Central Powers models
by Nicholas Hamer

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Kit: FORMAPLANE (1:72)

Here's the formaplane 1/72 vac kit of the Albatros B.II trainer and reconnaissance aircraft. First flown in 1914, it was to become one of Germany's most widely used reconnaissance and training types in the early war years. At least that is what the excellent and thorough historical and colour notes tell you if you are lucky enough to get yer mits on one of these lovely kits ( Ta, Steve!). I would like to have made the Austro Hungarian version with a rigged up m.g. mounting, but alas, no reference for that meant no go. In the end this is a model of no particular aircraft, just an early off the shelf B.II as shown on the instructions/plans. It has brass Strutz for struts and is rigged with clear invisible thread. The early type crosses are stencilled and sprayed on. This is the first model I have finished for a while that is mostly brush painted, apart from the undersides of the wings to get the translucent effect of the fabric wings, and of course, the iron crosses. A really lovely kit and any difficulties in the straightforward build were entirely of my own making. I had to borrow a prop from a Pegasus Albatros D.III Oef for the pics as the only parts on the vac sheet that I could not make into useful items were the seperately moulded propeller blades, so, the prop you see on this model is wrong. Aeroclub bits are hard to get at the moment for entirely understandable reasons, so that was all I had to use, I don't have a stash of 1/72 spares, as I don't normally work in that scale. Carve one? no way.. I'd just end up with cartoon bandages on my sewn together finger tips.


Kit: XTRAVAC (1:72)

Here's the Extravac Albatros C.XV in 1/72 scale. According to the drawings that come with the model the wingspan is short. Other than that it looks just like all the (very few) pics I've seen of a C.XV. The kit is a lovely build, the main headache is trying to accurately cut out the complex shape of the engine bay from the fuselage halves and the assembly of the tail and rear fuselage. The real gems in this kit are the resin engine, exhaust, wheels and gun and the radiator. Beautiful little details that make life a lot easier than it would be if you had to source/scratchbuild them yourself. Strange that theres nowt for the rear observer/gunners cockpit in the way of a parabellum and gun ring. These you have to make/source yourself. So I made a botched attemp at a gun ring. I am really lucky to have had Buz Pezolds really fantastic build of this model to look at for inspiration while building mine. Check Buz's build in the Gallery, it's Brilliant. Brass strutz and copper wire for struts and pipes on the radiator and rigged with clear thread. Lozenge decals are Almark whose colours are questionable, apparently, but it was what I had to hand without spending my hard earned groats. I bought a wood base for a quid from Just bases at the Avon show and covered it with Games workshop grass and sand, to make a base. Ernie Thomas made the suggestion and, yes, it gives the model a great setting for the pictures, but a larger base next time would be ideal.

Eduard Oeffag Albatros 253

Kit: Eduard (1:48)

The Eduard Weekend Edition Albatros Oeffag series 253. Fantastic model kit, it goes together beautifully.Rigged with nylon thread coloured with a marker. The wing rib detail is massively overdone for my tastes, the next one I'll do will have that overdone ribbing sanded down somewhat. I actually prefer the wings in the Blue Max kit for the way they look. Still, it is a fabulous 1/48 OT kit by Eduard.


Kit: TECHMOD (1:48)

Here's the Techmod Friedrichshafen FF33e. I opted not to do the option for Wolfschen supplied as the only marking option in the box, but wanted, instead, to do something a little more representative of an average service aircraft. And that's when my problems started. Firstly there are discrepancies between the kit and the plans in the Datafile on the subject, fuselage and wings do not match the plans. That didn't bother me too much because it looked every bit like the plane it represented so that was close enough. I opted for the light grey and cdl style finish. My attempt at this kit represents a/c no 880 on page 26 of the datafile on the ramp at Libau. Any suggestions and tips welcome, as I intend to make another attempt at this kit. It is a strange model, lots of flash and very 'limited run' in character, and rather basic in the detail department. I re-worked the engine details with wire and stretched sprue for the rods and little rocker arms.I bought the Part etch set and used the cockpit parts and bottled it on the rest. I tried to restrain the weathering on this as I can often get carried away in that department. The rigging is invisible thread blackened with a marker. I had a nightmare with this kit as lines kept popping out because of the 'flex' with the kit, so there is a lot of superglue around the anchor points, same with the all the 'king struts. I am chuffed with it in the end. Mostly.

Dragon Fokker Dr. I

Kit: DRAGON (1:48)

This is Dragon's lovely Fokker Dr.I finished as Kempf's Dr.I. This one of two similarly marked Dr.I's he had. That is something else I learned from hanging around this place. I used the decals from the Eduard Dual combo kit, as the Dragon decals were in an almost cream colour (old decals?) . I also attempted the streaking using oil paint. I think the green is a country mile off what it should be compared to other builds in the Gallery, but it sort of matched the info I was kindly sent via scans from a fellow listee. You know who you are! I have learned I am crap at mixing colours. Kit went together really well. Those p.e. struts are a bit weird in a flat 2d way but I was kind of in a hurry and did not take the time to round them out with c.a. as I should have done. I built this rather than the Eduard kit because I had kept this kit for almost 18 years. A small spider had got in and died in the box. I felt it was a message, is this a kit or on ancient tomb of the arachnid? This one was going to be for the other online triplane contest, but I'm not sure what's happening there, so yer 'tis

Hansa Brandenburg C.I

Kit: HR Model (1:48)

Here after a long haul is my attempt at the HR models Hansa Brandenburg C.I. I love Austro Hungarian aircraft as subjects, but many is the time that I wanted to throw this one at the wall. I am very glad I did not. It is finished (after a fashion) and that is a result I am happy with, as I seriously doubted I would get it this far. A very challenging build. I got the kit from Hannants a few years back at a greatly reduced price and it was Walter Gagawczuk's build of this kit in the gallery here that really gave me the motivation to attempt this. I really am not happy with the finish on this model, but the resin is a bit 'rough' and the national insignia are somewhat crudely painted on as the decals In my kit were for a Czech Aero built machine. The parts don't really match any of the drawings in the datafile and having a datafile to work with only confused me on the details more than answering any questions I had. I think I may even have the wrong engine in this now that I think about it, but what the hell. and despite everything I have said I like it, just because it's actually here and it is Hansa Brandenburg C.I (sort of) and done and dusted. I do have a Sierra Scale kit which covers the earlier versions of this aircraft and I suspect that even though it is a vac it may be a more straightforward build. Mine is an attempt to match the confusingly captioned machine on the back of the Datafile. UFAG built 369. 127. It is captioned as 369. 227. Well, 'Yer 'tis!


Kit: EDUARD (1:48)

One of the earlier Eduard kits. Masses of etch make up the cockpit detail and some of the struts. A thoroughly enjoyable kit. The plastic on these things is really hard, most unlike Blue Max plastic which is much more easily carved, sanded and hacked about. The wooden fuselage is painted with a base of Humbrol 94 with watercolour pencils and a tamiya clear orange top coat. The metal areas are alclad can't remember which shade, aluminium or duralumin. I lost the end of the machine gun so there is a piece of round sprue sticking out of the 'Baby Coffin' gun housing. I have attempted to do a transparent wing effect by spraying fainter crosses on the underside of the top wing. I realised when taking the pics I had neglected to put the end of the barrel on. The crosses are masked and sprayed as I had a nightmare with the decals for the personal markings, they were so delicate and large, they split and distorted very easily. just too fine for mein klutz mitz to handle. I bought this kit from a friend met through the internet, in Austria, named Andreas, who insisted I should invest in the book Ausro Hungarian Army Aircraft Of WWI. Amazing book. Cheers Andreas!

Halberstadt CL.II

Kit: Blue Max (1:48)

Hi, I hope you all like this model. It is thanks to the generosity of the members of the esteemed collection of eminently scholarly and in some cases clearly mad enthusiasts on this list that it appears here. Ernest Thomas sent this over to me from New Orleans in response to a question I posted on the merits of getting an Aurora Halbie. Guess that says a lot about the Aurora kit perhaps? I wouldn't know 'cause thanks to Ernie I was the grateful recipient if this lovely kit. Other list members kindly sent scans of everything from the instructions and box top to the decal sheet, as the kit did not have these. It had been through the terrible floods over there. A very time consuming but rewarding build, I think. After all, it has flown the Atlantic twice, and survived the very worst nature could throw at it. Including my paws. Lovely soft workable plastic and metal parts. The decals are pegasus and the 'scumble is just sprayed on Tamiya and Games workshop acrylics, the final green was sprayed with the aircap off the airbrush for the spatter effect. Apologies for the many faults that will be spotted, but please point any out, as I can then, hopefully, put them right. The model represents a 1918 aircraft of Schlasta 12, flown by Korporal Fegerker and Feldwebel Tanzen, according to the kit notes, ''One of the first aircraft to be piloted solely by non commissioned officers''. I really am grateful to the list members, who I cant thank by name due to a pooter crash sometime back, for their help with this kit, in the form of the various scans I received, and of course, massively grateful to Ernie for the opportunity to build what will be the first of several B.M. kits. Cheers All!



Here's the Koster SSW D.III. It is a very high quality vac white metal and etched metal kit. I have mostly scratch built the cockpit apart from the seat harness and instrument decals and the grips on the control column. All the vents and louvres and scoops have been replaced along with the inspection panels and fuel/oil fillercaps which are all rather vague on the vac formed parts. The scoops are plunge moulded from the tips of some sidewinder missiles from a model kit of a thing called a jet(??) and then the plunge moulded cones cut in half and stuck onto the plastic. The louvres are just bits of quater round evergreen strip cut to length and sanded. I have narrowed the wingspan and changed the centre cut out of the upper wing to more closely match the datafile plans. All the control surfaces had approximations of the hinges added, and were seperated for effect. The u/c struts were replaced with copper wire with paper streamlined fairings folded around the wire struts and soaked in c/a and sanded smooth. Top wing got sheared off right at the end of the build, but it transpired I had totally forgotten to drill the wings for the nylon thread rigging because I'm stupid like that. So, in the end it all worked out okay once everything was drilled and re-attached. Also, the kit engine was 'anaemic' for want of a better word, so I added pushrods and the representations for rocker arms, all a bit rough but an improvement on the raw material supplied. Chickened out with the final colours, but then I am very partial to Udets hiughly colourful'lo' series of planes. Anyone wanting a D.III should consider this kit. It was a very long but fun build.

Classic Planes LVG C.VI 1/72

Kit: Classic Planes (1:72)

This is the classic Planes Vacform 1/72 LVG C.VI. Great little kit, seems pretty accurate, according to the datafile. Slightly too large in span perhaps, but it's acceptable. Great little vac, found a Benz engine and exhausts for this at the Nats in November, the observer's parabellum is a spare swiped from a Roden Gotha, the gun ring itself is some heat softened copper wire wrapped around a paintbrush handle and sanded like hell to flatten each side. the gun mount is also pinched from the Roden Gotha kit. Interior is scratch built and I cut out the radiator and attempted to make a new one as the detail on the kit radiator was too soft to for the radiator to be accurately reproduced.Paints are Citadel and the loz is Eagle Strike 5 colour upper and Pegasus 5 colour lower. The wing crosses and the personal markings are painted, the fuselage and fin crosses are from an old Microscale sheet. See Andrei koribanics build of this aircraft in the gallery, for the ultimate example of what can be done with this simple little vac kit, it was looking at that superb model that helped give me the urge to tackle this kit. I thoroughly enjoyed most of this build.

Blue Max Albatros D.III Oef. Series 53.

Kit: Blue Max (1:48)

Blue Max's Albatros Oef Albatros D.III is typical Blue Max, once you get the parts carved off the sprue and cleaned up and excavated from the flash, it's rather like washing mud off Spud to find you've actually dug up a gem. I suspect the nose is a little starved, and the detail isn't quite so 'sharp' as the newer Eduard kit, but it builds sweet and is still a lovely kit and I reckon the wings are much better than Eduard's, I will happily build more of these kits. It's a 53 series, the pilot was Zgsf. Wilhelm Haring, winter of 1917

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