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First build First World War 1/48th scale aircraft recommendations.


Tony Davis
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I have built model aircraft before, but not for about 45 years, so I count myself as a complete beginner now.

 

I want to start building 1/48th scale WW1 aircraft. I have bought some Eduard kits but, having read through this forum, I feel they may not be suitable for a first build. They are, SE5a, Sopwith Camel, Bristol Fighter and Nieuport 11.

 

It would seem from reading comments here that I might be better served with either an Eduard Fokker Triplane or an Eduard Fokker DV11, would that be right? Which one of the two would be best, for assembly, rigging and painting?

 

One other quick question, I have seen reference to Revell selling "re-boxed" Eduard kits, have I got that right?

 

Thanks

 

 

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The Fokker Dr.1 has the least rigging. Just one set of crossed cabane wires and one set of crossed u/c wires. 

The Fokker D,VII is next with; one each side, a double wire from the fuselage, near the mid of the guns up to the wing, two pairs of crossed wires in the u/c and sometimes a wire from the fin to each tailplane, not all D,VII had that though

 

Yes, Revell re-boxed Eduard kits. Sometimes they are cheaper and sometimes not.

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Only 1/48th biplane I've built and rigged so far was Eduard's DH -2 - Odd choice for a first build but it just meant more rigging to be done.

 

It was an enjoyable experience but doesn't really answer your question. 

 

I have built a number of 1/72nd WW1 types and can say that the Fokkers would be a good choice if you only want to put your toe in the water as there is limited rigging required.

 

The Bristol's lower wing is, IIRC, located on struts below the fuselage which might be tricky for a first go.

 

You are correct about Revell reboxing Eduard's WW1 range.

 

HTH

 

IanJ 

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I'd say either the Dr.I or the D.VII would be a good choice for your first WW1 subject. They'll both be interesting builds with some challenges even though they have very little rigging. In the case of the Dr.I, you'll probably (depending on your choice of markings) be dealing with Fokker's signature streaked green paint job, and the D.VII will probably involve at least a fair amount of decals for the typical lozenge camouflage.

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Thanks both, Fokker Dr. 1 it is then.

 

Is there a way of telling which Revell kits are re-boxed Eduard kits?

 

Thanks again

 

Tony

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9 minutes ago, Black Knight said:

yes, look them up on Scalemates

Just type in Revell 1/48 Fokker

https://www.scalemates.com/kits/revell-04682-fokker-dr-i-triplane--102305

Thanks - I've just ordered  an Eduard Dr.1 from Ebay, it was cheaper than the Revell kits, it is a weekend edition but I'm assuming that the Revell kits don't come with etched parts. I'm not sure whether to buy the separate etched parts or whether I should just crack on with the weekend edition and build a model with etched parts when I've got a bit more experience under my belt.

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My first 1/48 ww1 model was an Eduard nieuport 11 and the rigging wasn't overwhelming on it. Less rigging than the others in your collection.

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6 hours ago, Tony Davis said:

I'm not sure whether to buy the separate etched parts or whether I should just crack on with the weekend edition and build a model with etched parts when I've got a bit more experience under my belt.

Just crack on! I'm sometimes certain PE is the spawn of Satan...

 

I'd also suggest the Eduard 1/48 Fokker E.V/D.VIII

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48 minutes ago, dnl42 said:

Just crack on! I'm sometimes certain PE is the spawn of Satan...

 

I'd also suggest the Eduard 1/48 Fokker E.V/D.VIII

I agree. IMHO the PE doesn't add a lot of needed detail in the WW1 kits. Eduard generally supplies decals for the instrument faces that are much easier to deal with, and they also generally supply styrene parts for things like control horns, for which the PE parts are a real pain.

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Eduard PE which is genuinely useful in their own kits : seat belts, seats if fretted, German gun jackets (in 1/48th the difference between a fretted and solid jacket is really noticeable), control horns (usually) and the odd 'special' like the fairing at the axle on Nieuport undercarriage. But agreed, for a beginner it's not essential.

 

If you want enough rigging to be a good learning experience but not too much then the Nieuports are all a good bet. They have a slightly simpler pattern than most,and no doubled wires (which the Camel and SE5a have aplenty). If you want plenty of rigging but really easy to access, then any WWI monoplane will do (Fokker E series, Morane N, etc).

 

Revell reboxings are of the Camel, SE5a, Fokker Triplane, and Albatros D.V, as of this moment, as far as I know. The only possible mis-buy would be if you got an old boxing of the Camel, which until Revell struck the deal with Eduard contained the old Aurora kit in it's slightly better Monogram re-working, which is ancient and crude by modern standards. Scalemates is quite confusing on this matter (there was a discussion here a year or two ago about that).

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I’ll second the Nieuports as a good starting point.   They offer a wide variety of countries and markings options, yet without a lot of complicated masking and painting challenges.  (Bonus: No lozenge, no Fokker streaked camouflage!)

 

There is a little more rigging than the Fokkers, but the sesquiplane layout and “V” wing struts are easy to handle.  

 

No matter what you pick, keep in mind there’s no rule saying you have to do every cable and wire!  Doing most, or just some of them will capture the effect, and inspire you to try a little more on the next one....  have fun! (And, like Seawinder, I also seldom use the included  PE.)

 

FWIW, my first two 1/48 scale Eduard kits were the Nieuport 17 and the Albatros D.V.   I enjoyed them both and still display them some 15+ years later.  I’ve built close to 50 WW1 kits since 2003, mostly 1/72 scale. The only Eduard kit I gave up on was the 1/48 Camel- I gave the other kit in the Dual Combo to Seawinder...

Edited by RC Boater Bill
fixed old typos, added new ones
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17 hours ago, RC Boater Bill said:

No matter what you pick, keep in mind there’s no rule saying you have to do every cable and wire!

I was reading the WNW site earlier and made note of the comment "don't bother with turnbuckles as they are usually overscale and coloured paint is quite effective" and I think that I will take that advice for now. 

I am going to start with the Dr.1, then the Nieuport 11, then, well, probably the S.E.5 or the Bristol fighter, then the Camel....

 

I need to sort out Vallejo paint equivalents now, I have had previous good experience spraying Vallejo paints so I'm going to stick with what I know (for now, anyway)

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6 minutes ago, Tony Davis said:

I was reading the WNW site earlier and made note of the comment "don't bother with turnbuckles as they are usually overscale and coloured paint is quite effective" and I think that I will take that advice for now. 

I am going to start with the Dr.1, then the Nieuport 11, then, well, probably the S.E.5 or the Bristol fighter, then the Camel....

 

I need to sort out Vallejo paint equivalents now, I have had previous good experience spraying Vallejo paints so I'm going to stick with what I know (for now, anyway)

Goody. I get to trot out my usual mantra - when you get to the later RFC/RAF types, you can still not bother with turnbuckles. Because they didn't use them, except on control lines. Nieuports are a different matter, but that bit about coloured paint is key. Most turnbuckles were hardly thicker than the cable they were attached to, and in 1/72nd I think paint is good enough, and even then not entirely neccessary. In 1/48th or larger you can always use a dab of white glue and paint if you really want to.

 

If I may, I'd suggest for the last three aircraft you mention try them in this order: Camel, SE5a, then Biff. Camel is single bay and apart from the doubled wires no funny tricks. SE5a is also single bay but has an extra set of double wires. And the F2b not only is two  bay but has a lot of additional wires in hard to reach places that are hard to see in photos, and Eduard don't show them on their rigging guides. Of course, no-one says you have to do them all, but I'm funny that way - if I know about it then I feel compelled to try it.

 

Paul.

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Thanks for your comments, Paul, most welcome. I had only put the last three in that order because I had heard somewhere (can't remember where, sorry, old age) that the Camel could be a difficult build.

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35 minutes ago, Tony Davis said:

Thanks for your comments, Paul, most welcome. I had only put the last three in that order because I had heard somewhere (can't remember where, sorry, old age) that the Camel could be a difficult build.

The Camel has one build problem and that is that the centre section struts are mislabelled, at least in two of the boxings I've built. Otherwise it all fits well, as do the struts once you sort them out (it helps to have a Windsock Datafile to hand). Personally, I find the treatment of the ribs much more problematic, because it;s far too heavy handed. Hopefully bettered in the new kit, because Eduard can do a great job sometimes. The F2b is a difficult beast because of it's odd geometry, let alone the rigging. Eduard's approach makes it as painless as possible (I've built over 20 F2bs in various scales by various manufacturers, and I still breath a sigh of relief when everything is aligned properly.).

 

Paul.

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My complaint about the 1/48 Camel centers around the wing struts.  The wing struts mount in shallow dimples.  The strut mounting points in the bottom wing aren’t perpendicular to anything - they lean forward, and aren’t perpendicular to the wing spar, because of the dihedral.  There was no guidance in my kit as to what angle they should be at.  Then factor in the “is this boxing of the kit one with the correct or wrong part numbers for the struts on the instructions?”

 

I couldn’t see how I’d juggle the top wing while trying to align six independent struts, mounted in little gimbal like dimples that wanted to fall every which way, when I couldn’t even be sure I had the parts in the right place to begin with!

 

 I decided that was a battle not worth fighting, so I gave the kit away, and built something far less aggravating.

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Years ago and before WNW, I built the Eduard 1/48 Alb Dv and also their N17 and both were easy straightforward builds TBH; especially the N17.

 

There is also the consideration that for true scale accuracy and in tiny 1/48 scale, would you actually be able to see the rigging wires (unless using something thinner than a human hair) anyway? As such, you could even choose not to do the rigging though irrespective of scale issues, they do of course look better (with) rigging and in any scale.

 

Gary

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6 minutes ago, redcap said:

Years ago and before WNW, I built the Eduard 1/48 Alb Dv and also their N17 and both were easy straightforward builds TBH; especially the N17.

 

There is also the consideration that for true scale accuracy and in tiny 1/48 scale, would you actually be able to see the rigging wires (unless using something thinner than a human hair) anyway? As such, you could even choose not to do the rigging though irrespective of scale issues, they do of course look better (with) rigging and in any scale.

 

Gary

It's like wood grain. You just can't see it at that scale. But without it, the model will look just wrong. Even in 1/144. I once did a few Sopwith Pups and Strutters in 1/700 to populate HMS Furious, and even there I thought they looked better with what was in effect grossly overscale rigging than without (for the record, I used 0.1mm nickel wire).

 

Paul.

 

Paul.

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I will be rigging the aircraft, as you say, it is part of the “character” of aircraft and, I believe, better to have some rigging than none.

I am planning to use fishing line for the initial build and see how I get on.

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16 hours ago, Paul Thompson said:

Profipack? I don't know if they ever fixed the instructions to be honest. They  may have.

 

Paul.

Yes, profipack.

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My first WW1 model was the Eduard Fokker D.VII. As others have said there is very little rigging however I did struggle a bit getting the undercarriage to all line up and the triple cabane struts from the fuselage to the top wings took a bit of patience too. Nothing insurmountable but not tasks that could be rushed. I have their SPAD to do too and it doesn't look too bad but much more rigging which I don't have a problem with.

 

Duncan B

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