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JN-4 Kit

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

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2008 Manufacturer Olimp
Subject Curtiss JN-4HG Jenny Scale 1/72
Kit Number 72004 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

The Curtiss Jenny was the ultimate pilot trainer as it featured excellent handling and no real bad habits. Since students tended to wander out of various corners of the flight envelope, a forgiving trainer was essential in the early stages of training. The Jenny would become the most famous North American aircraft contribution to World War I with nearly 9000 built.

The JN-4H was a further development of the earlier Jennys which was powered with a 150 horsepower Hispano Suiza engine in place of the 90 horsepower OX-5. This new engine required more fuel and cooling, so both systems were enlarged to accommodate the new engine, and the airframe was likewise strengthened to compensate for the additional aerodynamic stresses.

While the Jenny didn't see combat, armed versions of the aircraft were used to train pilots and observers with the 'new' art of aerial gunnery. The JN-4HG was purpose-built as a gun training platform to allow pilots to learn this skill before encountering the 'hun in the sun'.

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!