Author Topic: Eduard 8162 1/48 Fokker Dr.1 Profipack  (Read 1142 times)

Online Brad Cancian

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Eduard 8162 1/48 Fokker Dr.1 Profipack
« on: December 18, 2023, 10:48:50 PM »
Eduard 1/48 Fokker Dr.1 ProfiPACK Edition



Kit and build review Brad Cancian

Scale: 1/48
Item #: 8162
Price: US$39.95 direct from Eduard, https://www.eduard.com/eduard/fokker-dr-i-1-48-1-2.htm
Also available through quality hobby retailers worldwide.
Contents: three plastic sprues, one fret of painted photo-etch, one sheet of pre-cut masks; six decal options.


Background:

The Fokker Dr.1 is arguably the most famous fighter aircraft of WW1, especially due to its connection with the most famous ace known to have flown the machine, Rittmeister (Captain) Manfred Von Richthofen, or “the Red Baron”. Richthofen flew a number of triplanes, including his most famous all-red mount.

Plenty has been written about the Fokker Dr.1, so I will only provide a short history of this famous machine. Designed in a notable extent in response to the agile Sopwith Triplane, who’s manoeuvrability had impressed German pilots during the early part of 1917, the Dr.1 entered service in early September of that year. Its wings were of a thick aerofoil design with a single spar. The machine was light, and powered by a 110hp Oberursal engine, was especially agile, able to climb well and outmanoeuvre anything in the sky at the time. Its aerial agility was offset by its low speed, making it a weak opponent to faster “boom and zoom” combat tactics.



Two prototypes (designated Fokker F.1 102/17 and 103/17) were sent to the front for operational evaluation in late August 1917, with two famous pilots, Kurt Wolff and Werner Voss, falling in spectacular combats flying these early machines (Voss’ fight against 56 Squadron RFC on 23 September 1917 is perhaps the most famous). Another famous ace, Heinrich Gontermann, with 39 victories to his credit, met his demise in October 1917 not through combat, but due to his machine coming apart mid-flight. The type was grounded, where it was determined that poor workmanship at the Fokker factory had led to moisture ingress and wing rib failure, and all aircraft were withdrawn for modification that month, returning to service in November 1917. None the less, the Dr.1 continued to suffer wing failures during its career (Lother Von Richthofen, Manfred’s brother, also suffered serious injuries in a Fokker crash due to wing failure, in early 1918). The Red Baron himself famously met his end on 21 April 1918, after achieving 80 victories. The Fokker Dr.1 soldiered on, being favoured by some aces such as Josef Jacobs, who’s famous “devil head” motif sported the side of a Dr.1 (powered by captured Clerget engines) well into 1918.  Though only some 320 Dr.1s were built, it still rates as the most famous of the WW1 fighter aircraft.

Eduard’s model
The Dr.1 in 1/48 scale has been surprisingly under-kitted over the years. Early 1950s era offerings from Aurora dominated for many decades, until Blue Max entered the market with their limited run kit in 1989. This was eclipsed by the Dragon / DML kit, which was released in 1992, which contained crisply moulded parts and etched details, though it did suffer from some exaggerated fabric effects and mis-shaped elevators. For many years, the Dragon kit was the one to beat. When Eduard first released their 1/48 Fokker Dr.1 kit in 2008, it immediately rendered all other offerings obsolete. In the intervening 15 years it has been reissued eight times in several special edition, profipack, and weekend edition boxes, as well as having been re-kitted by Revell. A profipack boxing has not been released since 2017, so this new release is very welcome!

The striking art on the top-opening cardboard box shows Von Richthofen’s famous red triplane, serial 425/17, downing a Sopwith Camel on 20 April 1918, his 80th and final victory. Inside this ProfiPACK boxing one finds three grey plastic sprues, decal sheets, a colour photo etch fret, a small acetate sheet containing two windscreens, a small sheet of pre-cut masks and a 16-page instruction manual whose cover is dominated by a comprehensive history of the type.

On sprue A we get the starboard fuselage half, the middle and upper wings, ailerons, horizontal stabiliser, upper forward cockpit decking, and axle wing. Detail is crisp and nicely restrained, with rib tapes represented by fine lines rather than overdone stitching. We get subtle impressions of the triangular leading edge plywood pieces under the fabric. Though these wing parts are relatively thick, we have no issues with warping, or sink holes. Interior detail is crisp, with the triangular formers internal to the fuselage nicely represented.







Sprue B give us the port fuselage half, lower wing, elevator, rudder, wheels, cowling, cockpit floor, and ammunition cannisters. Again, detail here is nice and crisp. The wheels could do with a little more definition between the tyres and hubs, but this is a minor gripe. The cowling looks to nicely represent a production machine.





Sprue C contains the detail parts. Again, everything here is wonderfully executed, with crisp and fine detail.



The cockpit interior framing is petite, but attachment points are straight forward, which makes removal and cleanup relatively easy. The same goes for the wonderfully moulded engine and intake pipes.




Struts are finely moulded, and again attachment points are small and crisp, which will aid in clean up. We get options of single piece moulded Spandau machine guns, or guns moulded without the cooling jackets, if one wishes to use the etched jackets. Of note, we get a single long piece to represent the under-fuselage fabric stitching (not entirely accurate, but probably the easiest way to represent this detail). Note that the seat, whilst nicely represented, is a little thick; the edges will benefit from some thinning. We also get a nice choice of two propellers, both with exquisite hub detail.




The etched fret is in colour, and suitably comprehensive. We get the much needed seatbelts and Spandau cooling jackets, under-chin panel, and dials / instruments. We also get a strap for the cowling.



Lastly, we get an acetate sheet for the two windscreen options, and a set of kabuki masks for the wheels, as well as the cowling faceplate and stripes for some of the marking options. A nice touch.

For a kit that’s been out for around 15 years or so, there is no sign of wear and tear in the moulds, with relatively little flash.

Instructions:
The 16 page manual is typically comprehensive, covers construction of the kit, illustrated throughout in black and white but colour callouts given in Gunze and Mr Colour paints. Construction is as expected, starting with the interior, then the fuselage halves, engine, guns, flying surfaces, and undercarriage. Each time a markings option requires a different part to be added or removed it’s clearly noted in the instructions. Certain parts are not used, namely the all-plastic machine guns, and rounded tailplanes for the F.1 prototype.












Markings:
The kit features six marking options:

1.   Dr.1 425/17, Rittm. Manfred Von Richthofen, CO of JG1, Cappy, France, April 1918. This is the all-red machine in which the Baron met his demise on 21 April.
2.   Dr.1 577/17, Ltn Rudolf Klimke, Jasta 27, Halluin-Ost, France, May 1918. Klimke achieved 17 victories before being wounded in September 1918.
3.   Dr.1 479/17, Ltn August Raben, Jasta 18, Montingen, France, 1918. This machine carries the famous Raven insignia of Jasta 18. Though the instructions list this aircraft as being at the front in 1917, the wing and fuselage crosses are the post March 1918 style.
4.   Dr.1 213/17, Ltn Friedrich Kempf, Jasta 2 “Boelcke”, Bavichove, Belgium, February 1918. The well known “Kennscht mi noch?” motif on the middle wings translated roughly to “Do you remember me”? This is one of two aircraft he marked in this fashion.
5.   Here we get another rendition of Richthofen’s Dr.1 425/17, this time, with pre-March 1918 crosses.
6.   Dr.1 564/17, Ltn Werner Steinhauser, Jasta 11, Avesnes-le-Sec, France, February 1918. Steinhauser was a 10 victory ace, falling on June 26 1918. 








Decals:
The decals come on a single large sheet. They are all of the new type where the carrier film may be removed or left in place as per the builder’s wishes.



We also get some nice wood grain decals for the interior parts:



The decals themselves are of typically high quality: in register, appearing opaque on the sheet, and the colours are bright and vibrant where needed. There are enough fuselage and wing crosses to be used on other projects, and smaller decals are quite readable without using a magnifying lens.

Accuracy:

The kit scales spot on to the windsock datafile plans, and is excellent in outline and shape. The only minor quibble is the position of inspection panel on the upper wing, which needs to be moved forward to sit over the rib spar. Rib tapes on the flying surfaces are nicely done, without exaggerated detail. The interior is quite comprehensive, noting that the hand pump on the starboard side of the cockpit is missing and will need to be added. Further, the Bosch starter on the port side of the fuselage is not accurate and can be omitted. As note above, the under-fuselage stitching is represented as a single separate piece which slots into the fuselage halves; whilst not entirely accurate, this is probably the easiest way to represent this detail. Purists will look to fill and sand this area, adding etched stitching of their choice.

If this kit was to have a flaw accuracy wise, it’s the undercarriage legs. Built out of the box, the legs are too long, and the corresponding 'sit' of the model is noticeably "off" - the model sits way too high at the front, and thus the aircraft 'tilts' too far back when on its legs. A while back (~2009), Pheon were including a page with their 1/48 Fokker decals that provided a template for a jig, and instructions on how to best modify the kit for the correct sit. They identify the issue as being effectively two fold; the forward legs are a too long, and the way that Eduard have you build the kit, the rear legs are tricky to seat properly in their slots on the fuselage sides. Pheon recommend the lower wing is cut in half at the spar, the under-fuselage cover piece added to the fuselage, and the gear legs set at the correct angle using the jig, with the wings being able to be 'slotted' back into the gap after the undercarriage is actually installed.  The modifications to do this are relatively straight forward, and highly recommended for those who want the proper ‘sit’ for their triplane.

Summary:
For those that want the most comprehensive and crisply detailed 1/48 Dr.1 on the market, then there is no need to look anywhere else. The sheer amount of crisply detailed plastic and decals, as well as the myriad of interesting colour schemes, makes this kit good value for money and a must-buy for anyone wanting this classic type in their collection.



Highly recommended.

Build Review!

I have built this kit twice now, both back in 2022. One I built as a Fokker of Jasta 19 (which is the one I will focus on here), and the second, as a fictional sea plane. If you want to check out the build logs, they are both here –


Jasta 19:

https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=12812.0

Fictional seaplane:

https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=13042.0

The interior was largely built out of the box. I did add the hand pump on the starboard side of the fuselage, as well as some rigging and wiring. I omitted the bosch starter (PE15), as well as etched part PE20 on the control column, which I think is supposed to represent the firing trigger cables for the guns (I replaced these with fuse wire).






The engine was assembled out of box, and looks lovely without much detail needing to be added.





I replaced the kit Spandaus with those from Gaspatch. These guns are beautiful, and come effectively as a single part (save the muzzles, which are separate). Ammo chutes and padding behind the gun butts are from the kit.



The fuselage went together without any problems. As noted above, one of the major inaccuracy with the Eduard kit is the undercarriage. Accordingly, I made the requisite jig (with a few additions), cleaned up the undercarriage legs, and added them to the axle wing, letting the glue set the legs at the correct angles.



I also moved the upper wing inspection panel to be forward, over the main spar.



Before assembling the major components, I determined I had to do the painting. For markings, I went with Hans Koerner's machine, Dr.1 503/17, Wk Nr 2130, of Jasta 19, with the zig-zag fuselage marking. I used Aviattic streaked decals for the upper surfaces (pre-shaded), and Pheon decals for the main markings. I did mask and spray the overpainted German crosses. For more step by step details on the painting and finishing process, I recommend you have a look at the build log.





The gear then went on:




Then the lower and middle wings. If you do split the lower wing, be careful to try and get them level when re-attaching; I had a little bit of trouble in doing so, but it may have been due to the upper fuselage cowling piece (A8) being a slightly difficult fit, possibly pushing the middle wing down just enough to also push the lower wings once the struts are attached. Recommend some dry fitting and fettling of part A8,  and deepening of the strut holes here, to get the best fit.



The upper wing went on without any fuss. The remainder of the details were added, and she was done!













It truly is wonderful that Eduard have continued to release this excellent kit – it is without a doubt the best Dr.1 on the market, and is a true icon of the first world war. Buildability is excellent, with only a few minor things to watch out for, which also makes this an excellent first subject for those wishing to dip their toes into the WW1 modelling field.

I do highly recommend you add a few to the stash!

Cheers!
BC

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