Azur/FRROM 1/72 Dieuport NiD-29 C1 (France and Belgium)

KIT #: FR008
PRICE: $29.00 MSRP ($25.15 from
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Short run kit with resin and photo etch parts.


The NiD 29 was an equal-span biplane with ailerons on both upper and lower wings. It had a fixed tailskid landing gear, a nose-mounted engine and a single open cockpit for the pilot. The prototype NiD 29 first flew on the 21 August 1918 powered by a Hispano-Suiza 8Fb engine piston engine, it performed well in test but could not achieve the required ceiling. The second prototype was modified with an increased wingspan and on achieving the required ceiling it was ordered into production in 1920, becoming the fastest plane in the world at that time. Production aircraft did not have ailerons on the upper wing and the lower wing ailerons were increased in size.

The first deliveries were made in 1922 to the French Air Force and the typed was popular although it did have a tendency to enter a flat spin. The French military bought 250 aircraft which were built by Nieuport and seven other companies. The Ni-D 29 was to become an important fighter in the 1920s with purchases of 30 by Spain (including 10 Spanish licence built aircraft), 108 by Belgium (87 licensed built by SABCA). The ItalianRegia Aeronuatica bought 175 aircraft including 95 built by Macchi as the Macchi-Nieuport 29 and 80 built by Caproni. Sweden bought nine aircraft and designated themJ 2.

The Japanese company Nakajima bought a pattern aircraft and built 608 for the Imperial Japanese Army as the Ko-4.

Racing versions of the aircraft were developed and they gained eight world speed records and won the 1919 Coupe Deutsche and the 1920 Gordon Bennet Trophy.

French aircraft were used on operations against insurgents in Morocco including some aircraft converted to carry small bombs. Spanish aircraft were also involved in similar operations in North Africa.


We have come to expect MPM/Special Hobby/Azur kits to be at a certain standard when it comes to short run kits and this one is typical of their high standards. There is one grey plastic sprue, one photo etch fret, an acetate sheet for the instruments and another for the windscreen (not shown). Resin is used for some very small bits like the radiators, engine banks and the very tiny individual exhaust stacks. The resin and the photo etch is quite well done. The kit cannot be completed without using the p.e. so if you are a bit squeamish about using this medium, then you'll want to either pass on the kit or suck it up and give it a go. Photo etch isn't the devil, but it does require some patience in applying it.

The plastic parts are very nicely molded and this kit comes with a rather complete cockpit which includes a floor, stick, pedals and seat. There is detailing on the side walls and some items to attach there-to. Photo etch is used for the aileron hinges as well as the leg protectors just in front of the radiators. The only real options are for the guns in regard to having fairings over them or not as well as some of the very smallbits and pieces. The wing struts are all separate pieces with the N cabanes being a single piece. This kit will require rigging to look right and a complete rigging diagram is provided.  This aircraft had more than the usual number of paired rigging wires so it will be a bit of a challenge to duplicate this.

Instructions provide 12 well drawn construction illustrations with smaller detail sections for the placement of some items. Markings are for three very similar aircraft in overall dark green. Two are French planes from SPA 124 and SPA 81, both with well known unit markings. The third is a Belgian aircraft from the 9th EC. This aircraft has an aluminum dope underside and tricolor elevators. All are from the 1922/24 time period. The decals are very colorful and superbly printed.


Interwar aircraft of this period have always held a fascination for many and it is great to see some of these aircraft released as more mainstream model kits. This one should build into a superb replica.


May 2010

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