Thursday, September 9, 2010

Revell 1/72nd Nieuport 28

Revell's 1/72nd scale Nieuport 28, as flown by Captain Eddie Van Halen... err, I mean, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, the top American ace of the Great War. It's another beautiful kit, as far as I'm concerned, with very nice rib detail, fabric texture here and there, and nicely engraved detail on the cowling and forward part of the fuselage. There is no interior other than a seat, and the machine guns are little lumpy, and as you can see, the decals are a tad transparent, but it's fun and easy to build.

I'm a little dubious of the colors, which are mostly Model Master acrylics (olive green, dark green, dark earth, sand and a little bit of NATO black). But I am not richly endowed with reference materials for WWI fighters, and the instructions only call out Revell paints, which I do not use. So this is my interpretation of what the instructions said I should use. My model doesn't look like a Nieuport 28 in French service, that's all I know.

Most World War Two fighters fall into one of two categories: the streamlined in-line engine jobs like the Spitfire, and the chunky radial engine jobs like the F6F Hellcat. I think this is the reason I like the Hawker Typhoon and Curtiss P-40 so much; they're sort of a cross between the two and are thus distinctive. But World War One aeroplanes have much more character, and each one seems to have its own character. Albatros fighters look fast and lean; Spads look powerful and tough, Fokker D.VIIs convey a kind of slab-sided inelegant Teutonic efficiency, Fokker Dr.1s look aggressive and dangerous (to fly against, or to fly in), and Nieuports seem to convey an impression of grace and agility.

Revell 1/72nd Fokker Dr.1

The Revell 1/72nd scale Fokker Dr.1 triplane. What's a collection of Great War aeroplanes without at least one Manfred-mobile? I'm occasionally known to claim that Fokker Dr.1s and Pzkw-V Panthers are grossly over-represented in the modeling world, and I think they are, but that doesn't mean I won't build the occasional example.

It's a lovely kit, featuring a pretty nice interior, nice fit, and nice surface detail. The decals are nice too. It's just nice, all the way around. Even the Spandau machine guns are recognizable, though you couldn't tell that from my ham-fisted photography.

Odds and Ends

Here are some odds-and-ends things I've been tinkering with lately.

A Rebel Transport (better known as the "fish ship") from the "Rebel Base" set. It came with several X-wings, several Y-wings, a Millennium Falcon, and this thing. I'll add photos of the others later, but for now, this is what I've been doing while waiting for other paint/glue/decals to dry. Got a minute? Grab the fish and do some painting. I added a couple of nozzles made from the noses of 1/48th scale Maverick air-to-ground missiles, but otherwise, it's out of the box.

An itty-bitty Federation Dreadnought from Amarillo Design Bureau, intended for use with the Star Fleet Battles game. Someone does make decals for these two-inch models, but the idea of putting decals the size of an amoeba on a model the size of a Ritz cracker gives me the shakes.

More Amarillo Design Bureau ships, a Klingon D7 in the foreground (flat black with lots of silver drybrushed over it) and a Kzinti battlecruiser in the background (hull red, mostly, with decals scavenged from a Matchbox A34 Comet cruiser tank).

A figure I now refer to as the "Wally Dude", because I think Wally gave it to me. It's mostly a combination of old-school Testors square-bottle enamels and craft store acrylics.

More of the Wally Dude. The skin was medium brown Testors enamel with some orange acrylic drybrushed over the top, and I thought it worked reasonably well.