Nieuport 21 in 1/32 scale 
Academy
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1/32 scale Academy Nieuport 17/21
World War I Aircraft
Building report

An interesting biplane that also was used in Dutch service is the Nieuport 21. The Nieuport biplane family consisted of the types 11, 17 and later the 21 and 27. Engine power of the Rhone engines varied but typically the Nieuport 21 had a Rhone 80 hp or 120 hp rotary engine. The Nieuport 21 is further characterized by the more rectangular fairing aft of the engine cowling and the fuselage curves up to the engine cowling. The cowling itself is also open at the underside. The type also had no pilot “head rest”. 

The Dutch air force (called “Luchtvaart Afdeeling”) had five Nieuports 21 C1 biplanes which were used from June 1918 until 1925. 

In 1/32 scale, Academy of Korea has an old kit (#2190) of the Nieuport 17. (Hobbycraft Canada issued the same mould but with other decals). The kit can be converted with limited effort into a Nieuport 21. 

The kit is pretty simple nd has about 55 parts . Although it is not that accurate, particularly the wing ribs are not very convincing and the fuselage shape is not correct, it is not too bad either. 

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OK, where to begin to make a nice model?

I started with converting the engine cowl. The engine front open area is also smaller on a real Nieuport, so some round cut plastic card was added here as well and faired in with putty. 
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The engine details are sparse, but not much can be seen. I only added some fuel lines and sparkplug wires. 

The fuselage front was cut away as there is some streamline aft of the engine cowling. The gap was closed with a curve piece of aluminium plate from a household plastic BBQ plate. 

The pilot cockpit opening is also too small and not the correct shape. With a file this was sanded and corrected. 

The head rest fairing was cut off and the gap filled with card and putty.

The wing’s fabric is not very convincing, but I only sanded the ribs a bit. It is very difficult to do anything more about it. 

The way of applying the rigging I used here is "through rigging the wires (using fishing line) through holes". The wires are fixed with superglue. So before the rigging of the wires, I drilled holes at this stage before any further assembly. The holes are usually next to any wingstrut or gearstrut, using a very fine drill of 0,3 mm diameter. 

In the fuselage, I also opened up the gaps for the control cables particularly at the tail.

Inside the fuselage I added some wooden framework made from plastic rod, but only at the pilot’s cockpit that can be seen. I think there is no real instrument panel as well inside on the real biplane. 

Before joining the left and right fuselage halves, first set and fix some control cables from fishing wire inside. 

It was decided to set the elevator down at the tail, so its hinge line was inscribed and the elevator tilted down at this stage. 

On to next [ Page 2....]

 

References

- Nieuports, Aircraft Profile no. 49

- For Dutch interned Nieuports, look at the IPMS NL webpages at: 
http://www.ipms.nl/artikelen/nedmil-luchtvaart/vliegtuigen-n/vliegtuigen-n-nieuport-21.html


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Created this page 
3 April, 2011