Copper State Models | CSM 32001: Nieuport XVII Early

Reviewed by Ray Peterson

Edited 12/1/2018 Ray Peterson


From the instruction manual:

"The Nieuport XVII C.1 was a French sesquiplane fighter designed and manufactured by Societe Anonyme des Establissement Nieuport. It was a larger and aerodynamically improved development of the Nieuport XI, equipped with the more powerful 110hp Le Rhone 9J engine…

At the time of its introduction in May 1916, the highly maneuverable “Superbebe” gave a significant advantage over other fighters of both sides. Eventually all French fighter squadrons were equipped with this type during the Summer of 1916, including the famous American volunteers, the Lafayette squadron. The Nieuport XVII also entered service with every Allied power…"

The Kit

Copper State Models, previously located in Arizona, but now located in Latvia, were known for producing photo-etch and other detail parts and figures for WWI kits, as well as offering a few 1/48th scale kits. But now they have produced their first 1/32nd kit, the Nieuport XVII, Early serials. It is released in tandem with the XVII Late serials.

The kit is presented in a very professional box with beautiful box art. Removing the box top reveals a sturdy cardboard box with attached lid. Nice and sturdy. Still the post office tried their best. Even though this sturdy box was placed into another sturdy box, my package had two corners crushed so hard I cannot work the corners back to square! Still, my kit was undamaged inside.

Once opened, the package holds five light grey sprues, individually wrapped in plastic, and a sheet of decals, a set of pre-cut films, and a small fret of PE, all in individual resealable bags. For those who pre-ordered early enough, you also get a frameable copy of the box art. Nice! The twenty-two page instructions are provided inside a thick paper cover with period-looking graphics.

The moldings look very good. There is a stitch of flash, but most of it is on the push out tabs used to keep pin marks off the parts. There is a lot of small parts so the modeler will have to be careful removing parts from the sprues and some fine clean-up of mold seams will be required.

Once prep is finished, you are going to be rewarded with a very detailed build. The detail on the parts is fine and very complete. The parts match the drawings in the references very well both in shape and detail. Every area of the aircraft is detailed: engine, accessory bay, cockpit and even the rear fuselage which has the includes the inner reinforcing plates and even ribs within the fairings for the tail skid. It appears very inspired by the Wingnut Wings kits, and maybe even goes a bit beyond them. In the accessory bay, interior detail is provided including fuel and oil tanks, separate framing for the side cowls, and the cowl panels have texturing on the inside. Access panels are separate to help show all this detail.

The 22 page A-4 sized instructions are very good and are again similar to Wingnut Wings offerings, although without the period photographs. They do, though, a very good job of showing where to add rigging or wiring and what size to use. They also do a very good job calling out colors and adding color to their CAD drawings to help clarify painting.

The kit provides for different variations in armament. It includes three different three different variations of port cowl parts (one not used, probably for late versions), two different variations of starboard cowls, and three variations of upper cowls(one not used). Two different mounts are provided for over the wing Lewis mg mounts, as well as one type of Lewis cowl mount. For the upper wing, three different versions of acetate panels are provided for the center wing panel, depending on the Lewis gun setup.

Decals are by Cartograf and are provided for four different schemes, as well as the single(!) instrument in the cockpit and prop manufacturer decals. The decals have the very minimum of carrier film; many of the markings have none. The colors appear very good and solid. The schemes offered are for: Jean Georges Fernand Matton "White 1"; Rene Dorme "White 12"; Emile Louis Albert Paumier; Jean Antoine Louis Gigodot "White III" (See photos).

Some notes: I found photos of two of the schemes: “White 12” is found on page 8, the center photo, in reference 1. Note the cut-down over wing Lewis mount in the photo; the kit only provides the standard mount. Aircraft N1177 is found on Page 27, photo 52 in reference 2. One thing to watch out for: Step 46, the fitting of the two different versions of side cowl panels, has an error as the drawings don’t match the call outs. CSM has now put out an errata, you can see it below. I suggest printing it out and adding it to your instructions.


It is nice to see a new producer of large scale planes, especially one that provides as nice a kit as this.


  1. Nieuport 17: Windsock Datafile 20, by JM Bruce.
  2. Nieuport Fighters, Volume 1: Windsock Datafile Special, by JM Bruce.
  3. Nieuport Flyers of the Lafayette, by Jon Guttman.

Highly Recommended for WWI fans!

You can find CSM kits their website at

© Ray Peterson 2018

This product is available from the following LSP sponsors


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This review was published on Saturday, December 01 2018; Last modified on Friday, December 07 2018