Roden 1/72 Scale Gotha G.II/G.III

Model, Text and Photos by: Dennis Ugulano

Part 3


Let's start with the top wing. Very easy. There are six separte parts. The wing is in three parts, the fuel tank is separate as are the two control horns. The center of the wing was taped down, a 3 degree diahedral was added at the wing tips and it was glued with tube glue for strength. A little putty was required after it dried. After sanding, the fuel tank was added and the entire wing was sprayed clear doped linen (CDL). When dry, the clear coat was added and the decals were applied. Then add the control horns. The decals fit right over the control horns so I added them last. After enlarging the strut locating holes just a little, the top wing is complete. The painting and decaling is the same for the outer portions of the lower wing.
Now comes the most difficult part of the kit, the mounting of the engines. Roden has a nice idea here but it doesn't work. The engine nacelles have four pegs that are designed to fit into notches on the wings. Either the pegs are too small or the notches are too large because there are large holes when the wings are attached. I did not discover this until after the wings were on. It then required that I putty the holes, sand them and touch up the CDL, all without damaging the finish on my SnJ nacelles. (What I will do on the next one will be to remove the pegs from the nacelles and fill, putty and sand the notches on the wings. There is a very nice locating groove on the nacelles, so alignment will not be a problem. I think it will make it much easier to build.) I added the engines to the center section and allowed them to dry for a day. Then the outer wings were added to match the upper wing. This was allowed to dry throughly. This is now a very weak section, so caution is advised in handling this assembly.

Attaching the top wing is the next step. It's big but do not be intimidated by it's size. After painting and drilling the 12 main bay struts, I mount them on the bottom wing. I like super glue for strut attachement. Since all of the struts are vertical with no forward slant, the alignment is easier. After the struts are dry, I turn the upper wing and model upside down, placing the struts near to their upper wing attachment point. Then, one strut at a time, the struts are moved to their location after a drop of glue has been dropped in the hole. Of the 12 struts, only two did not drop into position. The two rebels were coaxed with a little pressure and the super glue was kicked to give them no time to change their mind.

Before continuing with the wing, while the model is upside down, let's attach the undercarriage. I enlarged the holes on the nacelles a little and trimmed the undercarriage struts a little to improve the fit. Before adding the wheels, I added the rigging so as not to have to work around the wheels.

On the subject of the wheels, be careful. There are two sizes of wheels. This was not discovered by this observant builder until after he had painted them. I used the four larger wheels. My guess is the smaller wheel will be for the G.Va that is on the horizon.

While we are still upside down, let's attach the landing skid. There are two holes  for the landing skid but only one is used. The rearmost hole is for the G.II; the  forwardmost hole is for the G.III. Close up the one you don't need. 

With the undercarriage and skid complete, let's return to the wings and struts. I had to make new struts for the fuselage to upper wing struts but I think it was because of a mistake in construction on my part. I found that the struts fit well. The eight struts from engine nacelles to upper wing fit perfectly. With this step, the wing assembly is complete. This also completes the main assembly of the kit. The only steps left will be rigging and the final attachement of props and guns. I always leave these steps to last so there is one less thing for the rigging to hang up on. At this point I think there is less than 20 hours in the kit. 


The final part of this build will be a few photos of the rigging. That will coming to a web site near you soon.

Go to Part 2