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Alpine Front Fighters in 1/72: advice needed


2996 Victor
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Hi All,

 

I've been around BM for almost a year and a half, now, mostly focussing on WW2 subjects but recently my interest in WW1 aviation, particularly on the Alpine Front, has reawakened. Its over 25 years since I tried any WW1 aero-modelling, and things have moved on a bit in that time!

 

I'm modelling in 1/72 scale and I'm primarily interested in the Austro-Hungarian Luftfahrtruppe and KuK Kreigsmarine, so I'd like to ask the Oracles here whose kits they'd recommend. I don't mind fettling and a bit of scratch-building, I'm looking for overall accuracy of shape and dimensions.

 

Roden's Albatrosen seem to be held to be good kits if a little fiddly.

 

What about the MAC Phonix fighters?

 

Does anyone produce a good Berg D.I (or D.II, for that matter)?

 

And decals. The MAC KuK Phonix D.II for instance - I've read that the decals are not great. Are there generic crosses available (as there used to be in 1/48) and is the Kreigsmarine rudder crown available separately anywhere?

 

I'd also like to do a few Allied fighters. Roden's Camel springs to mind - did the Italians use them? Is there a decent Hanriot HD.1 available? And again, what about markings?

 

Lots of questions, for which I apologise, but I'd be very grateful for any pointers.

 

Thanks in advance,

Mark

 

 

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A Polish manufacturer Choroszy Modelbud has produced an interesting series of resin Aviatik D.1 in 1/72:

 

https://modelbud.pl/en_US/c/Models/56/4

 

Apart from that I only know the somewhat older release from Eastern Express:

 

https://www.scalemates.com/de/kits/eastern-express-72165-fighter-aviatik-berg-di--1023934

 

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20 minutes ago, 112 Squadron said:

A Polish manufacturer Choroszy Modelbud has produced an interesting series of resin Aviatik D.1 in 1/72:

 

https://modelbud.pl/en_US/c/Models/56/4

 

Apart from that I only know the somewhat older release from Eastern Express:

 

https://www.scalemates.com/de/kits/eastern-express-72165-fighter-aviatik-berg-di--1023934

 

Thanks for the links, the Choroszy Modelbud series looks very interesting, and the U-Berg as well! I've not previously tackled a full resin kit, so that might be a bit of a challange.

 

Thanks again and kind regards,

Mark

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10 minutes ago, 112 Squadron said:

 

Apart from that I only know the somewhat older release from Eastern Express:

 

https://www.scalemates.com/de/kits/eastern-express-72165-fighter-aviatik-berg-di--1023934

 

This is the Toko kit, possibly with better decals depending on which re-issue.

 

     Yes, Roden Albatrosses are very good, although the multi-version mouldings mean that more care than usual is needed with assembly. More accurate than anything else you're likely to find.

There were also a series of Oeffag Albatros kits from HitKit. Worth it for the decals if found cheap, several boxings, but extremely limited run, and quality control of the plastic wasn't great, so you get a range from quite buildable with a lf care and minor replacement of smaller parts like struts, to lots of short shots and/or the whole sprue entirely embedded in a sea of flash. The PE is very nice but the internal bits are too large to fit the thick-walled fuselage. They can be adapted to use with the Blue rider series of vacform conversions - the latter turn out okay with a lot of work but are left well behind by the Roden kits. They do turn up for reasonable prices at shows and even on Fleabay, in which case they're worth it for the decals. Some editions inluded parts from the Revell D3 that were intended for use with the conversion, some don't.

 

    Once upon a time there was a very nice C.A. Atkins metal kit of the Berg D.I - I've only ever found one.

 

   Most Italian front types are available from various eastern European resin manufacturers, and virtually all types have been kitted at some time by the better vac producers.

 

For replacement decals, Blue Rider do a generic sheet of Austro Hungarian serials, and specific sheets for the Phonix D.I and II, and various Oeffag Albatrosses. Also sworl camo decals, but since they were designed there have been better attempts by later decal makers.

 

   For Allied aircraft of course you're more spoiled for choice, Eduard doing Spad XIIIs and various Nieuports, and the Roden doing Camels and other Nieuports. Mac still does the best Spad VII, but be prepared to thin the trailing edges on all flying surfaces, this being a common feature on most of their kits. The Phonix is good (except the III, which lacks the modifications needed for this version). There are also some good vacs by Joystick, most of which are currently still available from Hannants, although I think they now only have the Phonix D.III .

 

Paul.

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Hi Paul,

 

many thanks for your detailed reply, that's all extremely helpful and hugely appreciated!

 

10 minutes ago, Paul Thompson said:

Roden Albatrosses are very good, although the multi-version mouldings mean that more care than usual is needed with assembly. More accurate than anything else you're likely to find.

That's good to know, especially on the accuracy front. I'll keep an eye out for the HitKit versions, as well.

 

12 minutes ago, Paul Thompson said:

For Allied aircraft of course you're more spoiled for choice, Eduard doing Spad XIIIs and various Nieuports, and the Roden doing Camels and other Nieuports. Mac still does the best Spad VII, but be prepared to thin the trailing edges on all flying surfaces, this being a common feature on most of their kits.

Also good to know. Eduard has always had a good reputation, interesting that the MAC SPAD VII is the best of that mark. On the issue of trailing edges, I've found a very few builds of the MAC Phonix D.I/II and the wings and tailplanes seemed quite thick so something to watch out for.

 

14 minutes ago, Paul Thompson said:

The Phonix is good

Pleased to hear that as I really fancy these, especially the KuK D.IIa, and also

14 minutes ago, Paul Thompson said:

(except the III, which lacks the modifications needed for this version)

as I've just spotted an example on eBay and was hovering over the "buy it now" button! What are the issues, by the way?

 

15 minutes ago, Paul Thompson said:

There are also some good vacs by Joystick, most of which are currently still available from Hannants, although I think they now only have the Phonix D.III .

Had a quick look at the Big H and they've quite a range of Joystick vacforms, including the Phonix D.III, so I foresee an order heading their way shortly. Never built a vacform, though, so that could be interesting.....

 

Thanks also for the pointers to decals. I found the Aviattic decals site, and they do AH Sworl Camouflage decals, as well as lozenge and specific Fokker sets.

 

All brilliant, thank you!

 

Kind regards,

Mark

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5 minutes ago, 2996 Victor said:

Hi Paul,

 

many thanks for your detailed reply, that's all extremely helpful and hugely appreciated!

 

That's good to know, especially on the accuracy front. I'll keep an eye out for the HitKit versions, as well.

 

 

If you get one, you need to be careful of the decals - they're just as variable as the plastic so you'll need to test an unwanted image. Get the right boxing and there's also sworl (for which you paint the base colour) decal, which I haven't tried yet so don't know if it works.

 

 

 

5 minutes ago, 2996 Victor said:

 

Also good to know. Eduard has always had a good reputation, interesting that the MAC SPAD VII is the best of that mark. On the issue of trailing edges, I've found a very few builds of the MAC Phonix D.I/II and the wings and tailplanes seemed quite thick so something to watch out for.

 

Pleased to hear that as I really fancy these, especially the KuK D.IIa, and also

as I've just spotted an example on eBay and was hovering over the "buy it now" button! What are the issues, by the way?

 

To be honest I can't remember off the top of my head and have a visitor due now so haven't time to check - all I recall is that it wasn't a deal-breaker with a bit of 'modelling skill'.

 

 

5 minutes ago, 2996 Victor said:

 

Had a quick look at the Big H and they've quite a range of Joystick vacforms, including the Phonix D.III, so I foresee an order heading their way shortly. Never built a vacform, though, so that could be interesting.....

 

 

Phoenix vacs are good for accuracy (usually) and fit well if prepared carefully. If you're new to them I recommend John Adams guide to building them, findable somewhere on this site. In short, all down to accurate sanding, aided massively by first either spraying the top of the plastic or drawing around the join with the backing sheet using (by preference) an indelible marker, so that once you score around the d=edge of the parts and snap them free you have an easilt visible guide as to how far to sand. And also don't do the oft recommended sanding on a flat sheet of sand paper but use sanding sticks and blocks. That way you have much more control. Phonix have many of the hard bits (props, wheel, guns etc) in white metal, and supply extruded aerofoil plastic to make struts from.

5 minutes ago, 2996 Victor said:

 

Thanks also for the pointers to decals. I found the Aviattic decals site, and they do AH Sworl Camouflage decals, as well as lozenge and specific Fokker sets.

 

 

Aviattic are really good and dedicated to what they do.

 

5 minutes ago, 2996 Victor said:

 

All brilliant, thank you!

 

Kind regards,

Mark

 

 

Paul.

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Thanks, Paul, that's great and hugely appreciated! I've previously skimmed through John Adams' guide to vacforms which all made good sense, so I don't think there's too much to fear :D 

 

Thanks again and kind regards,

Mark

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1 hour ago, 2996 Victor said:

I've just noticed that Choroszy do a resin Phonix D.III as well..... How do their kits stack up? Are they generally accurate in outline and dimensions?

 

Thanks,

Mark

Reviews in Windsock were always favourable regarding accuracy. The ones I have are mostly okay, the Caudron G.III I built had some questionable shapes but that species is a minefield, there being several versions and lots of modifications recorded, so it might be accurate anyway. If money was no object I'd try combining the best of the Joystick (I keep typing 'Phoenix' and having to correct, because that was a similar vac company) ) and Choroszy kits. I had scores of resin kits whose wings either wouldn't straighten or that warped again post construction so even if the detail is not as good I prefer vacform wings.

 

Paul.

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55 minutes ago, Bob C. said:

HR Models does (used to do?) the Hanriot (I and II?).  Check Hannants.  Also look for OOP Pegasus kits.

Good luck, 

Bob C

The HR Hanriots are only a few years old, injection moulded, and much much better than the elderly Pegasus kit (oof which I have a couple, as well as the Formaplane vac that was your best bet before Pegasus stepped in).  Neither Hannants or The Aviation Megastore currently list them though, which suprised me.

 

Paul.

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1 hour ago, Bob C. said:

HR Models does (used to do?) the Hanriot (I and II?).  Check Hannants.  Also look for OOP Pegasus kits.

Good luck, 

Bob C

 

30 minutes ago, Paul Thompson said:

The HR Hanriots are only a few years old, injection moulded, and much much better than the elderly Pegasus kit (oof which I have a couple, as well as the Formaplane vac that was your best bet before Pegasus stepped in).  Neither Hannants or The Aviation Megastore currently list them though, which suprised me.

 

Paul.

I'd seen built up examples of the HR Hanriot, but hadn't been able to track down any examples. So I'm guessing they're well and truly OOP :( Perhaps someone like Eduard might come to the rescue.....

 

Cheers,

Mark

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Hallo

Much research was done here in Austria to this topic. The journals and books about it are mostly German. The camouflage in this theater is quite a challenge. I am not sure if the kits are good researched.

Happy modelling 

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7 minutes ago, dov said:

Hallo

Much research was done here in Austria to this topic. The journals and books about it are mostly German. The camouflage in this theater is quite a challenge. I am not sure if the kits are good researched.

Happy modelling 

Hi,

 

Many thanks for your post! The camouflage schemes and markings are some of the most interesting which is one reason why I originally became fascinated. Of course, researching the actual pilots came later and gives a human aspect to the horrors of the war.

 

I used to have Dr Martin O'Connor's book on the AH air aces ( part of my WW1 library, sold while I was married :().

I've still got the Cross & Cockade Journal 10-part history of AH colours and markings also by Dr O'Connor.

 

Of course, these sources are now 25 years old, so I'd also been keen to know if they are still valid.

 

Thanks again and best regards,

Mark

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Look, in next days I will check my library. One of my friends, who made a book about it passed away a year before. Anyway I can refresh some chanels in the modelling circle in Vienna.

You may specify what you want. The top score Bromowsky ( not correct spelled now) is the most researched one. My sugestion!

By the way: He taught H.J. Marseille as flying instructor.

I am just generating your appetite for this.

More at or after weekend.

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Here are the asses and the type list, as far as I have in my books:

 

Godwin Brumowski 42 kills

Julius Arigig 32 kills

Ing. Benno Ritter von Fernbrugg 31 kills

Frank Linke-Craford 29 kills

 

The aircraft industry at this time is hard to describe:

In Germany just a like merry go round to create excess of money.

Ernst Heinkel wrote in detail about this field and specuially about the cooperation with Castiglioni in his book.

Camillo Castiglioni was the absolute champion in this field together with Fokker.

 

https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Camillo_Castiglioni

 

Aviatik Berg D.I. produced by the company Thöne & Fiala in Vienna

Aviatik Berg C.I. produced by W.K.F. also in Vienna

Loyd C.V. also produced by W.K.F.

W.K.F. D.I. a sleek new design analogy to Albatros

Brandenburg B.I.

Brandenburg C.I.

Brandenburg G.I.

Ufag C.I.

Brandenburg D.I. type KD kit was started by Wingnut & Cooperstate

Albatros D.III. Oef

Albatros D.II. produced by Öffag

Öffag C.II.

Loyd C.II.

Aviatik 30

Aviatik B.II.

Phönix D.I.

Phönix D.II.

Phönix 20

Phönix C.I.

Albatros B.I.

Lohner B. VII.

Lohner B.II.

Lohner L

 

I hope you may get along now.

Greetings from Vienna

 

Happy modelling

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Hi Dov,

 

Thank you very much indeed for your posts, and I apologise for not having replied sooner.

 

Thank you for the information: that's brilliant! I normally go for aircraft flown by "other" pilots, not necessarily the aces, although in the case of AH aircraft I was planning on aircraft of the lower scoring aces, possibly Josef Kiss. However, Brumowski's Albatroses are a great subject and the fact that he taught Marseille to fly is fascinating.

 

Also, I hadn't heard of Camillo Castiglione but will read the link you attached.

 

The list of aeroplanes is most interesting, I believe there was a lot of design and development projects ongoing, some very promising, at the end of the war.

 

Thanks again for all your help, it's hugely appreciated.

 

Kind regards,

Mark

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