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  1. Viking

    Fokker D.VII - 1:32 Wingnut Wings

    Fokker D.VII 1:32 Wingnut Wings The Fokker D.VII first appeared over the western front in the late spring/early summer of 1918, as the Great War was entering its final phase leading up to the November Armistice. Much has been written about it, but it was an outstanding fighter often awarded the accolade of being the finest such machine produced by any side in the conflict. It is also well known that it was the only aircraft specifically named by the allies to be surrendered in the Armistice agreement, such was its fearsome reputation. Due to its success, Fokker could not keep up with demand so in order to increase the numbers available production was licensed to Albatros who produced machines at their Johannisthal plant and also their Ostdeutch Albatros Werke plant at Schneidemhl, now in Poland. Thus there are three suffixes commonly used when referring to the aircraft as either a D.VII(Fok), D.VII(ALB) or D.VII(OAW). Each one has subtle differences which help to distinguish which manufacturer it originated from, mainly in the area of cooling gills on the nose panels (although extra gills and openings were often cut in at the font line). A further distinction on the OAW machines is that the nose and axle stub wing were factory finished in dark green with a Giraffe pattern of irregular lilac shapes, but this would often be overpainted at unit level. All had wings finished in either 4 or 5 colour lozenge fabric as were fuselages, although early Fokker fuselages had the same streaky green finish often seen on the DR.1 Triplane. Initial variants were powered by the straight six Mercedes D.IIIa of 150/160 hp, changing to the 180/200 hp higher compression D.IIIau as production got into full swing. Most liked of all were those equipped with the over compressed BMW IIIa which gave from 185 hp up to 240 hp for short periods, although this engine was always in short supply. Exhausts were on the starboard side of the engine, and format tended to vary by manufacturer So, with three possible manufactures, three possible engines, and a number of different finishes, there is quite a variety of detail applicable to the D.VII. Fortunately in many cases the serial number was painted on the sides of the aircraft along with the appropriate designation of FOK, ALB. or OAW. I have always liked the boxy, functional appearance of the D.VII and from a modelling perspective it has the advantage of requiring almost no rigging at all. Most attractive of all is the sheer number and variety of markings that were applied to them. One of the most rewarding aspects of this hobby is learning something about the men who flew particular machines, and WW1 aviation offers a treasure trove of colourful markings and interesting characters to go with them. German aircraft were often under the ownership of a particular pilot and his mechanics, and so received highly colourful and individual finishes. Many units had their own base colours, such as Jasta 15's red nose and blue fuselages, with individual motifs applied on top, whilst others allowed free rein with the paint pot. The Kit Wingnut wings have released three boxings to cover the Fokker, Albatros and O.A.W. versions of the aircraft. The main sprues are the same, with the variations for each type being covered by an extra sprue for each type. Here I will review the OAW version, noting at the end the differences in the Fokker and Albatros boxings. Before you even open the box you can see that this is no ordinary kit. The lovely artwork with its silver gilt edging, the line up of colour scheme options along the side, and even the weight of it all combine to raise your sense of expectation. And when you take that lid off, it reveals a box packed right to the top with sprues individually shrink wrapped, as are the decals and even the instruction book. Quality indeed. Anyone who has ever opened one of the kits will know what I mean. Personally the first thing I do is cut the instruction book from its shrink wrap, and read through from cover to cover. Printed on heavy gloss paper with all assembly stages illustrated with CAD drawings and colour call outs, you are left in no doubt as to how it all goes together. Add in relevant photographs (both contemporary and modern) to further clarify and illustrate various aspects of assembly, and what you have here is not just a set of instructions, but a valuable reference manual as well. There are two full pages of colour photographs of all sides and details of the Mercedes engine alone. However, the bit I enjoy most is the first look at all the colour scheme options towards the back of the book. Again these are beautifully done, featuring Ronny Bars lovely profiles. I particularly like the way that Wingnut always seem to select their finishing options. Yes you may get one or two of the more well known ones but you always get 2 or 3 of the lesser known, and to my mind more interesting colour schemes to finish your model in. Thus begins the long and enjoyable process of thinking through which one you are going to choose. Filtering your choices and defining a shortlist, figuring out the top two, picking one of them only to find yourself changing it around the next day. I love this part of the process as it usually stimulates me to get looking at further references. This is where it becomes more than just planning the model, as part of my decision making process requires that I find out more about the individual pilot and his squadron. My final choice will be based on a combination of an attractive/interesting finish, and what the life story of the pilot was. Already I can see that it's going to be a difficult task with this kit as Rudolph Starks 'Li', Franz Buchners 'Lion head', and Wilhelm Leusch's 'Dragon' are all ones that I absolutely must build. Construction starts with the Cockpit, which is built up of several sub-assemblies that all come together in the welded steel tube 'cage' that forms the Fokker's fuselage construction. Everything you need is there, a particularly nice touch is that the different engines used caused the guns to sit higher or lower on the fuselage, and Wingnuts provide you with different ammunition tanks with different length chutes to feed the guns as appropriate. The seat is a nice moulding with separate cushion and etched brass seat belts. Etched brass is also provided for the two Spandau machine guns, or there is the option of fully moulded Spandaus if you are not confident with rolling the etched ones. The instrument panel has the dials moulded on with flat faces into which you put individual decals. This always looks stunning, as you can actually read the instruments. Next up is the engine, which is beautifully and crisply molded. I've already built several Wingnuts engines and they are pretty much foolproof. The only thing I add is ignition wiring, which gives that extra bit of detail not really possible to mould in plastic. Finished in alcald with the data plate decals on, they look fantastic. Some engines has asbestos 'bandages' wrapped around the intake manifolds. If you want this on your model you will need to do it yourself with tissue and white glue as the kit manifold is the 'unwrapped' variety. Withe the engine and interior made, the instructions show the fuselage halves being joined together. Interestingly Wingnuts have done as Eduard did with their smaller D.VII kits and provided the underside stitching as a separate insert, which is really the only way to do it without it being obliterated by sanding the seam line. The nose panels are fitted next, and these are what really distinguishes the various D.VII's with their various cooling gills and exhaust positions. The instructions are very clear about what you need for each of the colour scheme options, with optional panels provided on the sprue, and some gills needing to be shaved off. From here it is wings, tailplane and undercarriage that need assembling and decalling. All very straightforward and clearly illustrated. The axle wings varied between manufacturers, and this has been reflected in the kits. Having build several Wingnuts kits already, I am totally confident that the struts will fit precisely, and if you scrape any paint off the lugs & sockets (the mouldings are that precise that a layer of paint will interfere with the fit) the top wing will drop precisely into place with no bother. Finally you select one of the three propellers appropriate to the D.VII. Generally I fit the one that appears in contemporary photos of the actual plane I am modelling, but in reality props were frequently replaced with which ever make was available. Almost no rigging was fitted to the D.VII, this being part of its design philosophy. Fortunately for us modellers it also makes the build a lot easier. There are only 2 lines between the undercarriage legs, a couple of control wires from the fuselage sides, and very short rudder & elevator control lines. All very simple. The Decals Continuing with the theme of excellence, the decals are by Cartograf and look fabulous. There are five near A4 sized sheets and a couple of smaller ones. Three of the bigger sheets concern them self with the lozenge fabric. The real fabric was produced in both ‘four colour’ and the later ‘five colour’ variants, and although only one will be appropriate to your chosen scheme, you get both. The colours of lozenge fabric are one of those contentious areas of WW.1 modelling. Samples still exist but may have faded and or degraded over the years, reproductions have been made using as near original materials and techniques as possible, but still many opinions abound. Google will provide you with endless hours on this subject should you want to go deeply in to it. Suffice to say that I think that Wingnuts have got it exactly right, and both options give an excellent representation. In previous Wingnuts kits I have built (LVG, Pfalz D.IIIa, Roland D.VIa the lozenge decal has been in strips which you had to cut and trim span wise, as per the real thing and the fit individual rib tapes. It should be a lot simpler now as the decals are designed to cover each wing surface in one go, including rib tapes. In case your option requires the light blue or salmon pink tapes, these are also provided. Colour options. A) 4198/18 Karl Ritscherle, Jasta 60 mid to late 1918. An eight victory ace, Karl Ritscherle survived the war, only to be shot down and killed over Essex in a Heinkel 111 during the battle of Britain. B ) 4523/18 Rudolf Stark, Jasta 35b, late 1918. C) Serial unknown Franz Buchner, Jasta 13 October-November 1918. D) Serial unknown Willhelm Leusch, Jasta 19 October 1918. E) Serial unknown Ulrich Neckel, Jasta 6 November 1918. I have slight reservations about this one as the stripes are only provided as decals for the top and bottom of the fuselage. The instructions are to paint the black stripes on the fuselage sides. My reservations are to do with not wanting to get masking tape anywhere near the already applied decals, so I would be inclined to use solid black decal sheet cut into strips for the fuselage sides on this option. Fokker D.VII version. As noted before, the differences between various manufacturers are in the nose panels around the engine, and the axle wing. This release contains a sprue 'I' with the parts appropriate for a Fokker built machine. Two large sheets of decals are provided for the marking options, as well as the four and five colour lozenge sheets and the rib tapes shown in the OAW kit above. Early Fokker built aircraft had fuselages and tailplanes finished with a brush painted streaky green effect, which is quite difficult to replicate on models. This kit provides an interesting innovation, with the streaks being provided on one of the decal sheets with more than enough material to cover a fuselage. All the modeller needs to do is apply a light green base coat. I plan to make Willi Gabriels 286/18, so will be able to report back on how well they work. Colour options. A) 234/18 Friedrich 'Fritz' Freidrichs, Jasta 10 March-April 1918. B ) 286/18 Willi Gabriel, Jasta 11 June 1918. An interesting character, Gabriels squadron commander was Herman Goering. The two men disliked each other, resulting in Gabriel being removed from Jasta 11. Gabriel was active again in WW.2 Flying Junkers Ju88's, and died in 1966. C) 368/18 Hans Schultz, Jasta 18 June 1918. D) 4301/18 Fritz Oppenhorst, Jasta 71 August-November 1918. E) Serial unknown, Gotthard Sachsenberg, MFJGr1, October 1918. Slightly unusual option here, as it is a Naval machine. (MFJ standing for Marine Field Jasta). Sachsenberg was a 31 Victory ace. His aircraft is typical of some of the more outrageous schemes applied to D.VII's. Albatros D.VII Version. Sprue 'K' contains the Albatros appropriate variations. One large A4 sized sheet has all the individual markings, and again the four and five lozenge & rib tapes are provided. Colour Options. A) 611/18 Uffz. Harbers, Jasta 73 mid 1918. B ) 817/18 Fritz Blumenthal, Jasta 53 August 1918. C) 5324/18 Richard Kraut, Jasta 63 October-November 1918. D) Serial unknown, Herman Pritsch, Jasta 17 mid 1918. E) Serial Unknown, Carl Degelow, Jasta 40 August 1918. Conclusion. Well I have eagerly awaited this kit ever since it was announced, and have not been disappointed. Each of the three boxings are outstanding, and will provide a beautiful model. Past experience with building Wingnuts kits tells me that these will fit together with absolute precision. This can mean that fuselage halves can be a tight fit with all the interior parts fitted in, but all you have to do is scrape paint off all the bulkhead sides and the grooves they fit into, and things will be fine. It is a factor of the precise tolerances of these kits that a few thou of paint can make a difference, particularly if you use some of the thicker primers. The instructions are fabulous, with their clear CAD drawings, colour call outs, and reference photos to help you on the way. No other manufacturer has ever provided anything as good, and you will find yourself filing them away as excellent reference material in their own right. The decals are also fabulous, each kit has either four or five near A4 sized decal sheets with the individual markings and upper and lower lozenge fabric in its two varieties. All in perfect register and with the colours looking exactly right. There is something else about Wingnuts kits which is less tangible. It starts with opening the box for the first time and looking through the contents. It becomes evident that an awful lot of thought and care goes into these kits, that these are models created by other modellers. It is also apparent that compromises don't feature. Each component is precise and correct. 'Good enough' wont be found here, superb engineering will. It seems that Wingnuts don't release a kit until they are 100% satisfied with it in terms of accuracy and ease of building. Plenty of reviewers have heaped praise on Wingnut Wings for their extraordinary kits, and I understand why. Everything about them is the best it can be, from the box art to the quality of the plastic used, from the research on the colour schemes to the breakdown of each component. You name it, you'd struggle to say how it could be better. They raised the bar with their first releases, and are continuing to set the gold standard. If you are frightened of WW.1 subjects but want to try one of these kits then the D.VII should convince you to take the plunge. Beautiful subject, fabulous marking options, lozenge fabric all done with simple decals, and almost no rigging. This is the one to get, and you have three boxings to choose from, all gorgeous. I will start building one of these shortly, and recording the experience in 'Work in progress' [Edit] Build startred in Work in Progress HERE [/Edit] Review sample courtesy of
  2. We've just received the December 2012 releases from Wingnut Wings, and a pretty impressive bunch they are too. Three... yes, THREE Fokker D.VIIs, from the home of the Fokker (Fok), Johannisthal (Alb) and Schneidemühl (OAW - Ostdeutsche Albatros Werke) with any of their idiosyncrasies faithfully reproduced. Not only, but also... a Sopwith Triplane and this year's final surprise release from WNW, the Hannover C1.II with its distinctive biplane tail. In addition to those five releases, there are four additional decal sets. One for the Fok built aircraft, one for the Alb built aircraft, and two for the OAW built aircraft. Each one contains five colourful options, just in case the kit options don't float your boat. We'll be crafting detailed reviews of them just as soon as we can, and have a new reviewer that is knowledgable on the subject of WWI aircraft, and just happens to be an excellent modeller too. Please join me in welcoming John, also known as Viking on Britmodeller to the reviewing cadre. A couple of quick pics on the lounge rug this lunch time seemed to be in order In the meantime, if you just can't wait and want to find out a little more info, you'll find all the featured releases at WNW's website, here Mike.
  3. Creative Models Ltd

    Revell New Releases just arrived

    Revell New Releases 25th October 2012 RV04652 Revell 1:32 - Westland Sea Lynx Mk.88/HAS.Mk.2 SRP - £19.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV04666 Revell 1:32 - Heinkel He219 A-7 "UHU" SRP - £49.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV04824 Revell 1:48 - TA 154 Mistel & Fw190 SRP - £36.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV04281 Revell 1:72 - BAC Canberra PR.9 SRP - £12.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV07406 Revell 1:24 - Kenworth Dump Truck SRP - £49.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV03235 Revell 1:35 - German Staff Car 'G4' SRP - £19.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV05115 Revell 1:144 - U-Boat Typ IIB SRP - £12.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV07080 Revell 1:24 - BMW Z8 SRP - £17.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV06677 Revell Easykit - Sith Infiltrator (Episode 1) SRP - £26.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV06734 Revell Easykit Pocket - TIE Fighter ""Pocket"" SRP - £8.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV06735 Revell Easykit Pocket - Imperial Star Destoryer""Pocket"" SRP - £8.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV06736 Revell Easykit Pocket - Boba Fett's Slave I ""Pocket"" SRP - £8.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV04863 Revell 1:144 - Space Shuttle and Boeing 747 SRP - £19.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV04865 Revell 1:48 - MQ-9 Reaper UAV SRP - £17.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV39694 Revell - Masking Tape - 6mm SRP - £2.25 Received - 25 of October 2012 RV39695 Revell - Masking Tape - 10mm SRP - £2.99 Received - 25 of October 2012 
  4. Calling it done - need to get the build written up for Military in Scale now... May add a little more oily stuff underneath - but will sleep on it. Model is extensively weathered - albeit fairly subtly in places. Last one to show I have replaced the static wicks on the control surfaces... Iain
  5. Pretty well there - beautiful kit to build - hopefully to be published in a future edition of Military in Scale: Iain
  6. Need to get some daylight shots - and she's a real *bu**er* to photograph as she's so large... Anyhoo - please forgive the colour casts - will post better images when I have them. Iain