I managed to finally finish this one at last, it’s been ongoing for awhile but time to call it done;
I’m quite happy with it as it’s the first ever WW1 aircraft in 1/48 that I have ever finished (The Eduard Albatros went to landfill earlier this year).
I’ve learned a LOT from this build which bodes well for future WW1 projects. The lozenge pattern camo came as a decal sheet from Aviattic and you need to take a lot of care handling this stuff as it does’nt adhere very well to the surface, in a couple of places where I had to drill holes out for struts, rigging etc the decal came away around the hole and immediately ‘silvered’ as air got underneath.
I have a couple of ideas to remedy this either putting them down over wet varnish OR thinned down white glue as they are fantastic decals with the way they capture the linen effect in the printing process. The only thing I did’nt like about them is the film the decals are printed on is very stretchy and very difficult to trim, even with a brand new blade.
Onto the Uschi Van Der Rosten wood grain decals and again these were great for replicating the plywood panels on the wing but again the adhesive quality needs addressing with either of the two methods mentioned above.
I used the Uschi rigging thread and again this was a learning curve as the thread tended to curl up when superglue was applied which made it tricky to fasten to such small areas such as aileron and rudder horns. The advantages of this thread though is with being elastic the tension stays unlike heat stretched sprue which can sag. I shall definitely be using it again but it would probably be easier feeding it through small holes, gluing into place, trimming the excess then putting a dab of paint over the hole.
The Spandau machine guns were supplied by Karaya and were VERY fiddly to assemble, especially as there were no instructions (I actually used an instruction sheet found online from ABER). Using after market guns threw up a problem regarding the holes for the ammuntion chutes as these need to be about 1mm or so further forward as the chutes don’t match up with the breeches where the ammo is fed. It was far too late in the day to address this so I left them as is but if any readers are embarking on a similar build then this info will be useful.
I wanted to weather the model by applying thin strips of Tamiya masking tape to the fuselage sides where the fuselage framing would be then spraying Tamya X-19 Smoke in between the strips. Unfortunately the tape manage to rip one of the circular decals so I had to repaint the area and decided to leave the weathering. Normally varnish will seal the decals but at some point I used Vallejo gloss varnish and this stuff just lifted off the surface so another lesson learned.
On the whole this is another ‘4 footer’ model like the S-3 Viking (in that it looks great from 4ft) but generally I’m fairly happy with it and has given me a bit more confidence to tackle other WW1 aircraft. These things are definitely not easy to do but it stretches the modelling skills (and patience) somewhat.
EDIT; I’ve just remembered to include these shots of the wing struts as Dragon got them wrong, the struts from the bottom edges of the fuselage should be blended into the struts from the top edge of the fuselage and not seperate and something I only noticed right at the end of the build;