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1:32 Gnôme Monosoupape 9 Type B-2 (100hp)


Jim H
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1:32 Gnôme Monosoupape 9 Type B-2 (100hp)


Taurus Models
Catalogue # D3213


Available from Story Models for £23.90

 

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The Gnôme Monosoupape 9 Type B-2 was a 100hp, nine-cylinder British rotary engine, which was used on numerous aircraft types, such as the DH.2, DH.5, Avro 504, Bristol Scout, Sopwith Pup. Development continued from 1915 with the French company Gnôme et Rhone, and along with its almost direct German equivalent, the Oberursel UI, was one of the most successful aero engines of the Great War.

 

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If you are a modeller of World War 1 aviation, Taurus Models are a company that should surely have blipped on your radar by now. Whilst only a relatively new outfit, over the last year or so, Taurus have released a stream of aftermarket and upgrade sets in both 1:48 and 1:32, with these mostly being aimed around aircraft engines. Indeed, we have recently reviewed their Oberursel UI as well as numerous other valve lifter/rocker sets, and sparkplugs. Today, we take a look at the new 1:32 Gnôme Monosoupape 9 Type B-2.

Almost complementing their release, the Gnôme Monosoupape is packaged into a very delicate box, made from a satin finish paper, and beautifully printed with finished images of the rotary engine. This box, despite how handmade and attractive it is, must be treated with kid gloves. This is one to sit on top of your aftermarket stash. A kit box could crush it.

 

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Inside the box, four small zip-lock wallets contain a total of NINETY-ONE medium grey resin parts, and a coil of very small, almost filament gauge copper wire. A small instruction sheet is included, and you will definitely need to reference this to build this engine.

The first packet contains the engine's main crankcase, drift-shaped propeller shaft, rear crankcase, and rear crankcase electric plate. The crankcase itself is certainly one of the nicest pieces of casting I've seen, and contains superb plate and bolt detail, as well as a manufacturer's plate, clean holes for pushrod cap installation, and some great detail to the rear, adjacent to the casting block. This part needs to be carefully removed so as not to damage any of that neat bolt-head detail. The cylinder locations are keyed so that their orientation is correct when installed. So much of this kit relies on accurate and careful assembly.

 

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The rear crankcase and electric plate should be fairly easy to de-block, as a resin dead area exists between the part and its casting block. I still advise a razor saw though, and not to breathe too hard whilst cutting.

The second parts bag contains the nine cylinders, with finely rendered and cast cooling fins, cylinder top rocker head locations, and also an aperture into which the spark plugs can be inserted. Cast individually, with a very small, easy to remove block, so seam lines exist on these, providing an immediate improvement to any injection moulded kit part.

 

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The last bag of resin parts contains EIGHT casting blocks packed with numerous parts; some of them incredibly small. Thankfully, Taurus have seen fit to give us ten of the smaller parts, where only nine would be needed for assembly. These smaller parts include spark plugs, piston rods, piston rod caps, piston rod linkages, plungers, and insulators. These parts are finely cast, in incredible detail, and a post cast onto the end of each block protects the parts from any damage within the package.

 

Two last casting blocks contain the rocker arms and valve lifters. The valve lifters need to be carefully installed as seven of them are cast in a closed position with an un-tensioned spring, whilst the open ones are tensioned. The casting block clearly shows which is which, and when you look closely at the parts, the difference can actually be seen in such a small scale. These parts really do have to be seen with the eye to appreciate just how great they look in this scale. Again, real care needs to be exercised when it comes to removal and assembly. You get no spares for these last parts.

 

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As there are two cylinders which have different valve positions, the plunger on the base of the pushrod will protrude into the cap at different lengths. This is quite simple to understand when you see the instruction leaflet.

All resin is flaw free, with only the faintest hint of flash on the rocker assemblies.

 

The last packet contains the 0.1mm copper filament wire. This is designed to be used to plumb the sparkplugs down to the insulators and electrical ring.

 

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The instructions take a little reading, and should be understood fully before assembly. You really need to compare the diagrams with the box art images to perhaps understand the minutiae of how things fit together in relation to each other. Once understood, the detail images on the instructions all of a sudden become very clear. The valve sequence is also explained, so that you can correctly place the open valve cylinders in the right position in relation to the closed valve cylinders. He text is most informative with regard to this.

Painting is also discussed, with overall colours being given, as well as a profile for the spark plugs, which in themselves require three colours of paint!

 

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So what do we think?

You need a steady hand, the patience of a saint and an eye for detail in order to get the best out of this detail set, but in all, assembly isn't too difficult, and it most certainly offers a high level of detail which an injection moulded kit can only hint it. If you decide to fit one of these to the rear of your WNW DH.2, the difference will be immediately apparent, despite the great parts that the base kit already has. Now you can build a DH.2 with a Gnôme Monosoupape 9 Type B-2, and an Eindecker with a Taurus Oberursel UI.

 

Very highly recommended

 

Our sincere thanks to Story Models for the review sample used here. To purchase directly, click THIS link.

 

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It is gorgeous isn't it.  Great review Jim and I completely agree about the boxing .. .it's the same for the Oberursel engine and was one aspect that I was mildly disappointed with, although it's nice to see a manufacturer concentrating so much on products that the containers take 2nd place in their priorities.  I'm sure this will be rectified soon.

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Thanks for the review (I'm finding all the reviews on this site really useful btw- not the usual generic rubbish).

 

Definitely one I'll have to get for the DH2, although probably mostly for the fun of making the thing (the kit parts looks like it would do just fine otherwise)

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Thanks for the review (I'm finding all the reviews on this site really useful btw- not the usual generic rubbish).

 

Definitely one I'll have to get for the DH2, although probably mostly for the fun of making the thing (the kit parts looks like it would do just fine otherwise)

 

Again, the comments about our style and quality are much appreciated. Our guys spend a lot of time writing, and to read that you like what we do means a lot.

 

Thank you......

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