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In-Box Review
Nieuport XI
The Bebe
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by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]


The Nieuport type 10 was a two seater multipurpose machine using variously the 80hp - 110hp LeRhône rotaries. The company’s type 11 ‘Bebe’ was the single seat version 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 on a post mount stabilized by either a second post or a semi circular metal rod with a holding clip. The Nieuport 11 and licensed built versions were flown operationally by Belgium (1 example), France, Italy, Russia. The British RFC or RNAS did not use the type 11.

Box Contents
Here we will discuss the Eduard Nieuport 11 kit #8421 and its build up. Of special note, this was the first of the Eduard releases to have a figure included.

54 plastic parts
01 camouflage variant

The build

Step 1.) The Brass etched components provided in the kit should be used throughout this construction. The pilot’s left-side of the Fuselage (A1) begins with the installation of the etched metal Fuselage Frame ((PE 2) and the Air Flow Lever Assembly (PE 11, 16, 22.) This would be a good time to pre-drill all strut and rigging holes.

Step 2.) Instrumentation: A Compass needs to be scratchbuilt with a dial face. You will have to manufacture a starter magneto and a Fuel Pressure Hand Pump. The Pump should be fixed to the Right Fuselage Half (PP A2) near the floor level (PP A21.) The Fuel and Oil gauges and the Tachometer are represented on the instrument panel. On the 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, Bezels Set both in 1/48 scale. They have many fine and unusual details not seen any where else and come at a reasonable cost. On the Italian models we have photographs showing the Instrument panel. The Air Intake Pipes (PP A12) and Air & fuel mixing chamber& magneto assembly (PP B17) is Eduard’s production kit attempt to give the modeler a shot at detailing this usually ignored area.

Step 3.) Deals with the cockpit floor (PP A21), the pilot's seat and the Control Levers and pulleys (B6, 22 & 28.) You will have to manufacture the seat harness and have them conform like the fabric originals.

Step 4.) This is where you are to install the lower half of the aileron control rods (B27.) 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 (PP B24 X 2) to be installed in Step 9.

Step 5.) When the fuselage halves (PP A1 & A2) 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 PP A1 & A2 between the inner lip for the cowling (PP A14) and the crank case assembly (PP B29) on the firewall. 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 (PP A14)and the upper section of the forward fuselage half (PP A 1). Its length will span the union of the Firewall with the tanks ends squared off. Erase all seams in the fuselage joints.

You will find it important to drill a small hole adding a section fine wire to the rudder (PP A16) 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 (A15) traveling back to the crank case assembly (PP B29). 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 (PE 9) are pictured in reverse in the instructions. Check your references. There will also be a slight repositioning needed before glueing the base and the rod ends in place. Open the rigging Holes in the Horizontal Tail Plane (PP A 5.) Check your references.

Step 6.) I replaced the front cabane struts (PP B31 X 2) with brass-rod. The top wing (PP 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.) The Ailerons were hung using piano type hinges, no straps will be need to be added, check your references. Attach the top wing (PP A4) 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.

Steps 7-8.) Next wrap upholstery thread around the front leg back to the rear at the crotch of the under carriage legs and then forward again. Several rounds should do. This traps the axle and represents the bungee shock chords used on the original. I replaced the horizontal stabilizer struts (PP B7 & 8 ) with metal rod. Continue any unfinished rigging at this time.

Steps 9-10.) Here is where you can add the replacement metal rods I spoke of in Step 4. This will allow you to delete the plastic parts (PP B23 X 2 & 27.) Finish any Tail unit rigging at this time. Eduard’s Lewis Gun ( PP B12) 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.

Step 11.) 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. No wood grain in evidence. Complete any unfinished rigging here and choose between the types of mirrors and windscreens appropriate to the profile your working on.


Early Nieuport 11 ( XI ) types were either clear doped linen or painted in a "butter" / dirty tan colour in 1915. Later versions were known to have an overall horizon blue colour scheme. The edge tapes for the wings, horizontal tail unit and fuslage longerons was painted black.

Kit Decals

Nieuport XI, Lt. Paul Tarascon, Escadrille N62,1916. 12 victories. His citations read;
". . .Adjudant pilot of Escadrille N62. Excellent pilot, always prepared to work. Although one leg had been amputated, he entered aviation and has carried out numerous reconnaissances over long distances and has had 15 aerial combats. On 15 July 1916, he downed an Aviatik de chasse, which fell in flames in enemy territory." Médaille Militaire citation, 4 August 1916. . ."

". . .Adjudant pilot of Escadrille N62. Remarkable pilot by his devotion, skill, coolness and initiative. He has distinguished himself for over a year during the course of numerous reconnaissances, protections and pursuits. On 9 August 1916, his plane was hit over 100 times by enemy bullets. Since the first of July, he has had 35 combats, downing five enemy planes and has forced two others to land in a damaged condition." Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur citation, 15 November 1916. . ."

He died an old man 11 June 1977.

These markings were seen in an earlier issue of the kit #8069 (it had express masks.) #8070 was the Profipack version.

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 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.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on Aeroscale.co.uk
Highs: Great kit details not usually offered in other versions previous to the initial release. A good kit to venture out and do rigging on for the novice WWI kit builder.
Lows: Top wing should have a split on the center line - chordwise. Easy to scribe.
Verdict: Top notch kit to start on or detail to the smallest degree.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: #8421
  Suggested Retail: $19.99
  PUBLISHED: Mar 30, 2010

Our Thanks to Eduard!
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About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)

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 ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Thank you Stephen to bring this up! This Baby was my first (successful) attempt in WW1 aircraft building, so I am particularely linked to it. It was an enjoiable build, and one that I recommend to anyone! ciao Edo
MAR 30, 2010 - 08:21 PM
Stephen, Excellent build article my friend.I have one of Eduard's Nieuport 11's in the stash for a future project.Your work will be most valuable in my project. Highest Regards, Gregory Jouette
MAR 31, 2010 - 04:13 AM
I built one of their older Bebes. It is a fantastic kit. Easily one of their best.
APR 02, 2010 - 11:01 AM

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