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Eduard's 1/48 scale
Nieuport 17

by Scott Lyle


Nieuport 17

Eduard's 1/48 scale Nieuport 17 is available from Squadron for less than $9.00!




One of the great fighters of World War I, the Nieuport 17 entered service during the spring of 1916. It became known as the “Silver Hawk” for its aluminum dope paint, and it was the favored mount of many of the great Allied aces including Albert Ball, Charles Nungesser, and Georges Guynemer. I decided to build one of the four Nieuport 17s flown by Guynemer, using the markings provided with the kit.





I built the model basically straight out of the box and found construction to be very straight forward. Being such a small aircraft, assembly was quick.



For a biplane there isn’t too much of the dreaded rigging. I used EZ-Line from Bobe’s Hobby House (it has been reviewed on this site), which I highly recommend. Since it is elastic, you can glue it in place in a stretched condition, meaning it is guaranteed to be perfectly straight. I used to use stretched sprue for rigging which would never be taut when it was glued in place. I would then have to light matches and try to “bounce” the sprue to get it to go taut, but inevitably some would snap, resulting in a fair amount of frustration. This EZ-Line eliminates all of that, and therefore makes rigging much less painful!



Painting and Markings


Since I was going to be painting the entire aircraft silver, I assembled everything, including the rigging, and left off only the prop, machine gun, and wheels. I then primed it with Mr. Surfacer 1000 to check for any flaws I missed during construction. I then sprayed the entire aircraft Testor's Enamel Aluminum. I was hoping to get the sheet metal panels around the nose to stand out a bit so I masked them off and sprayed them with a 50/50 mix of Alclad Aluminum and Dark Aluminum. When I removed the masking tape however I found that it’s practically impossible to tell the difference between the Alclad and the Testor areas! Chock it up to experience - next time I will get the shades of the colors to have greater contrast.

I brush painted the wood parts using a three-step procedure that I read about from other modelers online. First the wood parts were painted Testors Wood. Then Testor's Leather and a small brush were used to paint wavy lines on them to simulate the grain of the wood. Lastly a generous coat of Tamiya Clear Orange was used to unify the first two steps, resulting in realistic looking wood.



The machine gun was painted Tamiya NATO Black and then dry-brushed with Testors Steel. The rigging wires were painted Tamiya NATO Black.

I sprayed the entire model with Future to get it ready for the decals, but the Future did not dry very well, sort of pooling up in areas and not forming that nice, continuous coat that it always had for me in the past. While I suspect it didn’t agree with the metallic Testors Aluminum paint, I’ll be watching the next time to see that it behaves itself!

Decals & Weathering

The kit decals went on flawlessly despite the less-than-perfect coat of Future. Some Walthers Solvaset got the decals to sit down over any bumps or recesses.

I glued on the prop, wheels, and machine gun and sprayed some Testor's Semi-Gloss Coat over the whole aircraft to seal the decals and tone down the finish.

Using a small brush I used a thin wash of 50/50 Lamp Black/Raw Umber to accentuate the few recessed lines there were on the Nieuport. I then airbrushed a very then mix of the same around the flaps, wheels, where the wings and stabilizers meet the fuselage, and especially around the engine and cowling to add a bit more grime to the model.



My last step was to mist on a bit of Tamiya Desert Yellow around the wheels and rear skid to simulate some dust and dirt.




Whenever I build a biplane model I’m always amazed by how fragile the real things must have been. For me part of the fun of model building is learning all about the men and the machines they flew, and this was no exception. I highly recommend this kit; it’s a fast build with no flaws. I’m looking forward to tackling some more Eduard biplanes in the future!





  • Osprey Publications, Aircraft of the Aces #33, “Nieuport Aces of World War 1”

  • Squadron/Signal Publications, Aircraft in Action #167, “Nieuport Fighters in Action”

  • Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2007 by Scott Lyle
Page Created 17 September, 2007
Last Updated 24 December, 2007

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