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Glencoe 1/48 Spad XIII C.1 French Aces Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2006 Manufacturer Glencoe
Subject Spad XIII C.1 French Aces Scale 1/48
Kit Number 5118 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Simple build Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $9.98

First Look


The Spad XIII was ultimate fighter to reign supreme in the skies of WWI Europe. Developed as a second attempt to improve on the earlier successful Spad VII, the Spad XIII had the right mix of power, speed, armament and maneuverability that eluded the Spad XII.

With over 8,470 examples produced, the Spad XIII was the mount of the aces including Georges Guynemer and "Eddie" Rickenbacker. Entering service in May 1917, the Spad XIII served in the air forces of France, Italy, Belgium, and the United States. These aircraft would soldier on into the 1920s.

Powered by a 235 horsepower Hispano-Suiza engine, the Spad XIII was armed with two synchronized Vickers machine guns firing through the prop arc.

The Glencoe 1/48 Spad XIII C.1 French Aces kit has been around for a while. If memory serves, this kit was another release originally from Aurora, the molds of which were rescued from the scrap heap by Glencoe.

This 1/48 scale kit was very detailed for its day. It is molded in olive green styrene and presented on two parts trees, plus separately molded wings and fuselage halves. One additional tree of parts is also provided molded in black containing the propeller, engine exhaust headers, and other detail parts.

The ribbing detail on the upper surface of the wing is not bad by today's standards. There is no ribbing detail on the undersurfaces of the wing - such was the molding state of the art back in Aurora's day. One of the wing surfaces has ejector pin marks that will need a little attention.

The six assembly steps illustrated on one page of the instruction sheet underscores the simplicity of this kit.

Markings are provided for eight French aces:

  • Lt. Charles Nungesser, SPA 103, 45 victories
  • Capt Georges Guynemer, SPA 3, 54 victories, KIA 9 Sep 1917
  • Capt Rene Fonck, SPA 103, 75 victories
  • Maj Francesco Barraca, Italian AF, 34 victories, KIA 19 Jun 1918
  • Lt Michel Coiffard, SPA 154, 28 balloons, 6 aircraft, KIA 28 Oct 1918
  • Lt Gilbert Sardier, Commander SPA 48, 14 victories
  • Adj Jacques Ehrlich, SPA 154, 19 victories
  • Capt Armand de Torenne, SPA 12, 15 victories

With a street price of around $8.00 USD, the Glencoe kit is an easy build for modelers out to have a little fun and not ready to get wrapped up in more complex renditions of this interesting aircraft.

For those who are more content with the more complex kits, then you'll definitely want to buy this kit for the decal sheet and give the model to one of your kids to build alongside of you. In either case, it is nice to see such inexpensive kit options still available to modelers.

My sincere thanks to Glencoe Models for this review sample!