Fokker Dr.I Eduard kit 1136
Manfred von Richthofen was definitely one of the most prominent person in the WW1. He was top ace and his glory was that great that in his honor aviation unit have his name. So this is no wonder that in many cases first association with some airplane is related to this great pilot. For many famous WW1 fighter designed by Anthony Fokker, Fokker Dr.I is synonymous for the von Richthofen. Manfred was among the pilot who has flight test this airplane in prototype phase, win many bitter battles in the cockpit of the same type and finally find his death in the cockpit of the same.
In this light Eduard May 2008 release is more then interesting. After long waiting a thousand of aviation modelers is pleasured with their brand new kit of Fokker Dr.I in 1/48 scale. For a years it was normal that new kit coming on market as the sole item but Eduard team used different strategy and the brand new kit of Fokker Dr.I is released as dual set. This set is number 1136 and include Albatros D.V kit in 1/48 and one Fokker Dr.I kit. And all of this dedicated to the Manfred von Richthofen and his brother Lothar. This approach to the brand new item is very interesting and kit is packed with the full decals enough to finish kits in several variants but the specialty is the two resin figures in the 1/48 scale as well one small dog figure which present Manfred pet. Details are so deep that even the decoration was provided for the figures and they are etched metal. Just to note that except of this small features package also include one small copy of the “Pour le merite” decoration and it look nice on dress.
No matter that basic kit idea is the Richthofen brothers I will pay attention of this review to the very new item inside- great Fokker Dr.I. Kit is coming on the three plastic fret and there is also one sheet of the photo etched parts. They make most of the kit parts but also there is small transparent film with the small windscreen as well small sheet of the protective mask for the wheels. The same kit have all parts also in plastic so this mean that in the future release this kit will also appear as the well know and popular Weekend Edition.
Precision of the molded parts is outstanding but most important feature at all is that selection of the parts assembly is best designed. To better explain this lets back to the origin and way how it was finished. Fokker Dr.I featured streaky camouflage pattern where the green color was brushed over the clear doped linen fabric. As well the parts are separately finished, result was that on the each wing, control surfaces and fuselage it have different direction and pattern. To make this on kit of classic build we should have to make mask over the each section and this make painting job much longer and more difficult. Eduard is for sure think on that and each part is made as sole part and it is possible to make every part complete painted and the at the final assembly join them together. So you could with easy finish whole fuselage and parallel could be finished all other parts with fabric and metal surfaces. Metal surfaces are in plain green color and as well they are also given as separated part they are easy to finalize. In the final appearance when the kit is assembled together this gives most accurate and sharp look. This method of part design is outstanding and Eduard deserves all respect for this great work!
Interior of the early airplanes was Spartan and the same is with the Fokker Dr.I. Most of the surfaces are fabric so major area have to be finished in the pale cream color. Just front part is covered with plywood and inside is visible wood grain and texture. All metal parts are in the grey green color which was basic meal protective color. So if we first day paint all of this parts in their basic color, next day we could fit them together and after that cement together fuselage half’s and in two days get main fuselage works over.
This kit could be build into the two versions. One is the standard Fokker Dr.I model and the other is the pre series model F.I. There are several differences between this two model and parts with the kit cover all of this difference. Starting from the front first to note is the cowling. On the F.I this is partially covered on the lower section. Solution for this is given as photo etched parts which is used as the surface area and for the F.I it is extended and perfectly match the early design of the lower engine cowling. Other difference is the lack of the lower wing tips skid on the F.I model but there are two small holes which have to be filled. Wings include different types of the controls and they are also included as separate parts. Maybe most noticeable is the horizontal tail which have slightly curved leading edge.
Same build is very straightforward and without any difficulties. As I said if you in the first step paint all of the parts this will make assembly job easy and pleasure. One of the feature I really prefer on this kit is the separate part for the narrow seam which is placed at the central bottom of the fuselage. When cement fuselage parts you will have small gap on the bottom and this plastic seam part perfectly fit inside.