Founded in 1910 the Socie’te pour les Apparreils Deperdussin and bought by Louis Bleriot in 1914 and renamed Socie’te pour Aviation et ses De’rive’s. In 1915 ‘Spad’ designer Louis Bechereau began to design a series of fighter aircraft that would use the Hispano-Suiza engine. And its progressively higher horse-powered models. The Spad VII was first flown in combat in August 1916. It became the main French high altitude fighter, using powerplants of 140 - 180hp. Examples were also flown by the Belgian, Brazil, British, Czech, Finnish, Greece, Italian, Peruvian, Polish, Portugese, Rumanian, Russian, Siamese and Yugoslavian Air Services variously from 1918-1928.
Of the seriously ignored kits this ranks high on the list. For years the only game in town was the 1/40 Smer Spad VII. The full shutter radiator arrangement in the Blue Max kit is engraved with the shutters 90 degrees from where they should be. The resin kit by JGMT while finely engraved is very expensive and the wings are very thin and very brittle. Then came the 1/48 Hobby Special issues. Now we have a 1/32 kit that has few flaws and as a build it goes together nicely with a little care. Predrill all rigging pilot holes and scribe through the separation lines for the control surfaces and reset at desired angle.
Full Hispano Suiza 150hp (potentially 180hp) motor.
131 parts in the box.
22 step instructions.
Finish and Camouflage,
All of "these" early production Spad VII types were painted either CDL (clear doped linen) or the basic colour was "Ecru" The fabric paint was several tones lighter than the paint used for the metal cowling ares. The cabane struts and landing ger struts were "marouflage" or wrapped in glue soaked fabric. later examples were painted in the French 5 colour camouflage. One of the profiles here employs this.
SPAD VII C.1 S 2124 of Escadrille N.80 flown by Paul Frank Baer, France, Winter 1917-1918.
SPAD VII C.1 S 1777 of Escadrille N.124 flown by Raoul Lufbery, France, Late 1917.
SPAD VII C.1 S 3301 of the 103 rd Aero Squadron American Expedition Force flown by George Turnure. France, Spring 1918.
‘A Man for Sonderfilme, Rudolf Windisch’ by H Täger, Over the Front 17 #3, Pp.196-232.
‘French Aircraft of the First World War’ by J. Davila & A.M. Soltan, Flying Machines Press, 1997.
‘Hispano-Suiza (Birkigt Patents), Cross & Cockade USA Vol. 10 #3, 1969.
‘Mann Edgerton Spad 7.C1 B9916' by H.G. Fisher, Over the Front Vol. 8 #2 Pp.100-113.
‘Markings of the Lafayette Escadrille’ by B. Alexander, W. Michigan IPMS News 1976.
‘Project Butterfly’ by Hardesty, Hastings, and Toelle, Cross & Cockade USA Vol. 9, 1968 and 13, 1972.- (Most excellent articles on the French 5 colour camouflage patterns.)
‘Spad Scouts S.VII - XIII’ by J.M. Bruce, 1969. Reprint Osprey pub. for Glencoe Models, 1993.
‘Spad VII Aces of World War One ’ by J.Guttman, Osprey Pub.#39. 2001.
‘Spad VII - Original Bleriot Aeronautique general arrangement drawings’ Cross & Cockade USA Vol.15 #4, 1974.
‘Spad 7: 3 View Drawings’, Cross & Cockade USA Vol.2 #1 , 1961.
‘The Real Spad’ by B.S. Kelsey, Over the Front Vol. 8 #2, Pp.114 -122.
'Spad VII C.1' by Gronczewski & Fleischer , Aviatik Vintage Aircraft #1. See the additional images URL for the errata and addenda to this book.
Very Good kit and overall appeal. It fills a gap where there has long been a serious empty space. Another fine example of a smaller company beating the big boys to the punch. The parts that have been gated out foreshadow the future. And it is a fine looking future. Of Special note Roden sent us the first kit and we are doing the first review.
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Highs: Excellent details. More than enough parts and pieces to do a great build. Very detailed instructions. Rigging instructions are reasonably clear.Lows: Small bit of flash, Vickers is a bit under nourished. Strut bindings a bit too thick.Verdict: Very Good Kit and overall appeal. It fills a gap where there has long been a serious gap. Another fine example of a smaller company beating the big boys to the punch.
About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash) FROM: COLORADO, UNITED STATES
I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...