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Roland C.II ProfiPACK 1:48 Eduard After initially building Albatros two seaters under licence, the Roland company began to look at producing an aircraft of their own design. A lot of effort went in to creating as smooth and low drag a shape as possible, eliminating the cabane struts by mounting the top wing directly on to the top of the fuselage. The fuselage itself was an innovative monocoque construction of layers of thin plywood strips laid over a mould in a criss-cross pattern. Two halves were made (just like a kit!) and joined together around an interior framework. The join line was covered with tape and the whole unit covered with doped on fabric, creating a fuselage with an excellent strength to weight ratio. Nicknamed 'Walfisch' (Whale) the C.II proved to be significantly faster than most other two seaters, and the majority of single seat fighters. View above and behind was excellent, but downward was poor due to the positioning of the pilot high up near the wings, and made the aircraft difficult to land. The tail assembly also suffered from some lack of airflow due to the blanking effect of the fuselage. However, as long as it held on to it's speed advantage it was able to carry out its reconnaissance tasks in relative safety. The C.II and later C.IIa served from the spring of 1916 until mid 1917, latterly in an escort role or employed on troop support/ground attack. Once removed from front line service most Rolands were only to be found in use with training units. The Kit The kit was initially released in 2000 and re-released at regular intervals ever since so must be a god seller. There are four main sprues of plastic and a small clear sprue, 2 small PE frets and a sheet of masks. Construction starts inside the main fuselage with the main glazing being put in place in each fuselage half, followed by some internal fittings including the spare magazines for the rear gunner. This is followed by the gunners compartment being assembled and installed. Coloured PE seats belts are provided here. Next up the pilots compartments is built up and installed. Engine bearers are then installed in front of the pilots area in preparation for the engine. The engine is the next part to be built up and installed. The engine is a multi-part affair including separate exhausts. Again coloured PE seats belts are provided here. Due to the construction of the Roland not much of this will be visible once the next step of closing the main fuselage halves is complete. After this is done the scarf ring for the gunner is added along with a side mounted radiator for the engine. Construction then moves onto the wings. Unlike most bi-plane models the lower wing is one part which attaches under the main fuselage, and the top wings are split left/right and attach to each side of the fuselage. One large aerodynamic interplane strut holds the wings apart near the tips. Following the adding of the wings the tail planes and rudder are attached. Control cable attachment points are provided for the rudder, and wing ailerons. To finish off the main undercarriage and tail skid are built up and added to the main fuselage. The main fixed forward firing gun is added to the top of the wing, and the rear gun is also added. The main exhaust is added to the engine and lastly the propeller and hub are added to the front of the aircraft. Decals Decals options come for four aircraft and include extra markings for the first option. Decals are from Eduard and look to be in register, glossy and colour dense. They should pose no issues. ROLAND C. II 1/48 - flown by Lt. Seibert and Hptm. Pfleger, FFA 5b, Western Front, Fall 1916 ROLAND C. II 1/48 - Western Front, Summer 1917 ROLAND C. II 1/48 - Kasta 2, Kagohl 1, End of 1916/ Beginning of 1917 ROLAND C. II 1/48 - 1859/16, Bayerische Flieger Schule 5, 1917 Conclusion A welcome re-release from Eduard and in a ProfiPACK boxing with the addition of the PE and masks. Review sample courtesy of