Hobbycraft | 1/32 Nieuport 17
Reviewed by Kevin Williams
Not a new kit by any means, the Hobbycraft Nieuport 17, while an OK model, is definitely getting long in the tooth, and is in desperate need of a replacement, and it's my fervent hope that Wingnut Wings will eventually tackle the entire Nieuport series, and I won't be one bit surprised when they do.
This will be an in-box review only, focusing on quantity and quality of parts depicted, accuracy issues will not be discussed here. For the most part, I’ll let the images speak for themselves, but there are not a lot of them, owing to the simplistic approach taken with the kit. This will be an in-box review only, focusing on quantity and quality of parts depicted, accuracy issues will not be discussed here. For the most part, I’ll let the images speak for themselves, but there are not a lot of them, owing to the simplistic approach taken with the kit. Also, my copy was acquired second hand, so many parts had been removed from trees and some items painted. Not my normal approach, but this is what I have to work with.
Instructions are pretty much what you'd expect from an older kit of this nature; multi-fold black and white illustrations of recommended kit assembly sequence, with two pages devoted to markings and colors. No parts tree identifican illustration is provided, but with so few parts, it's really not necessary.
Markings are provided for three Nieuports:
- Nieuport 17 (Billy Bishop)
- Nieuport 17 (replica) National Aviation Museum, Canada
- Nieuport 17 Imperial Russian Air Service
Decals look OK, at least from a color and opaqueness standpoint, but appear to me to be a bit on the thick side. I have no confidence in decals of this nature, so suitable replacement or masks will need to be sought out by me, when the time comes. All three provided schemes are basically overall silver, with a small splash of color here and there, an unfortunate standard for this particular machine, as it's really rather boring, at least to me.
Given that most major parts had already been removed from trees, I though an overview shot was in order. One thing that seems (to me) to be apparent, is an overall correct appearance of proportions.
Fuselage (exterior), looks quite acceptable to my eye. Interior is another matter though. While an attempt has been made to depict interior framing and bracing wires, this is somewhat underdone to me, and worse, chock full of ejector pin marks. The best option I see here, is to just replace the whole shootin' match with suitable AM items. Tail skid is molded in as one chunk, and probably needs to be reworked or replaced.
Wings & Tail Surfaces
Detailing on most of these surfaces look pretty acceptable, but would probably benefit from a Scotch-Brite treatment, to tone down the too pronounced details, and giving a more subtle appearance.
Engine & Related Components
As can be seen, engine is really quite basic, but prop actually seems to capture overall proportions correctly, and cowling also looks OK to me, if not a bit thick, especially around the louvers.
The majority of the remaining details are included in the photos above. Laced wheel covers appear to be done in a somewhat heavy handed fashion, but might just look OK after some paint and mud is splattered on. Also provided, but not shown, is a small clear windscreen and frame.
All things considered, if you're looking for a decent Nieuport 17, this kit should get you started in the right direction.
© Kevin Williams 2017
This review was published on Sunday, March 26 2017; Last modified on Saturday, November 18 2017