Halberstadt D.III
by Bill Powers


Halberstadt D.III

The Georgia Chapter of the League of WWI Aviation Historians decided to build a collection of Baron von Ritchofen's airplanes. I volunteered to build his Halberstadt scratch build. I used the Windsock booklet for plans, an Air Enthusiast article for additional information and Harry Woodman's book for construction techniques.

A male wood mold was carved for the fuselage and 20 thousand plastic vacuum formed in two-fuselage halves joined on the vertical centerline. The interior has plastic strips for the formers and engine mount, fuel tank/ammo box from plastic sheet, controls from plastic rod, seat vacuum formed and instruments from punched plastic discs/ brass shim stock.

The wings were made with a core of 30 thou plastic vacuum formed with proper airfoil and washout. This was covered by 5 thou plastic embossed with the wing rib locations. Brass rods were placed in the wing roots at the same location as the real wing spars to serve as attachment points to the fuselage. The empennage was made the same way but over a thinner plastic core.

The wing struts are 15 thou piano wire wrapped with paper and sealed with crazy glue. The landing gear is 40 thou brass rod, filed to an oval shape. The tail and skid supports are 15 thou piano wire. The rigging is 6/0 fly tying thread and the control wires are 10/0.

The engine is built from sheet and rod. All the pushrods and rocker arms of the Argus engine are represented. The exhaust has twelve pieces! The intake is from a DML kit, much modified. The radiator is plastic sheet; each louver is a separate piece! The propeller is carved from walnut mounted on a brass rod from the engine.

Model Master and Floquil paints were used. The white fields were painted and the crosses cut from black decal sheet.

The wheels are from the Eduard Siemens kit. These are the only pieces not scratch built or modified! The gun combines Eduard photoetched and Rosemont resin Spandau.

It took about three months to build. There were times I wished for a piece already made that would fit perfectly!


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