Central Powers
by Jeff Porter

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MvR's 4693/17 Albatros D.V.

Kit: Eduard (1:48)

This is the old Eduard kit 8013 that had the PE cabane struts. I found this kit rather difficult to attach the top wing. The history of this build for me is quite eventful. I started this kit about a year ago only to smash it during top wing alignment due to pure frustration. I put it up out of sight only to vow never to let it beat me. The completed model is what you see here. I modeled this Albatros D.V. after MvR's 4693/17. There is a lot of confusion with this mount and the one he was wounded in but they are two different aircraft. For this build I altered the ailerons on both upper wings, and opened up the top left maintenance port on the cowling. The lozenge fabric wings were all home made by me using photoshop and some decal paper. The wheel struts were lengthen to the correct size and were pinned. The horizontal stabilizer on the landing struts was also pinned. I like this method of attaching parts and will probably employ it regularly in my builds. The rear horizontal stabilizer was also altered. Misterkit CDL was used for the base coat on the factory wood finish. Then artist burnt umber was applied to achieve wood grain effect. Then several coats of Tamiya clear yellow for that warm straw look. Master Modeler flat red was used for the cowling and rear empennage, and future was applied to the entire model before it was rigged. Mono fishing line was used to rig, and a wash of burnt umber was used to add weathering.

Bruno Loerzer's Albatros DV

Kit: Eduard (1:48)

I finished this Albatros DV as Bruno Loerzer's mount. The Albatros DV aircraft is probably my favorite WWI airplane, and I have always liked Loerzer's paint scheme. I started with the express mask but actually used artists frisket paper for the black/white segments. Although the lines didnt turn out as crisp as I wanted, I couldnt get the Eduard mask to burnish down enough. Built oob, this kit was easy and very enjoyable to build. This was actually my first attempt at lozenge fabric camo, and I am pleased with the end result. I must give a million thanks to Dave Calhoun for his unselfish time in answering all my questions. A true gentleman, and promoter of the hobby.

Arthur Rahn's DR.1

Kit: DML (1:48)

This is my attempt at the colour scheme on Rahn's Fokker DR.1. I have to admit that when I built this kit in this colour scheme, I was a bit rushed. Although I wont allow that to be an excuse for any mis-representation. I didnt have a datafile, so I just went from pictures found online. I made the diamond pattern on some frisket paper painted white and then applied wet. The streaking was random. I built this kit about 2 yrs ago and since then Eduard has come out with the DR in 1/48. I will have to try them as well as I enjoy Eduard's offerings.

Pfalz D.III 1370/17

Kit: Glencoe (1:48)

This build represents my first model after being away from modeling for approx. 30 years. I chose this inexpensive Glencoe kit to see if I had any skill left as not to ruin a nice eduard or roden kit. This kit has many shortcomings. Decal registry was way off, tires were too large, ribbing on wings were out of scale etc. But it gave me a gauge as to what I was up against coming back after years off. Built oob with addition of rear stabilizer controls, and I added seatbelts made from cut masking tape. Paint was Testors enamel.

Pfalz D.IIIa Fiction Markings

Kit: Eduard (1:48)

This is Eduard Kit 8046 of the Pfalz early version D.IIIa. I built this kit as an "Air Campaign" entry on a modeling web site entitled "When I Flew With". The premise of the campaign was, if you were in the air service during WWI, what airplane would you have flown and who would you have flown with. To be quite honest, I wouldn't have flown a Pfalz, but it was in my stash, and I had limited time for construction, so I chose this aircraft. It was built mainly OOB, except for the addition of the fuel lines. The lozenge decals are the new offering from Microsculpt, and are very nice to work with and very authentic to colors. The fuselage was painted a mixture of light gray, with a touch of black, and a touch of aluminum. The rib tapes on this aircraft, were cut lozenge fabric, so it was time consuming, but always fun. This kit went together very well, and it was another fine offering from Eduard. I made this a Jasta 30 Pfalz with the diamond motif, and added some diamond design in lavender for the period. I just came up with the personal design on a whim, as I didn't know what would look good. I will add the story line that accompanied the build so you might get a better understanding of my frame of mind while building this mount.

He was born in a small town near Hanover. His father was in the local Polizist there and the boy was always in trouble. His name was Niklas Rittersbach. He was persuaded to enlist in the armee after a torrid affair with the daughter of the Bürgermeister. He was commissioned in 1914 and sent to the western front where he was wounded in the shoulder and spent time in hospital. He was placed next to another recovering chap named Stefan Löwenson. Stefan talked night and day about engines, mechanics, and women. He told Niklas that if he got into flying school he would get the attention of all the young lasses, which very much interested young Niklas. Stefan was a little older and had been around. He told young Niklas to stay away from a woman named Frau Blücher (horse whinny), as she was linked with a kook named Viktor Frankenstone. Niklas bribed an Oberleutnant and was transferred to aviation school where he learned to fly aeroplanes. Niklas became a quick study in a short time. He became known as a hot shot pilot, because of his flying skill. He was assigned to Jasta 1 and arrived there on Nov 17 1916. He was given an Albatros D.II. and got his first victory on Dec 5 1916. He went on to achieve 5 more kills with Jasta 1. He was one of a few to be awarded the Iron Cross 2nd and 1st class simultaneously for his bravery in holding off 4 Camels while a wounded comrade made his way back across lines.

His flying skill caught the attention of Commander Bruno Loerzer and he was asked to join Jasta 26, where he officially arrived on July 17 1917. Niklas wasted no time making his mark, scoring an impressive 8 kills in 14 days, bringing his total to 13. However, his stint with Jasta 26 was short-lived. Niklas was at odds with Hermann Göring, a fellow Jasta 26 pilot. He felt Göring was a selfish, backstabbing coward who would go to any lengths to achieve rank. Because of this friction, the commander transferred Niklas to Jasta 30. This is where he would attain his greatest success. He arrived at Phalempin in Oct 1917. He was assigned the Pfalz D.IIIa shown here. In his first outing, he was jumped by 3 S.E 5’s of 40 Squadron. He managed to down one before he was wounded and barely made it back to the aerodrome. He spent 3 months in hospital, and when he returned to action he showed little rust, as he downed 2 planes that day. Rittersbach would eventually achieve 15 victories in this Pfalz.

On Feb 8 1918, Rittersbach shot down French ace Pepé le Pew. Le Pew’s black and white painted Nieuport 17 always smelled of limburger, and when it went down in flames, reports of a foul smell came from 10 miles. Rittersbach was awarded the Pour le Mérite on June 5 1918. When the armistice came on November 11 1918, Niklas had achieved a total of 35 air victories. Niklas Rittersbach survived the war, and moved to Switzerland with his wife and children. He died peacefully in his sleep on July 25 1983 at the age of 91.

Phonix D.II

Kit: Special Hobby (1:48)

This is the Austro-Hungarian Phonix D.II in 1/48 by Special Hobby. This is not a bad kit, but this one had different length interplane struts which had to be corrected. This version is probably not near historically accurate as the versions I did research on carried a stippled green/brown camo pattern entirely. I wanted to try my hand at woodgraining so this is my first attempt at it. I started with a base coat of acrylic CDL from misterkit and then drybrushed artists burnt sienna until I got the desired look. Then several coats of tamiya clear yellow. Built oob.

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