Author Topic: Special Hobby 1/32 scale Morane Saulnier Type N RFC Service  (Read 1334 times)

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Special Hobby 1/32 scale Morane Saulnier Type N RFC Service
« on: September 15, 2020, 11:09:27 AM »
Special Hobby 1/32 scale Morane Saulnier Type N (“RFC Service”)

Reviewed by: Lance Carroll

Item:  SH 32017
Scale: 1:32
Price:   Special Hobby on-line MSRP $65 USD Sprue Bros. USA (at time of writing) $51.99 USD
            Hannants U.K.  28.17 BPS
Review Sample kindly provided by Special Hobby at:

Contents: A 10 page black and white assembly Instruction Booklet (with the scheme profiles done in color), three soft grey plastic sprues of the Kit parts, two separate small plastic bags containing the Resin engine and propeller parts and clear polystyrene wind screen respectively, a separate bag containing the decal sheet, a clear plastic instrument faces sheet and a photo etch sheet. All of the foregoing is found packed into a sealed clear poly bag.

General Comments: The Morane Saulnier Type N was an immediate pre-war development of the company’s successful Type G and H designs. Following the capture of the famous pre-war flyer, Roland Garros, when his Morane Type L Parasol was forced down by propeller damage his friend, Eugene Gilbert employed a Type N equipped with the same crude propeller bullet deflector plates and successfully brought down two enemy aircraft. Meanwhile the RFC, in an attempt to counter the Fokker Monoplane scourge, acquired 3 of the design and an order for 24 of the type (with 2 Deflector equipped propellers each) followed in January of 1916. The type was found to be slightly superior to the Fokker monoplanes; an informal trial pitting it against a captured Fokker E.III was conducted at 60 Squadron in April of 1916 and the 80HP Morane was judged to be superior in speed, climb, and manoeuvreability.
The Type N was employed in the role of defending the Type L Parasols with three RFC Squadrons while the service’s interest was shifted to the follow on 110HP Type I. Both were judged very difficult aircraft to fly, losses and casualties were high, and by October of 1916 all “Bullets” as they were known were ordered returned to England where they served limited duties as training aircraft.
This Kit is a 2015 new tool release of the 2006  original Kit. It’s accuracy is judged very good and it’s quality as well. It will build into a very nice model and, given it’s reasonable price, it is recommended as  good value for the “Hobby dollar”.

The Package: The Kit arrived in a sturdy cardboard box with a colourful box art illustration of 2/Lt. B. Wainwright’s 60 Squadron aircraft A.173 in which he was brought down and captured on August 28, 1916. There are three plastic sprues containing 47 plastic parts, a separately bagged clear plastic wind screen, another small bag with 8 resin parts for the engine and propeller and a single sheet of Photo Etched parts. Yet another separate bag contains the decal sheet and an acetate sheet of the instrument dials.

The Assembly Instructions:
The Instructions booklet in Czech and English is supplied as a ten page booklet of double folded A-10 size paper in black and white however the three color schemes are represented by full color profiles. They are well printed, the assembly sequence is easily followed, and a color key to the Gunze line of paints is provided along with a construction “symbols” key. The plastic sprues and parts illustration is particularly useful as the sprues do not have parts numbers on them, thus the only number reference is found in the booklet. No references are provided however I highly recommend Windsock Datafile 58, “Morane~Saulnier Types N,I,V by JM Bruce. The photos are numerous and of exceptional quality, the 3 view drawings very nicely done and it is full of information on the series and particularly this version.

The color profiles for the three options:

Rigging Diagram:
A basic but useable rigging instruction with top, front, and head on illustrations is provided. Again, the recommended Reference is a valuable source for enhanced detail:

The injection molded  sprues are of a soft and very workable grey plastic. There are 46 injection molded parts in the kit. The two main sprues:

The nine parts of the Resin package provided to represent the engine and unique “deflector” propeller is of very good quality. The considerable flash is thin and easily removed and the detail is of a high quality. These parts are a nice addition to the Kit.

The wing rib Tapes are nicely molded and I consider them quite useable “as is”. This photo does illustrate the apparent effects of slight misalignment of the molds, with the very minor projections on the edges typical of this fault. The effects appear only on the horizontal flying components and can be easily removed with little or no damage in my estimation.

The register and accuracy of the finer parts is of a high quality and generally flash free; here the landing gear axle and brace assembly illustrates the quality of most of the smaller moldings:

The decal sheet is very “basic” however the schemes available for this aircraft in RFC service are, in the context of markings, quite plain. They are of excellent registry and color and no faults are apparent. On the bottom right of the photo is the acetate sheet of Instrument faces, I personally will be using After Market Decal versions per my normal preference.

An enlarged view of the photo etch set with belts, turnbuckles, and engine details included and the instrument faces:

SUMMARY:  This is a very nice little Kit with a low parts count, easy assembly, and decent price. It is generally of good quality given it’s age and is the only injection molded 1:32 Kit of this aircraft available. It would be a very good Kit for a Modeller new to the WW.I Aviation field. With the addition of an After Market gun and cockpit details such as fabric seat harnesses, Instruments and bezels,  it will shine in anyone’s World War One Aircraft collection.

VERDICT: Recommended.

Review Kit kindly provided by Special Hobby.
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