Central Powers Aircraft
by Marcio Antonio Campos

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Ernst Hess's Albatros D.III

Kit: ESCI (1:72)

This Albatros D.III is almost a “group” project – I got help from a lot of people in order to build this one. I first saw Ernst Hess’s Jasta 28w Albatros (serial 2041/16, the W denotes Württenberg) thanks to a Bob Pearson’s profile. Then, Dan-San Abbott helped me with the wings camouflage. When it came time for assembling the Copper State Models photo-etched Spandaus (my first experience with photo-etch), other folks came to my help, especially Eric Hight, Diego Fernetti and Steve Perry. Thanks to them all! The ESCI kit had a lot of plastic to be removed in the interior, and I used a Revell Dr.I seat. The colors I used for this plane are: fuselage: Humbrol 147 (also for struts and wheel axis), 63 and 101. Wing uppersurfaces: Humbrol 120 and Revell 361 and 381. Wing lowersurfaces: Humbrol 89. Tail, Humbrol 24 and 33.

Berthold's Fokker D.VII

Kit: revell (1:72)

This is the 1/72 Revell Fokker D.VII painted as Rudoplh Berthold's plane. The only additions to the model were prop decals and Aeromaster lozenge – I decided not to paint the lozenge decals that came with the kit, and also didn't include the pilot. I had to cut the struts between fuselage and top wing because they were too long. Really a nice kit to build, in my opinion.

von Richthofen's Fokker Dr.1

Kit: revell (1:72)

Fokker Dr-I 425/17

Sooner or later I'd build the Red Baron 425/17 triplane, and here it is, finished in May 2002. This is the Revell kit (probably I won't build another in my life), almost OOB except for the machine guns. I replaced the kit ones with Rosepart resin Spandaus. The result was much better, although the contact surface between machine guns and fuselage is too small.

I also chose this kit for my first rigging experiences, since the triplane doesn't have so many wires. I used stretched black sprue and rigged only the landing gear and cabane struts area. Although the alignment isn't that perfect, I think the results were pretty good :-)

In this kit I tried to use that Humbrol gloss varnish, the one with the square bottle. The result was awful and the model was "sticky" even after weeks. So, after placing decals, I gave the model another coat of gloss varnish, this time using the Humbrol 35 tinlet, and saved the work from a disaster. I don't advice anyone to use this square bottle Humbrol varnish.

OAW-build Fokker D.VII

Kit: heller (1:72)

This is the Roden 1/72 OAW-early built Fokker D.VII, painted as Hans Besser's Jasta 12 airplane -- one of the options given by the kit. It's pretty much OOB except for seatbelts, .005" Ethicon rigging and a few photo-etch details in the fuselage. I started building it in 2004, stopped it when moved to another city and finished it July 2008.

Some problems I faced during building: I had to cut part of the lower wing in order to fit it into the fuselage; and one of the broom decals shattered into 8 or 9 pieces while in the water -- it took huge amounts of Micro-Set to get them all in place. There was some decal breaking in wings lozenge, but this may have happened due to my lack of skill with lozenge on curved surfaces. I also had to shorten the cabane struts and even then some of them ended in the wrong place (my fault about this). On the other hand, I had no trouble with the 3-piece fuselage, which fits much better than in the Roden Pfalz models.

Heldmann's Pfalz D.III

Kit: roden (1:72)

This is the Roden D.III in 1/72, built as Alois Heldmann's airplane. It's built OOB, but the painting instructions for this plane are wrong. I got the correct scheme and colors thanks to a profile by Bob Pearson. Once again I had some problem with the cowling-fuselage fit. Other than that, the kit went pretty well. I finished this one in May 2003.

Degelow's Pfalz D.IIIa

Kit: roden (1:72)

This is the 1/72 Roden kit, built OOB with the markings for Ltn. Carl Degelow, Jasta 40. I enjoyed the build, and this is the first time I used gloss varnish to improve the overall looking of the plane and to avoid decal silvering (it worked, but not 100%). Minor problems were in cabane struts and with the join between fuselage and cowling, things I'll pay more attention at in my next Pfalz, since I plan to build more of them. A beautiful plane with beautiful markings and a nice kit, in a few words.

Roland C.II

Kit: heller (1:72)

This is the Heller 1/72 kit, build exactly as the instructions say, including painting (this strange Humbrol 90) and decals. No replacement pieces or conversion, these nice things you experts always do with the models :-))) I just found that the fuselage halves didn't fit too well, but I can't say all Heller Rolands have this problem or if it's just mine.

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