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Albatros D.I



Roden's 1/72 scale Albatros D.I is available online from Squadron.com


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Kit No. 01
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: Approx. 73 grey plastic parts; markings for five options
Price: USD$6.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Finely detailed parts, five interesting decal options.
Disadvantages: Loose packaging of parts.
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Robert Baumgartner




Here we have the first release of the Albatros series of fighters from Roden. It is packaged in the usual soft “end opening” box, and displays an evocative picture of the machine flown by Prince Friedrich Carl of Prussia. Roden have supplied the 1/72nd scale modeller with a steady stream of kits over the last few years and thankfully it doesn’t look like letting up just yet. Judging by the kit number, this one had been planned for a while!


The box contains five sprues of light gray coloured plastic. They are labeled as A, B, C, D and Z. The superb latter sprue we have seen before in Roden’s Fokker D.VII kits. All parts are fully molded and the minor flash is easily eradicated with a swipe of “wet and dry” paper. A decal sheet for five aircraft and a twelve-page instruction sheet complete the package.

It is obvious from the engineering of the kit that many more variants are planned. Packaging has again taken its toll with a couple of pieces broken due to the sprues being allowed to fight each other in a common bag.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:



All major outlines closely match Ian Stair’s plans in the Albatros Fighters Datafile Special published by Albatros Productions.

The fuselage though, appears to have lost a little weight in the depth department, this occurring behind the cockpit. The bottom of the rudder could do with a quick swipe of the emery board to round the corner a bit more and the tires are a bit undernourished when compared to photos. The wing struts are a little longer than needed so take this into account when positioning the top wing with the fuselage struts.



These are made up of three pieces for the upper wing and one piece for each of the lower wings. The upper centre section is separate to allow other versions of the Albatros fighter to be modelled in later releases. Trailing edges on these parts are wonderfully thin and the rib detail subtle. The ailerons are well defined and even include the link that attaches to the operating wire. A certain 1/48th scale manufacturer missed this one!

All struts are amazingly thin, as we have come to expect from Roden, so care is needed when removing from the sprue.



Again we see the incorporation of features to allow a multitude of variants to be built. Multiple steps and access hatches are moulded into the fuselage halves and the modeller merely removes those that do not apply. These halves have fine structural detail on the inner surfaces with no corresponding sink marks on the outside. The forward fuselage decking is separate, again to take future releases into account. A one-piece nose ring needs to be added to the front of the aircraft and this part exhibits a very sharp leading edge. This should look good with the smaller diameter spinner attached.


Detail Items

Basic cockpit items are supplied such as seat, rudder and control column. Sprue Z supplies the engine and machine guns as well as donating similar leftovers to the spares box. Items to be seen on the forthcoming D.II and D.III series can also be saved such as rudder, axle, wheels and struts.
Two types of propeller and exhaust are present as well as some nice Windhoff radiators. The latter needing some sink-marks filled.



Decals and Marking Options


The decal sheet is well printed although this example was slightly out of register.



Five schemes are catered for as follows:

  1. Albatros D.I, flown by Rittmeister Prince Friedrich Carl of Prussia. Lieutenant Pickthorn of 32 Squadron RFC forced him down while flying a DH2. Despite the aircraft being quoted as light green, it is more probable that this related to the fuselage only and that the wings were still camouflaged in the usual dark green, red brown combination. From photos, it also appears that this machine did not have the standard triangular water tank, but had a cylindrical type mounted in front of the engine. The fuselage is very, very light in colour so chose your green carefully.

  2. Albatros D.I serial 391/16, flown by Lt. Buttner of Jasta 2, 1916

  3. Albatros D.I serial 390/16, flown by Lt. Hone of Jasta 2, 1916

  4. Albatros D.I serial 426/16, flown by Lt. Gunter of Jasta 2, 1916

  5. Albatros D.I serial 426/16, flown by Offz. Leopold Reimann, Jasta2, 1916

The colour schemes given in the instructions for options b, c, d, and e, all have areas of camouflage that will raise some eyebrows, especially the wings of options d and e.





This is a very comprehensive kit with all the finesse we have become accustomed to judging by Roden’s latest releases. Fine trailing edges, near scale struts and well-detailed parts are all pleasing aspects of this kit.

A later build will determine the success or otherwise of the three piece upper wing and fuselage profile. With this first release, we can only hope that the Roden Albatros family expands!


Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.

Review and Images Copyright © 2002 by Robert Baumgartner
Page Created 08 April, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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