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

USAS SPAD 13, 27th AERO SQUADRON, 1918

by George Grasse

EDUARD 1:48 SCALE PLASTIC INJECTION MOLDED KIT EU8425 OF THE USAS SPAD 13

EDUARD EU8425 BOX ART
    
 

SPAD 13 3-VIEW DRAWINGS

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 French-designed Spad 13 was the improved version of the Spad 7 fighter.  It was adopted by the U. S. Air Service as the preferred 'pursuit' aircraft for all of its fighter squadrons, replacing the controversial Nieuport 28 issued in early 1918.  



THE MODEL TO BE BUILT
    
The model to be built represents Spad 13 C.15202 '26' flown by 1/Lt. Frank Luke or the 27th Aero Squadron, USAS.  The image above is taken from Medal of Honor , Volume 1, Aviators of World War 1, the artist being Juanita Franzi.
 



CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 1
    
FUSELAGE BEGINNINGS: This shows the modest start.  

 
CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 2
    
FUSELAGE COCKPIT DETAILS: These are the three major cockpit sub-assemblies that have been assembled and painted.  All of the instruments have decal dial faces directly from the kit's decal sheet.  The seat harness is a decal.  

 
CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 3
    
FUSELAGE ENCLOSED: The one-piece top decking to include the the engine cover and rear decking were a near perfect fit.  Some light sanding was required on the edges of the rear deck that bonded to the fuselage sides.  Not shown is the underside fuselage cover from front to just even with the rear of the cockpit.  This was a good fit.  Also added at this time were the tail elevators with brass rod support (replacing the kit plastic rod), the nose cowling with radiator and venting plate, the side engine access panels, telescopic gun sight, and the covers to the engine protrusion.  The .303 Vickers machine guns were taken from my "spares" pile of accumulated Allied machine guns and accessories.  The kit was short one .303 Vickers (which did not match my spares).  Not attached at this stage are the port and starboard exhaust pipes;  sadly, one is missing which probably went out to the trash still attached to its sprue!  
 

CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 4
    
FIRST PAINT COAT: This top view shows the first coat of camouflage paint based on the artistry of Juanita Franzi in the book Medal of Honor, Volume 1, Aviators of World War One, pages 104 and 105 and the Eduard color instructions.  The colors I used are all Vallejo acrylic paints mixed to closely match the Misterkit French 1918 Camouflage Scheme colors except that I added a substantial amount of 'aluminum' paint to each of the four colors shown to represent the aluminum powder content in the pigment that the French actually used.  Of course, these colors are my own interpretation.   To view the formulas I used to mix these paints, click here for "French World War 1 5-Color Camouflage 1917-1918".
 

CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 5
    
FUSELAGE CAMOUFLAGE:  The one color of the 5-color 1917-1918 camouflage scheme not applied yet is matt black.  This color DID NOT contain aluminum powder in the original French formula.  I will apply matt black when a second coat of the four other colors has been applied. 

Note that the exhausts have not yet been installed (to facilitate painting).  The access step at the bottom of the fuselage is a brass replacement for the kit's plastic one.  The blue cowling is Vallejo 930 Dark Blue.  The rudder was painted Andrea NAC-01 White and covered with the kit's rudder decal (the trailing blue stripe seems too dark)
.


CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 6
    
FINISHED PAINT COAT: This top view shows the second coat of camouflage paint, the addition of a coat of polyurethane, and the application of the top wing decals (but not the large '26' yet).  A second coat of satin polyurethane will be applied after the model is completely finished.
 

CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 7
    
FUSELAGE DECALS PLUS:  The large striking decals for '26' and the 27th Aero's insignia really make Spad 13 stand out.  Also finished at this stage are the wheels and prop.  Barely visible at the tail (and not visible on the undercarriage) are small efforts at rigging.  I used the old standby - .005 monofilament thread - that was painted with Andrea's Union Blue after installation. 


CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 8
    
READY TO ATTACH TOP WING: The struts have been glued in place and all of the .005  monofilament rigging threads have been glued in place on the underside of the top wing.  
 

CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 9
    
TOP WING ATTACHED:  The  top wing was glued to the cabane struts first and allowed to dry but after checking for correct alignment.  Later, the wing struts were glued.


CONSTRUCTION PHOTO No. 10
 
ALMOST DONE: This side view shows off the pleasant camouflage scheme and insignia.  Later, while handling the model, I inadvertently crushed the right outboard wing set, snapping the outboard struts and bending the inboard struts a bit.  Fortunately, the rigging held up and I ended up replacing the the plastic outboard struts with brass rod and tube.  None of that is shown in this photo.  I was happy that the repair work went well but when it came time to add the exhaust pipes, one was missing - most likely missed on the "throw-away' sprue pieces and thrown out with the trash a week before! 
 

FINISHED PHOTO No. 11
 
FINISHING TOUCHES: This side view re-built outside wing struts from brass rod and tubing.  Fortunately, the rigging was not damaged.  However, the aileron crank mechanism was badly smashed.  The linkage rod was replaced with a piece of old Strutz material.   A lot of places around the repaired struts, front top decking, and miscellaneous places had to be touched up with camouflage paint.  It's done!!
 

FINISHED PHOTO No. 12
LEFT FRONT VIEW 
 

FINISHED PHOTO No. 13
 
RIGHT FRONT VIEW 
 

FINISHED PHOTO No. 14
RIGHT REAR VIEW 
 

FINISHED PHOTO No. 15
LEFT REAR VIEW
 



 

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

Bibliography:

Andrews, C. F.  The SPAD XIII C.1.  Leatherhead, Surrey, UK: Profile Publications.

Bruce, J. M.  SPAD 13.C1 Windsock Datafile 32.  Berkhamsted, Herts: Albatros Productions, 2000.

Bruce, J. M.  SPAD Scouts SVII - SVIII.  United States: Glencoe Models.

Conners, John F.  SPAD Fighters in Action.  Carrollton, TX: Squadron/Signal Publications, 1989.

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

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

Gutman, Jon.  SPAD XII/XIII Aces of World War 1, Aircraft of the Aces No. 47.  Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2002.

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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Copyright by George Grasse