When I got the parcel I was so much surprised by its size that I was sure it's a 1:48 scale kit. It took me a while to find the scale printed on box. Yap, it's 1:72. The box is really oversized for its content. The sprues are already known from earlier releases of NIeuport Ni-17. Despite their age the quality is still very nice, it's hard to find any flashes however I have noticed some misalignment of the molds.
The side-opened box contains two sprues of beige plastic. Except parts for Ni-23 we can find here also parts which enable to build Ni-17. Quick search of internet websites, including Eduards, shows clearly that the same sprues were indeed used few years ago by Eduard in the release of Ni-17 kits: Nieuport Ni-17 FLYBOYS #2104, Nieuport Ni-17 DUAL COMBO #7071 and Nieuport Ni-17 „Weekend edition” #7403. The Ni-23 the kit was released as DUAL COMBO edition (#7073). Now the time has come for Ni-23 in the simplified „Weekend edition”.
As the sprues contains also parts for Ni-17 we can find here also additional top wing with opening for Lewis machine gun shooting above the propeller circle, blunt spinner, three types of engine cowlings, two types of exhausts collector and of course additional Lewis machine gun.
A careful study of the parts reveals few shortcomings of the kit. One of them is lack of eyelets for control cables which should be running through the horizontal stabilizer. These are only marked as engraved ellipses. Another thing are wrong positions of eyelets for the same control cables in the fuselage sides. Eduard have also omitted ventilation openings in the cowling
Instruction is just a single, folded sheet in the black/white colours. The kit is not complicated so advanced modelers would not probably even need it but there are still plenty of less experienced who will appreciate some help. Drawing are very nice and plain, just as I like. Nobody should have any problems in sorting out what's going on in particular steps.
Colour painting scheme is presented on the back on the box. It is also instruction for placing decals. Painting colours are given from the Mr.Color and Mr.Metal Color palette (Gunze/GSI).
Decal is a small sheet with the basic, but still significant, markings of the plane. Although the plane was used by a Russian pilot still caried the French national markings supplemented by pilots individual emblems. This ay we have six French roundels, two decals for the rudder, Kibanovs emblems of horse heads for fuselage sides and the emblem of two horsewhips and a horseshoe, composed in the style of Jolly Roger for the fuselage spine. Three other markings are „N” letters and stencils.
Although the decal is nicely pronted, whithout any misalignment or screen it is a bit too thick for my taste. I have some concern about its abitily to conform to the plane structure, especially on wings and rudder which have many ribs and reinforcements of fabric cover reproduced.
As the kit is „Weekend edition” we are aware it does not contain any photo-etched frets, resins etc and have just one painting option. This way we have to accept many simplifications which are mostly seen in the cockpit interior, like the lack of seatbelts, pilot seat rather symbolic than imitating the original one, simplified structure of interior. However this kit is really possible to be build at weekend, if we only use quickly drying paints. It is a great opportunity for expanding our collection of kits with another good looking and eye-catching painting scheme. If we put some effort in adding few details, even from our spare boxes, like seatbelts, PE seat and rigging, this kit will surely enjoy the eyes with improvements and still be a good fun for the builder.
Assembly instruction with colour painting scheme on Eduard website.