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Albatros D.III Oeffag




All of Roden's 1/72 scale Albatros' are available online from Squadron.com


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Roden 1/72 Albatros D.III Oeffag s.53.2 Kit No. 022
Roden 1/72 Albatros D.III Oeffag s.153 (late) Kit No. 030
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: Over 65 grey plastic parts; markings for many options in each kit
Price: USD$6.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Delicate parts, well researched, plentiful decal options
Disadvantages: Difficult fuselage assembly. Decals out of register
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Robert Baumgartner




There is more joy for the fans of WWI aircraft as Roden continue the release of their range of Albatros fighters.

This time it is the Austro-Hungarian aircraft fans that benefit with the emergence of the Albatros D.III Oeffag s.53.2 and s.153 types. The two kits share common sprue and the very clear instructions make sure you select the right item. The sprue are lettered A, C, E, F, and W. and we shall look at each one in turn.

Each kit has a generous choice of markings with one of them portrayed in colour on the back of the box.
The eagle-eyed buyer will note that the kit boxes have been improved with an all gloss finish, which can only help in its “on shelf” appeal.

Sprue W



The s.53.2 used the 185hp Daimler engine whereas the s.153 used the highly compressed 200 hp Daimler engine. Both are supplied as very clean moldings on this sprue. The instructions correctly show which parts are applicable to each airframe.


Sprue E



The wings on both versions are exactly the same so no decision-making is needed here. Sprue E contains the 3-piece upper and single piece lower left and right wings. A separate insert allows the correct radiator to be used so as to allow maximum economy with the tooling process. Despite appearances, the top wing parts do fit together well with only the slightest smear of filler needed to hide the joins. The trailing edges are very good on all wings but do require a little clean up with “wet and dry” paper. Rib detail is subtle and the portrayal of the aileron control lever is especially pleasing. A comparison was made to Ian Stair’s drawings in the Albatros Publications Datafile on the D.III (Oef). There were no anomalies found and it is clear that Roden used this as one of the reference sources in the designing of the kits.


Sprue F



Roden have kitted a late production batch s.153 as evident from the rounded nose, which replaced the spinner of the earlier machines. The instructions correctly identify these parts for the s.153 and the shapes have been captured very well. The spinner plate looks fantastic for those that want to have the spinner removed on the s.53.2 and the types chunky exhaust is also well captured. A slight sink mark was present near one of the pipes but a quick dab of putty would soon solve this.

Thoughtfully, the plumbing from engine to radiator has also been included.

This sprue also contains 3 different styles of propeller (Roden have done their research well!) so the spare parts box is grateful.

The breakdown of parts for the frontal fuselage area will require much dry fitting and careful alignment. Assembly of this area in previous releases has proved to be challenging! Patience will reward but the putty will still be required.

If installing the engine “hood”, don’t forget to drill holes in the front to allow the machine gun barrels to poke through. As before, a little refining of the edges of some of the parts won’t go amiss to allow a more snug fit.

Separate tapered exhausts for the s.153 are provided but these will prove troublesome to clean up. Another way of replicating these is to use soft plastic tube of the correct diameter and partly inserting an over sized pin. This will stretch the outside diameter enough to reproduce this feature with no seam lines to clean up.


Sprue C



The wonderfully thin struts will need care when removing so as not to cause breakage. It is a credit to Roden that they can mold these so well in this thickness. The wheels appear to be a bit undersize, but nothing too dramatic. The fin and tail plane pass the scale test and only need a little sanding of their edges before they can be used.


Sprue A

The cockpit area comprises of some interior structural details, rudder bar, control column, seat, and delicate handgrip. The various dials, throttle, pressure pump, fuel switch, magneto etc. can all be added as per the modeler’s skills and patience. The multi purpose fuselage is well molded and the instructions tell you which details to sand off to make this series of fighters. All the outlines compare well very favourably with Ian Stairs plans in Datafile No 19 as well as the details contained in the JaPo book “Albatros D.II & D.III Oeffag”.



Decal Options


Albatros D.III Oeffag s.53.2 Kit No.022

1. Alb.D.III (Oef) s.53, w/n 53.27, Flik 42J, October 1917 Flown by Franz Graser. Although also flown by Godwin Brumowski and Gottfried Banfield, it is depicted here as piloted by Franz Graser. The indicated dark green in the instructions should be light green as relayed in an interview by Banfield to Dr. Martin O’Connor. Dark green is also quoted for the struts but all these should be black.

2. Alb.D.III (Oef) s.53, w/n 53.60, Flik 41J, Summer 1917 Flown by Kurt Gruber. Also on the Isonzo front, this aircraft was stationed at Sesana airfield. Although showing the same basic scheme as the previous machine, the dark green fuselage area is correct. The struts though should still be black. Top marks to Roden for spotting the markings on top of the fuselage.

3. Alb.D.III (Oef) s.53, w/n 53.57, Flik 51J, Autumn 1917 Flown by Eugen Bonsch. This machine gave Bonsch his first victory on 1st September 1917 with Flik 51J. Black struts are again the order of the day.

4. Alb.D.III (Oef) s.53, w/n 53.33, Flik 48D, July 1917 Flown by Viktor Zimmermann. Josef Kiss also flew this aircraft in July 1917. As depicted, it represents a Flik 24 machine as evident from the black nose, wheels and struts. Both Fliks shared Pergine airfield with Flik 48 having red noses, wheels and struts.

5. Alb.D.III (Oef) s.53, w/n 53.37, Flik 48J, October 1917 Flown by Josef Kiss. Note that the angle of the skull marking is correct. It was applied so as to be level when the aircraft was viewed on the ground.

6. Alb.D.III (Oef) s.53, w/n 53.30, Flik 6F, Spring 1918 Flown by Julius Arigi.



Albatros D.III Oeffag s.153.2 Kit No 030



1. Alb.D.III (Oef) s.153 (late), w/n 153.151, Flik 9J, May 1918 Flown by Lajos Telessy. This is the aircraft in which Telessy suffered fatal wounds after a dogfight on 9th June 1918.

2. Alb.D.III (Oef) s.153 (late), w/n 153.198, Flik 3J, July 1918 Flown by Friedrich Navratil. Navratil scored his second victory (an Italian Spad) in 153.198 on the 28 June 1918 while commanding Flik 3J.

3. Alb.D.III (Oef) s.153 (late), w/n 153.137, Flik 41J, January 1918 Flown by Josef Novak. Before being downed on 6th may 1918, aces Brumowski, and Navratil also flew this aircraft. “Lil” on the fuselage side was short for Lilian.

4. Alb.D.III (Oef) s.153 (late), w/n 153.199, Flik 3J, August 1918 Flown by Otto Forster

5. Alb.D.III (Oef) s.153 (late), w/n 153.125, Flik 42J, March 1918 Flown by Laszlo Hary

6. Alb.D.III (Oef) s.153 (late), w/n 153.186, Flik 55J, April 1918 Flown by Josef Kiss Enrica Bonecker, who was the sweetheart of Josef at Pergine, confirmed the colours of the personal marking.

7. Alb.D.III (Oef) s.153 (late), w/n 153.167, Flik 2D, Spring 1918 Flown by an unknown

8. Alb.D.III (Oef) s.153 (late), w/n 153.140, Flik 51J, March-July 1918 Flown by Eugen Bonsch. Of the five confirmed victories in this machine, the pilot’s 7th was a balloon scored in this aircraft on 3rd April 1918.

9. Alb.D.III (Oef) s.153 (late), w/n 153.173, Flik 3J, August 1918 Flown by Stanislav Maria Tomicki von Tomice. He was killed in this aircraft on 31st of August 1918 after combat with British fighters.

10. Alb.D.III (Oef) s.153 (late), w/n 153.246, Flik 3J, July 1918 Flown by Otto Forster

11. Alb.D.III (Oef) s.153 (late), w/n 153.119, Flik 61J, February-March 1918
Flown by Ernst Strohschneider. His 14th and 15th confirmed victories were made in 153.119. The former an Italian Macchi M.5 and the later an Italian Ansaldo SVA.

12. Alb.D.III (Oef) s.153 (late), w/n 153.209, Flik 41J, June 1918 Flown by Godwin Brumowski. The top ranking Austro-Hungarian ace with 35 confirmed victories. 153.209 was used for the last four of these. This aircraft has been photographed with a captured British Aldis telescopic sight. There was also a mount attached to the top wing that could have been for the purpose of a flare gun.



Roden once again excel themselves with the choice and sheer number of decal options. The decals are commendably thin but I personally don’t like the matt finish. Unfortunately, my examples were out of register, so the range of colour schemes suddenly narrows. In my case, it also means searching for alternative crosses.




This is another fine effort from Roden with a well researched and produced product.

The delicate nature of some of the parts means that a kit in this scale doesn’t have to look “chunky”. Inevitably, there will be some fit problems with a kit that has been engineered for this number of variants. With careful dry fitting when assembling the nose, the heart rate can be kept to a minimum. The only major fault was with the decals so some quality control in this area is needed.

Thanks to Roden, we now have these variants as valuable additions to the ever-increasing family of Albatros fighters.

Increase your Austro-Hungarian aircraft collection now!


Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.

Review and Images Copyright © 2002 by Robert Baumgartner
Page Created 03 September, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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