As 2014 approaches, and with it the centenary of the onset of the Great War, I thought I’d post a few photos of one of the principal aircraft of the conflict, in the livery of one of its greatest pilots.
This is Roden’s 1/32 kit of Georges Guynemer’s SPAD VII c.1, S 254, Escadrille N.3, France, May 1917. Included here too is the complex Eduard detail-up etch set. To note, SPAD aircraft had solid walnut airscrews, so no laminations here.
He dubbed his personal Spad “Vieux Charles,” which he flew one morning in March, 1917, to down a couple Albatros two-seaters. That afternoon, he went up again, demonstrating for two Nieuport pilots how to shoot down an Albatros D-II scout. Using just ten bullets, he showed them how it was done. The D-II crash-landed; its pilot turned out to be Lt. von Hausen, nephew of a German general.
Guynemer’s inscription in the Panthéon in Paris, reads:
“Dead on the field of honor, September 11, 1917. A legendary hero fallen in glory from the sky after three years of hard and incessant struggle, he will remain the purest symbol of national ideals for his indomitable tenacity of purpose, his ferocious verve and sublime gallantry. Animated by an invincible faith in victory, he has bequeathed to the French soldier an imperishable heritage which consecrates the spirit of sacrifice and will surely inspire the noblest emulation.”
He was credited with 53 aerial victories.
Included here is a record photo of the aircraft in a museum setting.
(After I took these photos, I noticed I’d inadvertently set the ailerons in the dropped position, when in fact it should be one-up, one-down mechanically- now rectified.)
5 additional images. Click to enlarge.