Central Powers Models
by Michael Robinson

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Albatros D-III

This is a project I did roughly 6 years ago, before Eduard released their plethora of WW 1 kits, including their excellent Albatros series of kits. I have always admired the Albatros series of fighters for their elegant lines and advanced construction techniques for the time. Up until I built mine, the only kits available were the old Aurora kit, which is more a D-V than a D-III, and a little larger than 1/48th scale, my preferred scale to work in. I decided the only way I will be able to build an Albatros would be to scratchbuild it, so with references in hand and a few beers to settle the nerves, I began carving wood and shaping plastic.

Fuselage: This is made from .040 plastic vacuformed over a carved basswood master. I use basswood for carving instead of balsa, as it’s straight grained, carves easily and isn’t as soft and prone to damage as balsa would be. Also, for strength, I cut up the master and left it inside the vacuformed shell after interior pieces were added and the fuselage sides were glued together. Interior stringers and bulkheads were added, Engine Bearers were added and then the cowling was drilled for the cylinder openings, then the cowl area was cut off to form a master for vacuforming a new one piece cowl with no center seam. The control column was built up from Evergreen rod, with a trigger and handle assembly from Tom’s Model Works German WW1 Interior PE Set. Gauges and instruments are a combination of photo-reduced negatives and Foto-Cut Bezels. The seat was built up from .010 plastic.

Wings and Control Surfaces: The wings are built up using .005 styrene sheet over a basswood core, with ribs embossed in the plastic from the backside using a straightedge and blunt scriber. Ailerons were built using the same method. The Horizontal Stabilizer and Fin are solid .080 plastic sanded to the correct shape, and Elevator and Rudder built up the same way as the wings. The wing “V” struts are basswood with brass pins in the ends, and the cabane struts are brass wire, soldered together for strength. A Tail Skid of basswood with a brass shoe and brown thread for the bungee, and a Fin of .020 plastic complete the Tail Gear.

Miscellaneous: The Engine is from Hi-Tech, Machine guns have scratchbuilt breeches with Cooling Jackets from Foto-Cut, and the wheels are from the spares box, with Landing Gear Struts made from basswood and the Axle from brass wire. Again brown thread is used to simulate the bungee shock cords. The Wing Radiator was cut from a radiator from an old AMT truck kit with a Header Tank made from .060 plastic. Lozenge Decals for the wings and control surfaces are from Aeromaster, as are the markings for a plane flown by Jasta 49 in April of 1917. The Fuselage woodgrain was accomplished by spraying a coat of light tan enamel overall, followed by masking off the different panels and dry brushing dark brown for the grain appearance. Final rigging is stretched sprue. This is the first model I ever built where it is finished with decals more than painting.

As fate would have it, I finished this model right about the time Eduard released their D-V, and at a regional contest in Syracuse NY, I was asked several times, “Is that the new Eduard kit?”, to which I would politely have to explain it wasn’t. It has won two awards, First Place Scratchbuilt , and Best Aircraft at SYRCON X in 1997, in Syracuse New York.

The second photograph was done with Forced Perspective, where the foreground was taped over the edge of a table, and the background was placed behind the model. I would like to thank Mike Parillo, from Binghamton New York for the Forced Perspective Photo, and Tom Johnson of Rochester New York, for the other photography work.

About the builder:

My name is Mike Robinson, and I have been in the hobby for about 40 some years, starting when I was 5 years old and my first model ever was a Hawk Corsair in 1/48th scale that my Dad helped me build. My main interests are World War 1, Pre War US Navy, and Navy aviation in general. I live in upstate New York near Rochester, and am a member of the Rochester Historical Scale Model Association, a chapter of IPMS. I am 45 years old, single, and work for Xerox as a Field Engineer. My other interests are motorcycles, and I put about 10 thousand miles a year on my Honda Goldwing.


ALBATROS SCOUTS Described by Charles Schaedel – Kookaburra Technical Publications.


Fokker DVI

Eduard kit, 1/48 scale

Fokker Dr-I

DML kit, 1/48th scale

Gotha G-III

Kit: CSM (1:48)

Eric has released a beauty with this kit. It is very buildable, but I would suggest stocking up with Contrail struts, as the white metal struts are too irregular in size and shape and length. Other than that it builds into an impressive model.

Lloyd CV

Kit: scratchbuilt (1:48)

I had the misfortune of finishing this a few months before Special Hobby released theirs. Everywhere I took it I had to deal with "So that's Special Hobby's new Lloyd eh?". I think it's a Law Of Nature somewhere that says as soon as you scratchbuild a model, soon after a kit will be released of it.

Lohner B II

Kit: Copper State Models (1:48)

This is Copper STate Models Lohner B II that I just finished. it was probably the most difficult of Eric's kits I've done. The kit parts I used were the resin airframe parts, and that was about it. All struts, Landing Geer, Prop, and Engine are built from scratch. It was worth the effort though as I like the look of the airplane. The graceful swept wings are a nice contrast with the klunky looking fuselage and landing gear. I managed a First in Class and Best Aircraft at BUFCON 2006 with it, out of over 250 aircraft models entered, so I was quite pleased. You can find a full construction write-up at www.aircraftresourcecenter.com in the CLassic Aviation Forum if you care to see construction shots. Cheers Mike

Pfalz D-XII

Blue Max kit - 1/48th scale

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