by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
Eduard's excellent Albatros D.V has been released in a number of different guises since it first appeared a few years ago, and this month it makes a welcome return in the form of a limited edition Dual Combo kit. That means two complete models in one box, sharing a double-set of etched details and painting masks along with a spectacular new decal sheet.
Each of the two kits consists of:
53 x beige styrene parts
68 x etched steel parts
Less experienced modellers should note that the kit is perfectly buildable without using all the etched parts. In fact, the Albatros is rather a good option for newcomers to WW1 modelling in this scale; well designed with a good level of detail in the plastic parts and generally straightforward construction - even a WW1 newbie like myself was able to tackle it without much difficulty a few years ago (any problems being totally self-inflicted). Start adding the etched details and go to town on the rigging and you soon have a real showpiece model, as witnessed by some of the superb builds we've seen over the years.
Despite being a few years old now, the moulds are obviously in very good condition, with the crisp parts showing a smooth finish and basically not a trace of flash. Exterior detail consists of nicely engraved panel lines and raised details such as the top-wing radiator and the various louvres and strut-attachments on the fuselage. The wings are thin and perfectly straight with delicate trailing edges, while the fabric effect is quite subtly depicted - although you may wish to add rib-tapes from thin strips of decal for a more accurate appearance.
The Albatros includes a pilot figure (although the instruction indicate that it isn't to be used) - and this showed the only moulding flaw I found in the kit, with a large sink-mark in the torso.
The highlight of the new release for many is bound to be the quartet of colour schemes - and Eduard could hardly have chosen a more varied set to entice anyone to try a WW1 fighter:
a: Hauptmann Eduard Ritter von Schleich, Jasta 21, with a machine sporting a pale blue fuselage with green top decking and a Bavarian crest.
b. D.2164/17, Leutnant Karl Thom, Jasta 21, with a varnished wood fuselage.
c. Leutnant Hans Joachim von Hippel, Jasta 71, again with a varnished wood finish plus a red and white striped tail.
d. D.2065/17, Oberleutnant Richard Flaschar, Jasta 5, with a grey fuselage and green tail emblazoned with a wonderful red fire-breathing dragon.
The mix of painted vs. bare-wooden fuselages is a wise choice as it offers a variety of challenges to suit different tastes and skills, while the decals provided are excellent quality - thin and glossy and printed in perfect register on the review sample.
ConclusionI've been promising to try my hand at another Eduard Albatros for a while and the Dual Combo makes an almost irresistible package. The only real problem will be deciding which of the decal options to plump for. Recommended for all modellers from intermediate level upwards.
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