HISTORICAL MINIATURES BY GEORGE GRASSE
WORLD WAR 1 AIRCRAFT IN 1:48 SCALE

BREGUET 14.B2 OF ESCADRILLE Br.107, AERONAUTIQUE MILITARE, FRANCE 1918

by George Grasse

MUSTHAVE 1:48 SCALE RESIN KIT MH4804 OF THE BREGUET 14.B2

MUSTHAVE KIT MH4804 BOX ART



BREGUET 14.B2 THREE-VIEW DRAWING

This 3-view drawing is credited to J. D. Carrick or F. Yeoman and appeared in Reconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War compiled by W. M. Lamberton and published by Harleyford Publications Limited.  This French aircraft appeared in both the reconnaissance (14.A2) and bomber (14.B2) roles.  For the longest time, France diverted all of the Breguet 14 series aircraft to their own escadrilles until early 1918 when small lots of the A2 and B2 were released for use by the U. S. Air Service.  Consult French Aircraft of the First World War by Dr. James J. Davilla and Arthur M. Soltan.



THE MODEL TO BE BUILT
    
The model to be built is Breguet 14.B2 No. 1400 of Escadrille Br.107.   This image is taken from the outside front cover of Breguet 14 by Alan D. Toelle, Windsock Datafile Special, Albatros Productions, 2003.  At the beginning of 1918, Br.107 had twelve B2s on hand having replaced their twelve Voisin 8 and ten Nieuport Scouts (23, 24, and 27 models). 
 

Escadrille Br.107 Insignia
CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 1
 
FUSELAGE BEGINNINGS: This is the first step towards fuselage construction.  The fuselage consists of a large bottom section to be covered by a smaller top section.  The kit does not have a PE sheet but can be ordered separately from the manufacturer's website.  The resin cockpit parts are somewhat bulky and need to be supplemented by many scratch-built components.  When installing the cockpit seats, care must be taken to glue them into position using the top section as a guide; otherwise, seats may be off center and/or not aligned with the cockpit openings.  The photo above shows about half of the details installed.

 
CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 2
 
THE WINGS: The upper wing set of two sections shown on the right has separate ailerons and these have to be trimmed of excess material before gluing.  Also, note that the two top wing sections are to be glued to a small center section (not shown).  The bottom wing set also has two wing sections and separate flaps.  These have to be cleaned up before installation. 

 
CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 3
COCKPIT INTERIOR: The kit supplies little in the way of cockpit detail.  The instruction sheet is vague at best.  The pilot's seat is from my seat stash with Eduard seatbelts glued into position.  The rear seat is the kit rear seat - just a padded seat without back rest.  The compass to the right front of the pilot's seat is an Airscale 1:48 scale decal glued to a round plastic rod.  In front of the forward support structure are two scrap plastic pieces glued in place just in case there needs to be something forward that might be seen from the cockpit opening.  Other smaller pieces of plastic were glued to the sidewalls to represent additional instruments.  The sidewalls were painted Vallejo VC0847 Dark Sand to represent the fabric covering.  Wood structural parts were painted with Vallejo VC0856 Ochre Brown.  All metal parts were painted in Andrea ANCX24 Union Blue. 


 
CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 4
FUSELAGE ASSEMBLY: This photo shows the glued together fuselage halves.  Much fill was needed as indicated by the white putty.  The wings are stuck into position.  To do that, I inserted to brass pins into the wing to fit into holes I drilled into the fuselage.  I'm not ready to glue the wings on.   The tail assembly was straight forward and I allowed plenty of time for the super glue to set up.  Two bracing wires above and two below support the fin and horizontal stabilizer.  These were made from piano wire custom fitted one at a time.  See next photo for the landing gear.


 
CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 5
LANDING GEAR:   Rather than using the flimsy resin landing gear from the kit, I decided (as I almost always do) to make my own landing gear struts to support the model.  It took a while to figure out how best to do this and I came up with the "U" shaped landing gear sub-assembly shown.  A single brass rod is bent to the configuration shown in Windsock's Breguet 14 reference.  Then, I cut brass tubing from Albion Alloys Ltd 1.4mm diameter stock, making one piece for each part of the "U" strut (three pieces for each).  The brass rod was "unbent" and the tubing was placed into position after which the brass rod was re-bent into position.  Each landing gear was then "pounded" gently to form an aerodynamic strut.   There is enough brass rod overage to serve as the "pins" that will fit into holes drilled on the underside of the fuselage to anchor the landing gear.
 

 
CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 6


FIRST COAT OF CAMOUFLAGE PAINT:   The upper photo shows the scheme applied to the fuselage and lower wing.  The lower photo shows the upper wing scheme.  All colors are MisterKit except the matt black which is Andrea Flat Black.  The color palette for the model appears at the end of this article. 
 
 
 
CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 7
FINAL CAMOUFLAGE PAINT:   This photo shows the second or final coat of Misterkit French 5-color camouflage paints.  Also shown are the hand-painted rudder stripes: overall Vallejo VC0951 Flat White first, then Misterkit MKFC02 French Roundel Blue followed by Vallejo VC0909 Vermillion.  Later, not being satisfied with such a 'light' blue, I added a drop or two to my palette mix to darken the shade which you will see in subsequent photos.  The darker shade closely resembles the French national insignia decal roundels.  Of course, as additional components and rigging are added, a bit of touch-up paint will occur but the major painting is now completed (top wing painted but not shown).
 
  
 
CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 8
DECALS APPLIED:   The kit's decals supplied the French roundels (not shown) and the 'Lever Ici' (lift here) markings.  The squadron insignia of the winged snake was taken from the Roden French Sopwith B.1B kit.  All of the other decals were painstakingly made and printed on clear decal paper.  The rudder markings were based on drawings in Alan Toelle's Windsock Special "Breguet 14".  I typed the letters and numbers in WORD.  Then I sized them, i.e., large capital "B", small lower case "r".  I moved the cursor over the letters and ran down the drop-down list in WORD for the different fonts until one or two struck me as being close enough.  The second serial number line was done in the same way.  The weights table was copied directly from "Breguet 14", page 79 using the Michelin format.  The "spade" personal crew's insignia was taken from Cross & Cockade (US), Volume 7, Number 3, page 219, actually the "spade" insignia for Escadrille BM.119.  In the photo above, I did not under-paint white so the numerals take on the under-lying camouflage color.  I will correct that by hand-painting the number "2" in white.  When all of the decals were applied, I oversprayed the entire model including the wings with satin polyurethane. 

The kit's cabane struts were flimsy resin "V" shaped pieces.  I replaced them with brass rod anchored into the fuselage.  Then, I cut each strut to length, pounded to a airfoil shape with a piece of brass rod inserted so as not to completely flatten the strut. 
 
  
 
CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 9a
TOP WING INSTALLED - STEP 1:   As previously noted in the photo 8 panel, the kit's flimsy cabane struts were replaced with sturdy brass rod and brass tubing.  This was done six months before this photo was taken.  The long interim period between photos 8 and 9a resulted from the discouraging sag of both wings and no solution at hand.  Usually, resin parts respond to hot water but the attempt failed largely due to my impatience and disgust with the kit.  However, I finally resolved to correct the problem or chuck the project.  The first problem I tackled was the sag of the lower wings.  As it turned out, the wings themselves were fine.  The problem was the joint to the fuselage.  I corrected this by driving in a brass rod at the wing root on the underside.  Of course, the photo above appears to show a sag towards the outer edge.  I guess I can live with that.

The top wing was the real problem and I persisted in the "heat-treat" method.  The top wing responded to my satisfaction so I was able to start the top wing installation process as shown above.   
 
  
 
CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 9b
DECALS APPLIED:   The cabane struts were glued first support by the inboard wing struts which were not glued at this time.  The inboard struts, which had been cut and fitted months ago, were tested for fit and they all proved to be too long.  The brass rods and tubing were nipped off to fit but just the inboard struts were glued in place.  This step was a bit aggravating because all of the pre-glued rigging "wires" were in the way.  Anyway, this close up photo illustrates the rigging difficulties.  
 
 
 
CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 10
RIGGING COMPLETE:   Although not a "rigging unfriendly" as early World War 1 aircraft such as the British BE.2 series, the Breguet 14 series is complicated by the lack of detailed scale drawings showing the exact layout of the rigging.  Much of the rigging I did had to do with the examination of photographs and, believe me, I was lucky to resolve one or two rigging lines per photo.  The rigging shown in the photo above has not been painted which is the usual French "horizon blue" color as shown on the tail unit.  
 
 
CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 11a and 11b

LEWIS GUNS AND MOUNT:   The mount for the Lewis guns was scratch-built from brass rod and thin copper sheet (top photo) then primed and painted (bottom photo). 
 
 
FINISHED PHOTO No. 12a
 
 
FINISHED PHOTO No. 12b
 
 
FINISHED PHOTO No. 12c
 
 
FINISHED PHOTO No. 12d
 
 
FINISHED PHOTO No. 13
 
 
 

-------------------------------  FINIS ------------------------------
 

Bibliography:

Davilla, James J. Dr. and Arthur M. Soltan.  French Aircraft of the First World War.  Boulder, CO, Flying Machines Press, 2002.

Hayez Lt. Colonel (French Air Force Historical Section), translated by H. D. Hastings.  French Escadrilles in World War I.  Cross & Cockade (US), Volume 7, Number 3, pages 205-231.

Lamberton, W. M., Compiler, and E. F. Cheesman, Editor.  Reconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War.   Los Angeles, CA: Aero Publishers, 1962.

Toelle, Alan D.  Breguet 14, Windsock Datafile Special.  Berkhamsted, UK, Albatros Productions, 2003

 

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