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Fokker D.VII (Alb), Late



 Roden's 1/72 scale Fokker D.VII is available online from Squadron.com


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Kit No. 035
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 60 grey plastic parts; markings for five options including lozenge decals
Price: USD$8.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Well researched, accurate detail, useable lozenge
Disadvantages: Some fit problems, extra clean up of parts needed
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Robert Baumgartner




Roden have released another version of their series on the Fokker D.VII. This time it is in the form of the license built aircraft manufactured by Albatros.


The Sprues

Molded in the usual light gray plastic, there are four sprues labeled A, B, H and Z containing a total of 60 parts. Most items are familiar from previous releases but the new H sprue has the fuselage halves appropriate for the Albatros built version plus a new radiator. Again the spare parts box wins with Roden supplying three types of propeller, two different engines, exhausts and a collection of machine guns.
Flash is present on some parts, but this is easily removed by light sanding.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:



As expected, the kit scales out well with Ian Stairs plans in Datafile 9 and the Fokker D.VII Anthology series, both published by Albatros Productions. The only major discrepancy is the span of the undercarriage airfoil wing, which is significantly undersize. Padding one end with plastic card and reinstating the axle will solve this. Some many even chose to slightly reduce the fuselage length.



The trailing edges of the flying surfaces are commendably thin but could also do with some sanding to redefine their shape. The blemish on the lower port wing of previous releases is still there and requires some careful treatment to remove. This is not hard to do, it just means a few more minutes sanding. The upper wing has the correct tapering towards the tips but a slight dihedral has to be removed by gentle bending in hot water.

The molding of items such as the struts is as true to scale as Roden’s injection process will allow. So delicate are they that removing these parts from the sprue will inevitably lead to breakage unless one is very, very careful.



The fuselage halves are well molded with a very subtle representation of the interior structure showing through. There is an abundance of louvers on the engine panels and the modeler is asked to shave off the extras that don’t apply to the subject they are building. This is a good idea as it keeps costs down on molding different “front ends” and also allows other Albatros built subjects to be made apart from the kit-supplied options.



Assembly Tips


Assembly will not be trouble free if the previous D.VII variants are anything to go by, but a little patience will reward. These are the areas to look out for:

  1. The engine will need careful adjustment to make it fit in the proper position between the fuselage halves.

  2. Cut the lower wing in half to allow it to fit in the slot under the fuselage halves and then fill the gaps with putty and sand smooth.

  3. The forward cockpit deck is slightly short and will benefit from shimming and filling.





Roden have been very imaginative in their chose of aircraft. Five machines are catered for on two well-printed decal sheets. One of these sheets contains both upper and lower 4-color lozenge as well as rib tapes, the other has the crosses and personal markings.


It is pleasing to see that this manufacturer has been listening to the public because we finally have lozenge in colors that resemble those of the original. The rib tapes though, are too wide and so will have to be cut in half and the register on the insignias was a little off on my example.

The five represented machines are:

  1. Fokker D.VII flown by Oblt. Robert von Greim of Jasta 34b, 1918
    Roden simplify the color mixing by suggesting matt light gray for the rear fuselage areas, but the Jasta color was more accurately a silvery white.
    The cowling, struts, and wheels were finished in greenish grey rather than the quoted marine green.

  2. Fokker D.VII flown by Ltn. Kithil of Jasta 34b, September 1918
    As above.

  3. Fokker D.VII flown by Putz of Jasta 34b, September 1918
    As above.

  4. Fokker D.VII flown by Ltn. Frodien of Jasta 40, 1918

  5. Fokker D.VII flown by Willi Rosenstein of Jasta 40, 1918
    Photographic evidence suggests that the upper wing stripe is on the port side.



The louver patterns on Fokker D.VIIs are a study in themselves so it is a brave person who can state which patterns are applicable to which aircraft. Clear photos of both port and starboard areas are rare so an educated guess is called for. Builders are reminded to make up their own minds by viewing as many photos as possible of the chosen subject or other aircraft that flew in the same unit at that time.

I find options (4) and (5) especially interesting as these machines have been photographed with the upper engine cowls removed. This provides the perfect opportunity to show off the lovely engine that is provided in the kit. Roden have also thought of this and indicate where to apply the scalpel in the instruction sheets.





Overall this is another well-researched kit with accurate detail and excellent decals.

A little cleaning up of the parts and careful assembly will result in a pleasing version of a much-neglected version of the Fokker D.VII.

Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.

Review and Images Copyright © 2002 by Robert Baumgartner
Page Created 02 April, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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