by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
The latest WWI Modelling Special from Albatros Productions focuses on the superb 1:32 Halberstadt CL.II from Wingnut Wings. The new 52-page book follows the classic magazine-style format of the series, combining a step-by-step by WWI master-modeller Ray Rimell with historical references and top quality profiles.
Things kick off with in-box reviews of the 3 different boxings that WNW have released of the Halberstadt - “Early” (Kit #32049), “Late” (Kit #32062) and the “Duelists” double-boxing that includes the CL.II “Late” along with an RE8 (Kit #32804). The in-box reviews only need to give a brief overview of the contents of each kit, because Ray covers the model in almost forensic detail in the next section: Building the Halberstadt CL.II.
This comprises a 26-page step-by-step guide with almost 160 clear photos and illustrations, that will not only be a huge help to anyone building either version of the CL.II straight from the box, but also takes things to the next level, clearly explaining how to both refine the kit's details and add extras, along with suggesting improvements to the standard WNW kit. Ray adds considerable detail to the model, some of it built from scratch, and also adds aftermarket accessories such as HGW straps, Taurus resin parts and a Doug Craner wooden propeller.
The chapter also serves as an ideal reference for early aviation modelling techniques in general as Ray describes in some detail the various painting and finishing techniques that he employs, including shading the wings to give a convincing impression of the internal structure and coping with extensive use of decals for the colour scheme (using Aviattic lozenge and mottle decals in this case).
Along with the mass of clear photos of each stage of the build, the section includes a number of very useful reference shots of the Krakow Museum's surviving CL.II airframe.
Following the build comes a Halberstadt Archiv, with 6 pages of period photos from the collection of Greg VanWyngarden. The reproduction of the shots is excellent, with the photos printed large to allow a mass of details to be made out. This includes a C.IX cockpit shot that’s included for good measure to give an idea of standard Halberstadt instruments and fit-out.
There’s also plenty of inspiration for modellers with a fine collection of Ronny Bar profiles illustrating a variety of very attractive colour schemes.
This Modelling Special also takes a slight detour from the CL.II to include a "Hawa" Postscript to accompany Datafile #169. This chapter features photos by Knut Erik Hagen of the licence-built FF.7 Hauk displayed at the Norsk Teknisk Museum in Oslo - the world's only surviving WWI Hannover design. The photos are also relevant to anyone building the CL.II, because the partially open forward fuselage allows the interior to be seen clearly, with many of the fittings being typical of other WWI German two-seaters, including the Halberstadt
The guide ends with a list of currently available aftermarket accessories that are appropriate for the WNW CL.II, plus suggestions for further reading,
ConclusionRay Rimell’s guide to building the CL.II will be the perfect accompaniment for the Wingnut Wings kit to ensure you get the best from the superb model. But it also goes further than that, also serving as a very useful general reference for the modelling and finishing techniques that Ray employs - plus, of course, also being an ideal source of inspiration for anyone building the CL.II in a smaller scale.
At the time of writing, Ray has informed me that he is already busy preparing a detailed build-guide to the forthcoming WNW Fokker Dr.1. Based on what he's done with the CL.II, that should be an absolute treat and essential reading to go with the kit.
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