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  1. Siemens-Schuckert D.III - Weekend Kit 1:48 Eduard My collegeue has reviewed this kit before in its Profipak edition here. This is the same great plastic from Eduard but it is now released in a Weekend Edition. This does not have the photo etch parts and masks of the Profipak. The difference here with the weekend edition also is the decals. For this boxing two sets of decals are supplied. These are printed by Eduard and feature one small sheet of national markings, and one large sheet with the colour lozenge and rib tapes. The two aircraft options are; SSW D.III, Jasta 15, Chery-les-Pouilly, July, 1918 SSW D.III, 1611/18, Kest 4b Conclusion It is good to see this kit re-released, and in a weekend edition which is great value for you money. Recommended. Review samples courtesy of
  2. Siemens-Schuckert D.III 1:48 Eduard The Siemens-Schuckert D.III served in comparatively small numbers on the western front in the final few months of the Great war. It's ancestry goes back to the SSW (Siemens-Schuckert Werke) D.1, which was designed in 1916 as a response to the agile little French Nieuport 11. Its most interesting feature was that the propeller rotated in the opposite direction to the way the rotary engine spun, cancelling out the torque effect. The Siemens-Halske ShIII engine suffered from the poor quality oil available, and initially was dogged with overheating problems. However the D.III proved to be faster than both the Albatros D.V and the Fokker D.VII, and most notably had a phenomenal rate of climb for its day. 40 D.III's were sent to the front line for evaluation in March/May 1918 where they performed well when the engines were working, and it was felt that a useful fighting machine could be developed. They were all returned to the factory for upgrading, with a new rudder, elevators, shorter wings and new spinner and cowl. These aircraft mainly went to home defence units, where their high climb rate made them useful bomber interceptors. The D.IV was developed in parallel, with wings shorter in span and chord, and started to be issued to the front line in August 1918. By this time the war was entering it's final stages, and the D.IV was the familiar story of too little, too late. It was potentially the best German fighter of the war, but remains one of those great 'might-have-beens'. The kit. It has been a while since Eduard added to their range of 1/48 Great war aircraft, so this is an extremely welcome new release. They produced an earlier kit in the 1990's, with a brass etched interior and fairly basic injection moulded parts. Be assured, this kit is all new and has nothing in common with the old version. Presented in an attractive orange-stripe 'Profipack' box, the kit contains two sprues of injection moulded parts, two packs of decals, a pre-coloured etch brass fret, a small set of Kabuki tape masks, and a nicely illustrated set of instructions. Looking at the plastic parts, it is obvious that Eduard have taken a step forwards with their moulding techniques, which were always good but are now even better. The parts are crisply moulded in a medium grey plastic with absolutely no evidence of any flash. Sprue A holds the engine, interior, and fine detail parts, whilst sprue B has all the main airframe components. Particularly noteworthy is the way that have managed to mould open louvers on the underside of the cowling, and the beautifully rendered rib tapes with their delicate stitching. Fantastic! There is a lot of interior structure supplied, and it should look great when painted and assembled. As usual there are a number of photo etched parts to enhance things, and you have the choice of solid plastic or etch jacketed Spandaus to suit your skill level. The strutting looks like it should be pretty easy to assemble, the D.III has 'N' struts on the fuselage and the outer 2 struts are actually a single 'U' shaped assembly, as per the real aircraft. The amount of rigging is not too bad, mainly being 2 'X's on each wing bay. Eduard supply some etched brass eyelets and turnbuckles, a 'first' in one of their kits as far as I am aware, probably suitable for the more advanced modeller. You can of course stick to your preferred method of rigging, but it's nice to have this option and I will be tempted to give them a try. Decals. The main decal pack contains 3 sheets, with the largest being the 5 colour lozenge fabric areas, in 'cookie cutter' format. A second sheet supplies the numerous rib tapes, whilst the 3rd holds the BalkenKreuz and individual aircraft markings. All are produced by Cartograf, with sharp, clear printing, and appear to be very thin. A second decal pack is supplied, with 2 strips of the upper surface lozenge in it. It is not clear why, as they are not referenced in the instructions, so I assume they might be for any patching up you may need to do. Brass Etch. The fret offers an alternative seat back (also in plastic), seat belts, machine gun jackets, and amongst other various parts are the aforementioned eyelets and turnbuckles. Also in the ziplock bag are the optional windscreens. Masks. The small square of Kabuki tape provides a set of pre-cut masks for the wheel centres, easing the job of painting the tyres. Options. Five different D.III's can be made from the kit, Eduard have chosen a very good range of different and colourful machines. A. Jasta 4, Ltn. Ernst Udet, Metz, October 3, 1918. B. Jasta 85, (Kest 5) Ltn Heinrich Dembowsky, Schaffenhausen, November 13 1918. C. Jasta 15, Chery-les-Pouilly, July 1918. D. 1626/18, Kest 4b, Vzfw. Reimann, September 1918. E. 3025/18, Trier, December 1918 to January 1919. Conclusion. This is a stunning little kit of an interesting and charismatic aeroplane that all Great war modellers will want in their collection. Eduard have made a superb job of it, the moudling quality looks exceptionally high and the whole package has been produced to a very high standard. I first became interested in Great War aeroplanes in the 1990's due to the kits Eduard was producing, and did in fact build the original release of the SSW D.III. They have produced a fabulous range of models in the intervening years, and this is surely one of the best yet. Also available, 3 Upgrade sets Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Brassin SSW D.III upgrade sets. 1:48 Eduard. For those who want to add that extra bit of detail to the new Siemens-Schuckert D.III kit, Eduard have released these three upgrade sets. All three sets replace parts that are already provided in the kit, so these are really aimed at the 'connoisseur' who is prepared to pay extra to get very best in fine detail. SSW D.III fabric seatbelts (49070). Although the kit already supplies a full set of pre-painted etched brass seatbelts, these are completely different, being actually made up of fabric belts with tiny etched buckles that must be threaded on. The 'hang' of them promises to look much better than the etched versions, and the shoulder straps will look great hanging outside over the cockpit sill, as so often seen on German aircraft of this period. (Reading my colleague Paul's review of recent sets, I note that white glue is recommended, and cyano is a no-no, so be warned!). SSW D.III engine (646 166). Although the kit engine of the Siemens-Halske Sh.III is perfectly good, this replacement has much finer detail thanks to being a resin moulding. The cooling fins on each cylinder are incredibly fine, and much closer to reality than the injection moulded kit engine, and the intake pipes are similarly improved. Tiny etched pushrods are provided, and again these are so much more to scale than the kits plastic parts. There is nothing wrong with the kit engine, but it is at the limit of what can be achieved with injection moulded plastic. This resin alternative takes a step up to another level in terms of fine detail. SSW D.III guns (648 177). There are 2 choices of LMG 08/15 machine-guns in the kit - solid plastic, or plastic with etched brass jackets. This setprovides a third choice, with incredibly detailed resin bodies fitted with some of the tiniest detail parts I have everseen. Fine tubing is supplied for the barrels, along with etched jackets and numerous detail parts. They will probablyneed assembling under a magnifier of some sort, but should make up into little jewels. All highly reccomended. Review sample courtesy of
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