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1/48 Dragon SPAD 13 C1

by Gianmaria Corona

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Hello everybody.
This is my second contribution to ARC and this time, after my previous Hunter, I have chosen a French biplane, the SPAD 13 C1.  I must admit that I’ve always had a liking for the pioneering aviation and particularly for the WW 1 biplanes.  Many years ago I purchased the Dragon kit of this SPAD 13 at my local hobby shop leaving it for a long time over my “waiting pile of kits”.
I decided to start it when Aeromaster issued the specific decal sheet N. 48-075. The plane that I wanted to reproduce was  an early type of SPAD which had the rounded wing tips and the early clear doped linen camouflage all over the surfaces except for the metal panel around the engine and the cockpit.

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Compared to the drawings and the pictures published in the Windsock Datafile 32 and in the Squadron In Action 93, this is a really good model. Its only flaws are a poor decal sheet and a not so good rendering of the fuselage flanks section which should had to be slightly rounded instead of  flat.
The construction started with the cockpit where I scratchbuilt a better seat using a fine plastic mesh and a piece of plasticard, and all watches using Reheat bezels.
The two plastic fairings on the top of the engine, which protected the V-shape cylinders, has been replaced with a metallic mesh that I cut from an Airwaves p/e sheet.
The most difficult job has been done on the wings. In-fact, the original ones had the typical squared tips that characterized the later type of SPADs.
To change this shape into the rounded type it has been sufficient to cut four new rounded tips from a sheet of plasticard, glue them to the wings filling the gaps with the putty and then giving the correct shape and profile with delicate sanding job.

I choose to represent ADJ (adjutant) Jaques Roques’s SPAD with its typical crowing cockerel’s head insignia that was the official insignia of the SPA48 of the Armee de l’Air.
I used Model Master 1709 Radome Tan enamel to reproduce the clear doped linen surfaces and X-tracolor X-613 Tan for the fuselage metal panels.
After having sprayed a uniform coat of Gunze Clear gloss acrylic paint I placed the decals using Microscale liquids with the aim of avoiding any silvering effect.
A final coat of Gunze flat and gloss clear paints mixed in equal parts, definitely fixed the decals and gave the correct shade to the camouflage. I really enjoyed building this kit and I hope you all like it.

Gianmaria

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Photos and text © by Gianmaria Corona 

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