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Phonix D.I


Blue Max


Blue Max's 1/48 scale Phonix D.I is available online from Squadron.com


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: PGX0116
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 29 plastic parts plus white metal and metal rod.
Price: US$41.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Accurate outline; good decals; nice detail; interesting subject matter.
Disadvantages: Strut material could pose problems; lower wing trailing edge.
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Robert Baumgartner




An atmospheric Paul Monteagle painting adorns a box that contains the usual mixture of both plastic and white metal parts. Two sizes of extruded plastic strut are provided as well as a nicely printed decal sheet.
There are 29 plastic parts, all of which were fully molded and display an excellent level of detail. The quality of the white metal parts was also good although inevitably, some of the more delicate parts are best scratch built.

Eight lengths of metal rod are supplied, these being for the gun tubes, radiator piping, tail and fin bracing. The rod for the gun is best replaced with tube so that a bullet exit hole is apparent at the tip.
Being a limited run kit, the parts need a little more clean up than usual but this should not present any difficulties.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The well-printed decal sheet provides the builder with the option of a machine from the Austro-Hungarian navel air service or Flik 60J.

The kit was compared to George Haddow’s plans in Datafile No. 31 and was found to match precisely.



The fuselage halves are cleanly molded with all inspection hatches present in the expected places. Dimples near the base show where to drill holes for the pinning of the lower wings to ensure correct placement. Inside each half there is representation of the structure as well as a shelf to allow the engine to sit at the correct height.



Most of this area is made up using the supplied white metal parts. These items being the floorboards, control column, seat support, rudder bar, and forward bulkhead. The instrument panel and seat are the only parts in plastic. The builder can add additional items to suit, such as instruments, pumps, throttle, magneto switch etc.



The upper wing comes in three pieces, as per the original, and mate very well thanks to the cross section of each part being the same. The ailerons come as separate parts to ease the task for those that choose to animate their machines. This is a good idea as it has given Blue Max the opportunity to include the very pronounced “wash out” that was so obvious on the wingtips of these machines.

The thickness of the trailing edge on the upper wings is very good but unfortunately the lower wings do not fare that well. Being about double the thickness, some sanding from underneath will be called for to make them match the top wings.

Note that the wings do not show the leading edge half ribs and that Blue Max doesn’t mention the aileron-actuating rod that was present behind the cabane struts. They do however, have a dimple in the fuselage that indicates the entry point into the cockpit of the rod.



While the bottom half is plastic, the upper portions consist of white metal. Once all the piping is done with the supplied rod, this area should look sufficiently “busy” to block the forward view of even the most eagle-eyed pilot. Just like the real thing!



These are supplied in two forms. The undercarriage struts are done in white metal, which due to its softness, must be treated with care. Extruded plastic strut material is used for the main wing and cabane struts and while adequate, I would opt for the brass variety for rigidity.



Other items produced in plastic are exhaust pipes (the ends must be drilled out), machine gun butts, wheels, undercarriage axle, tailskid, and a superb propeller. The remaining white metal parts provide for the radiator and anomometer.





As usual, two options are supplied:

  1. Phonix D.I of Flik 60J flown by Frank Linke-Crawford - Three different D.Is are known to have been flown by Linke-Crawford, these being 228.06, 228.14 and 228.16.  All carried the familiar mottled brown camouflage and the decals Blue Max supply allow you to build one of these machines. The aircraft portrayed carried crosses that have no white outline and had Linke-Crawford’s familiar “L” painted on a black fuselage band. If you want to be different, other photos of Linke-Crawford’s D.I show a white outlined cross on both rudder and wheels.

  2. Phonix D.I (J.4) of the Austro-Hungarian navel air service - These aircraft were used to defend naval bases from attacking Italian bombers. The decals are beautifully thin, and colour density appears good. The only correction needed is that the spike on top of the crown should be gold and not black as printed. Don’t be fooled by the apparent lack of registration of the black. This is the shadowing of the shield, which Blue Max has portrayed correctly.

    Noted in the instructions is “…….an Aluminium panel located on the starboard side of the center section immediately behind the radiator – this was peculiar to the naval Phonix D-1…….” Looking closely at contemporary photos, it is clear that this is more than just an aluminum panel. It is also clear that it did not appear only on Navel D.1 aircraft. Its presence here is more obvious because it is not painted to match the upper wing camouflage as on other machines. Closer inspection reveals that pipes from the rear engine area enter the upper wing at the rear most point of the “panel”. Clear photos of the topside show what looks like an additional pipe going from front to back. Further information is unfortunately lacking and Blue Max is in no way to be criticized for not providing extra detail here.






Blue Max kits are always eagerly awaited by the WW1 modeling fraternity. What one expects is a no nonsense injection molded kit of a subject that hasn’t been done in this way before. Although it is a “short run” kit, it has all the essentials to allow the modeler to build an accurate and detailed kit of a much-neglected subject.

We are not disappointed.


Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.

Review and Images Copyright © 2001 by Robert Baumgartner
Page Created 01 May, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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