Author Topic: Pheon Models Jasta 18 ‘Berthold’s Boys’ & ‘Raben’s Ravens’ in 1/72 & 1/48  (Read 1933 times)

Offline Jamo

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1/72 & 1/48 Decals for Jasta 18 ‘Berthold’s Boys’ & ‘Raben’s Ravens’
From Pheon Models




First Look Review by James Fahey

Jasta 18 was one of Germany’s high profile fighter units in WWI and it had been operational for nearly 10 months when Rudolph Berthold became the Jastafuhrer in April 1917. Under his disciplined leadership the unit markings consisted of a red nose and blue fuselage, with individual markings mostly in white. When Berthold was appointed leader of JGII in March 1918 he arranged a complete swap of personnel and machines with Jasta 15 to keep his old team under his leadership. The ‘new’ Jasta 18 was commanded by Ltn August Raben and the unit livery consisted of a bright vermillion nose with white fuselage and spinner plus a black raven.

A summary of the unit history is included in the instruction booklet but modellers are  referred to two Osprey books by Greg VanWyngarden for further reference: “Jasta 18 The Red Noses” and “Jagdgeschwader Nr.II Geschwader ‘Berthold’ “.



The first thing that struck me on opening the parcel was the really extensive selection of markings in both sets. Typically after-market decals give modellers around 3-6 options. However Pheon have included virtually all the aircraft in the periods covered for which photographic evidence is available: 24 options for ‘Berthold’s Boys’ and 16 for ‘Raben’s Ravens’. As decal production costs are generally governed by the size of the print run and the number of colours involved, there is effectively no additional cost for filling the sheet with markings (or conversely not much to be saved by reducing the number of markings). Pheon’s philosophy is to provide maximum choice for modellers so these sets offer excellent value for money, especially with the variety of aircraft catered for.

Volume One “Berthold’s Boys” #48023 & 72015



Markings for 24 aircraft are included:
6 Albatros D.III (3 Albatros and 2 OAW-built)
11 Albatros D.V
4 Pfalz D.III
3 Pfalz D.IIIa

Famous aces such as Schafer, Veltjens, von Beaulieu-Marconnay, Strahle and Berthold himself are represented.



Most of these aircraft had blue painted upper flying surfaces, with three exceptions – Strahle’s axe marked DV has lozenge covered wings, and both the ‘shooting comet’ and horseshoe marked DV’s have green/mauve camouflage.



As well as the various individual insignia there are a mass of iron cross markings in various styles to supplement those provided in the various available kits. I liked the way Pheon have separated the crosses around rudder and aileron hinges and also provided cut-aways for elevator hinges, even for 1/72 scale. Note that the later bar cross (balken kreutz) did not come into use until after Berthold left the Jasta.

Volume Two “Raben’s Ravens” #48024 & #72016



Markings are provided for every machine documented in photographs of the period under Raben’s leadership (20th March 1918 until the end of hostilities):

4 Albatros D.Va
1 Pfalz D.IIIa
1 Fokker Dr.I (with two marking options)
10 Fokker D.VII (from Fokker, OAW and Albatros manufacturers)



While the pilots are generally less well known in the red nose era, the markings are just as striking, my personal favourite is Monnington’s skull. Note that the various tail markings and fuselage trims are included as decals, relieving modellers of some tedious masking. Where the national markings differed from the factory-applied ones, these have also been included. The standard crosses can be found in the various kits available.



Where colours have not been definitively established, Pheon provide evidence for plausible options.

Both sets come with an 8 page booklet which provides a brief unit history, general colouring notes, references, decal application instructions, and notes on individual aircraft (and pilots where known). The sets also come with full colour A4-sized decal placement guides showing side views of each aircraft and some top views. These are printed on good quality glossy card.

The decals are printed by Fantasy Printshop in the UK and have minimal carrier film and perfect registration. All the white decal areas are double printed to ensure opacity.

Decal Application
Some specific points are noted in the instructions. The decals are designed to adhere well without using setting solutions. Micro Sol is OK as a wetting agent but setting solutions intended for use on thick decals are not recommended (Mr Decal Softener, Champs). Careful use of a hair dryer is suggested to help decals conform to compound curves and sharp edges.

Prices and Ordering
Jasta 18 Vol 1 “Berthold’s Boys” #48023  £12.75, #72015  £10.50
Jasta 18 Vol 2 “Raben’s Ravens” #48024  £12.75, #72016  £10.50

Available only direct from Pheon Models by email to: [email protected]
Post & packing: £3.60 to the UK & Europe, £4.95 to the rest of the world
Payment is by Paypal
Items are well packed in ziplock bags with card stiffeners inside a bubble pack envelope.

Conclusion
It is gratifying to see continued support for 1/72 and 1/48 scales after the massive growth of 1/32 scale WWI aviation modelling in recent years.

Jasta 18 makes a very attractive choice for after-market decals; the markings are both colourful and interesting. These releases provide outstanding coverage of this famous Jasta. With such a wide selection in these sets the smaller scale WWI modeller can build something distinctly different.

Overall, this is a high quality release offering excellent value for money.

Thanks to Pheon Models for the review samples.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 08:00:46 PM by Jamo »
Happy Modelling
James Fahey

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