Author Topic: Eduard 7406 - 1/72 Albatros DV 2021 Release  (Read 1082 times)

Online Brad Cancian

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Eduard 7406 - 1/72 Albatros DV 2021 Release
« on: October 24, 2021, 05:57:54 PM »
Eduard 1/72 Albatros DV
Reviewed by Brad Cancian



Item: 7406
scale: 1/72
Price: $14.95 USD, direct from Eduard https://www.eduard.com/eduard/albatros-d-v-1-72-1-1.html

Review kit kindly provided by Eduard at https://www.eduard.com/

The Albatros DV

The Albatros “D” series of fighters are amongst the most well known of the war. In late 1916, the Albatros firm released the sturdy, powerful and well armed D.I and D.II models. These dominated the Allied types in service at the time, namely the old ‘pusher’ DH2 and FE2B types in use with the RFC, and the more agile but underpowered and under-armed Nieuport types. The pinnacle of the breed, the D.III, came to the front in early 1917. The D.III used a sesquiplane (“one and a half wing”) layout, reminiscent of (and inspired by) the Nieuport types. This combined the agility and visibility of the Nieuport with the power and armament of the earlier D.II. Though representing the best of both worlds, the new wing layout introduced a weakness that would haunt the D.III and its successors; the propensity for the lower wing to twist, flutter and shed during high speed dives or intense manoeuvring. The DV, released in May 1917, was an attempt to incrementally improve the D.III in response to newer allied scouts such as the SE5a, Camel, and SPAD, but the attempt failed in almost all regards. The new type introduced a more streamlined fuselage and revised aileron control cable routing through the upper wing (leading to cranks housed in characteristic triangular fairings above and below the ailerons). These improvements were offset by having a weaker fuselage structure (which could break during a heavy landing), whilst retaining the same wing problems as the D.III (though with the added improvement of retaining aileron control in the unfortunate event of the ‘shedding’ of the lower wing). In response to these ongoing problems, a revised model, the DVa, was released soon after. This model included reinforcements to the fuselage, a strengthened lower wing, but oddly, an aileron control cable arrangement reversion back to the same routing as in the D.III. This model was heavier, offsetting almost all of the previous improvements, leaving performance on par to the D.III. The lower wing problem continued to remain; a flaw which dogged the type throughout its service career. The lack of an immediate replacement for the D.V / D.Va meant that the embattled Jasta pilots had to soldier on with the inferior D.Va until improved types such as the Fokker D.VII appeared at the front in May 1918. None the less, the type remained in front line service in many Jastas until the Armistice.

Eduard’s Little Albatros

The longevity of the Albatros at the front, and the remarkable number of colour scheme options available, have meant that the D.V / D.Va has always been a popular subject for WW1 modellers. The 1/72 Eduard kit has a lineage that can be traced back to the last century, with the first release of these moulds dating back to 1999. The kit saw periodic releases in profipack, dual combo and non-profipack versions, in both the D.V and D.Va variants. Sadly, it went out of production in 2007. Thankfully, Eduard have blessed us by dusting this one off and making it available again, both as part of their “Udet” boxed set, and in this weekend boxing, 7406. The little Albie is a very welcome return to Eduard’s catalogue of kits.

I must also commend Eduard on the box art – it is striking and very well done. It looks colourful and very attractive on the shelf and will be easily spottable in hobby shops.



The Plastic

Despite the intervening 20-plus years since the kit was first produced, the moulds are still in great condition, with the detail still crisp and sharp, with minimal flash. The kit is produced in a single sprue of dark grey plastic, containing 32 parts (one of which, a headrest, is not used with the marking options provided). Being a non-profipack edition there is no etch in this kit; expect future editions to include an etched fret with seat belts, Spandau jackets, D.V style bell crank housings, and other fine details.



Panel lines are finely recessed throughout, and details such as fuselage hatches, louvers, and so on are crisply done.




The wing-mounted radiator in particular is beautifully and finely executed for this scale, and will look wonderful under a coat of paint and a wash.




Engine detail consists of the cylinders and rocker arms / boxes, separate induction pipes, and a nice exhaust, which all sit atop of a flat deck within the fuselage. There is no fuel tank behind the engine, but in this scale, this is no problem. Another omission is the water pipes from the wing mounted radiator (thou these can easily be added by the modeller). Cockpit detail is nice (given the cockpit opening is the diameter of a pea), consisting of a floor, rudder bars, finely moulded control column and characteristic spade grip, and a seat. Seat belts are provided as decals. The Spandau’s are adequate for this scale, being executed in plastic (again, expect the profipack version to have etched jackets, cocking handles and gunsights), and will look good under some careful dry-brushing. Flying surfaces look fantastic; the ribs are crisp yet subtle, and are beautifully to scale – no starved cows here. These will look excellent under a coat of paint or lozenge decals. Struts are well executed and thin, and even include the ancillary struts sometimes seen on later models of the D.Va (these can be cut off for the D.V version). Flying surfaces are moulded into the wings and stabilisers, so must be separated if the modeller wishes to pose these more dynamically. There are no parts for the characteristic triangular crank housings for the D.V’s ailerons; Profipack versions of this kit have had these in etch in the past (though these will not be  difficult for the studious modeller to scratch build). Attachment points are small, and won’t pose a problem for parts separation. Overall, a great set of mouldings that are crisp and sharp.

Instructions

The instructions are printed in a full colour glossy A4 booklet, which is a nice departure from the black and white and blue booklets of old.



The instructions contain a full page of history and statistics for the aircraft, a parts layout diagram, a list of paints (in Gunze colour callouts), construction diagrams, a rigging diagram (great!), a diagram for lozenge decal application, and full colour marking instructions. Interestingly, the rigging diagram is for a D.Va, and not for a D.V; the two rigging wires from the lower wing to the ailerons represents the D.Va’s control cable routing through the lower wing. The D.V had the control cables mounted through the upper wing to a bell crank housed within triangular housings, as noted previously (and which are not included in the kit’s plastic parts).




There are four colour schemes provided, which is wonderful for a weekend edition kit. The colour schemes are all D.Vs and are all quite different from each other, which offers nice variation. All have a nice little description of the pilot and machine’s history in the instructions.



The four machines are:

•   D.V 1154/17, Lt Max Ritter von Muller, Jasta 28, Varsenare, Belgium, September 1917
•   D.V 2030/17, Lt Alfred Lenz, Jasta 22, Ercheu, France, April 1918
•   D.V 4629/17, Lt Hans-Joachim von Hippel, Jasta 5, Boistrancourt, France, February 1918
•   D.V 2299/17, Lt Xaver Dannhuber, Jasta 26, Abeele, Belgium 1917




Decals

The decals are very nicely printed with solid colour and excellent register. The decal film looks nice and thin, in typical Eduard style.



The big bonus here is that we also get a full sheet of lozenge decals, already cut to fit, as well as a full set of light blue rib tapes, including leading and trailing edge tapes (though these may be tricky to apply).



As a side note, blue tapes are accurate for an OAW built machine; machines built at the Albatros factory used pink or lozenge coloured tapes. They may be accurate though for the one machine in the kit that sports lozenge. Still, this is a minor detail; I certainly can’t complain! Eduard have been criticised in the past for their poor lozenge colours; the colours in the kit are much closer to originals. Great work, Eduard!



Accuracy

The kit scales very nicely compared to the windsock datafile drawings. As mentioned above, the kit omits the D.V style control fairings above and below each aileron, but these can easily be scratch built from sheet plastic without too much fuss. If you did want to model a D.Va, you could improve things by removing each aileron, cutting a small chord-wise slot in the wing at the centre of each aileron location, and addding the control arm to the leading edge of the aileron to fit into this slot (to which the forward control wire was attached, and routed to the lower wing). This is a minor detail omission, and one that can be lived with given the scale (as an aside, Eduard made the same omission on their 1/48 scale kit too). Speaking of which, unlike her larger cousin in 1/48 scale, the undercarriage legs are the correct length in the 1/72 kit, ensuring the correct ‘sit’. The wheels also are possibly just a tad under size. The spinner is also slightly too rounded, but this is only a very minor issue. The engine compartment and cockpit details are nice and perfectly adequate for this scale, and the omission of radiator pipes is easily made up for with suitable fuse wire or solder. Overall though, this is the most accurate 1/72 D.V / D.Va kit on the market; Eduard is certainly to be applauded for their excellent efforts and accuracy.

How does it build….?

A few years back, I built this kit in one of its earlier boxings:



Though I added a couple of details to the kit, I can unequivocally say that the kit is a joy to build. There are no major fit issues at all. The struts are the right size (i.e. not too long or too short), allowing for an easy fitment of the upper wing. This really was a trouble-free build.



Conclusions

This kit really is a beauty. Its relatively simple strut arrangement and rigging, and large choice of interesting colour schemes, will ensure the potential for endless modelling joy, should you choose to pick up a few of these kits. These attributes also make it a great option for those starting out in WW1 in 1/72 scale. The Eduard kit is arguably a classic amongst WW1 1/72 modellers and has held up well over the last 22 years. Not only that, but the kit is an easy and pleasurable build. There are no major issues or accuracy flaws with the kit, and the minor omissions to make a true D.V can very easily be scratch built by the modeller (no doubt Eduard will address this in the profipack versions of the kit, as they have done in the past). Eduard are to be commended with their improvements to this ‘weekend’ kit; the instructions are very well done, and we have been blessed with several colour choices and a wonderful full set of lozenge decals in some pretty decent colours. The kit is very highly recommended!

Our very sincere thanks to Eduard for the review sample!
« Last Edit: October 31, 2021, 06:22:04 AM by Brad Cancian »

Online Brad Cancian

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Re: Eduard 7406 - 1/72 Albatros DV 2021 Release
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2021, 06:18:15 PM »
A reminder also that Pheon does a great decal set for the 1/72 Albatros DV / DVa, reviewed here on our forum -

https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?board=10.0

Why not treat yourself to both?  ;D

Cheers,

BC