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Eduard Albatros D.Va

Manufacturer: Eduard, 43521 Obrnice 170, Czech Republic, 42-035-611-8171.
Price: $8.99
Comments: Injection molded, 31 parts, decals.
Pros: Generally accurate, good exterior detail, excellent decals.
Cons: Spartan interior, wing tip shapes need improvement, some minor fit problems.
Eduard's Albatros features light beige plastic parts with overall good detail and no flash. The fuselage panel lines are nicely engraved with raised cowling inspection panels. The wings feature raised ribs.
The four-step instructions are good, and the two four-view drawings show the camouflage patterns and decal choices for the two modeling subjects.

The interior and Mercedes engine assemble easily, and the engine fits into the fuselage well. Unfortunately, the cockpit is sparse, even by World War I standards.

The fit is good. You may need filler where the lower wing and tailplane join the fuselage. The engine cutout was slightly misshapen, so I reshaped it with files. I skipped ahead and attached the undercarriage legs and spreader bar - doing this helped me align the wings and tail.

At this point, I applied most of the paint - AeroMaster and Model Master acrylics. I also drilled locating holes for the rigging with a No. 80 bit and a pin vise. The soft plastic was easy to drill.

I glued the V-shaped interplane struts to the top wing and checked that they hung 90 degrees from the surface. Next I glued the top wing and struts to the lower wing, then followed with the installation of the cabane struts. I found that enlarging the strut holes slightly helped everything go together properly.

After adding the rigging, I fashioned the characteristic radiator return pipe from .020" brass wire, bending it with pliers to match scale drawings. I painted the top of the upper wing last before decals. My sample's decals were well printed and opaque, but they are very thin and difficult to position. A little saliva helps them slide into place.

According to published dimensions, the Eduard D.Va's span is four scale inches short. The rear fuselage looks a little heavy at the tail end. The lower wing has the proper dihedral molded in, but the rake of the wing tips is too great - I sanded the front corners back to reduce the angle. The "washout" is missing from the wing tips. My main references were Albatros Fighters Datafile Special (by Albatros Publishing), and Norman Frank's Above the Lines.

I spent 33 hours on my Albatros, most of it painting and rigging. You should have a few WWI aircraft under your belt before tackling this one. Experts will find it a rewarding experience.

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