Central Powers aircraft
by Stephen Foster

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Albartos D V

Kit: Airfix (1:72)

When I was in my teenage years I desperately wanted to produce models that were different to those provided in the kit, but did not have the skill to make conversions, so I used to paint my models in different colours. In a comic which I subscribed to at the time was an article about a pilot who flew a zebra-striped Albatros, so I painted mine in these colours. In 2014 the Airfix Tribute Forum had a Group Build commemorating the outbreak of WW1 so I decided to take a trip down memory lane and make another one: this colour scheme was flown by Lt Windisch in early 1918 - there were variants of the zebra stripes pattern on several other machines. The build log is on ATF. The engine, exhaust and cowling covers are scratch built as the kit part was missing, (which did not matter as it is unusable anyway), and the guns are from Aeroclub, I also added some simple detail in the otherwise empty cockpit. The wing markings were made from Letraline rub down transfer. The nose of the model is too short so I had to adjust the engine to fit.

Albatros D V

Kit: Airfix (1:72)

This early attempt (from the mid-1970's), is of the machine of Lt. Hippel who was killed when the lower wing spar failed in a dogfight. I have since found that the accepted opinion is that the arrow on the fuselage was black and a slightly different shape, but this conformed to the best information that I had at the time. The model was hand painted, (there were no lozenge transfers then), and is rigged with stretched sprue.

Fokker DVI

Kit: Conversion from Revell Fokker D VII and Dr 1 (1:72)

This was based on an article in Airfix Magazine by A. Woollett and was an early WW1 conversion attempt by me. There are kits of this type available now, but at the time it was made (mid 1970's) there were none. The conversion was surprisingly easy and one that I would recommend if a modeller wanted to try a biplane conversion. The letter on the top wing was hand painted but the other markings were standard transfers.

Fokker Dr 1

Kit: Revell (1:72)

This was made in the mid-1970's and represents one of the colour schemes used by von Richtofen. It was an easy build and of course needs very little rigging, but it made into a neat model, even if the surface detail is over heavy. As the Airfix Fokker triplane was the only alternative at the time this one won hands down. It is still a good kit for its price.

Fokker EIII

Kit: Revell (1:72)

I remember building one of these when they were first released in the mid-1960's. This was a second attempt and was only the second kit that I rigged, with stretched sprue. The paint has discoloured with time, (it was made in the mid-1970's when I had rediscovered WW1 types). For its time it was a good kit and even today it makes up into an acceptable model for a modest price.

Otto Doppeldekker

Kit: Scratch (1:72)

The Germans did not use many pusher types operationally in WW1 but an early type used in small numbers was the Otto Doppeldekker (biplane) originally designed in 1912. The army considered the structure to be too weak but the navy showed interest and a few machines were accepted by 1914. Following the outbreak of hostilities many privately owned machines were pressed into military service, including one in South Africa which was used for a short time to support the troops in German East Africa in late 1914 and early 1915. Most were deployed on the Eastern Front where they were used for reconnaissance. They were withdrawn from front line duties in early 1915 and were subsequently used as trainers. The model was built from plastic card with a moulded fuselage nacelle, card for the wings and tail surfaces, florists wire for the booms and shaped Evergreen strip for the struts. Markings were home printed. There is a build log on the Airfix Tribute Forum site.


Kit: Roden (1:72)

I found out about this machine by accident and decided that I would scratch build one. Then I discovered that there is a kit so I tried that instead. In my earlier incarnation as a modeller I would never have dreamed that a manufacturer would have made such an esoteric type - it is certainly one of the odder types to appear in the years 1914-1918. The kit is not bad but it is not an easy build.

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