In-Box Review
Il Magnifico
Il Magnifico - Hanriot HD.1 in Italian service
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Designed in 1916 and ordered into production as a replacement for the Nieuport 17, the HD.1 was then passed over in favour of the SPAD.VII and supplied instead to France's allies, Belgium and Italy. Ironically, pilots in these air forces often preferred the highly manoeuvrable Hanriot over its rival, and so successful was the HD.1 in Italian service, it was adopted for license production by Macchi, becoming Italy's standard fighter. Of some 1,200 HD.1s produced, around two thirds were built in Italy.

The Kit
Eduard's Hanriot first appeared over 20 years and is typical of the company's kits from that era, being quite simple in the number of parts, but very cleanly moulded and leaving Eduard's short-run roots far behind. While the styrene parts are representative of Eduard's standards from the late '90s, the accompanying photo-etched accessories are bang up to date, featuring excellent pre-painting that was undreamed of back then.

The new edition arrives in a sturdy and compact top-opening box, adorned with a really stylish and attractive illustration. Inside, the plastic parts and the accessories are all bagged separately and accompanied by a 15-page instruction booklet.

The kit comprises:
46 x grey styrene parts (plus a further 22 unused)
1 x clear styrene part
77 x photo-etched parts (some pre-coloured)
A sheet of washi tape painting masks
Decals for 6 x colour schemes

The reason for so many spare plastic parts is because the kit includes the floats for the HD.2 boxing. Itís worth noting that Aeroscale member Louis has recently begun a Blog on the HD.2, superdetailing the kit to his usual master level. It will definitely be worth consulting as a reference for the HD.1.

Considering moulds for the styrene parts have been in use for over 20 years, everything looks remarkably good. It would be unfair to expect the parts display the same level of cutting edge detail that Eduard incorporate into their latest kits, but the Hanriot looks very clean and crisp, with no more than a hint of flash here and there - and certainly nothing to be concerned about. I did spot a shallow sink mark on one fuselage half where thereís an injection pin mark on the inside and, yes, these knock-out pin marks are pretty hefty and could do with careful cleaning up, because a couple of them may be visible if you peer closely enough into the cockpit.

A Few Details
The basic kit has been covered several times over the years on Aeroscale, so I wonít go overboard repeating whatís already been written.

The cockpit detail is simple, but effective. The fuselage framework is moulded on the inside of each half, and although itís quite shallow (Louis has replaced it to great effect in the link above) it should pass muster if painted carefully. The etched fret offers a few significant improvements over the original styrene parts, with a beautifully pre-coloured instrument panel, plus a new seat and lap-belts among other details. All told, youíre looking at 19 parts in an ďofficeĒ that forms a great basis for super-detailing.

At some stage Eduard replaced their original Le RhŰne with a new version. The old engine is still on the runners among the unused parts, but the replacement is definitely better detailed and should look pretty decent, especially once itís hidden in the close cowl.

Depending on which colour scheme you opt for, thereís a choice of single- or twin-Vickers machine guns, with a further option of central- or side-mounted for the single gun. All the mountings are nicely detailed, and the basic styrene machine gun benefits from a couple of etched additions.

Assembly of the wings and tailplane looks quite straightforward, and Eduard have replaced all the original plastic control horns with etched versions. The instructions devote a page to the rigging, which looks pretty simple in terms of layout. That said, a substantial number of the etched parts included are turnbuckles, so it will still present quite a challenge to newcomers to rigging biplanes. The photo-etched turnbuckles are obviously rather 2-dimensional, so you may wish to use other rigging methods.

Instructions & Decals
The instruction booklet is very nicely produced, with clear illustrations and a logical breakdown of the assembly. Colour call-outs are provided for Gunze Sangyo paints.

Along with the pre-painted etched parts, the decals are the joint stars of this edition, with a large sheet containing markings for 6 really interesting colour schemes:

A: 78a Squadriglia, Italy, 1918
B: No. 6254, flown by Sottotenente Giorgio Michetti, 76a Squadriglia, Casoni, Italy, 1918
C: 85a Squadriglia, Albania, late 1918
D: No. 562, flown by Tenente Antonio Bogliolo, 81a Squadriglia, Italy, 1918
E: s/n unknown, flown by Tenente Mario Fucini, 78a Squadriglia, Italy, Autumn 191
F : No. 11432, 80a Squadriglia, Italy, 1918

Iíve got to say, for me the colour schemes are really the stars of the show, because thereís something for everyone among the flamboyant subjects. Apart from the striking personal markings, thereís also a mix of mottle-camouflage, silver-doped and clear-doped-linen finishes.

The decals look to be beautifully produced, with pin-sharp registration on the sample sheet. The items are thin and glossy, with minimal excess carrier film. Iíve had excellent results with Eduardís own-produced decals, so I look forward to using these.

Itís great to see Eduardsí Hanriot back in a new edition. Itís basically a very nice little kit that will make a great entry for anyone new to building WWI fighters, with etched extras that will satisfy more experienced modellers. Add to this some really great colour schemes and you can hardly go wrong. Itís great value for money too, in terms of ďmodelling fun per buckĒ.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Neatly moulded styrene parts. Comprehensive photo-etched details. High quality decals for some spectacular colour schemes.
Lows: None really.
Verdict: Eduard's Hanriot still looks good some 20 years after its first release, and the inclusion of cutting edge etched accessories and decals for some eye-catching colour schemes makes this limited edition release one to snap up.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 11139
  Suggested Retail: £11.27
  PUBLISHED: Mar 30, 2020

Our Thanks to Eduard!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright ©2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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