Eduard 1/72 Albatros DVa

By Marc Flake

 

Stock Number: EUK2019



THE KIT

The kit comes with one sprue of 28 plastic parts and a decal sheet with options for two aircraft. The instructions are made up of six pages, two of which provide decal placement and painting instructions. Each step is amply illustrated in two colors with exploded views, arrows and even suggestions on where to apply the glue.

CONSTRUCTION

Assembly begins with the cockpit and engine. The cockpit assembly is rather basic but turns out looking great. Eduard provides a floor with ruder pedals attached that fits snugly into the bottom of the fuselage. The seat and detailed control column are added separately. The control column is amazing, molded with both thumb firing levers. I painted these red. The rest of the interior was painted ModelMaster RLM 02 Gray except for the leather seat bottom and wood formers and stringers. I painted the engine parts gunmetal with copper tubing. Once they were assembled I glued it onto itís tray in the fuselage. After the interior was completed I closed up the fuselage and attached the wings, tail and tail skid.
 


I find that top wing attachment can be rather easy. First, I glue in the "V" struts into the bottom wing. I let the plastic melt together a bit, then turn the model upside-down over the top wing, which is laying on the table. Using a pair of tweezers, I guide the strut locator pins into the appropriate holes in the upper wing. The assembly is held together for several minutes, and then flipped over right-side up. A temporary jig of paint bottles is used to set the alignment of the wings. Before this completely sets up, I attach the cabane struts, first to the top wing then to the fuselage. All struts fit perfectly into their locator holes.
 

After this assembly has dried and set overnight, I tackled the undercarriage. This was the only part where I had any trouble. The parts were just too spindly and I didnít feel like I could get them to attach properly without growing another pair of arms. A query posted on the WW1 Mailing List provided an easy solution. I drilled out the locator holes in the fuselage with a .020" drill. After removing the locator pins, I drilled through the side of the struts and replaced the pins with .020 Evergreen rod. This worked amazingly well, providing a much stronger join that was automatically in perfect alignment.

PAINTING AND DECALS

Although Eduard provides a nice set of decals, I chose to model LT. Hans Konneckeís bright green D.Va from Jasta 5. I had some decals for this aircraft from an old SuperScale set that is now out of production. But first, I painted the fuselage and empennage Xtracolor Willow Green. When that was dry, I used some ModelMaster Italian Red to outline the empennage. The wing upper surfaces were painted PolyScale Fokker Dark Green and Lilac, while the lower surfaces were painted light blue. After the paint had time to dry, the model was then misted with Gunze-Sangyo Clear Gloss.

Eduard uses some very thin decals that require a little extra wetting agent or else they will stick to whatever surface they first touch with no hope of repositioning. I use some detergent in my decal water and liberally coat the surface with this water before applying the decal. Using this method, I had no problems with the decals.

RIGGING

I used .005 steel wire for the rigging. Take a pair of dividers, measure the length you need (measure a little long), and then clip it off the main wire. Then place the wire up to the place where you want to glue it and clip it down until it fits. Dip the ends into medium viscosity CA glue and attach to the appropriate points. The instructions provide a complete rigging diagram.

Once the rigging was finished, I sprayed the whole model with Gunze-Sangyo Clear Flat to take the shine down to a dull semi-gloss. This also flattens out the shine on the wires.
 

CONCLUSION

Eduardís Albatros D Va is a very easy build. The parts go together easily requiring little clean up. I would recommend this kit to anyone considering getting into World War One aviation models.