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: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.