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Paul Barber
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Review: Opening The Box! Copper State Models – Nieuport XXIII RFC 1/32

January 6, 2021 · in Aviation, Reviews · · 17 · 3.9K

New Year's Greeting iModellers!

It is always great to find a kit-shaped package on the doorstep. Today the postman left me one from Latvia!

Copper State Models changed hands a couple of years back, moving from Arizona to the Baltic. While it has been around for the best part of 25 years, the current company has been functioning for much less time.

The Lanchester armoured car in 1/35th scale is currently exceptionally popular and the Caudron G.IV (see Rob Pollock's stunner on iM) is a gem in 1/48th.

Around 2018 CSM released it first 1/32nd kit. The French Nieuport fighter. That kit has been through a number of iterations and operators including Italian, Belgium and Russian versions (by boxing or decal pack). David Lane built a fantastic Nieuport in Belgian colours here on iM.

Overall then, CSM is very impressive. If after a year we are to accept that WNW is really gone (give or take a mould or two in the hands of other companies), CSM could easily fill that niche.

Anyway, CSM have now released a Royal Flying Corps Nieuport 23 and here's a look at it! Not a sprue by sprue critique - just opening the box.

The box art is great.

The sprues (5 individually wrapped) are of different sizes and reminiscent of something that might previously have come from NZ! They look well-engineered with excellent detail and few faults. The part count is perfect - not overpowering!

Instructions come in the stylised form of a ‘secret dossier' and are wonderfully well presented. The instructions are detailed and the illustrations are beautiful.

Decals are by Cartograf and look to be pretty much perfect. 5 marking choices are offered. Those of ‘Mick' Mannock and ‘Billy' Bishop will doubtless be very popular. A small photo-etch sprue for seatbelts is also provided.

As a thank you for pre-ordering a high quality print has been included. It is good enough to frame and will appear on my workshop wall soon!

While the proof is always in the building, enough has been said previously to really recommend this kit. Well done CSM! Now, about that Spad...

Reader reactions:
11  Awesome

17 responses

  1. Looks good.

    Just don't do Bishop. When the German records were examined after the war, regarding the day he was supposed to have attacked several airplanes and airfields (flying alone), for which he was awarded the VC, it turns out that - on the entire Western Front - not a single German airplane was lost anywhere. The man is a fraud. Raymond Collishaw is the top-scoring Canadian ace.

    • It is a controversial subject, Tom. I guess it is like the existence of unicorns. You can't disprove it. Of his total of 72, the large majority were accepted as legitimate. The criteria for a kill were 'loose' at best at the time. OOC (out of control) was often counted as a kill, while the damaged plane sometimes recovered and no loss was recorded by the other side.

      There has been a lot said about Bishop as an egotist and self-publicist. It doesn't detract from the fact that he was a brave man who got into a fighter plane. Collishaw, while clearly a very different character, also had his share of 'loose' claims (I'm not saying fraudulent, here) - like many (most) others. He was also said to take out novice flyers, set them up for 'kills' and sometimes pull the trigger himself while still crediting the clueless junior guy, in order to raise confidence and gain a loyal following (and this is not a criticism - leadership often requires a unique approach). Perhaps Collishaw, in that case, was worth more than his final total (60 I think?).

      To be honest, the 'controversy' and debate makes me more likely to build the Bishop plane, and do a little more research myself. I won't be an apologist for him, but I think the whole subject is more complex, as with significant numbers of kill claims, in most wars. I think we'll find it is a divisive issue at best - and probably not one with a black and white answer.

  2. I liked what I saw, Paul @yellow10! This kit looks superb!
    I also liked the box art a lot!
    I would definitely use it as a weathering guide!
    Thanks for sharing; I enjoyed your article a lot!

  3. This is a superb kit, much like you say Paul, CSM are the heirs of WnW given the quality of their recent kits. I’ve been watching the russian box for the Nieuport simply because the markings are very flamboyant...perhaps later this year it will be one of the few kits I intend to purchase throughout 2021. I hope you are thinking about building this one with a work in progress journal hein?

    • I like the Russian markings too, Pedro - I have to admit I'm also taken by Nungesser's Type XVII plane, too. I can't wait to see what CSM comes up with next!

  4. Looking forward to the end result, Paul.
    Instruction booklet looks indeed very clear and includes some very nice drawings.

  5. I'm hoping to see it at end, a beautiful kit, certainly.
    I planned to buy the XVII early, maybe. Thanks for sharing !

  6. Looks very promising. I’m regretting that I didn’t get back into modeling until after WNW shuffled off its mortal coil, but this may make up for it. Thanks for sharing.

    • There’s still the ‘Mengnut’ Fokker Dr1, Greg! Manfred Von Richthofen and Werner Voss decals in that box. Eduard are due to release some decals too, including Lothar Von Richthofen. Pheon and Aviattic are producing even more options. So a definite WNW build to be had there at lower cost!

      It is rumoured that there is one more set of moulds in the hands of another company - so we might not be completely done with WNW engineered kits!

      And CSM seems to be filling the gap, nicely!

  7. Paul, @yellow10
    Thank you very much for taking the time to post this for us to enjoy. It looks to be a well executed kit. I especially like the high quality print that was included. I have a 1/6 scale Nieuport 17 electric powered flying scale model that I have been building from scratch. I still need to finish the top wing and landing gear, then it will be ready for it's maiden crash... I chose the Charles Nungesser markings for it. The macabre skull, bones, and coffin super imposed on a black heart is one of my favorite markings from this era.

    But I think you are spot on with your choice to build this one up as a "Bishop" plane. I have the ancient Hobby Craft Nieuport in the stash, and it also has a set of markings for one of Bishop's planes.

    You just gave me another inspiration for a future group build... One that could run at the same time with the upcoming Luftwaffe group build. We could call it "The Great War". 🙂

    This would give us the perfect chance to build up our Manfred Von Richtofen WnW Albatros planes. I do think this dog will hunt... What say you ?

    Thanks again, and I pressed the "liked" button too.

    • Thanks for sharing. Another impressive package from CSM, very much comparable to WnW.

    • Hey Louis, i was like a kid when the package arrived. It’s great getting new kits but this one really impressed, so I took some

      ‘Maiden Crash‘ - that had me laughing. That’s a great choice for an RCM though - you’ll need to get your video working!

      I think a Great War group build would really spark the imagination of a lot of people here! They keep coming thick and fast! There are options on land, sea and in the air for that subject of course, and plenty of dio scope. I have ended up with quite a few WNW kits. I have always intended building up the RE8 as a plane flown by the Aussies in 3 Squadron during Monash’s victory at Le Hamel, where tanks and planes were used together strategically. I’m sure it would be a very popular group. Still the EOJ and Korea have lots of time to run. Desert Storm and De Havilland are still going strong. And a Luftwaffe group would be a huge undertaking.

      Although it’s a bleak time in the ‘outside world’ it’s an exciting time to be a modeller!

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