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Viking

Junkers D.1 1:32 Wingnut Wings. #32065

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Junkers D.1
1:32 Wingnut Wings. (#32065)

 

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As soon as this subject was announced, it caused a flurry of interest on various internet sites (including this one). Opinion seemed divided between those who felt that it was an insignificant aircraft with only forty built, and others who felt that it was a highly significant as the world’s first all metal monoplane fighter. Almost all agreed that it was a chunky little aeroplane, with opinions again divided between those who thought it ugly, and those who felt it had character. Right from the start, this seems to have been one of the most talked about of Wingnut Wings planned releases.


History.
Hugo Junkers method of metal tube structures covered with corrugated sheets had first been patented in 1912. Although there was an obvious weight penalty, all metal aircraft offered several advantages. Apart from being difficult to shoot down, probably the most unsung virtue was their serviceability. Wood, wire, and linen machines were very susceptible to poor weather, especially that encountered in the long winter months on the western front.  Cold, wet, and damp could play havoc with these delicate airframes, at best degrading their performance and at worst making them unfit to fly.


The two seat Junkers J.1 (Wingnut Wings kit 32001) had entered service in August 1917, and proved to be a popular and reliable machine. It was therefore logical that Junkers should also be working on a single seat fighter. What emerged from several prototypes and design variations was the D.1 which went into service in October 1918. There were 2 versions of the D.1, most commonly referred to as the ‘short’ and ‘long’ fuselage types. Without going into all the differences, it was the ‘short’ version that became operational, and is the one represented by this new kit. A few, perhaps four, were delivered to the western front, but most were delivered after the November 1918 Armistice. They saw service in the Baltic during 1919, with the German Freikorps fighting the Bolsheviks.


The Kit.
As always, the wonderful Steve Anderson artwork graces the silver edged Wingnut Wings box. Two D.1’s are depicted in flight against a backdrop of sunlit cumulus clouds. Lovely! It certainly exudes that ugly-but-aggressive look that makes it oddly attractive.


Inside the box are four large sprues holding all the plastic parts, a small etched fret with the machine gun cooling jackets & seat belts, and a decal sheet. The instruction booklet follows Wingnut Wings excellent style of CAD drawings showing the assembly sequences, backed up with illustrations of what the completed sub-assemblies look like.

These are supplemented with an amazing total of fifty one contemporary black & white photographs of the real aircraft, and a set of eleven colour photographs showing details of two preserved Daimler-Mercedes D.III engines. No wonder so many modellers regard Wingnuts Wings instruction booklets as reference manuals in their own right. They must put huge amounts of man hours into creating them, because they are so complete and no one does it better.

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Step 1  covers construction of the cockpit and engine bay. This is a fairly complex looking tubular structure, which is fitted to the single piece fuselage underside. The mouldings are breathtaking, particularly the centre section & wing spars part A30, which is a single piece;

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The finished article may look complex, but the core of this ‘birdcage’ framework is made up from only five parts (A7, A11, A12, A17, and A30). It is one of Wingnut Wings hallmarks that they can take intricate structures like this, and make them into easy to assemble units. I couldn't resist, and already started it. Dry fitted with no glue, the fit is excellent;

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Various other details such as bulkheads, seat, controls, and instruments are added to finish off the main interior. A small amount of rigging can be added if the modeller wishes, a diagram is provided to show what and where. These are for the engine control rod, rudder, throttle, and trigger cables. Five amp fuse wire will be the ideal material for the cables, with short lengths of stretched sprue for the rudder pedal lines. A very helpful CAD drawing shows the completed sub-assembly in full colour, thus also working as a painting guide.

instr1.jpg


Step 2 details assembly of the Daimler-Mercedes D.IIIa / D.IIIau engine, the main differences being the intake manifolds and air pumps. As mentioned before, eleven full colour photographs support the assembly drawings, and again we have full colour CAD drawings of both sides of the completed engine.

instr2.jpg

 

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Wingnut Wings engines are the centre piece of any model, and this one will be visible more than most with those big removable cowling panels. I usually add ignition wires from the magnetos to the spark plugs, it is not difficult to do but is time consuming. No doubt etched brass aftermarket sets will be available soon to simplify this job. The D.IIIau is the high compression version of the engine, and was marked with red bands around the cylinders. These are provided as decals, along with tiny black & silver data plates that are affixed to the crankcase.


Step 3 sees the fuselage brought together in a most ingenious way. The underside already has all the interior work fixed to it, and now the left and right sides are attached to it. These sides have a false top & bottom, so they are shaped like any normal kit fuselage, but the beauty is that the joining seams are hidden. On the bottom the main underside piece covers it, and the top seam is covered by a separate fairing from the cockpit to the tailplane.

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Not just one fairing, there is a choice of two, with slight detail variations in the style of corrugation and a  roll over hoop depending upon which version you have chosen. It is attention to the minor details such as this that make these kits such a pleasure to build.

Fitting the tailplane, radiator, and exhaust completes this stage.

 

Step 4 is fairly simple, involving just the assembly of the wings. Here you are offered the choice of actually fitting them to the aircraft, or leaving them off. This is not quite as odd as it may at first seem, as there are plenty of photographs of D.1’s with their wings detached on the ground nearby. Given the small size of the finished model, there is plenty of scope for some neat little dioramas.
You will have to decide to build with the wings ‘on’ or ‘off’, as changes to the wing stubs mean it will not be possible to pop them off and on. The ‘off’ version exposes a lot of the neat ‘birdcage’ assembled in stage 1, complimented by a pair of interior wing ribs to fit on the ends of stub wings.

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Step 5 is for adding some of the smaller exterior details such as the foot steps (choice of two), rudder, and LMG 08/15 Spandaus with their flash guards over the engine. Etched brass cooling jackets are provided, which will need to be annealed (briefly heated red hot in a gentle flame and left to cool) and rolled to shape.

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If you are not confident in doing this, then solid plastic alternatives are provided.

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As with the engine, the Spandaus are going to be much more visible than on a biplane, so are well worth taking time over.


Step 6 completes construction of the D.1. The undercarriage, cockpit coaming, engine panels, and propeller are all fitted. Two short bracing lines are fitted between the rear undercarriage legs, and that’s it, there is no more rigging to do!


Options.
Al selection of five different machines is offered, four wartime and one post Great War machine serving with the German Freikorps in Latvia.

 

  • Junkers D.1 5185/18, Aldershof, October 1918.

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  • Junkers D.1 5185/18, ‘Bänder’, Hombeek, MFJG, November 1918.

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  • Junkers D.1 “Weisser Schwanz”, Hombeek, MFJG, November 1918.

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  • Junkers D.1 5188/18? “11”, October 1918.

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  • Junkers D.1, Gotthard Sachsenberg (31 victories), Theodore Osterkamp (38 victories) & Josef Jacobs (48 victories), FA 416, September-October 1919.

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Decals.
Decals are by Cartograf, so are of a very high standard. All printing is pin sharp with good colours and minimal carrier film. Plenty of small stencils, instruments and details are provided, along with the larger national and individual markings.

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The coloured bands on option B ‘Bänder’ are not known with absolute certainty, although red & white is thought most likely. However, should you disagree, green & white, yellow  & white, and black & white are also provided.

 

Conclusion
Every new Wingnut Wings kit is waited for with great anticipation, and they never disappoint, by virtue of their being so well thought out and  engineered. Announcement of this one seemed to cause a few grumbles out there on the ‘net, mainly along the lines of ‘why can’t we have an XYZ’. Well this is a hugely significant aircraft, being the world’s first all metal monoplane fighter, and deserves a place in any collection of 1:32nd aircraft models. It will be the perfect companion to the Wingnut Wings two seater Junkers J.1 (one of my favourite finished models of all the range).  As well as in a Great War collection, the Junkers D.1 would sit very well against almost any Me/Bf 109 model. In fact this could be done for option E, as Theodore Osterkamp went on to fly the 109E with JG 51 in the Battle of Britain, scoring six more victories to add to his previous thirty two. They would indeed make a very interesting pairing.


The quality of the mouldings ,particularly the representation of the corrugations is outstanding. It has been done with such finesse, with tiny little rivet detail and perfectly rounded ends to each line.

sprueda.jpg

 

The clever breakdown of the fuselage parts should make assembly very simple, with almost no, to minimal clean up. If you have been thinking of getting a Wingnut Wings kit but been put off by rigging, this is probably the best one yet for a novice to build. There are no clear parts, no complicated strutting, and only two little rigging lines on the undercarriage that can easily be done with fine wire or stretched sprue. Add to that that this is a Wingnut Wings package with all the quality that the name assures, this pugnacious and interesting little aeroplane deserves to be high up on everyone’s ‘wants’ list. I am so impressed and enthused by it, that it is going straight on to my workbench to be my number one build project. Look out for its imminent appearance in the ‘Work in progress’ section of this forum.

 

<EDIT> Here it is in Work In Progress </EDIT>

<EDIT> And the finished model is now in Ready for Inspection </EDIT>

 

Highly recommended.

 

 

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Review sample courtesy of
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It seems that Wingnut scewed up big time.

Look like they completely missed the shape, not to speak of the dimensions...

 

1200px-HY_Citro%C3%ABn.jpg

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Thanks for posting this review. I was undecided about getting one but this has made my mind up, it's next on the list. 

 

Cheers, Martin 

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That is a great review and your passion and knowledge are obvious.  I pre-ordered this kit as I do think it is of historic importance and I am not disappointed.  Then again, when was anyone even mildly disgruntled with Wingnut Wings?

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Well I still think it's an ugly little swine but again Wingnuts make it look like a kit I will want to build. Afterwards I will need to build a sty for the little pig though :drunk:

Splendid review! :thumbsup:

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On 14 avril 2018 at 3:43 PM, Viking said:

As well as in a Great War collection, the Junkers D.1 would sit very well against almost any Me/Bf 109 model. In fact this could be done for option E, as Theodore Osterkamp went on to fly the 109E with JG 51 in the Battle of Britain, scoring six more victories to add to his previous thirty two. They would indeed make a very interesting pairing.

 

On the same line, there's also the FW 190D option, related to the Sachsenberg family, with Gotthard's son Heinz flying it toward the end of ww2 as leader of the famous Papagei Staffel, or Sachsenberg schwarm.

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