by: Andy Brazier [ ]
HISTORYThe Hanriot HD.1 was a highly successful, high-performance aircraft that was built by the French. The French however never used it as came about to late to compete with the Nieuports and Spads that formed the backbone of French fighter Squadrons.
The fighter served in large numbers with the Italian Air Force, a few were also bought by the Belgians, and the U.S Navy. The Swiss purchased 16 from Italian surplus stock, keeping them in service until 1930. The Italians chose the airplane as the successor to the Nieuport 17, their standard fighter at the time. While a few aircraft were bought from the parent firm, Nieuport-Macchi obtained a manufacturing license and and built a large number of the type. During the Italian offensive of October 1918, 130 out of then 211 fighter squadrons available were mounted on Hanriot’s. Nearly all of the Italian aces flew the Hanriot HD at one time or another, most notably Silvio Scaroni (26 victories). It saw service primarily on the Alpine and Venetian fronts, where it was frequently confused for a Sopwith in Austrian reports. It also operated over Albania and Macedonia.
Powered by a Le Rhone RO 9JB the HD.1 could push 115mph (185kph) with a ceiling of 20,000ft (6,095m). Armament carried was one synchronised 7.7mm Vickers machine gun (although a few aircraft were later to be fitted with two Vickers guns).
THE KITThe kit comes in the standard Eduard lidded box, with the painting and decal guide part of the box artwork. Upon opening you will find the 53 tan coloured parts on 2 sprues in one bag and the 1 clear part in a separate bag, The instructions and the decal sheet make up the rest of the kit.
The kit has no flash and the only discrepences I can find are 3 raised ejector pin marks on the inside of the fuselage. The tail end one I believe will be hidden, but the front 2 will possibly have to be removed and sanded flat. The cockpit looks as though it will build up into a fairly detailed area, as there are quite a few parts for this area.
The outside of the fuselage has some fine recessed panel lines and some raised detail. The wings have a nice ribbed detail to them and with some weathering will look rather good. The engine detail is pretty basic, but with some washes and dry-brushing it should bring the detail out on them. The addition of some wire for the additional piping will enhance the engine considerably, but as this kit is a basic build how much detailing is up to you.
INSTUCTIONSThe Eduard instructions are printed on one piece of A4 size paper folded in half. The front page shows you the part trees and numbers and the interior painting numbers. There are 5 pieces within the kit that are unused. There is no historical dialogue within the instructions or on the box so researching will have to be done by other means, be it by book or the Internet, there is info out there though. The rest of the pages concern the building with little boxes containing the paint numbers for the interior pieces. There is no step 1, 2, 3 though with just the drawings in a sort of reading order on the page. The last page does have a rigging guide built into the last phase of the build.
PAINTING AND DECALSThe painting and decal guide as stated before is on the box lid and side and show an aircraft with a Doped linen and aluminium engine and cockpit area. Half of the underside of the wings are red on one side and green on the other, depicting the Italian colours. All the paint numbers are given for Gunze Sangyo Aqueous and Gunze Sangyo Hobby colours.
The decals look nicely done with little carrier film around the edges. The one and only choice of markings for this kit is for a plane of the 85 Squadriglia, Albania, in late 1918.
CONCLUSIONEduard have in my opinion released a very good line in the Weekend Edition of kits, a model that you can build from the box that will cater for all ages and skill levels. I for one am getting into these kits, as they are not labour intensive but an enjoyable build that requires as much effort as you want to put in it.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AeroScale.