Mercedes D.III engine
by Martin Wolf

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April 16, 2005

Took a while, but the engine is finally finished. The engine is displayed on a temporary test stand till it is ready for installment in the 1/16 scale Albatros from Model Expo. ( See new topic ) I tried to carve a 1/16 th scale Axial prop for this engine, but soon realized that producing a prop in that scale is quite different from carving props in the 1/48 th scale !! After carving some - not too good looking props - which would do no justice to the engine / aircraft , Ken Foran came to the rescue. Ken provided me with the prop and prop bosses, NOW that is a good looking prop !! Eventually I will produce one myself, but first some more practice.

November 2005

Wandering through the galleries, I was struck by the models of Ken Foran ( amongst others..! ), very nice scratchbuild in 1/16 th scale. The Mercedes DIII engine of the Fokker DVII is a gem ! Mr. Foran had a couple of resin kits made of this engine, I obtained two rightaway..!!

One of the engines is intended for the Albatros DVa from model expo in 1/16 scale. The expo kit - including merc. engine - is a kind of...well crude...and this highly detailed resin engine will perfectly do for the realistic look. I will use the Albatros kit as a platfrom for a highly detailed scratchbuild / kitbashing job.

Despite the highly detailed resin components of the merc. kit, I decided to make it a multi media one. Using brass and alu tubing and thick solder wire along the building route - Ken, quote : Now that is a RESIN kit...! / Can't subsitute the lustre of real metal : unquote.

Ken included a very clear instruction manual, together with drawings of the engine. Other references used; Janes aircraft of WWI, photo archive of WWI-models, Mark Millers illustrations and "report on the 180 H.p. mercedes aero engine " from Albatros productions / Ray Rimell. The parts went together perfectly, starting with the two crankcase halfs with fine molded detail and the cylinders next.Took some time to line them up nicely.

Airbrushed the whole thing with Alu AlcladII and the cylinders with humbrol black. After dry, covered the engine with Tamiya "smoke" to get the oily look. Next was the twin jet updraft carburetor & manifold.The updraft carbs are fashioned from different diametres of brass tubing and a lot of sanding, so are the different drains ( faucets ) on the engine. Again covered in Tamiya smoke.

The manifold pipes are thick solder wire, it is easy to bend without disforming and gives an realistic look, no painting here.. Valve train next.The resin part would do nicely, but I opted to do it the hard way, only using the six housings. Removed the shaft, drilled holes in the housings, and used alu tubing for the shaft.The rockers where fashioned from sheet plastic..( boy, are they tiny..)

Ken included the coilsprings from brass wire and used them as such, this was the hardest part till now. Next the carburetor heater water pipe from brass tubing and the ingnition wire support tube, made from alu tubing, brass sheet and brass wire, connected to the cylinders with tiny screws.( The support tube is painted with "brick red " from humbrol.) I used the resin magnetos, adding the fastners from alu sheet and the ignition timing connectors.

Leaves me with some details to go ! Those will be next.

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