Author Topic: Special Hobby 1/48 scale Pfalz E.1  (Read 1565 times)

Offline Dave W

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Special Hobby 1/48 scale Pfalz E.1
« on: August 21, 2022, 11:58:15 AM »
Special Hobby 1/48 Pfalz E.I

Reviewed by Zac Yates

Scale: 1/48
Item #: SH48176
Price: €23.58 direct from Special Hobby at:
Also available through quality hobby retailers worldwide.
Contents: two tan sprues; one acetate film, one PE fret, three decal options.

The Pfalz E.I was a German licence-built version of the French Morane-Saulnier H, a single-seat sporting and racing aircraft that became one of the first fighting scouts of the Great War. Fokker produced their own copies of the H which became infamous as the Eindecker, overshadowing the Pfalz type which fell out of favour in short order.
Despite the success of the Fokker version – Allied pilots often confused the Pfalz for the Fokker - the type served in most theatres of the war and went on to be developed into more powerful and heavier-armed models, and was later used as a trainer.

Special Hobby’s model
According to Scalemates this kit was originally produced by Gavia in 2006, and rereleased by Special Hobby ten years later. The parts are largely free of flash and the ejection pins are thankfully positioned away from delicate parts.

The cockpit is built up with framework parts and includes full controls and fuel tanks, and while bracing wires are depicted as raised detail on the fuselage halves most builders will likely sand these away in favour of rigging it “for real”. Although I have next to no knowledge of the E.I I expect there is little missing from this very detailed area as moulded – this detail goes some way to explaining how such a simple-looking aeroplane has about 50 plastic parts!
The supplied Oberursel U0 engine is very nice but the cylinders appear a little thin: in this scale I’m unsure how one would remedy this besides replacing the whole engine. The instructions advise using stretched sprue to add the pushrods, and the assembly method shown does not appear to allow the engine to rotate.
The engine cowling has a delicately-moulded Pfalz logo on its front – a beautiful detail in itself that will look terrific with a little drybrushing. The lMG 08 machinegun is also nicely moulded however the instructions would have you cut off the cooling jacket in favour of a four-piece photo-etched replacement. Some experience with bending PE (and some delicate hands) will be needed for this.

More than 40 photoetched parts are used throughout the aircraft, notably for the seat belt, control wire pulleys, and other small parts such as propeller hubs (raised detail for which will need to be sanded from the propeller, two of which are provided).

The instructions for cover 25 steps and are in colour for subassemblies (with Gunze paint callouts throughout). A colour-coded set of rigging diagrams is also included: a must for a Great War monoplane as it simply wouldn’t look right without all those wires.

The kit features three marking options.
1.   An unserialled clear-doped linen aircraft operated by Pfalz Flugzeugwerke, wearing iron crosses and the Bavarian Kingdom’s coat of arms. This and the next aircraft use part 9 for the propeller.
2.   213/15. It is mentioned that photos exist of this aircraft with and without a gun. The instructions also point out (and illustrate) that this aircraft was photographed with heavy oil staining on the port wing and aft of the cockpit.
3.   479/15. Both this and the previous example are painted overall Off White. This aircraft uses part number 35 for the propeller.

The decals, by Aviprint, come on three sheets and remarkably include all of the black “edging” decals for the wings (including ribs) and fuselage. Applying these will be an exercise in patience to say the least, but may be preferable to masking them! The decals appear to be in register and the smaller text details are quite legible without a magnifying glass.

With only 45 examples produced (according to Wikipedia) this is an interesting subject for a kit, but a welcome one for Pfalz fans as it is the progenitor of the later, more successful D-series biplane scouts. This kit does the type justice and looks fantastic in the box. I can’t wait to get started…even if I have all that rigging to look forward to!
Highly recommended.

(Review sample kindly supplied by Special Hobby. Please support the businesses that support your Forum.)
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