by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
Kit 142 (Kit 1142)
Albatros C.IIIBuilt by Albatros Flugzeugwerke, the Albatros C.III was a German two-seat general-purpose biplane of World War I. Fielded in 1915 the C.III was a refined version of the successful Albatros C.I. Considered the best of the companyís C-types, more C.III aircraft were produced than any other Albatros C. The German Fliegertruppe found it quite versatile and employed it in many roles such as observation, photo-reconnaissance, light-bombing and bomber escort. It was produced until the Armistices and widely used as a trainer.
It was a popular aircraft with rugged construction and viceless handling. The power plant was either a 110 kW (150 hp) Benz Bz. III or a 120 kW (160 hp) Mercedes D.III inline engine.
A C.III was defended from the rear cockpit by the observer with a 7.92 mm (.312 in) Parabellum MG14 machine gun. Some C.III aircraft were given offensive firepower with a forward-firing 7.92 mm (.312 in) LMG 08/15 machine gun using with interrupter gear. When called upon as a bomber, C.IIIís could attack with up to 90 kg (200 lb) of bombs.  These were held in a basic internal bomb bay.
Aurora ďFamous FightersĒ SeriesAurora released their first six World War I aircraft in 1956, and added six more in 1957. Three of those were two-seaters. The next year debuted two 'monster' WW1 kits, the Gotha and the DH-10.  Six more were released through 1964, one of the latter being the subject of this review, the Albatros C-III.
In 1973, Aurora entered into a marketing arrangement with K&B, a California manufacturer of flying models, and produced the series of K&B 'Collectors series' These models were produced by Aurora but distributed by K&B and featured a large, squarish white box with some impressive artwork and (be still my heart!) a vacuformed diorama base for displaying the model! Note that the K&B kits numbers were merely the original Aurora kit numbers prefixed by a '1'. 
Aurora / K&B Albatros C.IIIThis aerial yeoman contains 41 parts molded in tan and black. K&B square box editions have a vacuform display base.
Simplified surface detail is molded. The fit is pretty good! The molding is respectable yet has its flaws: light ejector marks, seam lines, and some flash. The crewmembers are a bit rounded although Aurora sculpted them with decent detail. Some pieces are fairly to-scale although this model is considered toy-like by today's standards.
The worst aspect is the molded raised markings. K&B cleaned these off several of the kits they issued but missed this one.
DetailsThe detail is simplified. There is no interior detail inside the fuselage halves. The scarf ring is bulky and the Parabellum MG14 machine gun is basic. There is no textured to simulate fabric.
This model has a barrel to represent the forward-firing LMG 08/15 machine gun.
painting, decals, instructionsThe instructions are simple and nicely illustrated. No rigging diagram is included.
No painting direction is included. Albatros C.IIIís wore a variety of finishes, from simply doped fabric to elaborate camouflage and markings. This model features the work-a-day plain linen. It does not offer information on other choices.
The decals are over 30 years old and show it. The national insignia are the early style No unit information is provided.
SummaryAnother trip down classic memory lane. It certainly requires quite a bit of work to correct deficiencies. Move slowly and deliberately. There are many examples of well-built Aurora C.IIIís on line, so you can make a decent model from it. Of course, consider the work and cost involved when comparing it to modern C.IIIís, such as the Special Hobby model reviewed here on Aeroscale (Link below).
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Thanks to www.Oldmodelkits.com for permission to use the box art for this review!
,  Bill Shatzer, Aurora Kits, World War 1 Modeling Informational Files, http://www.wwi-models.org/misc/aurora.html
Click here for additional images for this review.