This article originally appeared in the October 1999 issue of Internet Modeler.
FOKKER D.VII (Alb) CONVERSION using the 1/72 Roseparts conversion kit
The Fokker D.VII has been argued to be the best fighter in WW1. It was specifically mentioned by name in the Allied armistice terms. The aeroplane was equal to if not superior to the Allied force in 1918.
Be that as it may, the purpose of this review is not to expound on the virtues of the plane, but to discuss the different manufacturers of the D.VII.
The First Fighter Competition that ended on February 12, 1918, awarded Fokker an initial contract for 300 machines and Albatros and its affiliate Ostdeutsche Albatros Werke (OAW), companies with far greater capacity, 600 machines.
The physical difference between the planes is minor, mainly in the layout of vents and in some cases, the radiator. In all, there were four different factory nose/vent variations. As was the case, some field modifications can be found on almost all planes.
The review will cover the Albatros-built D.VII using the Revell Fokker D.VII kit
Provided to this builder was the following:
# 603- Fokker D-VII Albatros Built (Alb.) $6.95
I provided the Revell Fokker D.VII kit and the Blue Rider Decal sheet # BR232 for Jasta 18
CONSTRUCTION - Click on thumbnails for full image
The resin nose is a solid plug with a locating ridge along the sides top. I hollowed out the insert with a Dremel to where the leading edge of the wing will fit. I removed the top of the locating ridge but left the sides. This is hollowed out as thin as possible to allow for a better fit with the PE interior and to lighten the model and make it less nose heavy.
The next step is to cut off the nose of the Revell kit. The instructions are very clear as to where this cut is to be made. I laid the nose on the kit and it matched exactly to where the instructions say to make the cut. I taped the fuselage halves together and secured it to a miter box to insure a straight cut. After the cut, my plug fit perfectly.
Next step was to get the PE interior to fit. I again went to the Dremel and thinned the sides as much as I could. After the interior set was bent to shape, mine just would not fit. The main reason was I refused to remove the locating ridge on the nose plug. This created a bump that did not allow the interior set to fit correctly. After several attempts, I use the PE parts as a pattern and built the interior with plastic stock. The fuselage was then closed and lower wing attached. Only the smallest amount of trimming was necessary to get the wing to fit to the new nose. Some putty work was required but was minimal.
From this point on, the kit is a straight out of the box Revell kit. The locating holes on the nose plug were identical to the Revell kit and the cabane struts fit without a problem. The only other change I made was to use Aeroclub guns instead of the resin ones provided.
The color scheme chosen was Jasta 18. The squadron was supplied with mostly OAW machines but on page 11 of WINDSOCK DATAFILE 9, an Albatros D.VII is clearly shown. Blue Rider Decal sheet # BR232 for Jasta 18 lists this scheme for an OAW machine but the evidence does not point in that direction. I chose this scheme for its simplicity and the fact that I had a decal sheet on the shelf. The paints are ONE SHOT enamel out of the can. The tail was painted even thought a decal was provided. I have very little success getting a two sided decal to meet in the middle of a thin part.
Total building time is less than 10 hours.
If you are interested in a Fokker D.VII built under license and don't want to sand off the Revell detail and re-make it, this offering from Roseplane is the way to go. My example was well made, no pits or hollow areas. A plug could possibly be added to the mold so the interior does not have to hollowed out. But this may lead to production problems that I know nothing about. The guns lacked detail but are accurate per the drawings in the DATAFILE. ROSEMONT HOBBY is to be commended for a well engineered aftermarket product.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
Barry at Rosemont Hobby for providing the nose and PE parts & Matt Bittner for an excellent scan