Manufacturer: Blue Max, Lancaster House, P.O. Box 50, Whitstable, Kent CT5 2UX, England, phone 44-1227-277569. Available from Squadron Mail Order, 1115 Crowley Drive, Carrollton, TX 75011-5010, phone 972-242-8663.
Price: £19.99 (about $33 plus shipping)
Comments: Injection molded, 46 parts (21 white metal), decals.
The Pfalz D.XII was a contemporary of the Fokker D.VII, and they were similar in many ways. Not so in performance - the Pfalz was nearly as fast, but not as maneuverable as the Fokker. Fewer than 800 D.XIIs were built, and only four are left in museums.
Blue Max's plastic and white metal moldings provide the raw material to build
a fine addition to a World War I collection. To get there you'll have to remove a lot of flash. The metal machine guns and radiator look good, but some of the engine parts lack detail.
The four-page instructions include an exploded-view assembly guide, color notes, and photos of models done up in the two schemes provided on the decal sheet. The small assembly drawing lacks part numbers so you'll have to study everything carefully before you begin building. The color guide matches WWI paints to current Federal Standard colors.
The cockpit parts fit well, but the seat must be moved forward 1/8" on the floor or else it will be too far back in the fuselage. I trimmed the cockpit floor on both sides to get the fuselage halves to close. The same goes for the machine gun deck.
The fit of the lower wing to the fuselage was poor and required lots of filling and sanding. The ailerons are molded separately; I dropped one and raised the other.
I airbrushed my model with Polly Scale paints, then hand painted the tires with Tamiya panzer gray. A coat of clear gloss was applied before decaling.
The decals are thin and sharply printed. After trimming away the generous clear film, the markings laid down beautifully without setting solution.
Both marking choices require lozenge camouflage on all or part of the flying surfaces. These are not provided in the kit, but you can order four- or five-color, upper or lower lozenge decals for 7.49 pounds each (about $12.50), including air postage, using the order form in the instructions.
After adding a plastic rod for the prop shaft, I inserted it into the engine. I didn't rig the model yet -- I'm still trying to decide whether to order the lozenge decals.
I spent 20 hours on my Pfalz, much of it fixing the fit. When finished, the model scales right with the drawings in Windsock Datafile 41, Pfalz D.XII. I recommend this Blue Max kit only to experienced biplane modelers.