Correcting/Modifying ESCI/Revell's Nieuport 17 (last part)

Matt Bittner (
Mon, 26 Jun 1995 15:28:18 +0000

Siemens Schuckert D.I

A variation on a variation is the German Siemens Schuckert
Werke (SSW) D.I. This was a German-built copy of the Nieuport 11.
Modifying the kit to make it an SSW D.I isn't entirely easy.

Modifying the Upper Wing: Before performing the necessary
surgery on the top wing, it is best to remove the molded in ribs
and control horn which will be added later. The top wing should
be cut apart somewhere close to each aileron control horn. The
best recommendation is to line the center of the wing cockpit
cut-out over the scale plans, mark off where the two joining ribs
should be and then cut off the outer-most part of the wing and
sand down the center section. Then lay each outer wing over the
scale plans, lining up the inside aileron line and the leading
edge. Mark off where each outer wing should be sliced and cut in
order to get the size of the wings correct, which comes out to
approximately 1 - 1.5 mm for each section. It will look a bit
weird, but it's best to have the shape correct. Refer to figure
4. The upper wing is cut up in this fashion because the center
section has no sweep back, while the outer-wing sections do.
After the wing is cut apart and re-sized, and the locations for
the control horns are cut out, cement all three sections together,
ensuring the correct amount of sweep back. Correct the shape of
the wing tips and fill and rescribe the aileron-to-wing joint (or
just cut off at the new position if wanting to position). If the
ribs were sanded off, replace in a suitable fashion.

Modifying the Lower Wing: The lower wing should also have
the center section removed. Once this is accomplished - and the
fuselage is together - cement the removed center section to the
fuselage and fill and sand as necessary. Remove plastic from the
inside edge of the wing (where it will join to the fuselage) to
approximately the first rib, ensuring the right amount of sweep
back, and glue to the fuselage. There is now one problem with the
lower wings - the ribs are no longer parallel with the fuselage.
If it isn't a problem, don't worry about it. Otherwise you will
have to make new ribs from scratch.

Modifying the Fuselage: Before performing the major
surgery on the outside of the fuselage, it is best to remove the
molded in cockpit "tub" (the same as the Nie. 17 correction,
above). This will help once you start sanding down the outside.
The port, forward fuselage needs the asymmetrical section filed
down. Once this is accomplished, the forward part of the fuselage
then needs to be filed flat. When looking at the scale drawings
for the D.I, the entire forward fuselage is "flatly" faired from
the cockpit to the cowling, as opposed to "bulging out" as per the
17. The cowling will also need to be modified. It is the shape
of a "horseshoe", as per the 11/16/21, and there is a "spider"
attachment to the front that should be scratch built out of .010"
card stock. Again, refer to scale drawings. It might even be
feasible to use the 11/21 cowling replacement from Rosemont and
just adding the "spider" to the front. The engine on the original
was a Siemens-Halske SH geared engine which is not yet a separate
molding, so your best bet is to modify any engine. Dependent on
the machine being modeled, a spinner might also have to either be
scratch built or the Rosemont Nie. 17 spinner could be used as a
start. Since there are no known photographs of the cockpit, a
best guess would be to model it after the Nie. 11, using the
references listed.

Modifying the Tailplane and Smaller Details: The entire
tailplane - stabilizer and rudder - needs to be scratch built out
of .015" card stock. Ribs will need to be added to both, as well
as an aerofoil shape. Finally, scratch build the undercarriage.
Refer to the paragraph on the 17 above, as well as scale drawings.

Refer to Windsock International, Vol. 5 No. 3 for the SSW
D.I conversion.

Note that there are also two kits out now for the SSW D.I.
Aero Productions out of England, and Meikraft. The Aero kit is
all resin - and besides the few sink holes, all parts are clean.
The only major discrepancy is the rudder: it's too small, and
needs to be scratchbuilt. The Meikraft kit is injected plastic,
and - besides using a "different" plastic on the fuselage - isn't
too bad.

All variations

. Things to think of when building any Nieuport variant.
Some planes had the middle portion of their upper wings "cut out".
They removed part of the fabric and either replaced it with clear
cellon or left it uncovered. Also, check your sources when adding
the weapons. Most 17.C.1's had at least a Vickers mounted in
front of the cockpit. Some also had a Lewis mounted on the top
wing. There is also at least one example that had the one Vickers
in front with TWO Lewis' mounted on the top wing. There could be
any variation of these weapon schemes, so pay attention to your
sources. Your best source of cockpit information again, is the
Windsock issues on the 11/16 and the 23, as well as the Nieuport
Fighters Special. Since the 17/21/23 and 11/16 were so similar,
the cockpits seem pretty close as well. Using the 11/16 source as
well as that for the 23 will not be too off when adding cockpit
details for the 17.


There aren't too many after market decals for French
aircraft. The two best sources are Blue Rider and
Americal/Gryphon. Blue Rider offered a sheet for French aircraft,
with the majority of the subjects being Nie 17's. They also
offered a British and Italian sheet that has at least one example
of a 17. Americal/Gryphon has just released a sheet for the
Layfette Escadrille, again the majority of subjects being
Nieuports. For the more adventurous, purchasing
Americal/Gryphon's French/British/Italian roundels could be the
basis for an excellent start to a unique aircraft.