Amodel 1/32 Nieuport 16c Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||February 2010||Manufacturer||Amodel|
|Kit Number||3202||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$55.00|
The Nieuport 16 was a Nieuport 11 with a 110 horsepower Le Rhone 9J rotary engine mounted to the firewall in place of the 80 horsepower Le Rhone 9C. The aircraft was a sesquiplane design - a full sized wing up top and a half-sized wing underneath. The upper wing had two main spars while the lower wing only had a single main spar, hence the V-type interplane struts to connect the upper and lower wings. These early Nieuports, like the early Albatros fighters, had problems with the lower wing twisting under G-loads which at best would adversely affect your air combat maneuverability and gun track, and at worst would break apart in flight.
The early Nieuport 16s retained the Lewis gun atop the wing which fired clear of the propeller arc, while later models incorporated synchronized Vickers guns that were designed to not fire as the propeller passed through the gun's line of fire. While having the guns coaxial to the pilot's viewpoint made aiming and tracking easier than the upper-wing-mounted gun, the weight of the synchronized gun coupled with the weight of the larger engine created a serious center of gravity problem for the Nieuport 16 which was remedied with the subsequent Nieuport 17 design.
Amodel has released its first kits in 1/32 scale, both are the Nieuport 16c featuring different marking options. Clearly going head-to-head with Roden, another regional World War One kit maker, this kit is nicely laid out and appears to be a straightforward project.
The kit is molded in white styrene and presented on nine parts trees. When you view the parts trees and the instructions, you'll note that there are a number of parts not used in this version but will clearly be used in future offerings. The Nieuport 16 was the first fighter to be equiped with air-to-air rockets and these are in the kit but not used in this release. Likewise there are two cowlings, three propellers, and a few other items that will foretell subjects to come.
Amodel has done some interesting engineering in this kit. The wicker pilot's seat is molded flat, but you will shape the styrene seat back into shape when mounting it to the seat bottom. The fuel tank in the fourth image down looks like it has folds molded into the styrene like a photo-etched part and indeed, you origami the flat part into a fuel cell. Amodel has rendered photo-etched-like details and construction but is using styrene to make the kit buildable for the average modeler. Nice!
The Le Rhone rotary engine is nicely detailed and with some careful work and painting, it will really stand out on the nose of the aircraft.
The markings in this kit are for the French Ace Andre J Chainat who was credited with 11 victories, some of which were achieved in this type.
This is a nice little kit that will build into a unique subject with a little patience and skill.
My sincere thanks to HobbyTerra for this review sample!