the same history of sitting in boxes and being dropped a lot. Not only did the top wing try to escape 3 times, I toasted 2 sets of interplane struts, including the white metal ones that came with the kit. I messed about with some of the details to come up with something like a British Spad, including a British syle control panel that is invisible from most normal angles, and the fuelage stitching that I unwisely did with Part PE. This is grossly over scale and I'll never use it again for less than 1/32nd scale. The prop I've used is wrong - couldn't find the right sort or anything near enough. As for the Mac kit, I'm not proud of it, but I've started so I'll finish........


Kit: Dragon (1:48)

A quickie between larger undertakings, the excellent Dragon Spad XIII from a few years ago done up OOB except for decals from the Glencoe French Aces kit, for the machine flown by 22 victory pilot Pierre Marinovitch while with SPA 94. I guess I should have beefed up or replaced the interplane tie-struts, but laziness prevailed. Not next time, though. The Glencoe rudder decals disintegrated so I painted the stripes. The upper cocades were saved with Microscale liquid decal film although they later crazed while drying and needed overpainting, but the lower ones curled up. I replaced them with some from a Testors Nieuport 17, not quite large enough but almost. The grim reaper marking and number 8 were on another sheet and worked olay, although they didn't respond to Micro Sol and Set. Paint was Mister Kit, cut with Klear and brush painted. I used the kit rigging wire, although it's a bit thick, and didn't try to do faired flying wires, although I should know better by now. Apart from the Glencoe decals this was a fun 4 days diversion, although since I only found one shot of a different SPA 94 machine I've no idea of which wheels, radiator or airscrew were used on the real 'plane.


Kit: Revell (1:72)

This Spad is a recent quicky done purely for the barking mad colour scheme. On reflection I should have replaced the struts rather than just thinning them. I made no attempt to correct the kit (Revell), just added a cockpit and rolled copper rigging.

Three SPADs

Kit: AJP Maquette (1:48)

A Tale Of Three Spads - These are the Dragon and Testors Spads XIII, and the AJP Spad VII.


Kit: AJP Maquette (1:48)

This is the 1/48th AJP Maquettes SPAD 7.

Airfix Spad VII C.1

Kit: Airfix (1:72)

This started life as an Airfix Spad VII, using RFC decals from a Mac kit. I decided there were too many mods needed to the Mac, so used an Airfix kit instead. This is supposed to represent the aircraft of (maybe) Lt.Havilland of 30 Sqn RFC in Mesopotamia, July 1918. This chap was aledgedly responsible for devising the overwing mount for the unsynchronised Lewis gun. Details of mods and paint scheme were taken from the essential Aviatik book on the Spad VII by Tomasz Gronczewski and Seweryn M. Fleischer. The radiator is from the Mac kit, as are the Lewis and decals. This was one of the modern issues of the Airfix kit, by which time the wings had deteriorated so much that there was no sane way of sanding, or filling and sanding them to remove the cheesegrater effect, so I replaced them with Rosemont vac-formed blanks. First time I've used these, and I think the result is okay considering. I've got them at too high an incidence angle though, almost giving some backstagger, and me a heart attack. Consider it a learning experience. I hacked the kit fuselage about a bit, made up an interior with a more-or-less British style control panel, and added the fairing over the Vickers gun from scrap. Tail surfaces were sanded and decal-stripped, stitching added to the fuselage, and the wheels replaced with Aeroclub items. The prop is some unidentified resin item sanded a bit to resemble the appropriate airscrew, with a bomb nose as spinner. Struts are kit irems thinned (not enough) down. This aircraft had the double wires faired in with wood strips, maybe wrapped in fabric. They looked dark in the photo so I've painted them leather-ish. Neil (Spadman) Crawford helped out with some of these details. Fairly bad result, but fun to do, and looks odd enough next to a bog-standard Spad.

Spad VII

Kit: Blue Max (1:48)

This is a Blue Max Spad 7, for a long time the only game in town except the very hard to fing JMGT kit. To be honest I made a pig's ear of this, but so long as you don't get too close (about 20 feet)it looks not too bad. Decals are by Aeromaster, except the top wing roundels since these where too big. Couldn't find any aftermarket so finally used 2 sets of very translucent Propagteam decals from a Smer Sopwith Camel, and had a go at overpainting the red to blend it in.

Spad VII

Kit: Special Hobby (1:48)

This is a Special Hobby Spad 7 in 1/48th. Built at the same time as the Blue Max Spad, the interplane struts where used from the latter kit by mind-boggling brainfade. Still fun though.

Spad XI

Kit: Planet (1:72)

Planet Spad XI, 1/72nd scale. This is a resin kit and quite nice, although with some innacuracies as you can read if you chase down Matt Bittner's review or Dennis Ugulano's build article. Mostly I left well alone, but thanks to info from Spad-Man Neil Crawford could put in a more accurate interior from sticks, stones, and bits of plastic. Well, I lied about the stones. The struts where replaced with Contrail stock and the rigging mucked up from a mix of HSP, copper wire and Aeroclub stretchy stuff. The Lewis guns were ex-Toko, the gun mount is fusewire and etched leftovers from Eduard. I made more mistakes than usual with this kit, most obvious being that the top wing is too high. Almost everything is misaligned at least a little bit (my fault). However, until a vac or an injection molded kit come along, this is the best I can do. Small defensive note - the apparant anhedral is a perspective artifact - I actually built in a small dihedral to offset resin-sag with age.

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