German Models
by Steve Hedworth

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Kit: Airfix kit bash (1:72)

This is a conversion using the Airfix Hannover CL111a kit as the donor. The wings and tail unit were scratched from card. The radiator was scratched and the undercarriage came from a Revell D111. Wheels, engine and armament and crew were kit supplied and the fuselage underwent serious but not complicated surgery. The AEG CIV was a well liked German reconnaissance aircraft which was used in a variety of roles, including bombing and training, and was in use until the end of the war. According to Munson, the CIV entered service in the spring of 1916 and acted as an escort as well as more normal recce duties. Peak service was in June 1917 when 170 were at the Front. It was operational on the Western, Eastern, Middle East and Balkan Fronts. Other variants included a night bomber with longer span wings and an armoured ground strafer. The colours are based on articles written by the late Dan San Abbot and available on the Aerodrome web site.


Kit: Sierrascale (1:72)

Apart from a Merlin injection kit that appears beyond the pale I'ved not seen a 1/72 kit of this aircraft elsewhere. It was one of Germany's best bombers and the basic design served as a battle wagon, or gunship fighter in 1915-16 and then as a G type bomber until the end of the war. It was probably one of the earlier types that von Richtofen called an "apple barge" while serving as an observer. This kit is a vac form and has been built as an early G.IV sporting a green/brown camouflage that was used before lozenge became the norm. The G.IV entered service at the beginning of 1917 and became operational in April. It served on the Western Front, Salonika, Italy, Rumania and Macedonia in both day and night bomber roles. Easier to fly than either the Gotha or Friedrichafen contemporary twin engined bombers it was also more robust as the framework was composed of steel tubing making it well thought of by the crews. All in all it was probably Germany's most successful night bomber although it was the smallest of the trio. The kit is one of the better vac-forms. The plastic was easy to work with, strut material was provided, as were injected undercarriage and white metal engines and machine guns. Bombs and crew came from the spares.

Albatros CXII

Kit: Kit bash (1:72)

This used the Revell DIII and Airfix DVa to create the fuselage. I had the idea over thirty years ago and even though there is a vac form available now I decided to try the original idea. Basically it is the Revell DIII front end attached to the DV at the front of the latters cockpit. The DIII section had to be lengthened with a piece from the discarded DV section and the engine compartment was enlarged to take an Aeroclub Mercedes DIVa. There are differences in width where the sections meet and lots of filing and filling were needed. Wings and rear elevators are 30 thou card and the bombs are spares from Roden. Markings are Almark and the personal insignia are remnants from the spares box. The Albatros C.XII was supposed to supplement the Rumpler high flyers but could not match the latters high altitude performance. Instead they were used more as army cooperation types and on the Eastern Front it was often used in the bombing role hence the four 12.5kgs bombs I fitted under the fuselage which help to hide the join marks. It entered service during May-June 1917 and around 430 were built. By the end of the year only 66 were at the front and by the end of April 1918 this had diminished to 36. In a training role the CXII served to the end of the war. Post war small numbers served with the Poles until 1923 while others were salvaged and served with the Bolshevik air forces.

Albatros DIII

Kit: Revell (1:72)

Modified using a Wings magazine article by Alex Rimmer circa 1970ís. The rear fuselage was deepened and the fuselage sides were filed flat as the Revell kit profile is more DV than DIII. Painted as an aircraft of Jasta 12 circa May 1917. The DIII entered service at the beginning of 1917 and introduced the sesquiplane wing layout. This improved maneouvrebility but early aircraft suffered lower wing failure. One who survived his lower wing cracking was the Red Baron and the DIII was removed from service for about a month while the improvements were carried out. Once back in action the DIII was the main instrument of destruction during Bloody April of 1917. From the middle of the year the numbers of Allied types such as the Spad VII, SE5a and Sopwith Triplanes and Camels increased and the DIIIs days of supremacy were over. Later versions served on the Western Front until replaced by later types such as the Fokker DVII and to the end of the war in the Middle East and training units.

Albatros(OAW) DIII

Kit: Pegasus (1:72)

This came out ok but it has issues. While the wings look great with the upper wing having a very nice moulded radiator the rear fuselage joins are not good and require plenty of filler. The fuselage from the commencement of the tail plane to the rear end was slightly bent. A good soaking in very hot water followed by some strong thumbwork is recommended. I have another Pegasus Albatros in the stash and looked it over but found the fuselage as straight as a die. Internally there is a plastic floor to which the white metal seat, control column and rudder bar are fixed. The floor extends into the engine compartment and the white metal Mercedes is fixed to it and the whole edifice is cemented into place. I took three attempts at this and still got it wrong as when the bonner is installed over the engine the exhaust did not fit. Consequently, I used an Airfix DV exhaust as it had longer pipes but I still had to enlarge the cut out on the right side to accommodate it. No doubt my fault but something to look out for. The struts and undercarriage are white metal. I substituted the cabanes with a spare plastic set from a Roden Albatros because they allowed more waggle time to get everything lined up. Painted in Jasta 18 earlier 1917 colours. Transfers were no problem. The kit represents one of the later DIIIs with the wing radiator off set to the right. Two rudders are provided to make an Albatros or an OAW build, the latter having the rounded version fitted to the DV.

Albatros DVa

Kit: Airfix (1:72)

Intended to replace the DIII in mid 1917 the DV s suffered the same lower wing problems as the early DIIIs. Improvements were introduced and the DVa entered service in the autumn. The control wires on the DV went through the lower wing which meant a failure could result in total loss of control. The wires reverted to the upper wing in the DVa. The other visible difference between these aircraft and the earlier models was the oval shaped rear fuselage. This was lighter and stronger than the slab sided version. They served until the end of the war with over 300 recorded at the end of August 1918. Those units serving on the most active sectors began to receive Fokker DVIIs from May 1918. This is the constantly re-issued Airfix kit of 1957 vintage. The moulds are showing age but a little tlc gives a finished product that looks like an Albatros. I added a slice of 60thou card to the prop base to slightly increase the length. The cabane location holes need to be filled and repositioned on the port side and the same applies to the starboard elevator holes. The engine is a basic line of cylinders which can be improved by the addition of manifolds using plastic rod and radiator pipework. Otherwise replace. I used the Revell engine part on one build. This build represents a machine of Jasta 18 in mid 1918 in the later colours. Transfers are Blue Rider.

Albatros J1

Kit: Joystick (1:72)

The Albatros J.I was developed from the C.XII and used the wings and tail unit of the latter. The oval D.V like fuselage was replaced by a utilitarian slab sided model that had the crew compartment enclosed with 1080lbs/490kgs of 5mm thick chrome nickel steel plate. It appears to have entered service at the end of 1917 and saw action in the spring of 1918 during the German offensives. It proved popular with crews and served until the Armistice. The role of the J.I was low level battlefield reconnaissance and close support operations often carried out as low as 150ft where it would have been extremely vulnerable to ground fire but for the armour protection. It was armed with a flexible Parabellum mg in the rear cockpit and some aircraft carried an additional 20mm Becker cannon alongside the mg. This could be used against Allied tanks and defensive positions. The J.I engine compartment was not armoured but the J.II, introduced in June 1918, rectified this shortcoming. This version introduced the twin Spandau mgs fitted a a 45 degree angle firing through the floor and aimed by the observer through an aperture. Powered by a 200hp Benz performance was modest, 90mph, due to the weight of the armour. The J.II, with additional armour, used the 220hp version, but was similar to the J.I otherwise. While allowing high risk low level missions the armour was also proof against aerial attack. Pretty sure I have read somewhere that very few J types were shot down in aerial combat and that losses were few and inflicted by ground fire. Other examples of J types were produced by AEG who modified the C.IV and was the most numerous type with over 600 built, the Junkers J.I Mobel wagon with 227 built while 240 Albatros Js were manufactured. Two J.Is were used by Austro Hungary and post war the Poles used 10 aircraft operationally. According to Wiki other examples ended up in Norway and the Ukraine. The kit is a vac form and has white metal engine, prop, gun ring, mgs etc and transfer options for a German aircraft sporting Iron Crosses or a Polish aircraft with the red/white chequerboard markings. Contrail strut and rod are provided. It went together well and measures up pretty accurately. The usual proviso regarding vac forms that items such as undercarriage and tail skid have to be scratched and I replaced the tailfin/rudder with a modified part from an Airfix D.V. An enjoyable build.

Albatros W4(late)

Kit: Roden (1:72)

The W4 was developed from the Albatros D1 landplane from a specification issued by the German Navy for a single seat station defence fighter. This was in response to increasing attacks on the Flanders seaplane bases. As well as floats the new aircraft had increased wingspan, rudder and tailplanes and an increased gap between the fuselage and upper wing. Between Sept 1916 and Feb 17 three pre-production aircraft were tested by the navy. The first batch of ten production aircraft were delivered between Feb and April 17 and subsequent deliveries brought production up to 118 by December. Initially the W4 had side-mounted radiators but from mid-1917 wing radiators were fitted. Ailerons were fitted to both wings and improved floats were added throughout the aircrafts service. The Albatros served mainly on the Flanders coast of Belgium. It began to be replaced by the two seat Hansa Brandenburg W types from the end of the year and the final production batches were delivered as trainers. By August 1918 only a few remained at front line stations but other aircraft did serve further afield. W4ís were reported in the Aegean operating from Turkish bases and more served in the Black Sea operating from Bulgaria against Russian seaplane attacks. Iím sure I read somewhere that some of these aircraft were abandoned when Bulgaria capitulated and were later taken over by the Bolsheviks. Eight were delivered to the Austro-Hungarian navy and these operated from the base at Pola from July 1918. Iíll let Kenneth Munson have the last word. He described the W4 as having a first-class endurance, good speed, manoeuvrability and firepower, and it gave a good account of itself against Allied floatplanes but found the later RNAS flying boats somewhat tougher opposition. The kit is typical Roden. It has the standard five part fuselage which is the price we pay for all the different versions Roden produces. Otherwise it went together well enough. I even managed to use the kit transfers but the lozenge was flaky and required more than usual touching up. All in all a nice kit.

Aviatik C.I

Kit: Scratch (1:72)

This aircraft was the only C type to have the observer/gunner in the front cockpit. This was by design and not the previous ad hoc make shift gun installations of earlier aircraft and the British BE2 for example. It was one of the first C types introduced in 1915 by the Imperial German air service. Three types were initially ordered from Aviatik, Albatros and LVG with others following. All appear to have been upgrades of these companies earlier B types which had at first been unarmed. Improved 160hp Mercedes and 150hp Benz engines were becoming available and offered improved performance and it was now obvious that machine gun armament was a necessity in order to resist mg armed Allied aircraft. However, the debate as to which cockpit the gunner should occupy remained unresolved so Idfleig, the German Air Ministry, ordered rear gun mounted aircraft from Albatros and LVG while the Aviatik order specified a front seat gunner. Geyer machine gun rails, previously installed on some B types, were fitted and the field of fire was improved by relocating some of the wing bracing wires from the upper wing centre section to the upper fuselage longerons. This was a considerable improvement over the B types. One report in WSDF 63 said that the field of fire from the front cockpit was ď medium good ď and that successful attack or defence was largely dependent on pilot skill in combat manoeuvres. Orders were placed in spring 1915 and continued until April 1916. Hannover licence built the type from Sept 15 to Sept 16 and in total 402 were built by Aviatik and 146 by Hannover. The C1 served on the Western Front well into 1916 and on the Eastern Front until spring 1917. Many were used as trainers and at the beginning of 1918 around 200 remained in service in this capacity. While the British BE2 series has been condemned for poor defensive qualities the Aviatik appears to have managed better. As it was purposely designed to have a front gunner considerable thought went into improving the fields of fire combined with the installation of a much improved engine which gave better performance. Although the concept of the rear cockpit armed reconnaissance aircraft proved to be the better solution the Aviatik CI was regarded, to quote PM Grosz in WSDF 63, ď as a dependable workhorse performing artillery spotting, bombing and general photo Ė reconnaissance assignments from mid 1915 through early 1917.Ē Most of the build was scratched from card but some parts came from the spares box. The engine was a spare from a Roden kit and I modified the upper decking from a Roden Albatros D to use as the forward section. Parabellums, crew and wheels came from the spares too.


Kit: Kit bash (1:72)

Designed by Willy Sabersky-Mussigbrodt, the DFW CV first flew in May 1916. It was powered by a 200hp Benz 1V in line engine and top speed was in the region of 100mph. A production order for 60 aircraft was awarded in August. After the first seventeen aircraft the blunt nose of the prototypes was redesigned to incorporate a spinner. A second order, for 40 aircraft, was awarded in September as the type had been well received by frontline personnel. Another 240 were ordered in October and other orders were placed under licence with LVG, Halberstadt and Aviatik. These licence types entered service about the spring of 1917. Until this date most CVís had side radiators fitted but subsequent production had the wing mounted variety installed. By the end of August 1917 over 1050 DFW CVís were in service on all fronts. This was just over half of all C types then in service. Twelve months later, 620 remained in service. The aircrafts versatility was its main strength and it was used for photo recce, artillery spotting, bombing, ground attack and as an escort to other two seaters. Later versions were employed as trainers and were often fitted with a Nag 185hp engine. The type handled well and was popular with its crews. Over 3000 were built and it boasted good performance at both high and low altitudes. Even such an ace as James McCudden had to admit defeat when he was out-manoeuvred by a DFW he was attempting to shoot down in 1917. Post war about thirty served as trainers with the Belgian air force. This is a kit-bash, a combination of bits and pieces that had lain dormant in my spares box in some cases for decades. I had acquired from e bay a magazine that contained 1/72 scale plans for a DFW CV. I was only aware of a vac - form in this scale that at the time I thought was no longer available. To make the fuselage I used the rear fuselage of a Revell Fokker DVII, the cockpit section of the Airfix Hannover CLIIIa and the nose section of the Airfix DV. The Hannover nose had been used elsewhere and with hindsight would be a better choice. Wings and the complete tail unit are 40thou card and the undercarriage, crew, mgís and other bits and pieces came largely from the Hannover kit. The engine is a white metal Aeroclub 200hp Benz. I decided on the camouflage design after reading an article on the DFW by the late Dan San Abbot on the Aerodrome.

Fokker D.II

Kit: Revell kit bash (1:72)

Conversion using the EIII kit. Fuselage was cut down and rear undersurfaces reshaped. Wings made from card. This is the early slab sided version. Most of the early Fokker D types retained the wing warping system used on the Eindekkers. In consequence they were less manoeuvrable than the Allied fighters such as the DH2 and Nieuport fighters. The D.II and D.III were powered by rotary engines and were considered better than the in lined D.I and D.IV. Close to 300 rotary machines were built and they served in small numbers as escorts from the summer of 1916. When the Jastas were formed Fokker D types served until better machines became available. They served longer with the Kestas home defence units and in the Balkans.

Fokker DIII

Kit: ICM kit bash (1:72)

Iíve always had a soft spot for the early Fokker biplanes. They were intended as replacements for the Fokker E types and were basically modified fuselages allied to a biplane set up. The inline engine variants did not impress but the rotary powered DII and DIII performed better. The DIII had a strengthened airframe to take the 160hp Oberusal used in the EIV. Most had wing warping. This proved inferior to ailerons which were used by the opposing Allied fighters who enjoyed a greater degree of maneouvrability. The Fokker D types were replaced by Albatros and Halberstadt fighters although they soldiered on with the Home Defence Kestas during 1917. The most famous exponent of the DIII was Oswald Boelke who shot down several aircraft in the early days of Jasta 2. The kit used was the ICM Fokker EIV. The conversion involved reducing the fuselage length and reshaping the lower decking. The reinforced sides were represented by 10thou card with the rib impressed from the rear with a pencil. The sides were reduced in width to accept the impressed card. The forward decking had to be made level and the wings were cut from card.

Fokker Dr1

Kit: Revell (1:72)

Not the latest issue as this one had a pilot. Must have been built in the late seventies and the colour scheme was purely from my imagination as is the black cat. Later discovered Udet apparently flew a blue and white DrI so you never know. Most of us will know of the prototypes flown by the Red Baron and Werner Voss but production machines began to arrive at the Front during October 1917. Faulty wing construction caused several crashes which grounded the type until the end of November. Production continued to the end of May 1918. Peak service was May when 171 were active. The Fokker D.VII began to replace almost all German fighters at this time and many Dr1 aircraft were transferred to home defence duties with 69 remaining at EOW.

Fokker DVI

Kit: Revell (1:72)

My first ever conversion circa mid seventies. Itís had several paint schemes starting with yellow fuselage and red wings, then given a purple/green camouflage based on Munsonís profiles. A couple of years ago I gave it a new top wing, lengthened the fuselage due to information gleaned from the Aerodrome and applied Almark lozenge to the wings and fuselage undersurface. The D.VI was highly manoeuvrable and at low altitude was faster than the D.VII. Only 59 aircraft were built though with the majority serving as trainers. A few served at the Front while others were attached to the home defence Kestas. Seven aircraft were sent to Austria Hungary. They served with the Red Hungarian Air Corps during 1919 against the Serb, Czech, Rumanian invasion of Hungary.

Fokker DVII

Kit: Revell (1:72)

These are OOB except for the individual markings which are Blue Rider. The lozenge are Almark. The blue/red is Jasta 15 and the white/red is Jasta 18. Regarded as Germanys best fighter the DVII entered service in late April and May 1918. Powered by either a late model Mercedes or BMW engine it matched or bested the opposing Allied fighters. By the end of the war over a thousand had been built. Post war Anthony Fokker continued production in Holland. Others served with the Belgian and Swiss air forces. Poland used many former German machines against the Bolshevik invasion in 1920.

Fokker DVIII

Kit: Revell kit bash (1:72)

A favourite of mine that was converted from the Fokker DVII. I wish I could say that it was all my own work but alas no. In the early eighties it was advertised in a modelling magazine alongside the DH5. The DVIII arrived as parts to be assembled which it duly was and painted forest green. In short, the wing was shaped from the DVII upper and the fuselage is the rear section of the DVII with card and a DrI cowling making up the forward section and skinning the fuselage sides. As with the DVI it has been refurbished recently based on research by the late Dan San Abbot regarding the wing colours. Lozenge are Almark. Introduced to the Western Front in August 1918 it was quickly withdrawn after crashes caused by faulty wing manufacture. Deliveries resumed in October so the type had little time to prove itself. Nevertheless, it was well regarded by those who flew it and about 100 were at the Front at EOW. Post war the main user were the Poles who used them in the Ukraine in 1919.

Fokker E.III

Kit: Revell (1:72)

Now superceded by issues from Eduard and Airfix most of us will have built the Revell version. The aircraft with the black tail is OOB except for the modified decals. The other is a later build and has had the fuselage lengthened by a scale foot as the kit part is short. Since then I have discovered that many EIIIís were up engined earlier models and there is considerable variance in the dimensions. So when the earlier build was refreshed the fuselage remained unaltered. The main instrument of the Fokker Scourge the E types began with the E1 and EII which entered service during the summer of 1915. The first aircraft to be fitted with a synchronized machine gun which could fire between the propeller blades it started to take a significant toll on Allied aircraft hence the Scourge. Sixty five were built but the EIII was the most numerous version with over 200 built. Most served with the German air service but small numbers were used by the Austro Hungarians. Others served in the Balkans and Middle East. By Autumn 1916 the Fokker E types had been phased out of front line service on the Western Front. On the Eastern Front examples served well into 1917. The last active EIII aircraft were retired by the Turks in early 1918 and by the Austro Hungarian Navy in March 1918.

Fokker EIV

Kit: Eduard (1:72)

A lovely kit that appears to scale. The main area to be careful of is the rear elevators which are delicate and easily bent if caught. Other than that a straight forward build. For the rigging I cut a nick with a razor saw into the top of the triangular post to slot the forward wires into and tied the ends off at the centre of the undercarriage, aided by another razor saw nick. The back wires go through a pulley attached to the back of the upper post and I represented this with a thin slice of contrail rod with a hole through the middle. Ends tied off at the rear undercarriage vee. I used invisible thread and two long lengths of about 18ins were used to do the front wires, then the rear, in one go. Iíve used this method, or a variation of it, on several early WW1 monoplanes. The EIV was the last of the Fokker E types to enter service. It had the 160hp twin row Oberusal rotary engine which gave it a top speed of around 100mph. It was less manouvreable than the EIII but carried twin machine guns. Most of the Fokker aces, Boelke, Immelman and Parshau flew the EIV but by the Battle of the Somme Allied aircraft had the upper hand.

Fokker D.II

Kit: Classic Plane (1:72)

An early vac form which lay untouched for many years. There were no strut material and the cowling, skid, engine, elevators and rudder were not the best. I would not have bothered with it but for the fact that several Fokker Eindekker conversions had left me with injection replacements for said parts. The vac form wings sized up ok and although the rear fuselage was short moulded it was repairable with plastic card and filler. I used the complete EIII engine / bulkhead set up, added a seat for the pilot before closing up. The rudder was enlarged slightly with card. The mg, elevators and tail skid were from the EIII. Struts were Contrail as were the main undercarriage legs. Cabanes and rear legs were rod and the paint scheme is a late 1916 version. Transfers were Almark and it represents a generic aircraft serving anywhere between the Western, Eastern or Balkan Fronts circa 1916-17.

Halberstadt CLIIa

Kit: Formaplane (1:72)

Built in response to a 1916 directive calling for a light two seat escort fighter the CL11 was tested in May 1917 and entered service in late summer. Issued to the Schutzstaffeln, or Protection flights, the type also excelled in low level attacks on enemy troops achieving success in this role in attacks on the bridges at Bray and St Christ over the Somme and during the German counter attacks during the battle of Cambrai. It was in this role that the renamed Schlachtstaffeln, or Battle flights, operated during the German offensives of 1918. Used by both the army and naval air arms the latter also employed the type against the HP 0/400 night bomber raids on the U boat harbours in Belgium. In the region of 1,000 were built and after assessing a captured example the British Ministry of Munitions reported : ď The Halberstadt (CL11) represents, in all probability, the high water mark of two-seater German aeroplane construction, as it is not only well and strongly constructed, but itís general behaviour in the air is good according to modern fighting standards. Pilots report the machine light and comfortable to fly. The manoeuvrability is good, and this feature, taken in conjunction with the exceptionally fine view of the pilot and observer, and the field of fire of the latter, makes the machine one to be reckoned with as a two seat fighter.Ē I think that sums up this aircraft and the quote is from Formaplaneís potted history. This is a vac-form from Formaplane and was purchased in the early eighties. Research indicates it was moulded by Joe Hubbock and is regarded as one of Formaplaneís better productions. All the parts are contained on one sheet of white plastic. The wings, stabs and tail/rudder are single surface with fine detail on the uppers but beneath had to be scribed. The fuselage has panels, hatches and even footholds engraved and the cockpit area contains a floor with pedals and trapdoors, a bulkhead and seats for the crew. The engine is useable with patience but little else is of use. There is a length of plastic rod, another of streamlined strut provided and a small square of acetate but wheels, front and rear mgs and the gun ring have to be sought elsewhere. Measurements are from Munson and the kit is nigh enough spot on. The only reservation I had was the engine area. I felt that this section was slightly narrower than the kit drawings but it doesnít seem to detract from the finished product.

Halberstadt CV

Kit: Airfix kit bash (1:72)

The Halberstadt C.V was regarded as Germanyís best short range reconnaissance and artillery co-operation aircraft of WW1. It first flew in March 1918 and entered service at the end of June. By the end of August 192 were at the Front. Reports from the operational units extolled the ď excellent flight characteristics and the high rate of climb.Ē However landing was tricky as the short fuselage made the classic three point landing difficult and the aircraft was prone to bounce and could end up on itís nose. Pilots had to land on the front wheels before dropping the tail. Production was undertaken by Halberstadt, Aviatik, BFW and DFW. At least 500 were built up to January 1919. Iím not aware of any injection or vac form kits of this type so decided to use the Hannover for a kit bash. I used a much modified fuselage, undercarriage, wheels, mgs, tail skid and struts. The wings were scratched from 40 thou card as were the tail unit. The prop could be shortened but I had a spare. The Benz engine was scratched. I replaced the crew as the pilot hit his head on the centre section causing it to tilt. It looks like Halberstadt pilots had short legs. Build thread. The camouflage colours were usually sported by licence built Aviatik aircraft. Couple of before and after photos to start.

Hannover CL111a

Kit: Airfix (1:72)

The CL category were lighter versions of the standard C types and were designed to escort the larger observation aircraft and support the ground forces. About 1000 Hannover CL types were built and they served from the end of 1917 until the EOW. They were well regarded being highly manoeuvrable and had a good ceiling which allowed them to carry out escort duties. Being two seat they could carry out standard observation duties as well. They were involved in ground attack duties during the offensives of 1918 and were employed in the Schlasta units. Iíve built this kit twice and have both on display. The first is an original bagged blue plastic version. The lozenge pattern on the upper wing surfaces is hand painted and of a pattern yet to be discovered by WW1 historians. The lower surfaces were sky blue but I eventually replaced this with Revell Fokker DVII white patterned transfers that had to be hand painted. Looks ok but I doubt I will ever do it again. Radiator pipework was added but built OOB otherwise. The later re-issue received a few modifications that reviewers had suggested. The upper wing cut out was reduced, the longerons around the rear cockpit were rounded off a little and the tail plane unit struts were altered to the later version. Radiator pipework and a replacement Spandau. Lozenge are Pegasus.

Hansa Brandenburg W12

Kit: Eastern Express conv (1:72)

The HB W12 entered operational service with the German Navy during September 1917. Designed as a two seat fighter that could also carry out regular recce duties it quickly proved its worth. Initially crews were wary of the lack of rigging but the strut work had been designed to support the wings without the need for drag producing wires. Once familar with the type the Navy staffels made good use of it until the Armistice. It took a toll of the RNAS / RAF flying boats and was well suited to long range reconnaissance patrols. A total of 146 were built. Powerplants were either Mercedes or Benz engines and early machines had a shorter fuselage. This is a long fuselage W12 and is the least complicated conversion using the W29 monoplane kit. The fuselages are very similar, the floats and centre struts can used OOB with only the outer struts requiring a little doctoring. The wings were cut from plastic card with the ribs scored with a sharp blade. It has the added attraction of hardly any rigging.

Hansa Brandenburg W29

Kit: Eastern Express (1:72)

The W29 was a monoplane development of the earlier W12 biplane. This two seater had proved itself highly versatile by being capable of carrying out normal reconnaissance duties and operating as a fighter thus reducing the need for specialised single seat fighters such as the Albatros W4, Rumpler 6B and HB KDW. Equally as versatile the W29 was faster which further enhanced the types abilities as a fighter. Over 70 were built and were held in respect by Allied naval forces having entered operational service in the summer of 1918. The German Navy premier seaplane pilot was Oberleutnant Friedrich Christiansen who commanded the base at Zeebrugge. Several of his successes came at the controls of the W29, including some against the RNAS Felixstowe flying boats. From what I have learnt I think it is fair to say that the HB two seaters were the German naval equivalent of the RFCís Bristol Fighter. The kit is the Eastern Express re-issue of the Toko version. The transfers are better quality but many will dispute the accuracy of the colours of the naval lozenge. Otherwise an excellent kit in my humble opinion.

Hansa Brandenburg KDW

Kit: Eastern Express (1:72)

This is the floatplane version of the Starstrutter D type, the Hansa Brandenburg KDW. It was a contemporary of the Albatros W4 and Rumpler 6B-1 single seat floatplane fighters which were ordered in 1916 by the German Admiralty. It proved to be as tricky to fly as the landplane D1 and many aircraft were lost in accidents. Deliveries began in late 1916 and 58 machines were delivered by early 1918. By this time the KDW had been transferred to training duties which it carried out until EOW. Modifications were made to the design in mid 1917 when V struts were added outside of the star struts to counteract flutter. Fins were added to the tail unit to improve lateral control. Most pilots preferred the Albatros or Rumpler and an article in the OTF quoted a report that the KDW was fast enough to engage enemy two seaters but could not mix it with enemy land based single seat fighters. As the enemy was Russia this would have meant the Nieuport 11. This conversion was built for a Floatplane GB on BM. In short, the fuselage was lengthened by adding 60 thou card to the tail and filing to shape. The wingspan was increased with card, the rear lower inner strut was lengthened and the floats were scratched.

LFG (Roland) W

Kit: Joystick (1:72)

My interpretation of the photo shy LFG W, a floatplane version of the Albatros CI that LFG Roland were building under licence. Based at Lake Angern, now Engures, on the shores of the Gulf of Riga, during the second half of 1916. The wings are nigh enough, the lower spot on and the upper about a mille short. The cockpit is supplied with a floor, a seat, central bulkhead and a generic instrument panel. This is pretty standard for Joystick kits as it was for Formaplane. Iím adding three slices of cut off round sprue to act as magazine drums, another bit of shaped sprue to act as an equipment box, an observerís seat using rod and card and another bulkhead to the rear of the cockpit. A couple of lengths of strip represent small bomb shoots which DF state were common to all CIs. Crew from the spares and the engine has to be added before joining the halves. With the pilot in place the white metal engine would not sit straight because of his feet. I decided to keep it for another day as I had a plastic remnant from a Roden kit. The sump was completed with 80thou card which was shaped to match and the cylinders are short lengths of rod. A bit of filework reshaped the sump and the Mercedes was positioned with the aid of blue tak packing. The exhaust proved troublesome so was replaced with the spare from the new LVG CVI kit from KP. Floats had to be scratched from card and those from the Hansa Brandenburg W29 were used as templates.


Kit: Kovozavody Prostejov(KP) (1:72)

A new and welcome release of the well regarded German two seat observation aircraft. The C.VI was a development of the LVG C.V. First flown in February 1918 it entered service in June and continued on operations until EOW. About 1100 were built. It performed in the artillery cooperation and short range observation roles and operated predominately on the Western Front. Post war a few were used by the Poles against the Bolsheviks while several made it to the Bolsheviks. The main user was Lithuania who acquired 20 aircraft. The kit is flash free and went together well. The engine looks the part and there is a choice of exhausts and propellors. The crew came from the spares and the forward cockpit detail is fine but the rear lacks fittings. I added a seat, 2 mg magazines and a scratch camera. The wings are butt joined but have two location pegs. I deepened the holes and got a good join with cement. Replacing the pegs with metal pins is another option. The fuselage parts have no locating lugs so I added some but the bulkhead and tail skid fin are a good help when aligning the halves. Otherwise the build was fine and OOB. As far as the wings are concerned it is best to add the cabanes first and get them straight at 90 degrees. Have plenty of dry runs to make sure of alignment then add the inner interplane struts. Let them nearly set then add the wing and tweak into final position. Home made card jigs for support when drying or Mk 1 pots of paint, the choice is yours. I like this kit and my only criticism is the choice of colours. One is the prototype and the other is Black 7 which originally appeared in Munsons Pocket Encyclopedia in 1968. This sports mauve and green upper surfaces and light blue undersurfaces. The prototype has a varnished ply fuselage, mauve/green wings and pale blue undersurfaces. All C.VI aircraft had lozenge on the wings and the fuselages were varnished ply. Some were stained reddy brown but as far as I can ascertain none had blue undersurfaces. Of the lozenge the five colour predominated but four pattern was also used. I opted for the latter and used Almark. As I needed a white outlined cross for the lower wings I used Revell Fokker D.VII crosses and saved the KP sheet for later except for the 7 to make my interpretation of Black 7 in late 1918.

Pfalz DIII

Kit: Rareplanes (1:72)

The Pfalz DIII appears to have first flown in the spring of 1917. It underwent acceptance tests in June and was accepted for production, entering service with Bavarian units in August. It was powered by a 160hp Mercedes and the machine guns were located beyond the pilots reach under the forward upper decking. By the end of the year 276 DIIIs were at the front but the improved DIIIa was now in production and there were 114 in service. Numbers of the DIII steadily reduced as the DIIIa replaced it. In this model a higher powered Mercedes of 175/180hp was installed, the guns located within reach, the lower wing tips became more rounded and a larger tail plane was added. In April 1918 there were 433 at the front and the Pfalz served with 46 Jastas. As late as August 166 remained in active service. Allied reports of a captured example were praiseworthy and several aces flew the type with success. The kit came out under the Warbirds banner and is a vac form. It has single surface wings with fine upper surface detail. This includes a radiator and panelling and very fine ribbing and control horns. The under surface had to have the ribs and other details scribed. The fuselage was in two halves and there is a separate stabilizer/elevator which is DIIIa size and has to be cut down for a DIII. The moulding includes an engine, propeller, spinner, struts, undercarriage and wheels. I used the cylinder heads and spinner but the rest were replaced. The kit was made as an early DIII and the colours are Jasta 16.

Pfalz Dr1

Kit: Merlin (1:72)

The kit is from Merlin and went together quite well. The trickiest part was the middle wings which I did not get quite right but its not beyond most modellers to get a better alignment. A typical short run kit that surpassed my expectations. The transfers proved perfectly usable despite the age but I modified the markings slightly by using early Balkan crosses and kit Iron crosses and aircraft numbers to represent an aircraft that had been partially repainted probably circa May 1918. The Pfalz Dr1 was developed from the same Idflieg direction that produced the Fokker triplane. Despite having the potential to be the superior aircraft the Pfalz lost out because of the unreliability of the SH.111 160hp rotary engine. These early production engines were far from the finished article and suffered many breakdowns often after no more than 7 to ten hours running time. With the engine running well the Pfalz could climb to 5000ms in 13 minutes against the 23 minutes of the Fokker. Top speed was 200kph/125mph at sea level compared to the Fokkers 185kph/115mph at the same height. Such a climb rate was highly desired by the Kesta, or home defence units, and most of the Pfalz triplanes sent for operational trials were issued to staffels opposing Allied bombing formations. The only named units I can find are Jastas 19 and 73. According to Evan Haddington (The Fighting Triplanes) 9 out of a production run of ten aircraft were issued to operational units. On 30 April 1918 there were 9 in use. By June 30 there were 7 and by the end of August only one remained. Although engine reliability did improve the triplane era was coming to an end by the middle of 1918. Pfalz developed the DVIII biplane which used the same engine and shared a similar fuselage and triplane development ended. The above was gleaned from a couple of threads on The Aerodrome, Wiki and a google search for SHIII rotary engine.

Pfalz EV

Kit: Revell kitbash (1:72)

Another Fokker EIII conversion. Basically a Fokker DVII nose blended onto a shortened EIII fuselage. WSDF has the EV with extended span so I used wings from a ICM Fokker which had been extended with Revell EIII wing tips. However, more research suggested this may not be so and the kit wings could have been used. Which is correct I donít know, probably both. The E.V is an in line development of the rotary engine Pfalz E types that served alongside the more famous and better regarded Fokker monoplanes. An order for fifty E.Vís was placed in February 1916 and the type was tested during the spring. Early examples were powered by the 100hp Mercedes water cooled in line engine but most of those constructed utilised the 120hp model. It appears only 20 were built and of those three are recorded at the front in June 1916. Most were probably used as trainers although Pfalz E types were flown on the Eastern Front and CS Lewis who served on the Somme does seem to imply that reports of Fokkers with in line engines had been made.

Roland C.II

Kit: Arfix (1:72)

This was built OOB but received a spruce up a few years ago. The green/brown camouflage reflects a field applied version as it conforms to nothing that came from the factory. Originally completed without rigging I added invisible thread between the wings and replaced the kit pilot. The C11 entered service in March 1916. It was as fast as the Allied fighters but could be difficult to handle during high speed manoeuvres. Visibility past the nose was restricted when landing and it was found necessary to reinforce the wing tips. An enlarged rudder/fin was fitted to the last production batch. Peak deployment was in December 1916 when 64 were at the Front and most were withdrawn by the following summer for training duties. The Roland C11 served on the Western and Eastern Fronts and about 300 were built. Early aircraft did not possess forward firing armament and were fitted in the field with captured Lewis guns firing over the propeller. One such exponent was Manfred von Richthofen.

Roland DII

Kit: Pegasus (1:72)

The first Roland D type entered service in October 1916. According to Windsock 80 DIs were built but most were used as trainers. The improved DII entered service in February 1917 and was built by LFG(Roland) and Pfalz. The DI upper wing lay across the fuselage in similar fashion to the two seat CII. Combined with side radiators this restricted visibility when landing. To improve the pilots view the wing was raised on a thin pylon about four inches wide and a wing mounted radiator replaced the ear types formerly used. About 130 were built. Both these versions were powered by the 160hp Mercedes but the superior Albatros D types had precedence for this engine. The Argus 180hp was substituted and the rest of the production was known as the DIIa and at least 200 were ordered. Although ultimately developed into an excellent engine that powered the Hannover CLIIIa in early 1917 the Argus suffered many teething problems which effected the efficiency of the Roland fighter. The Rolands also had aerodynamic problems that made tight turns at speed difficult unless care was taken. Most seem to have been consigned to the Eastern Front after a short operational career over France. By October most had been transferred to training duties where they served well into 1918. The types saw operational service with Jastas 5, 15, 25 in Macedonia, 27, 31, 32 and within single seat units attached to two seat squadrons on the Eastern Front. The leading exponent appears to have been Lt. Hans Pippart who downed a Farman, a Sopwith and four balloons on the Russian Front. The kit is a typical short run Pegasus with injection wings, tail skid, wheels and fuselage, a Contrail strut and rod length and white metal engine, exhaust and undercarriage. The generic floor and engine support caused me problems again. I have never got this right although it looks simplicity itself. On the Albatros DIII I got the engine too low and this time the seat too high. Its nothing a bit of lateral thinking canít cure but I have a solution. Next time I will separate thengine section from the cockpit floor and locate them individually. Otherwise, apart from clamping the nose section while the glue dried, it went together well. I added a sliver of 20thou card under the top wing in the cut out to get the correct angle and a couple of nicks in the card meant I could add the rigging wires before the wing which held them in place. For anyone wary of rigging the early Rolands are ideal to cut your teeth on. There is one more issue but the fix is quite simple. The undercarriage splays too wide. The rear u/c legs go through holes in the lower wing. I was alerted to this by an article by Matt Bittner although my fix is different. All I did was to widen the hole on the side nearest the wing root with a drill and knock a tenth of an inch off the axle width. Not perfect but it looks much better. An ideal first Pegasus.

Rumpler 6B-1

Kit: Form-u-lay (1:72)

Itís taken me about 46 years but with this build Iíve finally completed the trio of German floatplane fighters described in Munsons Fighters 1914-19 Pocket Encyclopedia. They are the Albatros W4, the Hansa Brandenburg KDW and the Rumpler. For many years the only source I knew of was the Formaplane vac form which never seemed to be available when I was looking. Then I was made aware of Form u Lay. They werenít dear but they are copies of the original Formaplane kits. The surface detail is softer but it is there and I enhanced the panel lines with a razor saw. The upper wing has a separate centre section with two outer panels. Together they are a scale foot short which I corrected by widening the centre section either side with strips of card. The fuselage is also a foot short which was resolved by adding card to the rear end and filing to shape. The rear fuselage is lacking in depth as well. A length of 10 thou card was applied from the back of the cockpit to the tail end. When secure filler was applied along the lower edge of the fuselage. When set this was filed along with the surplus plastic until it was flush with the fuselage sides. This gave the fuselage a neat square shaped edge like the original. The kit, in common with a lot of vac forms, had more rounded edges, possibly accentuated by being a copy moulding. I replaced the tail unit with card fin and rudder as I felt by the time Iíd finished removing the excess from the kit parts they would have been undersized. The stabilizers had separate elevators which I decided to consign to the spares for future use as I had a better looking pair from the Albatros C1 kit that only required a bit of easy filing to make a match. The floats proved to be useable and there is sufficient strut material for the wings. The rod supplied for the undercarriage was too thick for my liking and was replaced with Evergreen 30 thou and 20 thou rod. The white metal parts comprised a machine gun, prop and spinner and two spoked wheels to use on a trolly to transport the aircraft when on land. The spinner was too broad so I used a resin prop and spinner combo. There is no engine and the kit parts, cylinder heads and exhaust parts are badly moulded and unuseable. I had a spare white metal Mercedes which I used and used short lengths of rod for the exhausts. Most Rumplers sported rhino horn exhausts which are a pain to try and fit around the cabane struts so I opted for the simpler style which I had luckily spotted in the Osprey Naval Aces WW1 part 2 book. The rest of the build was typical vac form. The floats are tricky and need supporting while they almost set before removing the support and adding the outer struts. To sum up this is a pretty basic vac form that has much in common with early short run kits. But it went together well and looks like what it says on the packet. There were also decals provided but as they were early white background crosses I used 1917 crosses from the spares. As for the aircraft it was designed to meet a 1916 demand for seaplane fighters to protect German naval bases from air attack. Albatros and Hansa Brandenburg adapted their existing landplane fighters but Rumpler lacked such an aircraft. Instead they modified the Rumpler C1 two seat reconnaissance design. In short, the wings were given sweep back and forward wing stagger and a larger tail design to counter the effects of the floats. The rear cockpit was eliminated although the radiator position was unaltered and armament remained a single synchronized Spandau mg. The Rumpler appears to have been the first fighter type to become operational. First deliveries were in July 1916 and 12 were in service by December. By May 1917 38 were active and served successfully at Zeebrugge and Ostend in Belgium. During the course of the year Rumplers appeared in the Black Sea, the Aegean and the Baltic areas of operation. There were two versions, the 6B-1 and the 6B-2. The latter appeared in October 1917 and was based on the Rumpler CIV design. It was slightly larger, had a wing nut shaped stabilizers and performance suffered as the engine remained the Mercedes 160hp. Despite this 50 aircraft were ordered but most were employed as trainers. A few were used by the Austro Hungarians in the Adriatic during 1918 most probably in the training capacity.

Rumpler C.I

Kit: Airfix kit bash (1:72)

This started off as a Rumpler C.IV using the Scale Model plans of 1975. Years later I acquired a Pegasus CIV and the differences were obvious. The Pegasus fuselage was far slimmer, the engine larger and the undercarriage higher. It was headed for the spares box when I realised that the fuselage dimensions had more in common with the earlier Rumpler C1. The undercarriage and engine matched too so the main task would be making near equal span wings. The wings had been made from 2 x Airfix Hannover wings so I modified the upper wings and had to make the lower wings from another Hannover upper wing. The cockpits were enlarged and a wire gun ring scratched. The tail unit was scratched from plastic card as was the leading edge radiator. Exhaust was scratched and the kit provided most of the rest. The Rumpler C1 entered service in 1915 and remained in front line service into early 1918 according to Munson. It served on both Western and Eastern Fronts as well as the Balkans and the Middle East. It was well liked and after withdrawal from active service continued as a trainer with later production intended for this role.

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