Kit: Joystick (1:72)
The following is largely based on the kit history provided by David G Archer of Joystick with a few additions from Austro Hungarian Army Aircraft. Between 1915 Ė 16 three series of two seaters were built by the Austrian division of the German Aviatik Company. The B.II(series 32) was unarmed but could carry two small bombs. It was powered by a 120hp Austro Daimler engine and had side mounted radiators. The B.III(series 33) had an improved 160hp engine and a box type radiator fixed to the cabane struts. The cockpit was now an enlarged communal type and a flexible Schwarlose machine gun was manned by the observer. This version had handling issues and was nicknamed the Gondola or Rocking Chair and was not developed further. Instead Aviatik produced an improved B.II, the series 34. The engine was a 150hp Austro Daimler, the box radiator was retained as was the flexible mg. Bomb load was now three 20kgs missiles and the ceiling was almost double that of the series 32. At least 50 were built and they entered service in Sept 1915. They began to be replaced during the summer of 1916 but examples were at the front until at least October. Over 40 survived at this time and they were converted to dual control and issued as trainers in 1917. Never a spectacular performer it became one of the first generation of Austro Hungarian aircraft with a rear cockpit armament and served on both long range duties and artillery cooperation when fitted with a radio. It served against both the Italians and the Russians.
I like Joystick vacforms. The cockpit detail is better than many injection kits and the surface detail is not bad. Strut material is provided and the prop, gravity tank and a half engine are white metal and not forgetting the transparent spoked wheels. The kit represents the earlier series 32 but it was easy to convert to the 34. A more detailed description is here.
Kit: Eastern Express (1:72)
Another nice kit that originated from Toko but is now issued by Eastern Express. The frontal radiator version is OOB and sports the kit lozenge transfers which went on no bother although I painted the fuselage to represent a dark varnish stain and used a spare decal as the identification number. The other kit donated the radiator and condenser to an AH Fokker DVII conversion so was destined to become a side radiator version. The car radiator slot is filled with 80thou card with a thin piece of 20thou added to the centre and filed to shape. The side radiators came from a centre section scrap from which I halved and shaped the radiator. Later models of the Aviatik D1 had the guns within reach of the pilot. To this end the front of the cockpit was filed down to allow the rear ends of a twin gun installation to fit into the cockpit. The business ends canít be seen but long blast tubes run from the muzzles alongside the engine and poke through the front cowling. Itís easier to scratch a new condenser as it now needs two rear pipes going to the radiators. The lozenges are Printscale which are thin but went on ok. The Aviatik DI entered service in the autumn of 1917 and served until the end of the war. The full range of Austro Daimler engines from 160hp to 225hp were used and later machines were fitted with stronger wings after crashes caused by failures of the trailing edges due to material fatigue.
Kit: Classic Plane kit bash (1:72)
After testing three prototypes over the 1916-17 winter period the Austro Hungarians ordered 96 Aviatik C.Iís in March 1917. Under ideal conditions the type was well regarded by the test pilots. At the front however problems arose and structural complaints were reported. The strengthening required delayed further operations until August 1917 where it received a mixed reception. It was a light aircraft in possession of sensitive handling qualities in direct contrast to the heavier, more stable types such as the Hansa Brandenburg C.I. Many pliots found this disconcerting and one felt it was only suitable for daredevils. Another said it had to be flown with a certain touch but unfortunately not every pilot had it. As with most new machines it took a little time for pilots to become accustomed to the greater responsiveness. Italian airfields were another problem though. Airstrips in the Alps were to put it politely extremely rough. Lighter, less robust aircraft, like the Aviatik C.I, which were probably aerodynamically superior designs, suffered badly and repairs to the framework and ply covering were a regular occurrence. Despite its limitations the two seat C.I served on the Italian Front until late July 1918 when they were transferred to the rear to become advanced trainers or be converted to single seat configuration by covering over the rear cockpit area. Many aircraft had already been converted and were highly regarded as photo recce fighters with semi automatic cameras operated by the pilot. Using the same engines and being only slightly larger in most cases performance was similar to the Aviatik D.I fighter. In this role the C.I remained active until the EOW with the LFT. Most of the two seaters were built by Aviatik and Lohner. The latter machines sported a fuselage that was 3.2ft longer. They were covered in lozenge camouflage. Aviatik aircraft were usually cdl wings and varnished ply fuselage but some machines had a mottled brown / green camouflage on the upper surfaces and fuselage. Armament comprised in most cases of a Schwarlose mg mounted on the upper wing at an angle of 15 degrees to fire over the propeller with a similar weapon on a gun ring for the observer. Some aircraft had a synchronized mg for the pilot while a few had a KV canister. An interesting aircraft that eventually found a role best suited to its qualities. The build is a kit bash which used the Classic Plane Aviatik Berg D.I vac form as the donor kit. With the Eastern Express/Toko injection kits readily available this 30 year veteran of the stash was never going to be built. However AHAA of WW1 came to the rescue as there are plans of the C.I within. The D.I fuselage needed to be lengthened, the rear floor section deepened while the upper decking was flattened and a two man communal cockpit was cut out. Plastic card and filler and a decent razor saw were the main requirements. The wings and tail unit were scratched from card and the spares box supplied the rest. Build thread here.
http://airfixtributeforum.myfastforum.o ... 05#p659105
The Lloyd C.II was ordered in July 1915. First deliveries were made in August but problems delayed the arrival of most of the production run. Seventy aircraft were built and most were delivered between February and July 1916. The C.II eventually served with almost every unit on the Russian and Italian Fronts. Late in the year it began to be withdrawn to the training units. The C.IIís 145hp Hiero engine initially had reliability issues so the C.III version employed the more reliable 160hp Austro Daimler. Most of this model were built by WKF who delivered 44 aircraft between January and August 1916. Lloyd produced another eight when problems with the C.IV brought a shortfall in work. The C.III was the pick of the bunch and served in Italy with Fliks 2,4,12,15,16,21 and 23. On the Eastern Front it was used by Fliks 1,9,11,26,29,30 and 31.Serving operationally until March 1917 the surviving C.IIIís were converted to dual control and served until the EOW. Same sources as the Aviatik.
The kit is an early vac from Joystick and represents the C.II version. However, as the C.III differs only by the engine installed it can easily be built as such. White metal prop, gravity tank and wheels are provided along with two lengths of strut material and one of rod. Internal detail includes a floor panel with moulded planking, a seat, an instrument panel which acts as a bulkhead and another bulkhead which is fitted at the rear of the floor decking. I added another thin strip of card between the crew members as indicated by photos, an observers seat and three mg mags cut from round sprue. A camera was scratched and attached to the rear bulkhead. The engine is represented by cylinder heads that are part of the fuselage moulds. I was going to remove them and scratch an engine but changed my mind as the cylinders had decent detail. Holes were drilled through the heads and rod used to create the manifold pipes on the left and exhausts on the right for an Austro Daimler engine. Reverse for the Hiero. The kit tappets part is crude and was replaced by a spare from a Roden engine. The wings are single surface with rib detail on the upper surface. The ribs can be seen on the lower side and I highlighted them with pencil before painting and this seemed to work. The upper wings are separate and this proved to be the trickiest part of the build. The triangular cabanes have to be constructed first using the plastic rod. Then the lower wings were butt joined and later the interplane struts were cemented into place. Next the upper wings were positioned with the inner face resting against the highest part of the cabane structure. It is fragile at this stage and needs to be supported by the usual ACME set up of various tins and bottles. When almost set pieces of rod, we are aiming at a gap of about 2mm, were cemented on top of the cabane top post between the wing inner faces. A dab of cement secured the rod ends to the faces. When dry secure with liquid CA.
The undercarriage was made with rod and the mg was scratched from strip and rod. The double bar half ring gun mounts require four uprights to be located around the rear cockpit and allowed to set. Then 20 thou rod was wrapped around a dowel that is narrower than the cockpit. A flame is ghosted over the plastic which makes the plastic conform to the dowel. Cut to size and the now U shaped rod can be stretched over the uprights and glued into position. Repeat and trim to size. All in all it looks the part when built although a white metal engine would be nice and another length of plastic rod.
Kit: Airfix kit bash (1:72)
This is an Airfix kit bash comprised of the nose section of a Hannover CLIIIa, the fuselage from the RE8. The wings were made from two pairs from the Albatros DV kit. Not forgetting the usual essentials of plastic card, strip and rod and the spares box. It came about because there is a plan in Austro Hungarian Army Aircraft of WW1. The build thread is here.
The Oeffag C.II was an improved development of the earlier C.I. The first batch of production aircraft entered service in late 1916. Performance was less than the contemporary Hansa Brandenburg C.I so the Oeffag machines tended to be used primarly for short range reconnaissance and artillery spotting, leaving the long range work to the more capable HB C.I. A lightened version was ordered into production at the end of 1916 but delays of up to five months meant deliveries did not start until February 1917 and ended in June. The type was active on the Russian Front, the Rumanian Front and in Albania. As better aircraft became available the C.IIís were transferred to training and communications duties with some aircraft receiving dual controls. Those who had to fly the type on active service were quick to crtiticize perhaps hoping to speed up the supply of HB replacements. Bearing in mind that performance seems little improved over other C types such as the Albatros two seaters of mid 1915 vintage it is not surprizing that there was criticism from the Front. This was not helped by the shortage of engines. While it was intended to use the 185hp Austro Daimlers most aircraft were fitted with the older 160hp model. In general, the crews complained that the cockpit area lacked sufficient space to stow necessary equipment, that the controls were sluggish and the landing speed too high for small airfields. Despite these faults the Oeffag C.II remained in service, latterly as a trainer, until EOW and some aircraft served post war with the Poles and Czechs.
Kit: Airframe (1:72)
This is a vac form by Airframe. According to Windsock Datafile 31 the company is from Canada and this kit appeared in 1972. In the late seventies, or early eighties, it cost £1.65.
Memory defeats me as to all the parts that were moulded but I used the fuselage halves, elevators, upper wings and the upper wing radiator which is simply an oblong box. The rest came from the spares box, in particular Airfixís Hannover. I didnít like the kit lower wings and used the lower wings from the Hannover. Initially built without rigging it has been refurbished during the last few years most recently by an attempt at mottled camouflage. This was one of my earliest vac forms and has nostalgia value. It looks like a Phoenix but life was certainly easier with the MAC.
Kit: MAC (1:72)
The Phoenix D types were developed from the Hansa Brandenburg Starstrutter which the company had built under licence. They served with the Austro Hungarian LFT throughout 1918 with the DI entering service in December 1917. The DII and DIIa followed in May and had the war continued the DIII would have replaced the earlier models. They were well liked by the pilots who found they could hold their own against the Spad fighters, the Handriot HD1 and Sopwith Camels that opposed them. MAC have issued the full range of Phoenix D types and look accurate to my eye. Transfers were good although I mucked up one of the shooting stars and had to touch it up with a hairy stick. The camouflage is a mottled effect done with a brush and WSDF 31 states that the DI had an overall brown colour while the DII had a greener hue.
Kit: Roden (1:72)
Oeffag built 61 Series 53 Albatros fighters. The first 16 were built as DII types. They sported equal span single bay wings and the main difference with the German counterpart was the 185hp Austro Daimler engine. Most served on the Russian Front but some served in Italy on the Tyrol and Isonzo Fronts. They entered service in May 1917 and were later transferred to the Flek front line training units and used as operational trainers. Kit went together well and there are several individual aircraft options.
Roden offer all the series versions of the Austro Hungarian Albatros fighters. This is the final type which was powered by the 225hp Austro Daimler. The rounded nose had been found to be aerodynamically superior to the spinner and was fitted from the outset on this version. It was well regarded and entered service in May 1918 ; 260 were built. After the war 38 were bought by Poland and used against the Bolsheviks while others served with the Czechs.
Kit: Revell (1:72)
This was built using an article in Wings magazine where Ray Rimmel showed how to correct the kit errors. The rear fuselage is too shallow and needs to be split lengthways and a 2mm tapered plug inserted. After filling and filing the rear fuselage sides need to be filed flat as the kit is too concave, more DV than DIII. A 60 thou piece of card was added to the nose and filed to shape to increase the length and some streamlining was added to the wing radiator as mine was further altered to be an early Austro Hungarian DIII Series 53 type. The machine guns are concealed so a bit of card filled the locating slot, thin plastic rod alongside the engine represent the gun tubes, the cylinder heads were covered and the exhaust shortened. The transfers were spares from the Eastern Express Starstrutter. The type was adopted by the Austro Hungarian airforce and built under licence by Oeffag, at Wiener-Neustadt. They were manufactured between January 1917 and October 1918 and about 540 aircraft were built. Of these 45 were DIII series 53 types. Additional strengthening was employed on the lower wings by the AH and these versions did not suffer the wing failures of the German models. AH versions used the domestic Austro Daimler engine, the first series using the 185hp, the second, introduced in July, the 200hp, and the last, in May 1918, the 225hp engine. They were used until the Armistice and continued in service with some of the new Eastern European states well into the twenties.
Kit: Classic Plane (1:72)
Designed by Ernst Heinkelís team at Hansa Brandenburg the CC utilized the star strut system in place of conventional strut and bracing wires. It was stronger and aerodynamically sleeker but slightly heavier. The German Navy ordered a test sample in May 1916 which was eventually delivered in February 1917 and followed by 35 production aircraft. However, the navy was not a lover of flying boats, regarding them as unsuitable for the more tempestuous conditions in the North Sea are, and service life was brief. Hansa Brandenburg were also suppliers to the Austro Hungarian services. The owner, Camilio Castiglione, donated a CC to the Austro Hungarian Kreigsmarine and this aircraft was flown by Gottfried von Banfield, the C.O of the naval base at Trieste. Although the CC was not a plane for the novice Banfield was impressed and orders were placed for 12 aircraft which began to enter service in December 1916. Further orders brought production up to at least 45 aircraft. One aircraft was converted into a triplane and another had reduced wing struts but was regarded as weak and later scrapped. Powerplant of the original machine was the 185hp Austro Daimler but production aircraft used the 180 or 200hp Hiero. Armament was a single mg but mid production a pair were fitted and the forward fuselage decking was altered to give the pilot more protection. The car type radiator was changed to a flush wing mounted aerofoil type and the fuselage length was increased to improve directional stability. Through 1917 the CC were active defending naval bases against both aerial and shipping attacks. They operated in the North Adriatic from Trieste, Polo and Parenzo and Kumbar and Durazzo in the south. From September 1917 they were at first supplanted and then replaced by another Hansa Brandenburg design, the W18, which was an improved redesign of the CC built by Phoenix. The CC served into 1918 and the last operational flight was recorded in July 1918.
The kit is the Classic Planes vac form and has resided in my stash since the early eighties. There are no strut material or white metal parts. If there was an engine Iíd lost it but the parts you get are good quality. The engine was a vac form spare to which I added pipes and exhausts. The prop was a white metal spare and the mg another spare. Another builder scratched the CC and used strip to build the star struts with the aid of a home made jig. I cheated and used the star struts from the Eastern Express HB D1 fighter. It wasnít the simple swap Iíd hoped for as I had to lengthen the legs with extra strip. The upper outer struts had to be made from strip too as the D1 parts were way out. The kit supplied templates for all the struts and the engine support frame which was a great help. It went together quite well and Iím pleased to have built it at least 35 years after purchase. The kit has the longer fuselage but the early unmodified upper decking so where that puts it in the production run beats me.
Introduced in the autumn of 1916, the Starstrutter was powered by a 160hp or 185hp Austro Daimler in line, and proved to be faster than the Italian Nieuport 11. In the absence of an available synchronising gear the Schwarlose mg was positioned on top of the wing within a streamlined casing. The advantage of this system was that substantially more ammunition could be carried against the drum fed Lewisí of the Allies although it was out of reach in event of a blockage. Lateral control was to prove insufficient in early models and an improved rudder and fixed fin were fitted. The Starstrutter entered service with the LFT at the same time that the Albatros D types were doing so with the German air services. The type served throughout 1917 and was replaced by Albatros and Berg fighters which started to become available in the summer and autumn respectively. Although many have decried this aircraft, usually citing poor views and the early control problems, it was flown by most of Austria Hungaryís leading fighter pilots with success although the inexperienced found it a handful in much the same way as the Sopwith Camel was an unforgiving aircraft. It was available at a time when such an aircraft was needed and before the Albatros D types could be supplied. The basic design was further developed to become the successful Phoenix D types of 1918. Production was shared between Phoenix and Hansa Brandenburg. Seventy two were ordered from Phoenix and fifty from HB of which 30 had car type radiators fitted. Phoenix lightened the airframe and fitted 185hp engines in all their aircraft which were considered superior to the German built aircraft. A tail fin was added to improve handling and many early aircraft were retro fitted. Most of the 68 confirmed kills accredited to Starstrutters fell victim to Phoenix built machines.
This is the Austro Hungarian version which was built by MAG, Fokkerís Hungarian counterpart. This company had 35 aircraft built and another 25 in assembly at the end of the war. The first batch of ten were scheduled for delivery to the LFT in December but went instead to the Royal Hungarian air force. This became the Red Hungarian air corps when the communists took over. This prompted a three pronged invasion from the Czechs, Rumanians and Serbs which eventually led to the collapse of the Red government and defeat of the Hungarian forces. To the victors went the spoils and most DVIIís were taken by the Czechs and the Romanians. Performance wise the 225hp Austro Daimler engine gave similar performance to their German counterparts and had the war continued into 1919 the Fokker and the Phoenix DIII were to be the main LFT fighters. The conversion is confined to the engine compartment and radiator. I made an Austro Daimler look alike by cementing six plastic rod cylinders to a base of plastic card. Bits and pieces from the spares provided manifolds and rocker boxes and the exhaust pipes are six separate pipes. In the engine area the raised panels on the left side need to be removed and filed level with the right side. There is plenty of plastic so I removed another mille across the board. The engine cut out was extended another 2.5mm back as the A-D engine is longer. A slot was made into the centre of the cut out to take the engine which is slid in from the front. The radiator came from an Aviatik D.I as did the condenser. It is a smidgeon narrow and the base needs to be filed flat with card filling the gap at the bottom. Careful filing saw the card blend into the radiator contours and small quantities of filler sealed the joins and when run down the sides expanded the radiator to proper size. The kit Spandaus were converted to Schwarlose with blast tubes. The barrels were cut off and holes drilled into the breeches. The tubes were cut from paper clips and run along either side of the engine and were secured with CA gel. The Red markings are Blue Rider.