Blue Max Airco DH-2 (1/48)

By: Mark Nelson

The kit's contents include 5 "chunky" grey sprues of injected parts, decals, a bag of cast metal bits, plastic rod, 4 pieces microtubing, and instructions. The plastic parts include the multipart fuselage, upper and lower wings, stabilizer and rudder, airscrew, wheels, gravity tank, cabane struts, landing gear spreader, bulkheads, seat, instruments, alternate compass housing, optional plate for gun mount, ammo pockets, as well as a jig for assembling the tail booms (similar to what you get with the Aeroclub FE2b); cast parts include the engine, engine mount, elevator cranks, tailskid, lewis gun on mount, rudder pedals, stick, and tail boom struts; decals are for 2 aircraft: 7907 flown by captain L.P. Aizlewood of 'B' flight No. 32 Squadron, and 6011 of 2nd Leutenant C. Kerr of 'C' flight No. 24 Squadron (6011 appears in the Windsock datafile as a color plate as well as two photos of it in German hands!)

As per Blue Max's usual the details are very lightly done with subtle raised rib tapes and a very nice treatment of the stitching around the cockpit. The trailing edges are very thin and shouldn't need touching up. There is a small amount flash evident on several parts, while the attachment points are rather chunky - remove carefully. The fuselage is molded in five parts! These are the floor (with interior structure) the left and right "canvas" sides (with interior framing), and the left and right "hard" parts (ie. everything not fabric or floor). Trimmed out with bulkheads, seat, instruments, controls, and other details - primo! The wings are a complex arrangement. The upper wing has left and right halves with a sparate center section. The lower wings are in left and right halves - all parts butt together - there are no pins or tabs. Please check carefully as the only difference between the upper and lower wing panels are slightly deeper depressions were the struts mount. The tail booms are assembled from the tubing and cast struts using the jig. The interplane struts must be cut and shaped from the bulk extruded material provided, the cabane struts are injected parts. The engine is made up of the crankcase with 9 individual cylinders with some extruded rod provided for use as pushrods. The propeller is of the four bladed variety. The instructions feature an exploded view, assembly notes, and B&W photos of both optional schemes with color notes. The decals include roundels, fin flash, and some concentric rings for 7907's wheels.

NIT PICKER WARNING: The fuselage of this kit seems to be some sort of hybrid between early and late models. Study photos carefully as each aircraft was almost unique:

  1. Early style ammo pockets (modify/scratchbuild for later).
  2. Early position of rudder cable exit (fill and drill to move).
  3. Early compass fairing (late provided as a cut off and replace option).
  4. Early style opening at base of forward cabane struts (reshape for late).
  5. Early fairing plate low wo the port side of the engine (remove for late).
  6. Late style access door on port side below cabane (remove for early)
  7. Laced inspection panel above forward landing gear strut (remove for very early)
  8. Metal panel over gun slot varies in style (add or modify for later aircraft)
Also note that there were variations in aileron rigging and in the position of the Gravity tank.

The decals are in very good register although the colors look a little dark.

The kit scales out virtually spot on with 3-views in the Datafile.



1/48 Airco DH2: kit # BM108
UK: 19.99

NOTE: This is a delicate kit the rear of the fuselage floor and the upper sides below the cockpit opening both showed stress marks from shipping.

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