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Eduard 1/48 scale Fokker D.VI

Kit: No. 8012
Scale: 1/48
Manufacturer: Eduard, 800 Proctor Ave., Ogdensburg, NY 13669
Price: $24.99
Comments: Injection molded, 101 parts (6 resin, 1 cast metal, 59 photoetched), decals.

FOKKER'S D.VI (V.13) was one of several prototypes entered by Anthony Fokker in the Adlershof Fighter competition held in February 1918. Another aircraft prototype also submitted by Fokker was the Fokker V.II (or D.VII), the eventual winner. The German Fliegerkorps did, however, place a small order for the rotary-engined D.VI as a backup.

The D.VI appeared to be a cross between the DR.I triplane and the D.VII biplane. Most of the 60 D.VIs were used for training, and only two squadrons of D.VIs were armed for home defense. I built the training version.

The main parts of the kit are typical limited-run, injection-molded plastic. Most edges have rough flash that must be removed for better fit. Nearly all of the cockpit interior is superbly fashioned in photoetched brass. You should have experience working with this medium as a lot of bending and shaping is necessary. The rotary engine is cast in white metal.

Eduard molded each lower wing and the upper wing in halves, and these fit poorly. It might be better to cut .020" sheet styrene for the lower halves and not worry about the subtle ribbing as this will be nearly invisible under the lozenge camouflage. I spent several hours sanding the parts to make them fit.

The instructions are clear and easy to follow, and the decals provide the entire lozenge camouflage -- it's not often you build a model that is almost completely covered by decals. The instructions, though, never mention the decals. I suggest applying the undersurface lozenge patterns first, then allowing the upper-surface decals to overlap slightly.

My sample's sheet was fragile, so I overcoated it with clear flat to keep each item from coming apart as it was applied. Solvaset helps the decals conform. Apply the lozenge panels to the subassemblies before final assembly, and clear away the decal from the points to be glued.

The photoetched parts for the elevator braces, fuselage step, hand holds, and control horns are out of scale in both size and thickness. I substituted stretched sprue for these parts as well as the control cables. The rest of the etched parts are real jewels and add greatly to the finished model.

Although the kit took more than 35 hours to build, I recommend this little gem to experienced modelers. W.M. Lamberton's old Harleyford book, Fighter Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War, was my main reference.

Bill Gebhard

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