by Ronny Bar

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Fokker D.II

Kit: Gavia (1:48)

Kampfeinsitzer Staffel 4, LSK; Freiburg, Germany; October 1916.

This is the Gavia kit... A fine one, except for the wrong appearance of the mid longerons on the fuselage sides, which were easily modified with stretched sprue and Tamiya putty. I replaced the solid Spandau gun with a photo etched set from Eduard. Decals from the kit, except the rudder and the wheel discs Eiserne kreuze, which were hand painted and the under fuselage stitching, which were drawn with Photo Studio 2000, printed with an ink-jet printer on clear decal film and then airbrushed some coats of gloss varnish. Paints are Humbrol and the rigging is invisible thread painted a mix of silver and black.

My main reference for this scheme was a picture of several planes of Kasta 4 in the excellent Rosebud's page.

Buddecke's Fokker E.III

Kit: Flashback (1:48)

FOKKER E-III (345/15) Flown by Hans Buddecke (13 v.); Ottoman Flieger Abteilung 6 (6 Bölük), LSK; Galata, Turkey; January 1916.

The Flashback kit. Reworked pylon and undercarriage struts. Improved cockpit interior (including a flare pistol as seen on a picture in the Squadron's "Fokker Eindecker in action"). Humbrol paints. The cowling whirling was hand painted with a mix of silver and black over a base of Silver 11. Decals from the kit, except the Bestell nummer which was reworked from the Gavia Fokker D-II one and the under fuselage stitching which came from the Eduard Sopwith Triplane (Yeah, I know now that German stitching was different from the British... I promise to replace it one of these days). Rigging was done with invisible thread painted a mix of silver and black.

The instructions leaf suggests to paint the model Dark Brown overall, but in my humble opinion, that's wrong... Looking at a well-known picture of 345/15, I think that here is a classic example of misinterpretation of old orthochromatic BW photographs, in which yellow appears much darker than it really is... Otherwise, the man standing by the plane would have been closer to Louis Armstrong than the Teutonic Buddecke..!  Or maybe the Turkish sun was so strong and old Hansi spent more time sunbathing at Smyrna than fighting..? I don't think so

Nungesser's Nieuport 17

Kit: Eduard (1:48)

NIEUPORT 17 (1490) Flown by Charles Nungesser (45 v.); Escadrille N-124 "Américaine", AMF; Bar le Duc, France; August 1916.

The excellent Eduard Profipack kit... Almost OOB. The top wing center section is covered with clear Scotch adhesive tape after detailing the internal structure.Propeller turns with the engine, but the cone de penetration doesn't, like in the real one... This was done by gluing the engine and the propeller together, then perforating the engine shaft and the propeller hub with a hot needle (sorry, still ain't got a Dremmel..!) and then passing another needle, previously fixed to the firewall, through the whole engine/propeller assembly... Finally, the cone de penetration was fixed to the outer tip of the needle. Paints are a mix of Humbrols, except for the cowling that was airbrushed with Tamiya Acrylic Flat Aluminum... By the way, I don't agree with the suggestion in the kit's instructions sheet to paint the undersurfaces Aluminum... I think that this particular machine (as many others in the first production batches) was finished in the standard two-tone camouflage with CDL undersurfaces... The machines which combined camouflage and aluminum paint were finished in a different fashion. (e.g. The well known Guynemer.s 1386)

Finally, rigging is invisible thread painted a mix of silver and black.

Leefe-Robinson's RAF BE.2c

Kit: Scratch (1:48)

ROYAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY BE-2c (2693) Flown by William Leefe-Robinson; No. 39 (HD) Squadron, RFC; Sutton's Farm; Great Britain; September 1916

This is an old one. It was one of my very first approaches to scratchbuilding so it's far away from perfect... But I love it..!  I think that the "ugly" BE is one of the most appealing planes of WW1.

Entirely built from plastic card (including propeller, engine and Lewis gun) except for the wheels, that came from the scrap box and the engine cylinders that came from some rotary engine, also found in the scrap box. The whole model was hand painted with Humbrols. Cockades are from some Lindbergh or Smer kit. Rigging is invisible thread painted black. Then, several years later, I added the Serial No. which was printed on clear decal and airbrushed with gloss varnish to seal the ink.

Recently I found out through some pictures of Leefe-Robinson's plane that the uppersurfaces of the wings were CDL (Oops..!) Although I must say that looking at the picture I used as reference for this model there are two airmen standing by 2693 holding the center section of the upper wing damaged in the fight with the ill fated SL-11, and it appears as a much darker color than the parts of the airplane which were covered in CDL, and on the other hand, the replacement center section on 2693 appears much lighter (almost translucent) than the undersurfaces of the upper main planes (Hmmm... I still have some doubts...)

And besides, in some pictures I've seen of planes of 39 Sqdn. they were finished like this, e.g. 4112 flown by Lt. Frederick Sowrey. So anyway, I have two alternatives: The hard one, to repaint the wings (if I just can get the guts to do so..!) Or the easy one, that is to change the subject for Sowrey's plane and replace the Serial N°... What should I do..?

Little's Sopwith Pup

Kit: Flashback (1:48)

SOPWITH PUP (N5182) Flown by Robert Little (47 v.); No. 8 (Naval) Squadron, RNAS; Vert Galant, France; November 1916

This is the Flashback Navy Pup reconverted to the standard Pup fighter... It took some work (just as every Flashback kit), specially in doing the oblique perforations to the lower wing roots to pass the double flying wires through and attach them to the lower longeron, but finally I think the results are acceptable. A Vickers gun (from some Eduard kit) was installed on the fuselage top in place of the Lewis (and associated tripod) that came with the kit. I also added gunsight, synchronization lead, empty cases chute and padded windscreen to the Vickers gun. PC10 is Humbrol Midstone mixed with black and the cowling and nose metal panels were airbrushed with Tamiya Acrylic Flat Aluminum. The plywood panel around the cockpit was airbrushed a Honey color and then the wood veneer was drawn with a pencil. Decals from the kit (including the reworked Serial N°), except for the fin stenciling, which came from the Eduard Sopwith Baby kit. Rigging is invisible thread painted steel.

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