L’Arsenal 1/400
Loire-Nieuport 40/401 Aircraft upgrade set
Reviewed by Felix Bustelo
 Loire-Nieuport introduced the LN.40 as a single seat carrier borne dive-bomber designed for hunting submarines.  It was dubbed the “French Stuka” because of its general role as a dive-bomber and its inverted gull wings. The designation was later altered to LN.401for the naval version and the French Air Force ordered 40 aircraft that did not include folding wings, arrestor hook and other naval type features, which was designated the LN.411.  The Air Force subsequently cancelled their order as they felt that the plane was too slow and too unwieldy for modern combat.  The LN.411’s were transferred to the Navy, who used them for land based ground attack missions.  The French carrier Bearn carried Escadrille AB2, which was comprised of LN.401’s.

Their first combat was on 19 May 1940 in which ten of the twenty attacking aircraft were shot down. Several other sorties were flown over the remainder of the war. After the fall of France, the 15 remaining aircraft flew to North Africa and were used by the Vichy Air Force. With the Germans over-running the factory, production ceased and was never re-instated.

The Loire-Nieuport LN.40/401 is another addition to the L’Arsenal line of 1/400 scale resin and photoetch aircraft.  Like most of the other packets, you are provided with enough parts to build a total of five LN.40/401’s.  The fuselage and wings are cast as a single part.  Two sprues of 5 main landing gear wheels are done in resin. The casting is very well done, with a great level of detail.  Casting film needs to be trimmed off of the main aircraft parts and some minor sanding and clean up is required. The small photoetch set provides three-bladed propellers, the main landing gear struts, the tail landing gear and the tail planes and finlets.  The main landing gear assemblies are a combination of the photoetch struts and the resin wheels. Locator holes are present on the underside for placement of the struts. Click images
to enlarge
click to enlarge
The assembly instructions are provided on a small insert in the ziplock bag in which the parts are packaged.  The brief instructions are written in French but the blowup diagram clearly shows the placement of the photoetch and resin parts. French roundels and markings are available on a separate decal sheet (Item # AC 400-08).
L’Arsenal’s Loire-Nieuport LN.40/401 set will be included as a bonus in the first 300 kits sold of their forthcoming Bearn aircraft carrier, but will be available separately as well so you can model your Bearn as he appeared in 1939.  I would like to extend my thanks to Jacques Druel for providing this review sample. Click the logo on the right to visit their website.

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