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Oh well, I feel committed now even though a bit of initial research shows I may have picked a 'hard' kit albeit for a real 'looker' of a subject, the Albatros DVa.

 

From Wiki, the Albatros D.V was a fighter aircraft used by the Luftstreitkräfte (Imperial German Air Service) during World War I and was the final development of the Albatros D.I family, and the last Albatros fighter to see operational service. Despite its well-known shortcomings and general obsolescence, approximately 900 D.V and 1,612 D.Va aircraft were built before production halted in early 1918. The D.Va continued in operational service until the end of the war.

 

The D.V closely resembled the D.III and used the same 127 kW (170 hp) Mercedes D.IIIa engine. The most notable difference was a new, fully elliptical cross-section fuselage which was 32 kg (71 lb) lighter than the partially flat-sided fuselage of the earlier D.I through D.III designs. The prototype D.V retained the standard rudder of the Johannisthal-built D.III but production examples used the enlarged rudder featured on D.IIIs built by Ostdeutsche Albatros Werke (OAW).[2] The D.V also featured a larger spinner and ventral fin.

 

The only significant difference between wings of the D.III and D.V was a revised routing of the aileron cables that placed them entirely within the upper wing.

 

The D.V entered service in May 1917 and structural failures of the lower wing immediately occurred. Front line pilots were considerably dismayed and many preferred the older D.III; Manfred von Richthofen was particularly critical of the new aircraft.

 

Albatros responded with the D.Va, which featured stronger wing spars, heavier wing ribs and a reinforced fuselage.[8] The modified D.Va was 23 kg (51 lb) heavier than the D.III but the structural problems were not entirely cured. Use of the high-compression 130 kW (180 hp) Mercedes D.IIIaü engine offset the increased weight of the D.Va.[9] The D.Va also reverted to the D.III aileron cable linkage, running outwards through the lower wing, then upwards to the ailerons to provide a more positive control response. To further strengthen the wing, the D.Va added a small diagonal brace connecting the forward interplane strut to the leading edge of the lower wing.

 

Apparently, the kit more represents the DV so, there is a bit of additional bracing and control wires which can be added to better represent the DVa. (Plus, I have read that the kit may have detail issues with the spinner, prop blades and engine as well as having the standard no cockpit details). I'll also do rigging which is fairly simple on this aircraft.

 

Lastly, producing a 'varnished spruce' finish on the fuselage and getting the right shade of 'mauve' for the camouflage could be challenging, or even character-building!

 

Here is the kit then:

100_2762100_2763100_2765100_2766

 

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I am very much looking forward to seeing this one unfold.

 

Regards:

Shaun

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The kit issues are all easy fixes provided you're aware of them. The props are too thin and the spinner too pointed. Try and replace is best but reshaping the point and finding new blades is the next best option. The main potential problem is the cabane strut location holes. Make sure that the port, the pilot's left, holes match the starboard, otherwise the wing will be lopsided. Also the forward hole on the starboard side which is for the location of the right half of the tail planes is usually too low. Fill it in, cut off the pin and I found the remaining three did the job. Where the two parts meet may need a little shaving off but it makes a decent DV.

Regards, Steve

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20 hours ago, Robert Stuart said:

If I recall correctly, these used to take me a couple of days (take a LOT longer now, I try to add invisible - never to be seen again - detail).  Nice builders' kits.  The wing struts tend to need support, but, hey, that's why the real thing had rigging.

 

Re DV vs DVa, the main external difference was a brace between the leading strut and the wing leading edge - check the WingNut Wings site, lots of clues there.

Colours?  The comments above are, IMO, very helpful.  Depending on your chosen scheme, watch out for a possible change to five colour lozenge (I think) with the DVa.

Thanks, Robert - you are right that struts can be a nightmare but I see the DVa has 'V-shape on the wings i.e. are joined in a point and the cabane struts have a joining piece across the top which I am hoping will be a bit more solid when assembling as opposed to all struts being single pieces. The WingNut Wing site is excellent, thanks for the pointer and I really want to use that 'mauve'.

 

On 23/10/2018 at 08:16, Andwil said:

Well I'll be interested to watch this ancient kit come together, I remember building one in my youth.

 

The mauve is correct for German camouflage, but the "yellow" for the fuselage is meant to be a pale varnished wood colour.  But have a look around, there are plenty of colourful options for Albatros DVs.

 

AW

Thanks AW, I also remember building one a long time ago but time has obviously given it a rose-coloured hue - I think this kit needs a bit of work! I was going to do the yellow to follow the kit scheme but you are right - wood is more appropriate and more challenging.

On 23/10/2018 at 08:40, John D.C. Masters said:

Right...the fuselage is varnished spruce--easy-peasy.  The wings are mauve and green and their undersides are CDL.

 

This is a real classic!

Thanks John, I'm a long way behind you in the wood skills department though - I'll be looking back at your recent builds for hints. CDL would be interesting but I came across a black and white film of Albatros factory production and the paint being applied to what looked like the underside of the wings looked to me to definitely have a colour rather than being clear dope. Anyway, I'm a sucker for Hu65!

On 23/10/2018 at 09:41, Andwil said:

Wouldn’t the undersides of the wings be pale blue?

 

AW

On 23/10/2018 at 09:41, Andwil said:

Wouldn’t the undersides of the wings be pale blue?

 

AW

For my sins, I'm going with the Hu65

19 hours ago, Torbjorn said:

I’m building Eduards’s version, which contains pieces for both the V and Va, but they left the modeller to figure out the differences. Apart from the little supporting braces on the struts I have identified these (I might very well have missed something):

 

The contol wires for the ailerons are different, should you choose to add them:

D. V. - straight up from the cockpit, between the guns, up into the upper wing 

D. Va - through the lower wings to underneath the ailerons and then up to the upper wing 

 

Due to that the cover plate on top of the guns are different (see the WnW instructions for the Jasta V kit).

 

There is a little hoop on the aft fuselage on the Va missing from V.

 

I’m also painting mine in the varnished fuselage with lilac-graygreen camo wings :)

Thanks Torbjorn, I really feel I'm starting at the bottom here!. The WnW information is great. I am going to have a go at the DVa control wires and apparently these were a return to the 'more risky' system used in the DIII, i.e. if you suffered a lower wing collapse, you lost the controls of the ailerons on the upper wing and so were a goner. I read that von Richthofen experienced a lower wing collapse but was flying the DV which had all the control wires within the top wing, so kept control of the ailerons and survived. The hoop on the fuselage is interesting - still to find a good picture of it.

 

On 23/10/2018 at 16:34, the South African said:

I am very much looking forward to seeing this one unfold.

 

Regards:

Shaun

Thanks Shaun, and I'm keeping an eye on your excellent F.2B build. Great to 'meet' you again.

14 hours ago, stevehed said:

The kit issues are all easy fixes provided you're aware of them. The props are too thin and the spinner too pointed. Try and replace is best but reshaping the point and finding new blades is the next best option. The main potential problem is the cabane strut location holes. Make sure that the port, the pilot's left, holes match the starboard, otherwise the wing will be lopsided. Also the forward hole on the starboard side which is for the location of the right half of the tail planes is usually too low. Fill it in, cut off the pin and I found the remaining three did the job. Where the two parts meet may need a little shaving off but it makes a decent DV.

Regards, Steve

Thanks Steve, I see what you mean about the provided location holes as my kit is exactly the same - not noticed when you are a 10 year-old but just not on at this time of life! I have plans in my head on what to do about the prop blades and the spinner, which hasn't the same diameter as the fuselage front.

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Made a start on the Airfix Albatros DVa - as warned by m' learned friends above and others, the spinner is too pointy, the prop blades too 'weedy' (expression borrowed from Adrian MF one of his previous builds) and the cockpit detail consists of a couple of pegs for the poor pilot to perch upon. Also, the locating pin for the front of the fuselage seems to have disappeared  and there is a pin in front of the engine location which may interfere with its fit - maybe it's meant to be there, we'll see.

 

100_2767

 

First job then is to fill in the cockpit a bit. Using one of those moulding template makers, I took the inner shape of the fuselage in the two places indicated by the pencil lines and traced onto a handy wooden iced lolly stick. Trying to make a solid bulkhead behind the pilot's seat and a frame for in front, incorporating an instrument panel.

100_2772100_2773

 

Cut out and sanded the shapes and the rear bulkhead went in OK. The front frame broke up during the process so I just retained the IP. Put in a flat floor and this will stop light shining through from the stand slot cut out below.

100_2775

 

I'll try for a seat and stick to finish off.

 

Prop and spinner before:

100_2776

 

Blades off and spinner mounted on a wooden skewer and flattened off and re-countoured using sandpaper. A lovely job until I began to pull out the wooden skewer and the centre of the spinner came away - the residual plastic was too thin. Tried to cement the centre back in but you can see from this photo that some of the plastic has disappeared and a gap is left. Oh well, I'll have to go the 'aftermarket' route.

 

100_2777

 

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Good start I like the "using real wood route" that you are taking I have done the same before but used balsa the effect looks good and under a coat or two clear orange really sets things off.

 

Regards:

Shaun.

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Nice start on the detail work Mike, looking forward to seeing how the seat turns out.

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I came across the excellent previous build of this kit by AdrianMF - Airfix 1/72 Albatros DVa by AdrianMF, April 27, 2014 in Less than a Tenner Group Build.

 

 

 

Adrian , you said:  The wooden prop is easily sorted by using wood to make it! DIY calls...

 

 

imageproxy

 

If it's not too cheeky, how did you do it, mate? I'm currently fill/sand/fill/sand on the spinner to get the shape and I consumed another Magnum ice lolly at the weekend just to get the wooden stick from it, which is a good start for the prop. I need to work out how to put a 'twist' in it though....  Please give me a clue. Thanks. Mike.

Edited by Ventora3300

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6 hours ago, Ventora3300 said:

I came across the excellent previous build of this kit by AdrianMF - Airfix 1/72 Albatros DVa by AdrianMF, April 27, 2014 in Less than a Tenner Group Build.

 

 

 

Adrian , you said:  The wooden prop is easily sorted by using wood to make it! DIY calls...

 

 

imageproxy

 

If it's not too cheeky, how did you do it, mate? I'm currently fill/sand/fill/sand on the spinner to get the shape and I consumed another Magnum ice lolly at the weekend just to get the wooden stick from it, which is a good start for the prop. I need to work out how to put a 'twist' in it though....  Please give me a clue. Thanks. Mike.

Mike,

On the Albatross, you could try shaping two separate blades and create the twist within the spinner by angling each blade. HTH 

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The build is vracking on nicely Mike. The easiest way to make the prop is to laminate your icelolly stick with wood glue and then use the original as a template for the shape remove excess material with sanding sticks because carving may cause a slip. 

 

HTH

 

Regards:

Shaun

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I discovered one more detail for the D.Va that the D.V did not have: an extra strap over the hood, I suppose to keep it from detaching inflight or somesuch. You can easily see it by googling DVa replica.

 

I discovered it right after having firmly CA-glued a PE part representing it onto my DV :(

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Drilled all the holes for the rigging now - I've used a smaller drill (than previously for the Bristol F.2B) so am expecting a neater result - and had a go at eliminating the ejector pin marks, overdone on one side.

Got first coat colour on the fuselage and wings. Wing undersurfaces are in Hu65. Fuselage is in Hu74 'Linen' in prep for the wood effect (since it appears to be more yellow than the Hu41 'Oak' I used inside the cockpit). Front section of the fuselage is 'Aluminium' and the spinner, rudder, and outer wheel discs are going as white for some sort of 'identification' The pilot has a leather flying coat, cap and boots and the uniform trousers are a self-mixed 'field grey'.

 

100_2779

 

Tried the 'purple' on the wings top surfaces but it looks too dark - I will lighten up the second coat. I've used light green on the struts and undercarriage legs which I am assuming are all metal - I've seen that colour on some photos of restored examples. I've made up a sheet of 'padded leather' from thick paper which I'm going to use for the seat. It's the making of the seat and the prop blades that is holding up putting the fuselage together.

100_2782

 

 Here's the seat then, one coat of 'Leather' on and it will need another. Hope the pilot is comfortable.....

100_2786

 

 

 

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I like the seat and the light green you have used looks like a good choice for the German grey-green used for metal surfaces.  Don’t forget the section of fuselage between the lower wings!

 

AW

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On 25/10/2018 at 21:29, the South African said:

Good start I like the "using real wood route" that you are taking I have done the same before but used balsa the effect looks good and under a coat or two clear orange really sets things off.

 

Regards:

Shaun.

Thanks Shaun - I wonder what type of wood they use for ice lolly stick? It's got a grain anyway so should show up.

On 26/10/2018 at 12:23, nimrod54 said:

Nice start on the detail work Mike, looking forward to seeing how the seat turns out.

Thanks John. Nothing too detailed here but just a little to stretch myself a bit. The seat is better than I expected - I bet it's the most comfortable the pilot has had to date!

On 29/10/2018 at 19:35, nimrod54 said:

Mike,

On the Albatross, you could try shaping two separate blades and create the twist within the spinner by angling each blade. HTH 

Aha - that's just where I'm going now - the wood of the ice lolly stick is sanding well when rubbed against a sanding block.

 

On 30/10/2018 at 04:07, the South African said:

The build is vracking on nicely Mike. The easiest way to make the prop is to laminate your icelolly stick with wood glue and then use the original as a template for the shape remove excess material with sanding sticks because carving may cause a slip. 

 

HTH

 

Regards:

Shaun

Thanks Shaun, you are right - any attempt to cut out a shape meets with disaster with this quality of wood. Sanding to a hand-drawn shape is working out fine but I'm having to go with 'single ply' as the stick is overthick as it is so no room for laminating pieces. Good idea for maybe 1/48 though.

 

On 01/11/2018 at 08:20, Torbjorn said:

I discovered one more detail for the D.Va that the D.V did not have: an extra strap over the hood, I suppose to keep it from detaching inflight or somesuch. You can easily see it by googling DVa replica.

 

I discovered it right after having firmly CA-glued a PE part representing it onto my DV :(

Thanks Torbjorn, I'll do that. There's nothing represented by Airfix at all. Also, I have no panel line on the top of the hood to show where the steel engine covers stop and the wood skin begins in front of the cockpit. I've ended up with steel covers right up and around the cockpit - just some additional armour plating then!

 

19 hours ago, the South African said:

Looking very good there!

 

Regards:

Shaun

Thanks Shaun. I'm enjoying it, including all the research etc. Conscious that the deadline is only a week away though.

 

7 hours ago, Andwil said:

I like the seat and the light green you have used looks like a good choice for the German grey-green used for metal surfaces.  Don’t forget the section of fuselage between the lower wings!

 

AW

Thanks AW, it's Humbrol H120 'Light Green' - I think I originally thought it was good for cockpit interiors as a sort of primed/painted metal colour. I've done the fuselage underside section between the lower wings now.

 

The seat is in the cockpit now and I'm made a 'stick' complete with leather grips from a spare undercarriage leg from the Fiat G50 bis completed recently - should have thinned it a bit.. I've put some oak stain on the cockpit interior as 'wood effect' but it will need several coats to really take effect. Some dials on the IP and it all looks good from afar!

 

 

100_2806

 

Lightened up the 'purple' to 'mauve' on the second coat - looks OK now. Put some 'oak' varnish on the linen fuselage and this will need several coats to pass as wood effect - just looks like dirty linen at the moment. Second coats of colours all round and I've done the tyres in 'Anthracite'. Amazingly, the 'aluminium' on the front fuselage panels is still tacky from yesterday!

 

100_2810

 

Ready for the dark green on the upper surfaces now and I'm going to try the much maligned H30! - just because it was the first camo green put out by Humbrol

100_2811

 

The prop blades, put off for ages now, have been started - plenty length on them just now to cater for mistakes - wish me luck, I'll need it, twice!

 

100_2811

 

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That's looking good Mike, I like the mauve colour, and the addition of the green coupled with the white tail and wooden fuselage will make this an attractive little model. .

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On 02/11/2018 at 17:44, nimrod54 said:

That's looking good Mike, I like the mauve colour, and the addition of the green coupled with the white tail and wooden fuselage will make this an attractive little model. .

Thanks again, John. I added 1 of white to 2 of the Humbrol Purple just to lighten it up a shade. Green still to go on.

On 02/11/2018 at 20:41, Smudge said:

Coming along nicely.

Thanks, Smudge. More progress below.

 

Now got the prop blades finished and mounted in the spinner - thanks for all the tips.  Mounted in the fuselage and closed up. Engine in, guns on, lower wing on, rear stabilisers on and undercarriage assembled. Here it is hardening up.

 

Now that the spinner and prop is on the fuselage, I can see that it is very slightly oversized but a take-off without the blades hitting the ground still looks possible!

100_2825

 

I'll need to do a bit more work shaping the spinner. I've put some background black in the radiator grooves on top, which will end up under the green section of the camo and represented it underneath the top wing, ready for a couple of connecting pipes. Upper wing on next.

100_2827

 

Edited by Ventora3300

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On 11/2/2018 at 5:11 PM, Ventora3300 said:

Thanks Shaun - I wonder what type of wood they use for ice lolly stick? It's got a grain anyway so should show up.

Ice lollies are made from white birch if memory serves(so is tongue depressors toothpics well anything wood that you get to stick in your mouth really) it is odorless tasteless and does not give off sap etc it also does not shatter but rather breaks into a thread like pattern. 

 

That being the useless fact for the day your build looks amazing Mike! I love the fact that you took the old lady in the bag and turned her into a looker! 

 

Regards:

Shaun

Edited by the South African

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Green camo is on, struts and top wing are on the Albatros DVa although it was  a bit hair raising lining it all up - definitely easier with the 'V' shape of the main struts and the cabane ones coming in one piece.

 

100_2834

 

As with any vintage Airfix kit I've built, the fuselage seam needed filling so that done and the base 'linen' colour re-applied ready for more wood-effect.

 

100_2839

 

The photos (cringe when zooming in) show me where some more touch up of paint edges are required.

 

I did a little more re-shaping on the spinner and re-painted. Gave it a blow and it actually turned (several times) but the wrong way! We'll just have to say the ground crew have fitted an uprated engine which can turn the massive blades but in the reverse direction. (I must have cut the slots with the spinner facing the wrong way between my fingers).

 

100_2845

 

Checked the transfers and they look OK. Once this has really hardened up, it'll be time for rigging. All drilled holes are clear and ready to go.

 

 

100_2851

 

 

Edited by Ventora3300

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On 08/11/2018 at 04:36, the South African said:

Ice lollies are made from white birch if memory serves(so is tongue depressors toothpics well anything wood that you get to stick in your mouth really) it is odorless tasteless and does not give off sap etc it also does not shatter but rather breaks into a thread like pattern. 

 

That being the useless fact for the day your build looks amazing Mike! I love the fact that you took the old lady in the bag and turned her into a looker! 

 

Regards:

Shaun

Many thanks Shaun, you really know your facts on wood! Not useless at all but all part of the engineering that goes into everyday life that most people take for granted. At the end of the day, the birch stick was great for the prop blades - I think I will be taking time after the build is finished to carefully sand them down further until they are more in scale - I bet the Albatros could achieve 250mph if blades that size were ever fitted to a full size version!

12 hours ago, stevehed said:

That's looking better. I really like the fuselage effect.

 

Regards, Steve

Many thanks, Steve - it's really just mahogany coloured wood vanish over Humbrol 'linen' enamel - I think I'm getting better at it but still a long way to go to get the finish others are achieving. The further back you stand, the better it looks....

 

There are three more things I'm going to try to get on this DVa kit before completion that others have pointed out - the little additional struts in front of the main wing struts, the hoop on the aft fuselage and the additional strap across the engine covers. Just need to get good reference pics.

 

100_2848

 

Edited by Ventora3300

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You Took a old lady gave her a make over and now shes prowling in the full glory of a cougar of note!Great job and very well executed Mike.The little problem with the air screw is easily over shadowed by the skill with witch the build was done.

 

Regards:

Shaun

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Rigging in progress so here's hoping there are no structural failures....that includes dropping it!

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The drop bit could just maybe become a bit of a PITA yes......😁😁😁😁

 

Regards:

Shaun

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