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Eduard 1/48 scale Albatros D.V

Kit: No. 8013
Scale: 1/48
Manufacturer: Eduard, 800 Proctor Ave., Ogdensburg, NY 13669, phone 613-224-9071
Price: $34.98
Comments: Mixed media, 93 parts (32 injection-molded plastic, 56 photoetched brass, 4 white metal, 1 printed film), decals.

THE ALBATROS D.V retained the earlier D.III's wing, but featured a new fuselage with an elliptical cross section. A high headrest also was new, but many fliers removed it to improve rearward visibility. The D.V entered German service in April 1917, with the improved D.Va following in October; 2,512 D.Vs and D.Vas were produced.

The Albatros is the first to show off Eduard's new molding process, and the parts are crisp with little flash. The recessed panel lines are petite and the parts join the sprues with fine attachment points -- both welcome improvements. The photoetched and white-metal parts exhibit Eduard's usual fine standards. Extra parts are included for the D.V and D.Va versions.

The 16-step instructions have line drawings and part numbers with inset detail drawings specific to each version. Study them carefully before beginning. I crossed out the steps that weren't specific to the version I was building. A separate color diagram is included for painting and decaling. The four-color decal sheet provides markings for Goering's D.V of Jasta 27 and von Hippel's D.Va of Jasta 5.

Assembly went well with a few minor corrections. The control stick (PP6) should be turned 180 degrees so the long horizontal shaft faces forward. I trimmed the forward and rear bulkheads (PP22 and 23) and the forward cockpit sections on both fuselage halves to enable the fuselage to close without a gap. The styrene fuel-primer pump (PP9) is better than Eduard's former photoetched version.

You can barely see them on the finished model, but I inserted straight pins cut to 11mm for the machine-gun barrels. The cooling jackets are beautifully photoetched. Install the guns and related hardware after the fuselage halves are joined, so postpone step E.

I had to file and test fit the mating surfaces of the headrest and horizontal stabilizers. All other assembly steps went without problems. I left off the upper wing, machine guns, engine, and prop until painting was complete.

I decided to finish the bird as Goering's, and painted it with Polly Scale acrylics. Following Windsock International Special: Albatros Fighters, I painted the wings' upper surfaces Fokker dark green and German mauve, with sky blue undersurfaces. A coat of clear gloss was applied overall before decaling.

The decals are thin with just a hint of clear film to trim. Setting solution was not required except where a decal crossed over a panel line or control surface. When the decals had set, I finished with a coat of clear flat on the fuselage and satin finish on the doped wing surfaces. I rigged the wings using the recommended two-pound-test nylon fishing line.

The kit scales well to the drawings in both Squadron/Signal's Albatros in Action and the Windsock special. I spent 40 hours on my Albatros, most of that in painting. I have no problem recommending this kit to someone with multi-wing experience.

Phil Kirchmeier

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