In-Box Review
Hanriot HD.2
A red headed stepchild goes to war.
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by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]

The large production numbers of this French designed bi-plane are directly attributed to foreign purchases. Designed by Pierre Dupont, the HD.1 had excellent flying characteristics. The type was competing with the Nieuport Company for the French government's need of low altitude fighters. The Spad VII had the position for high altitude. While Nieuport took up most of the French contracts the Hanriot, an aircraft of better flying qualities was availing the lion's share of its contracts to Italy's Maachi Aviation (831 licensed built aircraft out of 1700 ordered.) To a lesser degree variants were sold to America (about 26 aircraft), Belgium (125 aircraft), France (20-24 aircraft) and Switzerland (16 aircraft.) The Hanriot HD.2 was a marine version of the Hanriot HD.1. In addition to the floats, the HD.2 had a larger vertical tail fin, enhanced armament and a more powerful engine. A few Hanriot HD.2 types were used by the French Aviation Maritime (Naval Air Force), and 26 of them were bought by the US Navy. After WW I some of the French and American aircraft were adapted for a wheeled undercarriage. American HD.2 types, numbered from A 5620 to A 5629 had vertical tail fins like the HD.1.


While the "JMGT" kit is finely molded multimedia/resin kit fuselage represents early production variant, early production single or dual side located Vickers machine gun(s). The fuselage has early production facades. It costs is twice that of either "Eduard" kits, #8034 Profi-pack or #8039 HD.2. As of this writing "Eduard" does not have any aftermarket frets available for the 1/48 scale Hanriot kits as they do for their Nieuport 17 types. For this review we will build the "JMGT" kit. Before beginning, wash your kit in mild dish soap & water, dry completely, then pre-drill all rigging and strut locator holes.

Kit Contents:

06 pcs Plastic Parts
16 pcs Resin
43 pcs Metal
09 Decal Profiles
Instructions, 4 pages and 4 exploded views w/text.

Cockpit interior: Paint all the major components for the cockpit interior and let dry. Remember that the skin camouflage and cockpit interiors on a restored aircraft tend to be over- painted completely to avoid dry rot in fabric. For WWI aircraft minimal weatherproofing was the normal procedure. It is noted that some of the cockpit tubing structure may have been painted black. First note crisscross bracing wires in the frame bays of the fuselage sides. These can greatly benefit from careful dry brushing. Add two lower fuselage support rods that are meant to support the white metal control column as well and add the elevator control wires at its base. Over these support rods I added two foot planks to the cockpit flooring. These are plastic painted to simulate varnished wood graining. Next the rudder control bar and its torsion / stabilizer bar (PE I). Add rudder control wires lead from the installed rudder bar on PE back to the rear cockpit screen. I added an air / fuel mix lever, linkage, air induction piping (painted rod), fuel tank air pressure hand pump, a compass and the seatbelt and harness straps. Most of these items can be found in "Toms Modelworks" photoetch brass, French interior set. Next add a couple of cross member supports under the front and rear of the seat (PE G) that span to the fuselage sides. The resin stump in the cockpit floor is nice but was not how the original was supported.

Attach the instrument panel facade (PE H) to the resin forward deck assembly. The instrument panel should be painted to represent varnished wood. The Instruments represented from left to right are: fuel gauge, tank switch, tachometer, altimeter, and clock. There should be an oil pulsator attached to the right side of the manufacturers plate as well. Note the little rectangular blank on the right side noting its needed placement. Additionally there should be a starting magneto on the left side of the fuselage attached to the upper longeron. Adding this will effectively close your cockpit assembly so make sure everything is where you want it.

The fuselage:
The Hanriot fuselage had an adjustable horizontal tail surface just like the Sopwith 1 2 Strutter, Pup, Triplane and Camel. You will need to add the rear of the fuselage by choosing either the white metal assembly or the photoetch (PE C & D.) I like the photoetch myself. Check your references for further details. For clarification the early production fuselages had the offset gun(s) with two access panels on the pilot=s left side forward of the cockpit. The later centralized gun version has only one access panel there. The "JMGT" top forward cowling and firewall should be modified to move the gun(s) to the offset position. You could use the ammo feed fairings from the "Eduard" kit (#8018) (blued out pieces on the parts map between the prop & wing struts.) Just for the sake of matching I would also use the "Eduard" or at least two matching Vickers guns if I was doing a twin gunned version.

One question that I have been asked, is " do you duplicate the 11mm Vickers Balloon Gun as opposed to the usual kit 7mm Vickers .303 ?" The Lafayette Foundation in Denver Colorado USA has an 11mm ( .45 caliber) Vickers and outwardly it is identical to the 7mm ( .30 caliber) Vickers model 1918. My personal preferences in 1/48 scale are the PE items from "Part of Poland" as they have the multiple jacket vents seen on the 7 & 11mm,1918 Vickers. Now were really picking nits! Add the Ammunition Feed Chute per the scheme you have chosen.

The engine:
Unite the white metal propeller, plastic vacuform cowling and engine assembly and when thoroughly set, The kit metal rotary engine is supposed to represent a 130hp Clerget. Dry fit this before assembly just to make sure of a good fit. To detail this kit’s motor the air induction pipes can be painted in dull copper. The white metal propeller is a typical profile for the LeRhône rotary. You will need a different propeller. Be sure to check your references, for the aircraft profile that you are building.

The lower wings:
Unite the lower wings to the fuselage using brass pins in mating pre-drilled holes. Using scale plan views and a jig made from Children’s “Lego” building blocks. This will hold the parts perpendicular and square until the adhesive sets fast. Carefully score the breaks in the tail surfaces for the rudder and the elevators and their respective stabilizers. Attach these items while the model is still in the jig using additional support blocks to keep them square and level. Let dry thoroughly. When it came to the control horns for the control surfaces (ailerons, elevators and rudder) I prefer to use the brass items from "Tom's Modelworks" brass frets because they have a small spike to anchor into the resin - pre-drilled holes. They also hold tension well when I use monofilament for rigging. The kit items are attached topically can be used if your rigging with sections of fine wire or heat stretched sprue.

The top wing:
This comes as a left and right half like the lower wings. This is like the original with the two panels united on the centerline over the fuselage with the trestle spine directly under the panel unions. The cabane trestle struts (PE K X 2.) Remember, according to profiles and photographic evidence the top wing trailing edge sits lower that the leading edge. This tells me that the rear trestle legs are shorter than the front. In the top wing the related centerline holes will serve as sockets for the trestle spine. I had to open up or widen the rear most hole to get the best wing alignments. Once the top wing is aligned with the bottom wing, you can add the interplane struts (PP A 26-29) by simply wedging them in to their respective sockets and add a drop of Cyanoacrylate. The thin struts go in the forward position and the thicker struts go in the rear. Next add the shorter splayed cabane strut extensions (PE J X 4.) Remember to check the wing alignment as you go. One strut too long or short can begin to throw you off. With the compound trestle ("W" shaped profile) type cabane struts, the more contacts the more careful you need to be.

Before moving on I will rig the wings and tail surfaces per listed references. Note, that "JMGT" did not show the aileron cables leaving the undersurface of the wing ailerons and leading into the area adjacent to the front interplane struts in the upper surface of the lower wing. These should locate on the upper surface of the lower wing out board of the forward interplane struts socket. Note that any brass pin tips that are exposed can be cut flush with the wing surfaces. Thank goodness for motor tools. (One final thought here is, that if your interplane struts appear to be too short or too long you will probably need to replace them. Even if you try carefully flex the lower wing upwards toward the top wing the resin wing may crack.)

The landing gear:
For the wheeled version, complete the undercarriage assembly by laying the axle in the crotch of the white metal landing gear Vee-legs. Then wrap upholstery thread around their unions to represent the bungee cord shock absorbers. Check your references. One IPMS model builder pulled the old "Revell Triplane boo-boo." In the IPMS USA Journal for Sept.- Oct. 1999, he described the "Eduard" kit but put the forward legs of the landing gear in the holes for the rear set. Then he drilled two holes further back for the rear leg accommodations. Don’t do this - builder beware. Next add the wheels and the stabilizer struts for the tail unit (PE B X 2) I replaced with brass-rod of an appropriate diameter.

Now if you are doing the float equipped version you are in luck. The white metal undercarriage supports are very nice to work with. Note the forward rake on the floats and their position below the fuselage. "JMGT" has even worked out the correct angles and provided them in the instructions.

Clear-coat your model and add the windscreen with white glue.


I strongly suggest you use Model Master buffable aluminum “Metalizler” and then his it with a clear dead flat coat. While some semi-gloss is ok, remember in smaller scales - gloss tends to make kits hard to look at. You want to draw the viewer in to your build. Also original aircraft had a good deal of use in a relatively short period of time. Flat or matte colours are better for smaller scales.


The "JMGT" kit decals are very brittle and you may want to try to spray a gloss coat over them and let dry before cutting them from the sheet for use. They are a little translucent as well but the colours are easily matched with existing model paints for touch ups.

1. French HD.2 # N228 Dunkerque 1918.
2. French HD.2 Dunkerque 1918.
3. French HD.2 #5934 Nungesser Post war USA 1920.
4. French HD.2 “7C3” #15 Saint Raphael 1920 - 1925.
5. French HD.2 “A.E.” Saint Raphael 1920 - 1925.
6. U.S.N. HD.2 D 47 Dunkerque 1918.
7. U.S.N. HD.2 A5624 North Island 1919.
8. U.S.N. HD.2 USS Texas 1919-1920.
9. U.S.N. HD.2 Lt. Branberry, Dunkerque 1918. One of the American Naval Hanriot types flown by a Lt. Branberry (evidently a U.S. Marine Aviator not Naval) used the acronym “BAM” in U.S. Marine colours of Red & Yellow. This term was used to describe Marines of the female gender.


1. Aircraft of WWI Vol. 2, Argus Pub. 198?
2. Airfix Magazine July 1971.
3. Aeromodeller, Nov.1968.
4. Fighters 1914-1919 by K. Munson, MacMillan Pub. 1968.
5. Fighters, Warplanes of the First World War Vol 5 by J.M. Bruce, Doubleday Pub. Pp.3-11, 1972.
6. Foreign Legionnaire - the Hanriot HD in Belgian, USN and post war service. by C. Johnson,
7. French Military aircraft of WWI by A. Durkota, Flying Machines Press. pub date ?
8. Eagle Droppings, Newsletter IPMS “Rocky Mtns” Vol. 7 Nov. 1996. & Vol. 8 Jan. - Feb. 1997.
9. Hanriot HD.1 by J.M. Bruce, Profile pub. # 109, 1966.
10. Hanriot HD.1 by J.M. Bruce & R.Rimell, Datafile #12, Albatros Pub. Ltd. 1988.
11. Belgian IPMS Journal, pub. date ?
12. Macdonalds RAF Flying Reviews Vol.16 #4, Pub. date ?
13. Project Butterfly= by Hardesty, Hastings, and Toelle, Cross & Cockade USA Vol. 9, and 13, 1972.--(Most excellent articles on the French 5 color camouflage patterns.)
14. Scale Model Aircraft in Plastic Card by H. Woodman, Model & Allied Pub. 1975.
15. The Hanriot HD.1 by A. Durkota, Over the Front Vol.11 #2, Pp.180-5, 1996.
Highs: Basically, out-of-the-box this is a nice quick-build kit with its greatest asset being the finely poured resin fuselage. Even after 14 years there is no warping in my unbuilt kits.
Lows: The top wing center trestle union does need a bit of attention. As mentioned previously, care should be used in handling the kit decals.
Verdict: With solid skills and some detailing you can have a great build.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 48AR02
  Suggested Retail: 55,00€
  Related Link: website
  PUBLISHED: Sep 03, 2011

About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)

I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]. 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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