scale Gotha is available online from Squadron.com
u m m a r y
||Kit No. 011
|Contents and Media:
||149 grey plastic parts; 16 page
instruction booklet; decal options for six aircraft
||Very well researched; accurate
mouldings; realistic rib representation; thin trailing edges; attention to
||Decal sheet out of register; minor
||Very Highly Recommended
Reviewed by Robert Baumgartner
The German Army was keen to continue its attacks against England, but
by late 1916, were disillusioned with the results obtained by the
Zeppelin. A decision was made to continue the attacks using aircraft such
as the Gotha G.IV and the later G.V.
Experience with the G.III showed that there was a substantial area
below and to the rear of the aircraft that the existing lower gun position
did not cover. Thus was born the famous “gun tunnel”. This consisted of
the removal of almost the entire lower rear fuselage surface. The rear
gunner now had a much greater field of fire, via the elongated hole, in
which to defend the aircraft. To compensate for the weakened fuselage,
plywood was used during construction to provide this area with the
Both upper and lower wings were given ailerons, which were connected to
each other via a strut.
A total of 232 G.IV bombers were built using two licensed
manufacturers. Gotha produced 52 aircraft, Luft-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft (LVG)
100 and the Siemens-Schuckert Werke (SSW) made 80 aircraft.
The contents of Roden's 1/72 scale Gotha G.Iv comes in their usual soft
packaging, with all parts being trapped in a single plastic bag. There are
5 large (actually 7 “lettered”) sprues of light grey plastic as well as
one of clear plastic. This amounts to 149 parts although some are used for
other versions. A 16-page instruction book with comprehensive rigging
guide and a decal sheet for 6 aircraft complete the contents.
Click the thumbnails below
to view larger images:
The parts display excellent detail with only minor flash on the wings.
All flying surfaces exhibit very thin trailing edges and despite the
length of the wings, my example showed no warpage at all. There is a
fabric texture represented but this is extremely subdued, so those not
wanting this effect can easily sand it off or fill it in with paint. The
ribs are subtle and therefore a credit to the pattern maker.
The fuselage suffers from the odd sink mark, and the necessary ejector
pins on the interior will have to be cleaned up.
Moulding limitations mean that some of the smaller parts will no doubt be
the subjects of after market photo etched part sets.
The first deviation from the G.III kit is naturally with the fuselage.
For this kit, Roden supplies a G.V fuselage and asks the modeller to
modify it back to G.IV standards. Obviously this is done to save tooling
costs, as Roden plan to release a G.V in the future.
The modification is not a particularly difficult one. All that is needed
is to remove the 4 metal strengthening strips from the fuselage and
replace the G.Vs port side cockpit bulge. Although fiddly, this should not
pose too many problems, as it’s a rectangular insert that is used.
The forward fuselage of the G.IV had a false bottom, which allowed the
leading edge of the wing to line up with its lowest part. Roden correctly
allow for this with a new part for the wing attachment as well as the
lengthened bulkheads. As the instructions indicate, shortening of the wing
mount is necessary as again, this part will also be for the G.V.
The Gotha “gun-tunnel” has been ingeniously designed as an insert that
fits into the underneath of the fuselage. This will allow for a seamless
opening from top to bottom. A dry fit indicates some careful trimming and
filling will be required to blend it to the fuselage sides.
Thankfully Roden provide a full complement of vents on the engine
nacelles. Modellers just sand off the ones that are not applicable to the
aircraft they are reproducing. Not mentioned in the instruction sheet is
that the inner faces of the nacelles were void of these vents, although
the different style rudder for the LVG built aircraft is.
Naturally the kit contains the new lower wings that have ailerons, which
were appropriate for the G.IV. The separate one-piece wing sections only
allow for a butt join so re-enforcing via the “drill and pin” method would
help keep things together.
Those wondering what parts G1 and G2 and the smaller diameter wheels were
for in the earlier G.II/III kit are now enlightened. They provide for the
SSW designed “Stossfahrgestell”, which translates as shock landing gear.
This mounted under the forward fuselage to reduce the occurrence of “nose
overs”. A very handy device for training aircraft!
A comprehensive, but daunting, rigging diagram is provided that will keep
masochists happy for hours.
There are six schemes available from the decal sheet.
1. Gotha G.IV (fictional serial 401/16), Kagohl 3, May 1917.
Commander - Captain Ernst Brandenburg.
I was surprised at this choice of aircraft due to the aircraft’s
serial not being known. Obviously the temptation to represent such a
famous machine was irresistible to Roden! This aircraft was part of a
group of 21 others that bombed British towns, and for which Brandenburg
was awarded the Pour le Merite.
2. Gotha G.IV serial 410/16, Kagohl 3, April 1917
Commander – Obltn. von Seydlitz
The painting guide does not mention it, but the leading edge of the
stripe is white. This was the personal marking of Obltn. von Seydlitz.
Not supplied is the small “410” that was present on the wheel hub. The
trestle/lift markings are not quite shown in the typical location for
this machine. They should be positioned slightly more to the left.
This aircraft crashed on April 23 1917.
3. Gotha G.IV serial 604/16, Kagohl 3, May 1917
Although the instructions suggest the wheel halves to be pale blue
green, it is more likely that they were white and dark green.
4. Gotha G.IV (LVG) serial 983/16, August 1917
5. Gotha G.IV (LVG) serial 991/16, November 1917
One of the most colourful aircraft, the name “MoRoTA” was made up
from the names of the three crew members: Mo = Ltn Mons, Ro = Ltn
Roland, TA = machine gunner
This aircraft came down short of the airfield and crashed into a
farmhouse. The farmer, his wife, and the three crew members died.
6. Gotha G.IV (SSW) serial 232/17 (unconfirmed)
Roden’s 1/72 scale Gotha G.IV is an accurate, well produced, kit of a
very significant WW1 bomber. With a colourful choice of markings, and
cleanly moulded parts, the sheer size of this kit should not deter any
first time bomber builder.
The amount of rigging will frighten some, but this should not be used
as an excuse not to give it a go!
Very highly recommended.
Squadron.com for the review
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Page Created 05 October, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003
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