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JN-4 Kit

Olimp 1/72 Curtiss JN-4A/D Jenny Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2008 Manufacturer Olimp
Subject Curtiss JN-4A/D Jenny Scale 1/72
Kit Number 72001 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Multiple versions provided on the parts trees, nice details Cons
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $16.95

First Look

JN-4 Kit
JN-4 Kit
JN-4 Kit

Curtiss Aircraft Company was one of the early pioneers of aircraft production for the US military with trainers built in the J series for the US Army and the N series for the US Navy. In 1915, Curtiss merged the two efforts into the JN series for both services, but the early JN-1 and JN-2 examples were not build in large quantities.

The JN-2 reflected early flight control concepts with a shoulder yoke used for roll control. The JN-3 moved roll control to a control wheel and added a foot bar for rudder control. The JN-4 would provide dual controls in tandem cockpits and become one of the leading allied trainers in World War I.

Powered by the 90 horsepower OX-5, the JN-4 had a cruise speed of 52 knots and a maximum speed of 65 knots. With a gross weight (fully loaded) of 1,920 pounds, the Jenny definitely had the makings of a solid training aircraft that would be produced in large numbers beyond the end of World War I. Not bad for a design that came about a mere 10+ years after the Wright Brothers' first flight!

Olimp is a model company from Odessa, Ukraine, that produces a nice array of 1/72 scale kits and decals. This release tackles the Curtiss Jenny and this is quite a detailed kit! I've seen a few JN-4s released in this scale, but so far this one is the nicest. I wish they would scale this up to 1/48th scale as well.

The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on three parts trees. Two trees are shown as two copies of the lower tree are included in the kit. You can see in the details (click an image to see a larger photo) that Olimp has rendered the parts for multiple versions of this aircraft. What you may not notice are the finely molded details and locating holes to make assembly easy.

The instructions are simple and very clear. An experienced modeler will have no problems with this project. You'll have to be careful as you remove these small parts from the trees as they might disappear into the carpet abyss. This is all the nicer that Olimp provides the second tree of small parts.

Look at those decals! There are few decal companies left that will print red, white, and blue on the same decal anymore. These decals are in register and are very nicely done.

This is a nicely detailed kit of the JN-4 and as I said above, I wish Olimp would scale this up to 1/48 scale as well. These details provide the modeler with a variety of options whether you bought the kit for that version or not.

My sincere thanks to Olimp Models for this review sample!