Central Powers Model Images
by Octávio Mântua

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Albatros D.III oeffag

Kit: Roden (1:72)

This model represents Albatros DIII Oeffag 53.60 (Flik 41J) flown by Zsgf. Josef Novák, Stfw. Kurt Gruber and Kpl. Ignaz Pillwein in the summer and autumn of 1917.

I used the Roden 1/72 model (ref 022) and I must say that despite some minor adjustments it is a great model.

I first started by engraving some extra panel lines on the fuselage. Then work started on the cockpit where I soon found out that the seat was too small (by the way it looks like most of the seats from Roden are too small). I decided to scratch build the entire cockpit using by reference the Japo book and the photos available on the Memorial Flight web site. The cockpit was detailed with a seat, seatbelt (from eduard), scratch dashboards, machine guns, ammunition box, control stick (from the kit), pump, rear seat panel and front panel (that helps divide the cockpit from the engine compartment and also helps to force the fuselage to be a little bit wider so the top part of the fuselage can be glued.

The engine was painted with various metal colours from humbrol and the exhaust pipe got a treatment of colour pencils to replicate rust.

The fuselage was glued and some more detail was added, mainly:

I then added the rear wing and painted the fuselage with Humbrol 63 and gave it pencil wash and sealed it with future after being satisfied with the result. In the mean time I dedicated my attention to the wings painting them first green (Humbrol 116) and making the swirls (Humbrol 83) with the help of old writing pen (one of those you have to dip into the ink to be able to write). Although this process consumed a lot of time I was very satisfied with the end result.

After finishing the paint job, the entire model was coated with future to help the application of the decals. When I applied them I found out that they disintegrated…. Fortunately Roden was kind enough to send me an extra set of decals that I applied (for safety I gave them a coat of Microscale decal liquid) on the model. After this I applied a satin varnish on the entire model.

Before attaching the wings a modification had to be made to the middle struts. They are at least 1 mm to high, so I decided to take it out. First I cut out the top bar of the strut, took out 1 mm and glued on the strut again. After this the wings were glued to the fuselage.

The next step was to rig the model using invisible thread painted with a little bit of grey and silver. To replicate the stretchers I used sprue from a plastic hollow tube (the ones used to hold balloons). This technique was taught to me By Pedro Soares and was created by Phillipe Spristebach.

The propeller of this aircraft has some bands near the middle and tip, so I decided to ask the opinion of Peter Plattner who quoted: “The outer stripe on the prop was usually red and this was to synchronize the MG. The LFT had a kind of stroboscopic devise for measure rpm of the engine. The inner stripe on some props is mostly aluminium or steel and is exactly on the level of the guns. It was used to protect the prop if gun synchronisation was lacking.” Based on this, I decided to paint the middle stripes grey and the outer strip red.

Finally I made an anemometer to put on the left strut. To replicate the anemometer I used a small necklace bead, a scratch gauge and a sprue cross. The small “cups” on the top of the anemometer were made using small drops of glue (see photo 1).

After one year making this model I submitted it to Modelscala 2005 contest (organized by Associação de Modelismo do Montijo - http://www.ammontijo.com/) where it won the first prize in its category.

Sources: “Albatros D.II & D.III Oeffag” published by Japo (see: http://www.japo-publishing.cz/) Memorial Flight website (see: http://memorial.flight.free.fr/indexuk.html)

Special thanks (for giving me information and helping me to continue this project that took about one year to complete) to:

Fritz Loerzer's Fokker Dr.I

Kit: Revell (1:72)

In October 2005 the Portuguese website www.modelismo-na.net started several group builds. One of them was to build a WWI model in three months. Due to my slow rate of work I decided to choose a Fokker DR.1.

First of all I began by choosing the profile and after some research I decided to build Fritz Loerzer plane (very similar to Bruno Loerzer Fokker except for the top wing).

To build this model I used the Revell 1/72 model (ref 4116). Work started with the cockpit. Although Revell’s model is quite detailed in this area, there is still some room for improvement. So I replaced the oil pump and compass (that are engraved on the fuselage) by scratch replicas. Seatbelts were also applied and the control stick was a little modified. The interior was painted in clear dope with exception of the side wood panels and bottom floor that was painted with Humbrol 63 plus a pencil wash (sealed with future)

Then the fuselage was glued together and the bottom and tail wing and painted the entire model with Humbrol 64 to mask away the red colour of the model. Now I was prepared to paint the black and white stripes. I first applied various thin coats of Humbrol 130 until I was satisfied with the density of the colour. Afterwards, the fuselage was masked off and the black stripes were applied. When the paint had dried up I reproduced the underside stitching with pencil.

I then painted the underside of the wings with turquoise blue while the upper side received a base coat of linen. To reproduce the streaky camouflage finish I followed the same technique explained by Nigel Rayner on his article “Fokker Face-off” published in September 2004 in Scale Aviation Modeller magazine. After choosing the appropriate colour I thinned it a little and applied the streaks with a flat brush. When the streaks were to thick I would put some thinner on the brush and pass it over the streaks. The ailerons were masked off and later distinct streaks were made on them.

To complete the top wing of Fritz Loerzer plane I painted a black stripe on one third of the wing and the central section.

Meanwhile the motor was prepared. First I painted it black, then applied Humbrol 56 and Humbrol 12. Last but not least a black wash was applied.

At this stage the cowling, motor, centre wing, top wing and the undercarriage can be glued to the fuselage. Before gluing the top wing and undercarriage, a small strut surgery has to be made. Revells cabane struts have to be reduced a little on the front part and the undercarriage struts have to be shortened on the rear side.

After a coat of future it was time to apply the decals that were converted from a Roden DR.1 sheet. After this was finished the entire model was coated with a satin varnish and the propeller was added.

I enjoyed building this model a lot although I did not finish the group build on time (it took me a total of 11 months…..but as I said I am a very slow modeller).

Here is a list of some of the colours used on this model (all references are Humbrol): Turquoise blue (Hu65 *15 + Hu3 * 2 + Hu14 * 1 + Hu130 * 5)
Green (Hu105 * 10 + Hu155 * 2)

Sources: Article “Fokker Face-off” by Nigel Rayner published in September 2004 in Scale Aviation Modeller magazine Memorial Flight website (see: http://memorial.flight.free.fr/indexuk.html)

Special thanks to (for help and support):
Pedro Soares
Rafael Pelote
Dan San Abbott
All the users at http://www.wwi-models.org/
All the users at http://www.modelismo-na.net/

Junkers D.I

Kit: Roden (1:72)

When Roden announced the Junkers D.1 (in 1/72 scale) short fuselage kit I was hopping that the faults detected by Pedro Soares review of the long fuselage version had been corrected (see: http://www.internetmodeler.com/2005/february/aviation/junkers.php).

Unfortunately nothing had changed:

Since I was determined to build the short fuselage version I had no choice than to buid it from the long version fuselage using Bill Powers conversion technique (see: http://www.internetmodeler.com/2005/january/aviation/short_junkers.php).

After chatting with my friends on a way to correct the wing tips a simple (?) solution presented itself to me, which combines the technique used by Pedro Soares to detail the interior cockpit. This method consists in the following steps (see photos 1 thru 6):

  1. Delete the corrugations from the wing tip;

  2. Place a sheet of foil on the remaining wing and with a toothpick pass over the wing to reproduce the corrugations;

  3. When this process is finished place a generous amount of superglue on the foil and cover it immediately with a thin sheet of evergreen plastic (note: I used masking tape to hold it down);

  4. When the glue has dried, remove the foil from the wing and carefully cut the new foil to fit the wing;

  5. Sand the plastic glued to the foil until the new piece has the desired thickness;

  6. When you are satisfied with the piece just glue it onto the wing with normal plastic glue.

Although this process is simple, be prepared to make a lot of “new wing tips” until you have the desired output.

Also the wings were thinned before gluing the two halves together. With the wing problem solve my attention turned to the fuselage.

Since I converted the long fuselage version into a short one, I basically applied the same steps mentioned by Bill Powers in his article. To cover the gap that divides the fuselage in two I masked the surrounding parts and applied small quantities of Mister Surfacer. After removing the masking tape I passed with sand paper in each groove to get a smooth finish (you can see the result in photo 7 (comparison between a long fuselage that I damaged in this process, Rodens short fuselage and the final short fuselage conversion).

The interior cockpit was thinned down and corrugations applied (using the same technique described for the wings). The cockpit was detailed using scratch built pieces (except for the seat belts – Eduard) and was painted silver.

After closing the fuselage I tried to correct the angle of the corrugations behind the cockpit but I was unable to do so.

Since I was not satisfied with the location of the fuselage inspection panels I decided to hide the ones that come on the fuselage and make new ones out of foil: two were added in the rear part of the fuselage while three more were added near the motor (two on the left side and one on the right). Also the fuselage handles and step were made out of cooper wire and a plastic rod. I was also not satisfied with landing gear and a thin sheet of corrugated foil substituted the main spar between the wheels.

Now I was ready to paint. I had chosen to paint Junkers found by the Allies abandoned in Hombeek in Belgium (see pages 32 and 33 of Datafile 33). The fuselage was painted with tamiya paints and the wings blue and green is a mixture of Humbrol paints. The mauve is from Tamiya (lightened up with white and with a drop of red). The fuselage band was painted with tamiya white and Deka 12-48 Leuchtblau lightened with white.

I ended painting all the crosses since I was not happy with the dimensions of the crosses. The machine guns were replaced by photo etched Eduard machine guns and the gun racks were made from foil. Finally satin varnish was applied.

Although all the work and time spent on this model (and the usage of three models to build one), I enjoyed it very much and I am very pleased with the end result.


Special thanks (for giving me information and helping me to continue this project that took more than two years to complete) to:

Oeffag DIII

Kit: Roden (1:72)

Oeffag DIII - series 153 (late)

Kit: Roden (1:72)

This Oeffag follows the same steps as my previous models.

Before applying the camouflage pattern, the fuselage and wings were painted in their natural colours (fuselage: wood and metal; wings: linen). I then applied humbrol 105 and 116 with a sponge (as camouflage).

After comparing the four leaf clover decal with the existing photos I found that Rodens decal was too small. So I ended printing some homemade decals.

Afterwards I applied the rest of the decals and gave a satin coat of varnish.

Pfalz E.IV

Kit: ICM (1:72)

I started building this model in 2004. I thought that the kit was very good until Pedro Soares gave me some info about the real dimensions of the Pfalz. The fuselage suffered major surgery (about 8mm to 10mm had to be cut off). The wings were thinned down and decal rib tapes were added. As for the rigging (and here again my special tahnks to Pedro Soares) i used a single nylon invisible thread painted with a pen.

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