Author Topic: Roden 1/32 scale Siemens Schuckert D.III (Late Production Version)  (Read 2095 times)

Offline Dave W

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Siemens Schuckert  D.III (Late Production Version)

Reviewed By: Lance Carroll

Item #610
Scale:  1:32
Price:     $45 USD
Stockist: Available through the Roden webstore at http://Http:// or through quality hobby retailers worldwide.

Contents:  Four page Black and white Instruction folder, five injection molded plastic  sprues containing a total of 92 parts,  one clear plastic sheet windscreen and decals including 5 color Lozenge for three aircraft options.

General Comments: The Siemens Schuckert D.III was powered by a superbly designed but trouble prone Siemens-Halske Sh.III 160 HP rotary engine which, in an over-compressed version produced 220 HP at high altitude. After a short period of Front Line Evaluation in May of 1918 and, after some design problem rectification at least 136 D.III’s including some of the further improved D.IV Version were issued to Front Line Units.

The greatest asset of the design was its very impressive rate of climb. The aircraft proved capable of attaining 20,000 feet in just 21 minutes, half that of its competition.

Unfortunately the design was plagued by engine problems which limited the initial version to 7 hours or less operation before engine failure. Engine modifications after the initial Field Trials improved the design's durability however a shortage of castor oil lubricant and the related use of inferior synthetic oils resulted in only an average of 40 hours of reliable engine operation.

Notwithstanding this significant fault the aircraft received very favourable assessments  from highly experienced Aces such as Berthold, Lenz, and Osterkamp. Sadly most of the D.III’s and D.IV’s were destroyed in 1919 as a condition of the Treaty of Versailles.

This model is one of Roden’s early line of 18 WWI subjects and given its age is a very nice kit. Like most of the earlier releases it benefits from the addition of some After Market products such as guns and Lozenge decals however it is an attractive model built straight out of the box.

I built this model several years ago with numerous scratch built and After Market additions and it fared very well in the contest world, being awarded a Gold Medal in it’s Class and also a special award of “Best WW.I Aircraft” at the Canadian Western Regional Model Contest in 2016. It is one of my very favourite models.

The Package:  The Kit is contained in a light weight cardboard box with a nicely done box art top. The 5 Injection molded plastic sprues are packed in a single sealed plastic bag as are the decals and clear film windscreen. The Instructions are packed loose in the box.

The Instructions are provided as an 8 Page folder of black and white sheets. The cover page has a comprehensive history of the design and performance tables in three languages. They are well printed and logical in layout and include Illustrations of the sprues with part numbers, a Color Call Out key to the Model Master line of paints, and a symbols key for the construction illustrations. No Reference Publications are listed.

The Instruction’s Parts Illustration and Symbols Key:

Typical Construction illustration:

The Rigging Diagram is adequate to accurately rig the model.

Instruction illustration for color schemes of Kit options keyed to Model Master Paint Table:

The quality of the kit parts is overall very good. Moldings are generally crisp and complete with finely recessed lines on panels and a minimum of flash with the exception of the fuselage halves which have considerable but easily remedied flash around the lower wing join location. Most mold ejector pin marks and tabs are carefully restricted to the “trees” of the respective sprues and have little impact on parts quality.

Smaller details are well registered. Both wing top surfaces lack definitive rib and tape detail and will require some extra effort to bring that feature out on the finished model. The Siemens Halske Sh.III engine moldings provide an accurate basic rendition of the original and would benefit from some extra detailing such as wire push rods and ignition wires. The basic dimensions and scale of the Kit appear accurate in comparison to the better reference diagrams available.

The larger parts and wing sprues, note that the lighting indicates much more definition of ribs then in “real view”. Also note the considerable flash around the lower wing attachment point on the fuselage halves.

A closer view of the wing rib detail:

The engine and landing gear sprues, the vented spinner assembly is particularly well done.

Recessed panel line detail and the cutouts for the hand hold for cockpit entry. The cutouts will have to be “opened” and the rear one modified slightly for accuracy.

The rear set of hand holds need be modified by re-cutting them to be aligned with the axis of the horizontal stabilator which corresponds with the indented panel line that bisects it in this photo:

Here’s a good illustration of the quality of the smaller parts which are generally well done:

……… and finally the acetate sheet windshield:


The Kit Decals include the markings for the three proposed color schemes in the instructions and a complete “Cookie Cutter” set of 5 Color Lozenge for the model. The “offset 45 degree from chord” orientation of the lozenge pattern for the wings is correctly represented. I view the colors of the Lozenge a bit “garish” however a wash of beige or even mid brown would deem it acceptable to my eye.

In my personal experience Roden’s Decals have been “hit and miss”; often they are virtually unusable  shattering on application and impossible to “lay down”, at other times they prove just fine. I thus tend to ensure I don’t rely on them and rather choose schemes I can represent with After Market markings. This speculative criticism is the only significant negative comment I submit on this otherwise very acceptable Kit.


This is a very nicely presented and basic Kit. If you are looking for an Out of the Box Build that will turn heads you will be disappointed; on the other hand with some Scratch Built and After Market additions it will build into a beautiful model. Like the balance of Roden’s 1:32 Scale WW.I line the subject is not available from other suppliers and will add to your collection impressively. 

Strongly recommended.

Review Sample kindly provided by Roden.
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