Author Topic: Kovozávody Prostějov 1/72 Albatros C.III  (Read 279 times)

Offline Brad Cancian

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Kovozávody Prostějov 1/72 Albatros C.III
« on: November 06, 2022, 03:25:16 PM »
Kovozávody Prostějov (KP) 1/72 Albatros C.III
Reviewed by Brad Cancian



Item: KPM0344
scale: 1/72
Price: 16.95 Euros each, direct from Kovozávody Prostějov

Review kit kindly provided by KP at https://www.kovozavody.cz/produkt/albatros-c-iii/

The Ablatros C.III



The Albatros C.III was a highly successful German general purpose two seat aircraft, which commenced front line service in late 1915, and served through to the end of the war. The aircraft was a development of the earlier Albatros C.I. The C.III saw combat service throughout 1916, and to around mid-1917, after which it was employed heavily as training aircraft right up until the armistice.  The aircraft was so popular as a trainer, and so easy to build, maintain and fly, that over 1000 brand new airframes were built from mid 1917 (after the aircraft had been pulled from front line combat duty), for training of both pilots and observers.  Some seven firms were licensed to manufacture the Albatros C.III.  Along with the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey the type was used heavily after the war by the Polish, Finnish, Bulgarian Latvian and Lithuanian Air Forces. 

The Bits and Bobs

The Albatros C.III has been reasonably well kitted in 1/72 over the years. Early renditions by Keikraft and Joystick in the 1980s were surpassed by the Pegasus limited run plastic kit in the early 1990s. Resin kits from CMR and Lukugraph have also been released; these were typical high quality resin offerings, but only for those brave enough to tackle a resin 1/72 kit. The KP kit was first released in 2019, with an ‘international’ markings boxing released in 2020. This has been followed by this new release in 2022. This kit, whilst in its 2019 boxing was considered a ‘new’ mould, it appears that the kit at least shares some level of pedigree with the previous CMR kit in resin. This is certainly not a bad thing.

The kit consists of effectively a single sprue (well, one and a half sprues in this case, to fit in the box). The sprues are of a medium grey plastic, comprising some 44 odd parts. There is resin nor etched parts. The parts breakdown is quite conventional, consisting of fuselage halves, vertical and horizontal stabilisers, two lower wing parts, a single upper wing part, and detail parts.



The flying surfaces are nicely done, showing restrained but present rib details throughout. Ailerons are moulded in place, but these have crisp and clean panel lines. The upper wing is thankfully a single piece, moulded (correctly) with a gap at the centre, for the fitment of the upper wing fuel tank (which was not always present; check your references).




The fuselage halves are nicely done. Panel lines are crisply done all over and are also nicely restrained. There are solid mounting points for struts, and the lower wing parts, though deepening these a little is generally recommended.



Detail parts are generally good, with some nice details for the engine parts, cockpit fuel tank, and wheels. These are in contrast with some previous offerings from KP, where the detail was a little soft. Furthermore, sprue gates are generally more restrained than previous offerings, and largely gone is the ‘rough’ texture to parts seen in previous KP kits. Well done KP for improving these parts in this offering. There are only a couple of negatives when one looks at the plastic on face value; there is still some flash here and there, and some parts such as the propeller, guns, and radiator could do with a refinement or two. The interior detail on the cockpit sidewalls is a little soft and will need some refining here and there. The front cockpit is well serviced with a floor, fuel tank, seat (with decal seatbelts), control wheel, rudder bar and observer’s seat. Other than the rear seat, the observer cockpit is a bit sparse. Engine details are sufficient given what will be visible.






All in all, a solid basis.

Instructions

KP continues to provide a nice little sheet of instructions in colour, consisting of a history of the aircraft, and clear construction drawings with paint callouts. Unfortunately, there is no rigging diagram provided, so you’ll need to glean what you can from other sources, or the box top.





Colour schemes for three machines are provided in this boxing; they are reasonably varied, but generally fairly simple, which reflects the relative austerity with which the Germans marked their machines during the time.



Marking options are:

•   Albatros C.III, C.1402/16, of an unidentified unit, 1916.
•   Albatros C.III, Kasta 21, Kogohl IV, 1916.
•   Albatros C.III, C.736/16, of an unidentified unit, 1916.

Decals

The decals are nicely done, and look to be of good opacity and register. Seatbelts are included, as well as nice little renditions of the Albatros logo for the tail.



Accuracy and buildability


I used the Windsock Datafile 13 as my primary reference. The overall dimensions and panels accord very nicely to the datafile, which was clearly used as the primary reference. If anything, the kit is a little long in wingspan, but this won’t be noticeable. KP have accurately picked up the fine contours of the fairing under the tail. No complaints here. As mentioned above, replacing the guns, radiator front, seatbelts, and propeller with some more nicely refined parts or aftermarket items, might be beneficial.

As for buildability, there are only really two hassles that I can foresee; firstly, care will need to be taken to align the lower wing pieces. Thankfully the wings are straight from wingtip to wingtip so this shouldn’t be difficult if you’re careful. Secondly, the struts are quite close to scale thickness in some cases, so care will need to be taken to remove the struts from the sprues, and keep them straight throughout clean-up and construction. The cabane struts and undercarriage struts are particularly slender; one to watch for.

Conclusions

This is another nice little package of an interesting subject from KP. Their moulding technology continues to improve with each release, which is wonderful to see. Given the nature of the aircraft, the build will come with the challenge of some limited run aspects. However, a build of this kit is likely to result in an eye-catching and impressive model. With some careful painting, the wooden fuselage and clear doped linen flying surfaces should look wonderful. Overall, if you want to add a C.III to your collection in ‘God’s own’ scale, without the fuss of dealing with a resin kit, then KPs kit is an excellent choice.

Our thanks to KP for the review sample