Central Powers Aircraft Model Images
by Steve Cox

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Albatros W4 Early

Kit: Pegasus (1:72)

This was built to add to my floatplane collection. I built the kit floats, but then decided I wanted to make an early version, so scratchbuilt some pontoon float replacements from plastic card. Some simple cockpit instruments were scratchbuilt too. The exhaust was also scratched, so that it fits around the front cabane strut.

I experimented with two new techniques (for me) on this model. The wood finish is decal sheet painted and cut up into panels. Steven Perry from the list suggested the method.
For rigging I normally drill through the lower wings and tension the 'wire' as the glue dries. This time I glued both ends and tightened the nylon with a heated pin. With this method it's more important to get the angle correct at the ends first, a couple of wires still need adjusting. It's also important not to touch the adjacent wires :)

I'm very pleased with the woodgrain effect, but not too happy with how I painted the prop, I may have to strip that back and start again.

The last picture is how the thing will be displayed, taken from a picture in 'Albatros Fighters in Action'

Aviatik 30.40

Kit: Merlin (1:72)

I bought this at Scale ModelWorld 2014, my only purchase of the weekend. It was a very busy show for me as I was running the Special Display - 26 six-foot tables.

The plastic is average quality for a Merlin, flying surfaces are very thick as usual. The white metal cowling was useful as a guide but the cooling holes were all over the place and the central hole was offset from centre.

I used a Toko Strutter floor and seat assembly to make up the internal fittings, plus a scratch-built instrument panel. Once assembled I re-shaped the top decking to match the photos in the FMP Austro-Hungarian Aircraft of WW1 book. The underside was finished in cream and 'woodgrained' with chestnut brown as per the Aviatik D.I in the Vienna Museum.

The wing was thinned considerably on the underside and the rib detail sanded off the top surface. The real ailerons had a distinct flare at the mid point, which I reproduced by filing away the top surface at the root, and the lower surface at the tip.

The cowling I made from Toko Strutter parts, filling the central hole with a blank, then marking out and drilling all the cooling holes and filing the slots. The backs of the holes were then thinned with a dental burr to give fine edges. The real cowling was turned metal, I attempted to model this by painting with a dark silver, then dabbing over with light silver using a fine mesh gauze wrapped round some kitchen towel. It was partially successful.

The prop and wheels came from the spares box, the undercarriage was scratch-built from airfoil-section plastic strip.

The engine is white metal. I painted it dark grey and dry-brushed it in silver to highlight the fins, and finished the push rods with silver and the inlet tubes in copper. The cowling hides just about all of it.

The prototype had no guns. Because of a shortage of lubricant for rotary engines the aircraft got no further than the prototype.

Aviatik Berg D.II

Kit: Toko D.I (modified) (1:72)

Having bought a made-up Aviatik D.I model at a show I looked at the kits I had in the stash and my copy of the Austro-Hungarian Army Aircraft of World War One to see if I could find something slightly different to build for myself. In the book I found the D.II, a high-speed development, of which a few were ordered for evaluation. With a short cantilever lower wing and the top wing supported by diagonal struts the D.II is quite unusual. The main changes were to lengthen the fuselage by inserting a 2mm plug in front of the cockpit, and shorten the wings and increase the chord.

The prop is made from laminated coloured paper, soaked in superglue, then carved/sanded to shape. The two blades are slightly inset, and set at 70/110 degrees. Apparently this odd design is more efficient. The Austro-Hungarians did a lot of wind-tunnel testing of propeller designs.

DFW T28 Floh

Kit: 12 Squared (1:72)

This is the 12 Squared 1/72nd scale kit of the DFW T28 "Floh" or Flea, an apt name for a strange looking aircraft. The model was built out-of-the-box, with a joystick and control panel added to hide the empty interior. The rigging is nylon monofilament coloured with indelible pen. The decals were cut down from a modern luftwaffe sheet, using a coin as a guide. The prop stripes were done with thin strips of masking tape cut using two knife blades taped together.

Dornier D.I

Kit: Meikraft (1:72)

Designed at the Zeppelin-Lindau works the D.I had torsion-box cantilever wings with the rear covered in fabric. The fuselage was of all-metal stressed-skin construction. The underslung fuel tank could be jettisoned.

Oblt. Reinhard was killed when the top wing detached during the second Fighter Competition in 1918. A BMW engined model was entered in the third competition, but was outclassed. Two D.Is were taken to the USA for evaluation after the war.

This is the first lozenge-covered model I have finished, and I had trouble getting the decal to go around the curves on the wings, and also getting a clean edge at the trailing edges. No trouble at all with the wing struts and rigging though. The rivet detail is done with a tool I bought at a show last year, a set of toothed wheels that fit in a modelling knife handle. Choose the right wheel and just run it along the edge of a steel rule. Unfortunately it barely shows in the compressed pictures.

Pegasus Junkers D-1

Kit: Pegasus (1:72)

This is the 1:72nd scale Pegasus kit. The tailplane is scratchbuilt, as I thought the original was far too thick. I made a tool from a filed-downscrew to cut the corrugated surfaces.

The colours are my interpretation of the description in the datafile. I started out by painting wings, fuselage and tailplane in Misterkit Albatros Pale Green with Gotha/LVG Dark Violet patches, and pale blue underneath. I then applied a thin chocolate brown over the fuselage, and a white coat underneath and over the whole tail, so that the camouflage pattern just shows through. After the decals were applied I painted another thin coat of chocolate over the serial numbers.

The undercarriage and roll frame are made from Strutz brass and guitarstring, with copper wire for the suspension bungee cord. The prop is from the kit, and matches the Ian Stair drawings in Aircraft Archive Vol 3, but from looking at pictures and the Junkers drawings in "Vom Lilienthalgleiter zur fliegenden Annelise" the prop should be much larger, about 9ft 6inches diameter.

The exhaust is an Xtra Parts resin, cut down, painted in gunmetal with awash of matt rust. After I closed up the fuselage the seat supports came adrift from the wire bearers I had made. After a lot of shaking and prodding I finally managed toget it back nearly into the right place, and glue it down.

Junkers J.2

Kit: Phonix (1:72)

This kit was finished in 2001. It's the Phoenix vacform, with a few scratchbuilt items in the cockpit, and a partial engine filling the space that shows in the cockpit. There's a build review in Internet Modeller for June 2001.

Junkers J.1

Kit: Eduard (1:72)

This is the1/72nd scale Eduard kit, mostly out of the box. The radiator pipes, pilots step, and gun mounting pole were made of wire. The lozenge fuselage is taken from a picture of 852/17 in the book "Vom Lilienthalgleiter zur fliegenden Annelise". The picture appears to show a pale stripe along the bottom of the lozenge and no pattern under the fuselage, so I have interpreted this as being finished in pale blue underneath, rather then lozenge. 852/17 has no wings or tail in the picture so the rest of the colour scheme is taken from the kit instructions for 822/17.

The original aircraft may have been very strong, but the kit isn't, and I live in fear that the top wing will come off at the slightest provocation, there are already two snapped struts from the two wing installations done so far.

A reasonably simple build, except for getting the top wing on straight. It makes a monster of a two-seater, that looks huge amongst the rest of the collection.

LFG V19 'Putbus'

Kit: Phoenix (1:72)

The V19 was designed to meet a requirement for an aircraft that could be carried on a submarine as a spotter. Constructed entirely of duralumin it could be taken apart for stowage in 15 minutes and erected in 30. Volker Haeusler surmised that it was "maybe the most advanced all metal aircraft build during the war - seemingly, it used a stresssed skin concept that in that completeness was not used by Dornier and Zeppelin, let alone the Junkers designs." V19 and 'Putbus' were post-war designations.

I started this model on 18 May 2002, according to a post to the list on that date, but most of the work was done in the last couple of months of 2007. The kit went together reasonably well, though I had to fill out the front of the fuselage to match the cowling. Instructions are patchy, and studying the two photos I have I think I have positioned the control panel too far aft. One photo shows the V19 sitting on trolleys and trestles, so I scratched some of these, and made my first attempt at a concrete hardstanding for the base. The third picture shows the notch in the rear struts that made a step.

Linke-Hofmann R.II

Kit: Scratch (1:600)

This R-plane design has always intrigued me, ever since I first saw pictures of it. I still have the dream of building it in 1/72nd.

The model is made in a very similar fashion to the Staaken R.VI, but the use of decal for the lozenge scheme meant that the sequence changed. The lozenge pattern was scaled from 72nd scale 5 colour night scheme and printed on decal paper.

The model was assembled by fitting the lower wing into the fuselage, then applying the decal and markings to all surfaces. The markings are built up from black and white decal strips cut to width. The strut positions were then marked out in the top of the lower wing, and small dimples drilled out to locate the bottoms of the struts. The top wing was then glued to the inverted V cabane on the fuselage. The stretched-sprue struts were then cut to length and glued to the lower wing one at a time working outwards. When they were all in the upper ends were fixed with white glue.

The lower tail plane was cut out to fit around the end of the fuselage, the central fin and rudder set in place and the support struts added, and the top tailplane stuck on top. The outer fins and rudders were then slid into position and glued.

The prop blades were shaped from 1mm diameter rod, then glued to the spinner. The undercarriage is stretched sprue and brass rod.

The finishing touch was to add the stub-wing radiators on the sides of the fuselage between the wings.

Otto Doppeldecker

Kit: Phoenix (1:72)

The kit appears to be an earlyish version, it has the large pointed ailerons but not the twin tail or struts on the leading edge. Studying what photos I could find in my library and on the internet it seems that Otto made continuous changes/improvements and the likelihood of two aircraft being identical was pretty slim. I think my model will look like an Otto Doppeldecker, but don't ask which one. The main changes to the kit were sharpening up the edges on the fuselage, reducing the ailerons to the later balanced version, and cutting away the leading edge of the top wing centre-section. It was rigged with EZ Line thread, the first time I've used this.

Roland D.VIa

Kit: Mac (1:72)

This kit was built to try out some Aviattic lozenge decal sheet scaled down from the 32nd sheet for the Wingnut Wings kit. The fit is not perfect, the ribs don't match and the chord of the kit wing is greater than the decal. It seems the Mac kit is not a scaled down Wingnut Wings. I added some extra along the leading edges to cover the gap. I screwed up the decal on the underside of one aileron, so used some from the Aviattic fabric bolts sheet, it is paler than the rest, but this doesn't show in the photo. The mismatch of decal ribs to the kit ribs doesn't show unless you look very hard.

There were minor tweaks to the kit, I corrected the shape of the ailerons, made the radiator pipe from .5mm rod and drilled out the exhaust.

I chose an aircraft with a painted fuselage, after the experience with the prototype DVIb I chickened out trying to replicate the woodgrain pattern on this one. The serial number is freehand.

Roland D.VIb

Kit: Mac (1:72)

Another kit to try out the scaled Aviattic lozenge decal. I knew the fit was not going to be good, but I found that once the decal is 'down' it can be stretched on the model without tearing. This is four colour lozenge with plain fabric rib tapes, 5 colour with lozenge tapes was used on the D.VIa.

Again the aileron shape was corrected.

The fuselage was painted blue/green/buff/purple as a late production model.

The last picture compares the three.

Roland D.VIb Prototype

Kit: Pegasus + Mac (1:72)

This was the first of three Roland D.VI's that I built while working on the decal for Aviattic for the Wingnut Wings kit. While waiting for the test print to come through I thought I'd convert the Pegasus kit to an experimental D.VIb which had I-struts. The conversion is based on one picture in 'German Aircraft of the First World War' by Gray & Thetford.

It's an early Pegasus kit with thick mouldings, so I replaced as much as possible with spare parts from two Mac kits:- engine, ailerons, tailplane, prop and wheels, and scratchbuilt the cockpit details. The fuselage planking was simulated with ridges, which I smoothed off.

The fuselage finish was the worst part of this build. I used Uschi van der Rosten woodgrain decal. This is not the ideal woodgrain decal for this application, as the Roland has a clinker-built fuselage, which gives a very defined stripe to the appearance. The decal is intended to imitate large sheets of veneer. I tried slicing it up, but found it impossible to handle the multiple thin strips. I ended up using a single piece of decal for each side, with 2 V notches cut at the nose and 5 notches at the rear. This decal is very dark coloured, which gave a very garish finish when applied over a cream base. This toned down a bit when a thinned coat of buff was applied. Another coat of 'Clear' mixed with Games Workshop red, brown and yellow washes was applied unevenly, always brushing along the length of the fuselage to give the impression of strips, though it's still not really like the clinker-built strips of the real thing. I've recently seen some more Uschi decal, and there are a lot more variations in colours for the woodgrain, including a planked sheet.

The I-struts were carved from 1mm plasticard against a paper template cut after the top wing was put on cabane. After roughing out the struts were stacked together to ensure the four matched as closely as possible for angle and width in the final shaping.

Rumpler D.I

Kit: Merlin (1:72)

This kit was started many years ago, but finished in a sudden fit of enthusiasm in Jan 18. My second Merlin build, and my second Rumpler.

Like any Merlin kit the wings were very thick so the all top surfaces were rubbed down to get thin trailing edges, the undersides flattened, and the ailerons re-scored. The bottom wings were extended with multiple pieces of plastic strip, then the fuselage was cut out underneath so the wing could be glued into the slot. I didn't try to add the wire trailing edges as the wings are so thick (and it makes decalling easier).

The lozenge is a mix of various bits of Aviattic decal, mostly from a Roland D.VI sheet. There are some fill-in bits where it wasn't big enough, it's not perfect but if you don't look to closely . . .

The radiators were made by glueing mesh tea-bag to some thin plastic strip, painted black then dry-brushed with silver. These were then glued to both sides of some shaped plastic strip and cut down to match. I don't recall any radiators in the kit, though the instructions tell you to fit them.

Staaken R.VI

Kit: Scratch (1:600)

This is another model to go with the Adlershof R-plane. The wings and tail are from plastic card, the struts from stretched strut stock. The model was assembled by fitting the lower wing into the fuselage, then building the inverted V cabane on the fuselage. The assembly and the underside of the top wing were then painted. The strut positions were then drilled out in the underside of the top wing before gluing it to the cabane V. The struts were then cut to length and glued to the top wing one at a time working outwards. When they were all in the lower ends were fixed with varnish.

The nacelles are shaped from plastic rod, and the main supports glued on before fitting to the lower wing. All the other struts were then stuck in with varnish. The radiators were stuck to the engine struts with the paint as they were painted. The props are shaped from 0.5mm square strip.

The lower tail plane was fitted into a slot at the end of the fuselage, the fins and rudders stuck in position, the fin support struts added, then the top plane attached. The wheels are cut from plastic rod, the groups of four are one piece, the indents cut using a machine screw as the cutter. The front wheels are on guitar string Vs, the main wheels have the string axles but are on V struts cut from thin plastic sheet.

The camouflage is a green base with spots of brown, black, dark blue and mauve. The markings are built up from black and white decal strips cut to width.

Rumpler C.IV (sort of)

Kit: Airfix (1:72)

Two Tiger Moths were converted into Rumpler C.IVs for the film Lawrence of Arabia. This is a Rumpler C.IV converted from an Airfix Tiger Moth.

I got into modelling Tiger Moths as I'm learning to fly in them. You won't get much closer than this for learning to fly in an OT aircraft.

Adlershof R Plane

Kit: Scratch (1:600)

After the end of the war some project drawings of R Class aircraft, (the German giants), were found amongst material that came from the Zeppelin works at Staaken. This model is of the smallest of the monoplane designs. This had six 500hp engines buried in the wings, driving four propellers.

The wings are made from foamboard, cut and filed to shape, then skinned with plasticard on the underneath to get the correct thickness. The fuselage is made of balsa, again with a skin of plasticard on the top surface. The tail is plasticard, as are the undercarriage frames. The eight wheels are shaped from plastic rod in groups of four. The top cabin is made from shaped plastic sheet, with the windows notched out at the sides. This was then covered top and bottom with plasticard and the whole assembly sanded to the shape you see. The props are shaped from strip, and the guns are bent wire with tiny discs superglued to the side to represent Parabellum.

The colour scheme is based on the surmise that the structure was all metal, and for trials would not have been camouflaged. The serial is based on what I could find in the spares box, but follows on from numbers allocated to Zeppelin for all-metal designs such as the R.VIII, which started at 201.

The last picture also shows a Handley Page O/400 and a Bessaneau hangar to give an idea of the size of this machine.

Reference: The German Giants, by Haddow and Grosz

Albatros Dr.I

Kit: modfied Airfix D.V (1:72)

This model was my first attempt at standard lozenge finish. Pegasus lozenge decal and rib tape decal was used. I started it back in 2001, working in my car while my son was at a wargaming club, so some of the build details escape me now. The fuselage is the Airfix D.V. I added fuel tanks and extra cockpit detail, and tried to make a better emulation of the wood grain finish by painting on the grain patterns, rather than plain buff as used on my previous D.V build. The lozenge decal was applied to the tailplane and rudder, the elevator being covered separately from the tailplane. As I recall the top wing was cut down from the D.V kit upper wing to match the chord of the lower wing. The middle wing and lower wings were made from kit lower wings. The decal was applied span-wise, the ailerons being covered separately. Family life then got in the way and the pieces were put away in a box. Returning to the model a few years ago I was sent some drawings and instructions for the Eduard Dr.I kit, these showed the radiators on the middle wing, I had assumed the standard top wing radiator was used. So I carefully cut off the radiator from the wing and blended in the rib shapes to match the rest of the wing, then patched in some more lozenge decal. The new radiators in the middle wings I made from aluminium foil, embossing some ribbing before attaching them. Then the pieces went back in their box for another couple of years. Returning to the model again I came to the problem of assembly which I viewed with some trepidation, there being three struts and rods on each side and only the middle wing attached directly to the fuselage. The lower wing was attached to the fuselage by three short pins of plastic rod. The wing struts were cut from Contrail strut stock. Then I drilled through the middle wings at the strut positions, and slotted out the holes a little using a fine drill bit. I then spotted through to the lower wing to mark and drill the strut location holes. The middle wing are joined to the fuselage with a butt joint. I cut a piece of foam to hold the wing in place while the joints dried. Things are made a little easier as there is no stagger. I then drilled the top wing strut locations and added the top wing. I stretched some shaped sprue for the centre section struts. At this point some earlier mistakes came to light- I hadn't got the lower wing exactly central or the strut holes in the perfect position. The top wing struts slope in slightly, and when I came to fitting the centre section struts they are longer at one side than the other. The aileron connecting rods were again made from stretched sprue, these were butt-jointed to the wings and fixed with PVA glue, to give time for adjustment to get the alignment correct. The undercarriage came off an old model. Holes were drilled through the lower wing for the rear legs, which just butt jointed to the fuselage with CA glue. The engine is from a Revel Fokker D.VII kit, with some rod used to extend the cylinders where they are exposed at the front. The guns are white metal, probably Aeroclub, the fuselage was cut away to allow the guns to sit in the correct position. They were painted matt black, and then polished with soft pencil lead.

Pfalz D.IIIa Triplane

Kit: Roden (1:72)

My third version of the Roden D.III/IIIa kit, with a few changes. There are enough spare parts on the sprue to make the third wing as two lower wings are supplied, one for the D.III and one for the D.IIIa.

There are two pictures in the Jack Herris Pfalz book, counting ribs it seems the triplane had a shorter span than the standard airframe, and the middle and lower wings were equal span, but less than the top. The top wing had lesser chord than the standard D.III, the ailerons are narrower, and the centre cutout is shallower. Judging by the fact that a D.IIIa tailplane was fitted, and I can't see the cutout for the buried gun barrel I think it was a D.IIIa fuselage that was used, but the guns were not fitted. The middle wings were cut from the D.III lower wing and the D.IIIa lower wingtip re-shaped and ailerons marked. The top wing cutout was filled in and reshaped, and the chord reduced by taking off the trailing edge. I did not attempt to reposition the wing ribs to match the photo. The tailplane was slotted to fit around the fuselage, rather than slotting the fuselage to slide in the tailplane, as this gives a better fit.

The struts were made using the bottom of the kit struts and attaching plastic strip against a drawn template. The middle wings were slotted back and front to sit around the wing struts. The same method was used for the cabane struts, but they were cut to size after the top wing was stuck on.

The radiator pipes are made from what I thought was some stretched sprue, but turned out to be stretched tube!

Pfalz DIII

Kit: Roden (1:72)

This is the first of three Pfalz's I've built while working on drawing up lozenge for the Wingnut Wings kit for Aviattic. The model is finished in Jasta 10 colours, the Silbergrau is a fairly even mix of Pale Greyblue Vallejo 70907 and Games Workshop Chainmail The aircraft data stencil decal broke up as I applied it, into the individual words. I'm not sure if this was chance or deliberate, but it was difficult aligning the separate pieces. After this I coated the remaining decal sheet in liquid decal film.

Pfalz D.IIIa

Kit: Roden (1:72)

The second Pfalz, this one is covered in Aviattic lozenge destined for the Wingnut Wings kit, scaled to 72nd on one of the test prints. Of course the Roden kit is not a scaled WNW kit, so there were some fit issues, some solved by reshaping the lower wingtip a little, some by stretching the decal once applied to the model! The crosses on the top wing are part of the lozenge decal, as is the diamond of Jasta 30.

The Aviattic decal is translucent, so the base colour affects the end result. I forgot to put the fuselage diamonds onto white decal paper before I applied them, so they looked darker than the wing and tail diamonds. I had to take them off, put them onto what I thought was white paper, but that dried clear, so moved them again onto some white stripe paper. One went back onto the model OK, but the white split on the other and was a pain getting it to sit under the diamond but I eventually managed it.

Rumpler C.IV

Kit: Pegasus (1:72)

This was built as a comparison for the Tiger Moth Rumpler conversion, which is somewhat undersize.

This is mostly out-of-the-box, but with a few additions based on photos in the datafile. I replaced the lump in the cockpit floor with a full width fuel tank for the pilots seat to sit on, and added the other tank which sits between the pilot and observer.

The fuselage is moulded with the camera aperture and the hatch for bomb dropping, so I made a camera and bomb frame to fit in the observers cockpit.

The prop I made by laminating veneers and carving to match the striping in the photos of this aircraft in the datafile, as this doesn't look look the standard Heine props commonly seen in C.IV photos.

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