The Nieuport type 11 ‘Bebe’ was the single seat version of the type 10 and specifically used the lower rated rotary engine, the 80hp LeRhône 9C. Built originally for the Gordon Bennett Speed Race the military production type 11 was designated for scout and two-seater protection duties, it was naturally required to have armament. Due to the lack of a reliable synchronizing gear the choice was the stripped down Lewis Mk.I or II on a post mount stabilized by either a second post or a semi circular metal rod with a holding clip. Per the historian J. M. Bruce, “. . . the Nieuport 16 was virtually a type 11 with a 110hp LeRhône 9J rotary. There were differences of internal detail and doubtless suitable strengthening was made at the appropriate places, but the heavier wing loading made the Nie. 16 less pleasant to fly than its predecessor. Production Nieuport 16 (types) began to enter service in the spring of 1916. Licensed built versions were flown operationally by Belgium, France, Russia. The British RNAS almost immediately gave their examples to the RFC.
In Kit Form
The Aurora mold and its various copies (Merit/Smer) have been around for a long time. The Smer copy still being available for about $4-6.00 USD. The Aurora kits all suffer from heavy detailing and the dreaded embossed decal locators.
The Eduard “Weekend Series” kits are strictly plastic and decals kits. Whether its this basic fare or the more advanced the "Limited Edition” set it is a good time. Basic kits are not just for the beginner or average modeler. Sometimes a Weekend build can be stretched into a couple just for the fun of it. That is what modeling is for right? First things first . The instruction are formatted at 6 page multiple step exploded views. Eduard has gone away from labeling steps in the Weekend series. In printing the instructions Eduard’s scribes put an insert between page 2 & 3 of the instructions. It contains pages 4& 5. The sixth page is the back of the last page. Minor critique but younger modelers might get confused.
Page 1.) Notes the parts map, suggested paint key and basic multinational building symbols used in the rest of the instructions. Again there are no brass etched components provided in the kit.
Page 2.) The pilot’s left-side of the Fuselage (A1) begins with the air / fuel mix lever ( B 20.) This would be a good time to pre-drill all strut and rigging holes.
Instrumentation: A compass could be scratchbuilt with a dial face, starter magneto and a fuel pressure hand pump. The pump should be fixed to the right fuselage half (A 2) near the floor level (A 21.) The fuel and oil gauges and the tachometer are represented on the plastic instrument panel (A 13.) To my knowledge French built examples the instruments were apparently attached to the fuselage cockpit framing. The dial faces can be mounted on short sections of sprue to simulate the instrument cup. Bezels added to the front of the dial faces. You may want to try Tom’s Modelworks, French Interior detailing parts or Copper State Models, Instrument Set both in 1/48 scale. They have many fine and unusual details not seen any where else and come at a reasonable cost. The air intake pipes (A 12) and air & fuel mixing chamber and magneto assembly (B 17) is Eduard’s production kit attempt to give the modeler a shot at detailing this usually ignored area. Now the cockpit floor (A 21), the pilot’s seat (A 19 & 20) and the control levers and pulleys ( B 6.) I am adding a set of the pre-painted Eduard French seat belts. Next is the rudder control bar ( B 28) and the control column ( B 21.) My experience tells me that the metal areas presented here should be painted black In this scale and in a small cockpit maybe a dark grey would be better. This is where you are to install the lower half of the aileron control rods (B 27.) I prefer to substitute painted brass rod to form the whole assembly. One horizontal cross piece to install here and two vertical rods traveling up to the aileron cranks (B 24 X 2) to be installed on what should be page 3.
In printing the instructions Eduard’s scribes put an insert between page 2 & 3 of the instructions.
Page 3.) When the fuselage halves (A 1 & 2) are joined you could add a section of 0.50 plastic to represent an oil tank. The tank will be crescent shaped and attached directly to the top area of the firewall/ fuselage halves union of A 1 & 2 between the inner lip for the cowling (A 4 or 18. ) and the prop shaft assembly (B 29) on the firewall. Note that cowling A 14 is the type seen on the Nieuport 11 type only. Next scratch build the fuel and oil filler caps that will be adjacent to the “Top Dead Center” of the fuselage joints on the cowling (A 4 or 18 )and the upper section of the forward fuselage. Erase all seams in the fuselage union joints / seams.
Now here is the fun part. Eduard wants you to take the 80hp LeRhône ( A 15 & B 16) that they provide you in the kit (normally for the Nieuport 11.) Then they want you to turn the whole assembly back to front. Since this places the pushrods and air induction pipes at what is now the rear face of the cylinders it almost looks like a 110hp LeRhône. Except!!! The induction pipes are now on the wrong side of the cylinders for a 110hp. Now there are two methods for reasonably modifying this kit item from an 80hp to a 110hp.
I recommend reversing the cylinders and the crankcase ( A 15) as the instructions recommend. Cut the induction pipes from the faceplate and scratchbuild them from brass rod. Now modify the face plate ( B 16) to sit flush on what is now the front of the engine. This method is the least labor intensive choice.
Note !!! Either way you are going to have to modify the prop shaft (B 29. ) In the modifying of parts B 29 and B16 (face plate only) the surfaces need to be flat. I drilled completely through B29 and then sanded both faces so that the disc is half the thickness I began with. On B16 the rear of the face plate only needs to be sanded flat. The bolt and hex head detail on the plate should be facing forward. I then added a section of rounded sprue through the whole assembly as a prop-shaft / crank replacement.
You will find it important to drill a small hole adding a section fine wire to the rudder (A 16) and its joint surface at the stern post of the fuselage assembly. You may want to add fine wire to the spark plugs on the engine cylinders (A 15) traveling back to the prop shaft assembly ( B 29). While this part is very simplified that is what it is supposed to represent. The exhaust cheek flanges are molded in place and could do with some opening and thinning at their bottom slots. Also note that the push rods are not included in this kit. There will also be a slight repositioning needed before glueing the base and the rod ends in place. Open the rigging and strut locator holes in the horizontal tail plane (A 5.) Check your references.
Next the front cabane struts ( B 31 X 2 .) The top wing ( A 4 ) should have a center line division running chordwise dividing the wing in half. Scribe a line to represent this, around the wing chord (upper and lower surfaces.) Also I opened up the pilot's left front locator hole for the front cabane strut. Go toward the outerwing with the cut. Oherwise it seems a bit off center. The ailerons were hung using piano type hinges, no straps will be need to be added, check your references. Attach the top wing ( A 4 ) and set to dry in a “Lego” Block jig. When thoroughly dry begin the rigging process. Fortunately the Nieuport fighters are a good first kit for attempts at rigging a WWI aircraft. Remember always to drill the smallest hole to anchor your rigging material. The more lines to anchor enlarge the hole. Wait until the anchored lines have dried thoroughly. Pass the other ends through their next hole and hold them tight by clipping a spring type clothes pin to the lines end. Touch the smallest drop of Superglue (Cyanoacrylate) to the area and again wait til dry. Only a sharp razor knife should be applied to the loose ends of the strands. I like to fill any remaining holes with resin dust, wood dust (when I cut my own laminated propellers) or even baking soda to holes with the cyanoacrylate ‘Super -glue’ drops already in them. When reasonably dry test fit the interplane “Vee” struts ( B 1 X 2 or B 14 & 15 ) and when satisfied secure them in place. See page 4 concerning the Le Prieur rockets ( B 4 X 8 ) and their attachments.
Page 4.) Here is where you can add the replacement metal rods I spoke of in Page 2. This will allow you to delete the plastic parts ( B 23 X 2 & 27.) Finish any tail unit rigging at this time. Eduard’s Lewis Gun ( B 12 ) can be augmented by replacing the gun barrels with metal rod.. I prefer the after market items from Copper State Models. When your ready don’t forget the triggering and the pull down cables to the Lewis gun assembly. I don’t care for the “over the wing” gun mount provided in plastic ( B 3, 5, 10 X 2 .) Since I have several spares from other Nieuport builds, I chose one of these. If you feel the same way but your spares box is not giving you the needed pieces you could use painted brass rod cut and bent to match the needed parts.
The Eduard standing French pilot figure ( A 10, 11 & 17) is very easy to assemble. They admonish “For exact uniform painting see your references.” Sound familar ...? Check your references.
Page 5.) First there is the detail of the Le Prieur rockets ( B 4 X 8 ) and their attachments Next wrap Upholstery thread around the front leg back to the rear at the crotch of the under carriage legs ( B 2 X 2 ) and then forward again. Five to six rounds should do. This traps the axle ( B 32 ) and represents the bungee shock chords used on the original. I replaced the horizontal stabilizer struts ( B7 & 8 ) with metal rod. Continue any unfinished rigging at this time. If you were ambitious you could delete the wheels ( A 6 X 2 ) and scratchbuild a set of skis.
Page 6.) I would add the propeller at this point. The French propellers were built up in the conventional way by laminations. For Nieuport & Spad fighters finishing included a solid uniform coat of red-brown shellac in most cases. Complete any unfinished rigging here and add the windscreen using white glue. Note that the rigging cable that runs from the top of the leading “Vee” strut to the fuselage is placed wrong in the Eduard drawings. It should run back to the same hole as the rear cable. There is a circular opening in the fuselage molding that both cables should enter. Just like the other cables on th same side enter close together at the base of the “Vee” strut.
Typically the Nieuport 16 is seen in the French 3 or 4 colour sprayed on camouflage. This seems to include lt. to medium grn, dk. grn and a red (light?) and dark brown. Though some of the early examples came to the French in a warm buff colour called “ecru” and were further over-painted in the field. “CDL” or clear doped linen was seen on trainers. It is generally believed that the undersides of these machines were painted an ecru colour (warm buff.) The kit instructions recommend with aluminum doped under surfaces.
It is important to know here that French camouflage pigmented dopes did not start carrying aluminum powder until very late 1917. So none of the Nieuport 11 or 16 types had them. It was straight earth tone pigments for their camouflage.
It should be noted that the lt. sky blue-grey. Began being applied on late Nieuport 11 and 16 types in mid 1916. This was usually confined to the under-surfaces only. Yet there were exceptions. This has not been released anywhere in print except in the "Nieuport Flyers of the Lafayette" but a letter from Victor Chapman (10 May 1916) to his mother describes the aircraft he was flying at the time as being Nieuports with four colours of camouflage earth tones. Two browns a light and a dark and two greens a light and a dark.
Also from another source "steel" metal fittings of French aircraft frame works and the fabric wraps around the struts were the same blue as the French steel helmets of their WWI infantry. Since they were apart of the overall colour scheme I asked those in the know about edge tapes. This response deals strictly with the Nieuport 11 & 16 airframes as the previous few comments.
"Bon Jour Stefan,
The closest thing to empirical evidence is a piece of interplane strut from a Nieuport flown by Guynemer. It has blue tape binding. The color is basically the same as what I call horizon blue. Such a color would photograph lighter than the uppersurface camouflage and darker than the undersurface, whether light blue or clear doped. In my opinion, the edge was painted a contrasting color. On clear-doped surfaces, the dope was covered with a coat of oil-based varnish. The camouflage of that time was also an oil-based product, generically known as Ripolin (a brand name). Gertrude Stein reported that Picasso used Ripolin instead of artists colors because it was a lot less expensive. I really can't see how they would attach a tape with oil based paint. It had to have been masked and painted.
In the beginning, it may have been intended to protect the clear-doped fabric from the sun at the highly-stressed edges. That is merely a hypothesis with no evidence whatsoever. When they started camouflaging the planes, they probably kept up the practice for its aesthetic effect.
Such contemporary artists renditions and autochrome photos are inconclusive as to the color of the edges. They merely appear gray. Of course, colors other than blue or black may have been used. But if they used blue on the strut bindings, it is likely that they used that color elsewhere. . . "
Nieuport 16, N 977 was flown by Adjutant Maxime Albert Lenior of N 23 in early 1916. An experienced pilot when the war began, Lenoir transferred to the French Air Service at the end of 1914. On two occasions in 1916, he was wounded in action while serving as a pursuit pilot with N23. While on an artillery support mission, he was killed in action when his SPAD VII was shot down in Oct. 1916.
"Marechal-des-Logis pilot of Escadrille N23. Non-commissioned officer always demonstrating the best fighting spirit during the course of his numerous combats, more often behind enemy lines than behind our own. In all his actions he showed contempt for death. On 15 March 1916, while protecting a long distance reconnaissance and having his machine gun jam during the course of a combat, he completed his mission and managed to ward off enemy planes by a series of audacious maneuvers. He returned with his plane riddled by bullets." Médaille Militaire citation, 15 March 1916.
"Adjudant pilot of Escadrille N23. Pursuit pilot beyond compare, setting the highest example of energy and self-sacrifice. During eleven months of uninterrupted service in his Escadrille, he has had 91 successful combats, returning frequently with his plane riddled by bullets. He downed his sixth enemy plane on 4 August 1916." Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur citation, 9 August 1916.
There are none of the Eduard Express Masks with this kit. So if you want to be reasonably accurate in this area first choose your color. I use d a blue / green and gray mix. As you will note from the colour information above the tape was one piece and overlapped the upper and lower surface of the wing perimeter. If you don’t have any spare masks in your inventories then use this trick. Load up a typical straight hobby brush with the paint colour you will use for the edging and using the side of the brush should be perpendicular to the edge. Now, run it down the length of the edges. It should leave a uniform border around the edge. Practice on scrap sheet plastic first.
Aircraft Armament Pt.2 Lewis Gun by Harry Woodman, Cross & Cockade Int. Vol19, #2, Pp.65-83, 1988.
BÉBÉ, Aspects of the Nieuport 11 by H. Woodman, Model Aircraft Monthly Vol.1 #4 Pp.22-27, 2002.
List of Aircraft Designations (French) submitted by P. Grosz, Cross & Cockade USA Vol.25, #2, Pp.112-115, 1984. Markings of the Lafayette Escadrille by B. Alexander, W. Michigan IPMS News 1976.
Nieuport Aces of World War One by N. Franks, Osprey, Aircraft of the Aces #33, 2000.
Nieuport Aircraft of World War One by J.M.Bruce, Osprey Vintage Warbirds #10, Pp.9-13, 1988.
Nieuport Fighters Vol 1 by R. Rimell, Albatros Pub. 1993 Nieuport Fighters Vol 2 by R. Rimell, Albatros Pub. 1994.
Nieuport Flyers of the Lafayette by Jon Guttman Windsock Special , 2006.`
Nieuport Vee Strutters by S. Nelsen, Cross & Cockade USA, Vol.7, #3,Pp.237-253. 1966.
Nieuport Vee Str. Errata & Addenda, Cross & Cockade USA Vol.12,#2, Pp.189-190. 1971.
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Highs: This is a highly detailed all plastic kit and goes together well. Whether you just build it stock or add the minor modifications recommended here it is a great representation of the type.Lows: In printing the instructions Eduard’s scribes put an insert between page 2 & 3 of the instructions. This maybe a bit confusing to neophyte modelers.Verdict: For me this was an exercise in restraint. I tried to keep it simple. I tried to brush up on a few skills that I normally would have forgone in lieu of airbrushes and express masks. I altered the kit engine instead of just replacing it with a more accura
About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash) FROM: COLORADO, UNITED STATES
I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...
Sorry for the heavy grain folks image taken on overcast day. Note the Eduard prepainted lap belts and a scratch built instrument gauge ( white faced sprue section awaiting spare gauge decal).
Here the Weekend edition kit is almost ready to close up. Note the Eduard prepainted lap belts.
Here the other half of the Weekend kit fuselage is almost ready to unite with its mate.
Here is my modification of the kit supplied 80hp LeRhone to modify it into the 110hp LeRhone type.
Here the modified engine is painted and mounted.
The kit fuselage in the 3 colour scheme I chose. Later I go back and feather the edges to appear sprayed.
Nieuport 16 weekend ediion 1/48 scale all plastic kit with a slight view into the cockpit.
Here a complete left side profile of the completed kit.
Here a complete right side profile of the completed kit.
Here the finished Nieuport 16 weeekend kit is seen from an elevated view. I used only 3 three colours on this build but recent published information says 4 is possible 2 greens and two browns.
Here the "Weekend Edition" finished kit from the pilot's front left quarter.
Here the copmpleted build is displayed from the pilot's front right quarter.
One of the first colour film attempt in 1916. These were usally mounted in pairs and could be view in a hand held gadget in stereo. Records are unclear since Nieuport tye 11 & 16 airframes were built side by side on the factory floor.
Here the ciompleted kit on its nose to view the undersurface treatment. exhaust stains were kept to a minimum. Note the blue edging tapes.
Slight colour and head modifications Viva la dif-France!