Author Topic: 8113 Eduard 1/48 Albatros D.V  (Read 125 times)

Offline Brad Cancian

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8113 Eduard 1/48 Albatros D.V
« on: July 31, 2022, 11:51:47 AM »
Eduard 1/48 Albatros DV
Reviewed by Brad Cancian



Item: 8113
scale: 1/48
Price: $49.95 USD, direct from Eduard https://www.eduard.com/eduard/albatros-d-v-1-48-1-3.html
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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 in numbers 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 good pilot 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. In order to try and help performance, the aircraft were fitted with increasingly more powerful engines (Mercedes D.III, D.IIIa, and D.IIIau). None the less, the type remained in front line service in many Jastas until the Armistice.

Eduard’s 1/48 Albatros D.V

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 1/48 Eduard kit has a lineage that can be traced back to 1995. The kit’s earliest form was in low-pressure injected moulded plastic, with these parts forming the basis for a redesign of the kit into its current form in around 2002. The kit has seen periodic releases in profipack, dual combo and non-profipack versions, in both the D.V and D.Va variants. The 8113 boxing was last released in 2018 and has been re-released again in comprehensive Profipack form. The box art is evocative, and will be familiar to those who have seen the earlier release.

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 two sprues of dark grey plastic, containing 60 parts. Being a profipack edition there is a comprehensive suite of colour etch, masks, and lozenge decals.

Panel lines are finely recessed throughout, and details such as fuselage hatches, louvers, and so on are crisply done. Engine detail is basic for this scale, and consists of the cylinders and crank case, rocker arms / boxes, separate induction pipes, and a nice exhaust, which all sit atop of a deck within the fuselage. There is no fuel tank behind the engine, which leaves this space a little empty (not especially noticeable unless you hold the model at the right angle). Cockpit detail is nice, consisting of a floor, bulkheads, seat mounts, rudder bar, finely moulded control column and characteristic spade grip, and a seat. Seat belts and other fine details are provided as pre-painted items on the etched fret. The Spandau’s are served by additional details on the etched fret; these will go a long way to improving the plastic items. Two different types of propeller are provided.










Flying surfaces look fantastic; the ribs are crisp yet subtle and are beautifully to scale. These will look excellent under a coat of paint or lozenge decals. Struts are well executed, 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 should be separated if the modeller wishes to pose these more dynamically.



A pilot figure is also included (though he may need some medical attention due to a rather large sink hole in his chest...!). A headrest for the DV is provided (though not used for the marking options presented).

Sprue attachment points are small and won’t pose a problem for parts separation. Overall, a great set of mouldings that are still crisp and sharp.

The etch is well done, and provides colour parts for seat belts and some cockpit details. Thankfully, etched Spandau jackets and cocking handles are provided. The DV’s characteristic aileron control shrouds, as well as detailed radiator parts are provided here, as are a myriad of other welcome details.



Masks are included for wheels, radiator top, and stripes for one of the marking options. No windscreen is provided.

Instructions

The instructions are printed in a full colour glossy A4 booklet. The instructions contain a full page of history and statistics for the aircraft, a parts layout diagram, a list of paints (in Gunze and Mission Models 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.












There are five colour schemes provided. These are the same schemes provided in the previous 8113 release so will be familiar. The first four colour schemes are all D.Vs, and interestingly, the last is a D.Va. The schemes are 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 five machines are:

•   D.V 2299/17, Lt Xaver Dannhuber, Jasta 26, Abeele, Belgium 1917
•   D.V (Serial Unknown), Lt Kurt Monnington, Jasta 18, early 1918 (Note - there are other interpretations that this aircraft as a black fuselage, vice the red/blue fusealge depicted).
•   D.V 2263/17, Ltn Otto Kissenberth, Jasta 23b, summer 1917
•   D.V 2065/17, Oblt Richard Flashar, Jasta 5, Boistrancourt, France July 1917
•   D.Va 7181/17, Uffz Erich Gurngenz, Jasta 46, February 1918





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 five-colour lozenge decals, already cut to fit, as well as a full set 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. Clearly Eduard have listened to their customers in this regard. Great work, Eduard!



Accuracy and Buildability


The kit scales very nicely compared to the windsock datafile drawings. 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 adding 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 only really something that might need attention if you’re not building a D.V.

As nice as this kit is, there are still some aspects that could be improved (not surprising, given the kit is 20 years old now).

The most obvious aspect that could do with some improvement is the undercarriage legs. These are too short and need extending by a few millimetres on each leg to get the correct sit. Otherwise, the kit looks too ‘squat’ (and once you see this, you can’t un-see this).

The spinner is also quite rounded and needs to be a little more pointed (though this will be hard to do without making a completely new spinner.

As mentioned, the engine bay is a little empty, and the engine is basic for this scale; it does however form a solid basis for detailing. There are some (but not many) after market engine options available here also. The kit provides a Mercedes D.III engine, with the rocker arms and springs centred on the rocker boxes. The D.IIIa and D.IIIau engines that powered later D.Va aircraft had these arms offset at the ends of the rocker boxes. Other engine details will broadly be buried underneath the cowls. One to bear in mind (though it’s usually very difficult to easily spy what aircraft carried what engine).

Some other minor things to be aware of in the cockpit. The rear bulkhead (part B36) is called out in the instructions as being painted wood brown; this was actually a fabric covered frame so it should be either fabric colour or lozenge decal. Part B28 which attaches to the end of the control column is for the DV but should be left off for the D.Va.

How does it build….?

A few years back, I built this kit in one of its earlier boxings. I have also built a few of these kits into dioramas. 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 kit presents a trouble-free build.





I will also be doing a full build review of this kit after this review goes up… so stay tuned!

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. The Eduard kit is a classic amongst WW1 modellers and has held up well over the last 20 years. Not only that, but the kit is an easy and pleasurable build. Those that are detail inclined have a very solid basis for a super-detailing project. Likewise, those who are after a nice quick build will be equally well served. Eduard are to be commended in providing such a comprehensive package of plastic, etch, and masks, 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: August 06, 2022, 09:47:50 AM by Brad Cancian »