Author Topic: Roden 1/32 scale Albatros D.III  (Read 878 times)

Offline Dave W

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Roden 1/32 scale Albatros D.III
« on: April 02, 2020, 01:56:55 PM »
1/32 scale Albatros D.III

Reviewed by Lance Carroll

Item:  Ro 606
Scale: 1:32
Price: Varies from $45 to $55 USD through many Hobby Supply stores and On-Line venues.
Review sample kindly provided by Roden at:

Contents:  A 12 page black and white Instruction booklet, 7 injection molded plastic sprues totalling 103 parts, a clear acetate plastic sheet with two optional “cut-out” windscreens and a decal sheet with markings for 7 different aircraft.

General Comment: The Albatros D.III made its maiden flight at the end of August 1916. It was designed as an improved version of the earlier Albatros D.I and D.II designs using the sesquiplane wing configuration of the French Nieuport 11 featuring a much reduced lower wing chord to increase the aircraft’s maneuverability and improve overall visibility from the cockpit. Although subject to failures of the lower wing to varying degrees throughout its service the design served from its debut in 1916 to the end of the Great War.
Over 1300 were built and at the peak of its service in 1917 some 446 of the type were in service on the Western Front. Popular with its pilots, the D.III proved to be a fast, agile, and sturdy design once the wing failure problem was largely eliminated and in fact some pilots preferred the design to the later further improved D.V and Va versions.
The D.III was officially replaced at the front by the D.V version during the summer of 1917 however, in testament to its superior design, it remained in production and front line operational service until early 1918 when it was relegated to the training role.
This Kit, released in 2006 builds into an accurate replica of the design. It is generally well engineered, accurate in dimensions, and well detailed. A wealth of after market additions are available and alternative decal schemes are abundant. In its debut year it was awarded the “Model of the Year” by Model Fan Magazine of Germany. I built this Kit some 8 years ago as the first in my 1:32 Scale WW.I collection and enjoyed it immensely. It is, in my judgement, a very nice model Kit and I highly recommend it to the WW.I Aircraft Modelling Membership.

The Package:  The kit arrived in the familiar Roden light cardboard box with a nicely presented box art illustration of  Manfred von Richthofen’s  first D.III (Serial Number unknown) which was also flown by his famous brother Lothar. It contained 7 plastic sprues totalling 103 parts, a clear acetate sheet with optional “cut-out” windscreens and a decal sheet with 7 optional color schemes. A six sheet (12 pages) A-1 size black and white Instruction Booklet was packed loose in the box.   

Instructions Booklet: The Instructions are provided as a 12 Page folder of black and white sheets. The cover page has a lengthy history of the design and also 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 Humbrol line of paints, and a symbols key for the construction illustrations. No Reference Publications are listed.

Assembly Directions: The Instructions are clear, easily interpreted, and complete.

Engine assembly Instructions:

The “Info View” illustrations provide excellent overall perspectives and layout references for the various components.

Colour and Marking Schemes; There are seven attractive marking schemes presented and all are provided for by the supplied decals. Two of the seven are illustrated here:

Rigging Diagrams:  The rigging details are well illustrated in the top and bottom views provided.

The Sprues:  The six sprues are molded in a very workable light grey plastic and detail of the parts is generally very good. There is some flash but it is quite light in thickness and parts clean up prior to use is minimal.

Smaller parts are well represented and molded in very good detail.

The ply covered fuselage is well represented and has indented panel lines.

Wing rib details are subtle, the modeller may wish to add slightly raised wing tape details. Note that the darker shaded areas are variances in color only, not surface imperfections. The flash is extremely thin and easily cleaned up.

The 160 HP Mercedes D.III Engine is well represented and will benefit from some extra detail by the more discerning builder. The parts removed from the other sprues (the larger wheel components not used in the Kit which are for the OAW Version of the aircraft) were “donated” to a fellow Forum Member to assist with his build.

The windscreen: This part will accurately represent the light weight windscreen where installed or may be used as a template should a different clear stock be preferred.


The decals provided are of generally good color and register however several of the national markings had faults (“splotchy or missing spots of color) in their black areas. Seven options are provided
My one reservation on the Kit is the inconsistent results I have had over the years with Roden’s decals. I have had admittedly very bad luck with them, mainly difficulty in getting them to separate from the backing paper and shattering once applied to the model surface. At a minimum I would recommend a good quality decal coating product; I have experienced good results with Microscale’s Liquid Decal Film on these.
Given my reservations with the decals I would recommend consideration of the numerous after-market decals available for this model.

Summary: This is a very nice Kit. Built straight out of the box it will produce impressive results. Given benefit of some after–market additions such as guns, seat belts, engine additions, and some “scratch built” detailing it will stand very well with the newer generation of similar Kits. If you wish to add a D.III version to your Albatros line this is your solution.

Strongly recommended

Review Kit kindly supplied by Roden Ltd.
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Offline Brad Cancian

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Re: Roden 1/32 scale Albatros D.III
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2020, 07:59:25 AM »
Thanks for a great review Lance. I built one of these back in ~2007 and I concur that it builds up nicely. I'd echo Lance's recommendation on this kit.


« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 08:06:42 AM by Brad Cancian »