historyThe Morane-Saulnier L, also known as the Morane-Saulnier Type L was a French parasol wing one or two-seat aeroplane of the First World War. The Type L became one of the first successful fighter aircraft when it was fitted with a single machine gun that fired through the arc of the propeller, which was protected by armoured deflector wedges. Its immediate effectiveness in this role launched an arms race in fighter development, and the Type L was swiftly rendered obsolete. The original Type L used wing warping for lateral control, but a later version designated Type LA was fitted with ailerons. Built by Morane-Saulnier, large numbers of the Type L were ordered by the French Aviation Militaire at the outbreak of the war, being designated the MS.3. In total about 600 Type Ls were built and, in addition to the French air force, they served with the Royal Flying Corps, Royal Naval Air Service and the Imperial Russian Air Service. The type was also produced under licence in Germany by Pfalz Flugzeugwerke as the unarmed A.I and A.II scouts, and later the E.III armed scout.
building the kitWhen I first saw this model built by a brazilian fellow modeller I fell in love with it immediately: I never saw such a fancy design... it had to be mine! More easy to say than doing, as the kit is rather old (1995, I guess) and way out of production... Fortunately I was well directed to a brazilian Ebay-like site where I found it, at last, at an undisclosed and whopping price (you never know whoever reads this article, and if it happens to be SWMBO, I could find myself sleeping on the doorstep!).
On opening the box, I was disappointed. The plastic sprue is very poorly modeled with a lot of flash to clean, then there is a lot of etched parts to deal with too...
Now: being a clumsy modeller I have still not found a way to come to a deal with etched parts... I hate to cut them out of the fret (somehow they always twist in the process), I hate to bend them (they always happen to break), I hate to glue them (to my fingers mostly)... so I decided to do without it altogheter.
But I am not to give up either! So, what the hell, let's also bring the plastic up a bit! Who ever wants an easy life, stay away of modelling!! So I decided to rebuild the fuselage interior and to leave a side open, the rest of the fuselage was covered with wrapping tissue.
Next I focused on the struts 'problem'. They are etched brass (!) and, beside that I hate the medium, they are two-dimesional... Trying to find a way to give them more depth, I come out with the sandwich idea, which is to say, cut them out and glue them to a sheet of styrene, than file it to shape. The ribs where marked with a raw umber pencil and I decided to paint the cockade on the wings: it was my very first attempt but I set to it with no particular stress, as if something went wrong, I still had the decals...
In fact that decision turned out to be a particularly blessed one because when I tried to use the provided decals for the tail makings they simply dissolved in water !! Never seen such a mess before... completely unusable.... now imagine my stress level if I had not painted the cockades...
Fortunately those early planes did not have a lot of markings but I could not find a way to overcome the problem and the beautiful "356" number on the fuselage was unusable.
Anyway, I came out with a result I am proud of, I hope you’ll enjoy it too.
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