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Fokker D.VII (Alb), Early

 

 

Roden

 


 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. 033
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, acceptable lozenge
Disadvantages: Some fit problems, extra clean up of parts needed
Recommendation: Recommended

 

Reviewed by Robert Baumgartner

 

FirstLook

 

This is Roden's second version of the Albatros built Fokker DVII. Their previous offering was a "late" representation whereas this kit reproduces an "early" example.

 

The Sprues

The parts are molded in a neutral grey colour on four different sprues. Three of these we have seen before but a new one, labeled G, provide the fuselage halves for the early built Albatros version. A new radiator also resides on this sprue.

Click the images below to view larger images:



There are plenty of extra parts to keep the spare parts box stocked.

Thanks to the use of common sprues with other kits, the modeler gains with an extra engine, exhaust, propellers, wheels and machine guns.

These sprues do contain flash on some parts, but some gentle sanding easily removes this.




Accuracy

As with the other kits in this series, everything scales out well with Ian Stair's plans published in Datafile 9 and the Fokker D.VII Anthology series. These books are published by Albatros Productions and are amongst the best on the subject.

With regard to the parts, there is one major discrepancy and this concerns the under-
carriage axial wing. It is significantly undersize in span and requires padding at one end with plastic card and the subsequent reinstating of the axle.




Fuselage

The fuselage halves are molded to the same excellent standards as seen on previous D.VII releases. On the inside of the parts, there is a nice representation of the tubular structure and this is also subtlety shown on the exterior of the fuselage halves. The forward engine access panels are beautifully done and all items are present in the correct locations.

As expected, the upper engine access panels have been removed which allow the modeler to take advantage of the superbly detailed engine that is provided on sprue Z.




Wings

These items are generally good but the lower wing still retains the upper port wing blemish seen on previous kits. This is not hard to remove and only takes a couple of minutes with wet and dry. While you're at it, direct some attention to the trailing edge as there are some dimples that will require removing.

The upper wing has the correct tapering towards the tips but a slight dihedral will have to be removed by some gentle bending in hot water. The rib detail is delicate, as is that on the lower wing, and the trailing edges commendably thin.

The various struts are as delicate as ever and extreme caution is needed to remove them from the sprue. Although difficult to cleanup, Roden ought to be complemented on the finesse of these parts as their use in the assembled kit is well worth it.




Other Bits and Pieces

Most of the essential cockpit items are catered for and the modeler can add more if their level of detail desires it. Provided are the floor, rudder, compass, control column, throttle, and instrument panel.
The engine is a seven-piece affair and the amount of detail is a credit to Roden, perfect to show off with the removed fuselage panels. The tail assembly and rudder are well reproduced, the latter even providing for the slight offset to port.




Assembly

Previous builds of kits in this series have shown that there is some care needed during assembly.

The lower wing is best cut in half to allow it to fit in the slot created by the assembled fuselage halves. After removing the inner fuselage plugs, the engine needs careful alignment to allow it to sit at the correct height. The forward cockpit deck may benefit from a shim to get it to fit properly, and for the machine guns to sit at the proper height, the feed chutes will have to have some of their bulk removed.

None of the above is particularly difficult and patience should reward.

 

 

Markings

 

As usual, Roden have provided the builder with an interesting selection of options, and my examples were in perfect register. The 4- colour lozenge is from earlier releases and is most welcome.

 

 


The rib tapes, although of the correct colour, are too thick and will need cutting in half to be useable.

The five options catered for are

  1. Fokker D.VII (Alb) flown by Ltn. August Hartmann, Jasta 30.
    I would suggest adding a bit of orange to the yellow quoted in the instructions as this would be more consistent with the colour mentioned in the British intelligence report.

  2. Fokker D.VII (Alb) Jasta 36 1918.
    Note that this machine had a flare rack on the starboard side under the
    cockpit opening.

  3. Fokker D.VII (Alb) flown by Ltn. R.F.Jakobs Jasta 43 1918
    The crescent moon insignia was handed on this aircraft and unfortunately
    the decals do not reflect this. Note that there is also what appears to be
    repaired patches for previous bullet holes on the fuselage.

  4. Fokker D.VII (Alb) flown by Ltn. d.R Carl Degelow, Jasta40 1918
    This machine also carried a telescopic sight, which is easily scratch-built from
    rod. Details of this can be copied from the box top. Unfortunately this
    aircraft carried five-colour lozenge and not the four-colour variety that is
    provided in the box. For this machine do not apply the axle propeller
    decals as this aircraft has been seen photographed with a Garuda propeller.

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Another fine product that will round out the Fokker D.VII series of aircraft very nicely. The excellent level of research and the well-produced details, mean that only the fastidious will feel the need to change anything (under carriage axial excepted).

The minor fit problems are easy to fix and Roden are to applauded for keeping
the WW1 enthusiast salivating for more.
 

Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.


Review and Images Copyright 2002 by Robert Baumgartner
Page Created 14 May, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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