by: Damian Rigby [ ]
The Clerget 9B was a rotary engine developed by Pierre Clerget in World War 1. These engines were unusual in that the entire engine assembly rotated around a fixed crankshaft. At 175kg these engines were relatively light, but powerful and smooth in operation. Originally designed in France, the 9B was also manufactured under license in Great Britain by Gwynne Engineering. This engine was used to power Nieuport and Sopwith fighters as well as some Armstrong Whitworth, Avro, Bristol, Fairey and Cierva designs.
THE KITThe kit comes in a sturdy top-opening box which is plain brown cardboard with black print. On the box top there are fully labelled views of the front, rear and side of the engine. The instructions are in A5 fold-out format with 9 assembly steps and once again very clear photographs of the front, rear and side of the complete engine to assist with assembly. Colour call-outs are for GSI Creos acrylics, with several mixed colours required.
The kit consists of;
100 Parts contained on 5 light grey sprues and 1 black sprue,
01 Bag of pre cut brass wire for the push-rods,
01 Printed brass name plate.
The instructions call for silk thread fixed with CA to be used for the ignition wires, but there are no references to diameter or colour.
Sprue A (x3). These are 3 identical grey sprues containing the parts for the 9 cylinders. There is noticeable flash, mainly on the sprues, but some of the parts have some very fine flash to deal with. There are no apparent sink marks, the ejector pin points are large, but hidden inside the cylinders, and wherever possible the sprue attachment points are located in areas that will not be visible once assembled. Each sprue contains 6 cylinder halves, and on one of these cylinder halves (the same one on each sprue) there is an area where the channel between the cooling fins is visibly shallower. This will be difficult to rectify and quite noticeable on the assembled cylinder, but it appears that this area will be concealed behind the intake manifold pipes.
Sprue B. This grey sprue holds the crank case components. There is some flash on the sprue, and some very fine flash on one of the parts. No sink marks are visible, the ejector pin marks are inside the casing, and once again the sprue attachment points are small and will be easily dealt with.
Sprue C. This grey sprue holds the parts for the crankshaft, oil and air pumps, and a few smaller components. There is some very fine flash on several of the parts. No sink marks are visible, the ejector pin marks are inside the assembled components, and once again the sprue attachment points are small and will be easily dealt with.
Sprue D. This black sprue holds the parts for the workstand and a display stand for the nameplate. There is some very fine flash on several of the parts. No sink marks are visible, the ejector pin marks are on the bottom or the rear of the assembled components, and once again the sprue attachment points are small and will be easily dealt with.
Overall, the parts look good. The details are crisp and fine, such as hex bolt heads and protruding thread ends, teeth on gear wheels, flanges and rocker arms. This will make an impressive display at about 160mm in length and height, and 125mm width.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.