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Spad XIII C.1 of the 27th Aero - Frank Luke

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Hi all,
I thought you might like to see my 14th 1:32 scale build - The Bleriot built Spad XIII C.1, Number 26 of ‘C’ flight, 27th Aero Squadron, 1st Pursuit Group, based at Rembercourt, near Verdun, France during September 1918.  This was one of the Spad XIII’s flown by Francis ‘Frank’ Joseph Anthony Luke Jnr, the ‘Arizona Balloon Buster'.

This kit is the old Hobby Craft Spad XIII 'International' kit, which is I believe was the only 1:32 scale of the Spad XIII made. The kit was, as expected, fairly basic and had no engine at all.  In fact the whole forward fuselage was blocked off.
I didn’t recall ever seeing this kit made with an engine installed, so I decided to give it a go.

The basic list of changes/additions to the model are:

Scratch built:
Radiator shutter control rods
Radiator drain valve.
Cockpit head rest support frame.
Fuselage internal storage and cross members.
Engine bulkhead.
Decking panel right gun - ejection chute.
Forward gun mounting brackets.
Engine access panels - wire mesh.
Tyres spokes and valve.
Ventral fuel tank cap.
Fuselage lifting straps.
Fuel tank rip (jettison) panel.
Oil cooler drain valve.
Ring gun sight and mounting bar.
Undercarriage struts.
Wing inboard 'H' struts.
Wing outboard rear struts.
Wing strut rigging fittings
External aileron operating bell-crank and rods

- Fuel, oil and vent pipes
- Cockpit frame wire bracing
- Additional instrumentation
- Instruments pipes/cables
- Gun firing cables
- Fuel rip panel T-bar handle
- Mallet (freeing gun stoppages)
- Pilot's seat cushion
- Rudder bar foot straps
- Top frame above pilot's head
- Rudder, Aileron and Elevator cables
- Pilot’s seat belts.

'Wingnut Wings' Hispano-Suiza V8 engine built (detail modified)
 - Ignition leads, support tubes and magneto connection
- Engine support beams
- Carburettor air intake
- Air breather and pipe
- Fuel manifold primer valves
- Cooling/heating system pipes and filler.
- Gun cooling jacket ‘stay’ rods.
Various fuel, coolant and control rods.

Modified or corrected:
Rudder, Ailerons and Elevator animated.
Louvres in engine panels opened.
Engine valve gear cooling fairings drilled.
Forward decking panel separated.
Engine cowl cooling apertures created.
Fuel filler aperture.
Cockpit surround panel modified.
Forward fuselage, decking panel and cockpit floor modified.

Aftermarket additions:
'Aviattic' Spad XIII wheels (modified).
'HGW Models' seat belts.
'Gaspatch' .303 standard Vickers machine gun (modified).
‘Gaspatch’ Vickers ‘Balloon’ machine gun (modified).
'Gaspatch' turnbuckles.
'Albion Alloys' micro-tube.
'Steelon' mono-filament.
'Polak' grass mat.
'Aviattic' and Copper State' figures.
'Airscale' instruments bezels.

The following shots show where I'm at right now.
The next step is to start fitting the upper wing prior to rigging.
















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Hi Mike, what you started here shows a great deal of skilled scratchbuilding. I always wanted to build a decent SPAD, but without that big deal of bending the base kit (WNW, do you hear me?). Can't wait to see yours finished.

Cheers Rob

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Hi Rob,

Thanks for your comments.

The old Hobby Craft kit does need a lot of modifying to bring it up to an acceptable standard, not least the addition of an engine, which the original kit does not have.

However and despite this being the longest it's taken me to build a model, the end results (I hope) will be worth it,


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Hi all,
Just a small update as I'm waiting for turnbuckles to arrive.
I've filled the time working on a few minor bits, such as display base accessories and the wheels, and fitting the exhaust pipes with micro-tube support brackets, the foot step and at the rear the fuselage lifting straps.




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