Author Topic: Eduard 1/72 Limited Edition Fokker D.VII - "Fokker Fokker!"  (Read 974 times)

Offline Brad Cancian

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Eduard 1/72 Limited Edition Fokker D.VII - "Fokker Fokker!"
« on: January 28, 2022, 06:33:05 PM »
Eduard 1/72 Fokker D.VII – “Fokker Fokker!” Limited Edition Dual Combo
Reviewed by Brad Cancian



Item: 2133
scale: 1/72
Price: $66.95 USD, direct from Eduard; https://www.eduard.com/eduard/fokker-fokker%21-1-72.html


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

The Fokker DVII

Little needs to be said for the history of the Fokker D.VII. It is likely the most famous German fighter of the First World War, save perhaps its stablemate, the Fokker Dr.1. Introduced into service in May 1918, it proved to be a powerful and manoeuvrable aircraft, famously known to make a bad pilot good and a good pilot exceptional. Though it entered service just weeks after the death of Manfred Von Ricthofen, the “Red Baron”, it was flown by many famous late war aces; Udet, Lorerzer, Loewenhardt, Baumer, Buchner, Goering, and many more. It’s all round performance was exceptional, indeed to be feared, especially when powered by the BMW IIIa engine, which offered more power than the Mercedes D.III of earlier variants. Though never built in enough numbers to fully equip the German fighter squadrons, it was a strong enough performer to see post war service in various air arms well into the 1930s. The aircraft also saw some stellar post-war service with a number of movie firms.

The aircraft was mas produced by the parent Fokker firm, as well as the Albatros and OAW firms. The Austrian firm MAG also produced the type. These firms each had their own unique construction points of differentiation, most notably in the different styles of cowling louvers / arrangements, and the differences in Lozenge (4 versus 5 colour).

Eduard’s take on Fokker’s Fokker

2019 saw the welcome release of the first in the series of Fokker D.VII kits in this scale. First released in a MAG variant boxing in 2019, this very quickly was followed by an OAW variant profipack boxing. An Albatros-built profipack boxing followed in early 2020, and the OAW variant in 2021 (previously reviewed on our forum, see here - https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=12623.0). A well known point of difference for the various manufacturers are the differences in engine cowling configurations. Eduard have chosen their boxings carefully here. The “Fokker Fokker!” Limited Edition boxing was released in 2021, and the reason for its name becomes clear upon examination; it is currently the only boxing in the Eduard catalogue that offers all of the cowling variants produced by the parent Fokker firm (the early, mid, late, and D.VIIF variants). If you’re looking for OAW or Albatros built variants, these are found in other kits.

The bits and bobs

The kit is presented in a large and sturdy box. As a dual-combo kit, the kit comes with two lots of four sprues (eight in total) of very finely moulded dark grey plastic. As a profipack type boxing, you also get two sheets of colour phot etch, and two lots of wheel masks. Most pleasantly, the kit contains excellent brassin and etch parts; replacement resin BMW IIIa and Mercedes D.III engines, and etched engine bay details such as radiator gills, internal frames, and firewalls. This is especially useful given a number of aircraft are offered with their upper cowlings removed. This detail will really ‘pop’ on the finished model.

First, the plastic. this is up to the usual exquisite quality and absolute finesse that Eduard is renowned for. Just beautiful.

The first two sprues, sprue A and B, contain the ‘common’ parts, seen in all variants released so far. This includes a full and complete array of all of the wheel types, radiator types, weapon arrangements, engine types, instrument panel variations, exhausts, and radiator layouts, seen on the Fokker from each manufacturer. There are plenty of parts here for the spares box. A very nice touch is that Eduard have moulded the complex ‘pyramid’ struts that attach to the forward fuselage as a single piece, significantly reducing the amount of effort (and pain!) in aligning these fiddley items. Care may need to be taken to not damage these items in sprue removal and clean up.






The next two sprues, sprue G and H, contain the specific Fokker-built fuselage and wing parts. Again, one is presented with a number of options; eight different propellers, and a number of different wheel fairings. The flying surfaces have lovely wing rib tape detail that is beautifully refined for this scale. The flying surfaces are realistically contoured, without any ‘starved cow’ ribs. Control surfaces are attached in such a way that they are poseable on the final model. The fuselage sprues contain two sets of parts, which, with some minor tweaks here and there as called out in the instructions, allows one to produce all of the Fokker-built variants of the aircraft. The various vents, panels and even fastener details are beautiful, and the subtle impression of fuselage frames under fabric is beautifully apparent on the fuselage sides.







All in all, the plastic parts are VERY comprehensive.

The etched parts are likely very well executed. Four etched frames are provided; two of which are identical. These identical frets are colour etch, and contain all manner of fine details; seatbelts, Spandau jackets, engine panels, radiators, cockpit details, instruments, you name it. Very comprehensive and wonderfully executed. The remaining two etched frets are from the separately available brassin sets, which contain specific engine bay details for the Mercedes and BMW engined aircraft. These contain various radiator details, ignition wires, internal engine bay framing, and propeller bosses. These etched parts will look a treat on the finished model.



The resin engines and engine bay details are also provided from the separately available brassin detail set. These engines are exquisitely done, and contain crisp and refined detail that certainly highlights the differences between the Mercedes and BMW engine types. Also provided are resin firewalls, with fine stitching detail. Exhaust pipes are provide with hollowed exhaust opening.




The combination of these etch and resin parts, on top of an already exquisite quality set of plastic, will truly make one stunning and comprehensive representation.

Instructions

The instructions are likewise presented in high quality. The instruction booklet is printed in a full colour glossy A4 booklet in 24 pages. The booklet starts with a comprehensive history of the D.VII, and includes some period photographs and commentary on some of the machines depicted within the kit. The instructions even detail the specific Fokker-built detail and finishing differences, and even military batch numbers for the Fokker-built machines. Very comprehensive!

The instructions contain a full parts layout diagram (including listing all of the parts that you won’t need to use, and can thus add to the spares box), a list of paints (in Gunze colour callouts), construction diagrams (including rigging), a diagram for lozenge decal application, and full colour marking instructions. Instructions for each of the variations / options is very clearly called out, depending on the colour scheme you decide to choose. This is especially important to note, as there are many different options with this kit, including engine types, and the option of using either the standard kit parts for some elements (i.e. engines and instrument panels), or using the more detailed etched or brassin alternatives. Each of the cowling variations, and the other colour and detail variations, are clearly explained for each of the marking options. Note also that some options require surgery of various cowling elements, including upper panels, or individual louvres. Some have etched cowlings, which will need some careful shaping if one chooses those colour options.













All in all, a very comprehensive instruction booklet.

Colour Options

There are a whopping TWELVE colour schemes catered for in this boxing. They are all very colourful and varied, and will be more than enough for most modellers. All have a nice description of the pilot and machine’s history in the instructions.

The twelve machines are:

•   Fokker D.VII Early, Hptm. Rudolf Berthold, CO of JG.II, Le Mesnil-Nesle, France, June 1918
•   Fokker D.VII Early, 365/18, Lt. Jodef Jacobs, CO Jasta 7, St Marguerite, France, August 1918
•   Fokker D.VII Early, 387/18, Oblt. Harald Auffarth, CO Jasta 29, Aertrycke, Belgium, October 1918
•   Fokker D.VII Early, 286/18, Vzfw Willi Gabriel, Jasta 11, Cappy, France, May 1918
•   Fokker D.VII Late, Heinz Kustner, Jasta 18, Habsheim, Montingen, Metz, France, October / November 1918
•   Fokker D.VII Late, 4301/18, Vzfw. Otto Baurose, Jasta 71, Habsheim, France, November 1918
•   Fokker D.VII Early, Oblt.z.S Gotthard Sachsenberg, CO MFJ 1, Coolkerke, Belgium, September 1918
•   Fokker D.VII Mid, 505/18, OStv. Friedrich Hippert, Grenzschutz-Ost, East Prussia, 1919
•   Fokker D.VIIF, 4282/18, Ltn.d.R. Arthur Laumann, Jasta 10, Bernes, France, August 1918
•   Fokker D.VIIF, Oblt. Erich Loewenhardt, Jasta 10, Puisieux Ferme, France, August 1918
•   Fokker D.VIIF, Oblt. Ernst Udet, Jasta 4, Beugneux, France, July 1918
•   Fokker D.VIIF, Rtm. Karl Bolle, CO Jasta 2, Lens Mons, France, October 1918








Decals

As expected, the decals are very nicely printed with solid colour and excellent register. The decal film looks nice and thin. We get a TWO full sets of four-colour lozenge decals, already cut to fit, as well as two full sets of rib tapes, including leading and trailing edge tapes (though these may be tricky to apply). Eduard have been criticised in the past for their poor lozenge colours; the colours in the kit are much closer to originals.




As a side note, both four and five colour lozenge could be seen on Fokker-built machines; alas only four colour lozenge is provided. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the lozenge choice on all of the machines depicted - check your references, and if you need five colour lozenge, you may need to source this from elsewhere (indeed, Eduard note this within their own instructions for some of the listed schemes).

Of note the decals for a good number of those machines with stripes or checkers are printed entirely on the decal sheet with both colours present. In the past, colour schemes like this were tackled in one colour only, with the decal providing the second colour to overlay over a base colour. Eduard have chosen to put both colours on the decal in many cases, which may prove challenging for modellers in some cases. Some may like this, some may not, and some may choose to mask these aspects and paint them completely. The fact that it is present on the decals is some good forethought from Eduard, but it would have been good to have been given either option.




Accuracy and Buildability

There is nothing bad to say about this kit accuracy wise. The kit scales very nicely compared to the windsock datafile drawings from the various Anthology Specials on the D.VII. The myriad of parts on offer afford the modeller great flexibility and accuracy. The cowling variations are spot on for the various Fokker versions, however, individual machines did vary due to field modifications; Eduard highlights this for the variants in the decals, instructing the removal of certain louvers, but be sure to check your references for the colour scheme you choose. On that note, there are a lot of variations provided for in the instructions; picking a version early, and paying attention to the differences throughout construction, will be a must.

Overall, the accuracy of the kit, and comprehensive details for areas like the cockpit and engines, is spot on. Some may find aspects of the build challenging, especially if engine cowlings need to be removed for their chosen option. There may be some aforementioned challenges if one wishes to use the decals ‘as provided’ for the striped / chequered machines but careful application, or painting, should see one right. There likewise will be challenges with lozenge application, but Eduard have made this almost as simple as one can hope for by providing pre-cut decals.

Conclusions

This kit really is exceptionally good. It’s comprehensive parts count, seemingly endless options, detailed add-ons, refinements, and overall accuracy, makes this kit a stand out as the best and most comprehensive Fokker boxing on the market. Indeed, as I have said before, Eduard’s series of Fokkers in my opinion are one of the best, if not THE best, first world war aircraft kit in 1/72. Even in this Limited Edition guise, the kit is still a great candidate for a quick build (or two), or for someone’s first WW1 build. There is minimal rigging, the lozenge takes care of itself, and strut alignment should be easy due to the way that Eduard have set up the forward pyramid struts, N wing struts, and overall positive location holes. The challenges that one may face in construction are, in the scheme of things, somewhat minor in comparison to all of the positive aspects of this kit.

I imagine that Eduard may look to release future versions of the Fokker-built machines, perhaps in a stand-alone profipack or weekend edition kit. That being said, as it stands right now, this Limited Edition boxing is the only kit on the market that offers such a comprehensive representation of all of the Fokker-built machines. Accordingly, I’d recommend scooping up some before they disappear. Lastly, when one considers what is in this package, i.e. two full kits including etch and masks, two full brassin accessory sets, and twelve marking options, the price is also incredibly good value. The kit is very highly recommended!

Our very sincere thanks to Eduard for the review sample!

Offline KiwiZac

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Re: Eduard 1/72 Limited Edition Fokker D.VII - "Fokker Fokker!"
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2022, 04:21:53 AM »
This looks like a truly superb kit in every sense of the word. The number of "spare parts" alone would be invaluable to the 1/72 builder. What an amazing package!

Thanks for the in-depth review, Brad. I'm excited to see your build/s!

As an aside, the more accurate of The Vintage Aviator Ltd Fokker D.VII replicas flies in Willi Gabriel's (markings option D) scheme so I expect our own Jamo will have some helpful detail photos for that aircraft/
Zac in NZ