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

NIEUPORT 28 C.1 OF THE 94th AS, U. S. AIR  SERVICE, 1918

by George Grasse

BLUE MAX 1:48 SCALE PLASTIC INJECTION MOLDED KIT OF THE NIEUPORT 28 C.1

BLUE MAX NIEUPORT 28 BOX ART



 NIEUPORT 28 THREE-VIEW DRAWING

This 3-view drawing is credited to J. D. Carrick or F. Yeoman and appeared in Fighter Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War compiled by W. M. Lamberton and published by Harleyford Publications Limited.   The Nieuport 28 was not accepted by the French Aeronautique Militaire in any role but was widely available for the U. S. Air Service and began operations with it in April 1918.
 

THE MODEL TO BE BUILT
    
Nieuport 28 C.1 No. N.6159, 1/Lt. Eddie Rickenbacker, 94th Aero Squadron, 1918 (image credit: Juanita Franzi from Medal of Honor Aviators of World War One by Alan E. Durkota, page 98)


CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 1
    
FUSELAGE CONSTRUCTION: This model moved along so quickly I forgot to take photos of the fuselage halves and their interiors.  In fact, the lower wings, horizontal tailplane, and landing gear struts were on before I remembered.   The cockpit interior for this kit was actually not bad but it lacked detailed instrumentation and extras.  The cockpit interior sides were a framework cast in metal as was the seat and rudder control bar.  I think it faithfully reproduced the interior but lacked the present day quality which uses finely cast parts and PE components.   However, the cockpit opening is so small that little can be seen.

 
CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 2
    
LANDING GEAR: The strut assembly including the axle with its fairing were straight from the kit.  Usually, I make my own landing gear components for strength but the model is so small and the extra effort to replace the kit's parts wasn't worth it.  


CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 3
    
JUST HOW SMALL IS THIS 1:48 SCALE MODEL:  This photo of the Lone Start 1:48 scale Martin B-10B under construction says it all.


CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 4
    
FRENCH 5-COLOR CAMOUFLAGE SCHEME - TOP VIEW:  All of the Vallejo acrylic paint used was pre-mixed by me and included substantial portions of VC0856 Natural Steel to represent the high proportion of aluminum powder used in the original doped paints.  The reflective characteristic of the aluminum powder was recognized by the French as an important component to reflect damaging sunlight.  Of the five colors in the scheme, only black was not tinted with aluminum powder.    The 1917-1918 5-color scheme was an improvement over the 1916 4-color scheme and specific application designs were made for all French aircraft, some having more than one variation.  Of course, the realization of these schemes differed among manufacturers.

Some of early Nieuport 28s in combat service in April 1918 carried war bond 'posters' on the upper surface of the wings.  I found these in the Roden Nieuport 28 kit in a small packet that was clearly added to the kit after it was manufactured.  These are 'stick-on' posters and not decals.


PAINTING TABLE FOR THE FIVE-COLOR FRENCH CAMOUFLAGE SCHEME OF 1917-1918


Click Here to View my Mixing Formulas


MIXED COLOR NAME  BRAND EQUIVALENT NUMBER AND NAME
Chestnut Brown Misterkit MKFR05 Chestnut Brown
Beige Misterkit MKFR10 Beige
Dark Green Misterkit MKFR11 Dark Green
Light Green Misterkit MKFR12 Light Green
Black Vallejo VC0950 Flat Black
Ecru Misterkit MKFR03 Light Yellow (undersides)

Note that the color 'ecru' is a term coined by Alan Toelle to name the clear doped linen finish used on the underside of French aircraft.  Ecru means 'clear' or something equivalent resulted from the natural finish of the two coats of clear lacquer used to seal the linen covering.  It could appear anywhere from light yellow to pale sand depending on the brand used and natural aging.  Misterkit products are good to use and have a satin finish.  However, I used one or two coats of satin polyurethane overspray to seal the finished product which is equivalent to the actual two-coat varnish used to finish most WW1 aircraft.

CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 5
    
FRENCH 5-COLOR SCHEME - RIGHT SIDE:  This view shows how the colors were applied to the left side of the fuselage.  The vertical tail unit has been hand painted with the early U. S. Air Service rudder stripes (later changed to red, white, and blue in the order left to right).  I used these colors:  Vallejo VC0947 Red, Andrea ANXC01 White, and Vallejo VC0963 Medium Blue.  These colors came quite close to the roundel decal colors which were 'stolen' from my Roden Nieuport 28 kit.  


CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 6a
    
RIGGING BEGINNINGS, PART 1:  This view shows the pre-rigged underside of the top wing and its fit onto the cabane struts.  The struts were made from brass tube and rod, replacing the kit struts. 


CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 6b
    
RIGGING BEGINNINGS, PART 2:  Seen from the right rear, the mess doesn't seem so bad.  The  cabane struts have not yet been primed. 


CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 7
    
STRUTS AND RIGGING:  Same view as above photo 6b but all struts and 90% of the rigging are installed.  Next step is to complete the rigging, prime and paint the struts, and paint the rigging French light-medium blue.


FINISHED PHOTO No. 8
    
FINAL STEPS :  The last strands of rigging were attached to the outboard struts and all were painted 'French Horizon Blue'.  The last of the decals were now applied starting with the underside cocardes and '12' (not shown).  The fuselage decals were applied next.  The last decals were the rudder number. 


FINISHED PHOTO No. 9
    


FINISHED PHOTO No. 10
    


FINISHED PHOTO No. 11
    


FINISHED PHOTO No. 12
    
 
FINISHED PHOTO No. 13


FINISHED PHOTO No. 14



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

Modeling References and Bibliography:

Archer, Robert D.  The Official Monogram US Army Air Service & Air Corps Aircraft Color Guide, Volume 1, 1908-1941.  Sturbridge, Massachusetts:  Monogram Aviation Publications, 1995.

Casari, Robert B.  American Military Aircraft 1908-1919.  Aeronaut Books, 2014.

Durkota, Alan E.  Medal of Honor, Volume 1: Aviators of World War One.  Flying Machines Press, 1998.

Guttman, Jon.  Nieuport 28, Windsock Datafile 36.  Berkhamsted. Hertfordshire, UK, 1992.

Hamady, Theodore.  The Nieuport 28 - America's First Fighter.  Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History, 2008.

Maurer, Maurer, editor. The U.S. Air Service in World War I, four volumes.  U. S. Government Printing Office, 1979.

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

Toelle, Alan D. "French 1918 Camouflage Colors - Typical Palette", 2001.

 

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