by: Stephen T. Lawson [ ]
The Ten current releases, sheets no 30011 - 30020 continues the growing line of products from Wingnut Wings, The new set #30018 give us a wider choice of subjects to portray than what is in their #32015 kit. Given the numberings of the current sheets, we can probably expect more releases of this line of products. A guess is that some of these will be for the coming Fokker D.VII that also offers a wide range of about 70 of colourful profiles.
The priced at $19.00 for each set and the Wing nut Wings current international free shipping policy also applies to these. For this scale we see that this is not as high as some sets. As has been discussed here previously this possibly reflects the cost of what these sheets cost to produce.
Depicts Albatros D.Va machines from various Jastas. And is the second sheet that is dedicated to various machines from different Jagdstaffels that have the factory varnished fuselages and includes five known profiles.
A - Albatros D.Va 5815/17, Ltn. Gerhard Hubrich, Marine Feld Jasta IV, late1918. His personal insignia is a chick hatching from its egg. Though this is a wooden wonders sheet this machine has the typical Marine Feld Jasta mottled camouflage on the fuselage. It was part of a batch of 250 D.Va aircraft ordered in September 1917 (serials D.5600 - 5849/17). He survived the war with 12 victories and as a Major supposedly scored a further 2 in the next world war.
B - Albatros D.Va 7098/17, Oblt. Rudno –Rudzinski, Jasta 17, early 1918. His stylized personal marking is the name “Gisi” on the fuselage. This was used on one other previous Alb. D.V type in a different format. Except for the personal & Jasta markings the machine appears over all “factory fresh”.
C - Albatros D.Va 7343/17, Ltn. Kurt Jentsch, Jasta 61, June – August 1918. His personal marking is a stylized five pointed star. After the war he wrote an autobiography titled "Jagdflieger im Feuer". Much of his book compares the flight characteristics of German aircraft (Albatros D.) types to the Sopwith F.1 and Spad XIII. He also wrote “Beim Jagdflug Todlich Verungluckt”.
D - Albatros D.Va 6981/17, Pilot Unknown, mid- late 1918. This stylized marking is a red number “3”. According to WNW description and photos the machine has had its Spandau Maxim machine guns removed and also its pilot’s right side wheel covers are missing. I see a two toned pennant hanging from the trailing edge of the lower wing. It crosses over the port side wheel cover. This machine may have been the lead machine used in getting the 2 seater aircraft to assemble in flight formation over the airfield before setting out to the front. The lack of armament makes sense under this guise. The 2 toned pennant would differentiate this machine from any other Albatros fighters winging through the area during the formation assembly. The attachment(s) would be at the trailing end of the wing rib.
E - Albatros D.Va 7161/17, was flown by Vzfw. Gürgenz of Jasta 46w (Wurttemberg unit) and brought down on 3 April 1918. But in this package they seem to be focusing on the post war NASM restoration version. The following are notes on the condition of that restored version.
1. The circular access door on the pilot’s left forward nose area of the fuselage (the larger of the two on that side) seems to be placed somewhat forward of its typical location as seen in other Albatros D.Va types. The restored Stropp has this access door several inches closer to the propeller.
2. According to John White of the AWM the Smithsonian painted the cowlings green based on the incorrect attempt on first Australian restoration of Alb. D.Va 5390/17.
3. The "R.F." that shows up on the forward fuselage on some decals and art are from the late war bond drive RF = (in English) Republic of France.
4. The Teves und Braun radiator was not left in bare metal on the restoration, it was sprayed with aluminum paint. The originals were double dipped in liquid solder.
5. The weights serial that is painted on the restored airframe seems to be non-standard or incorrectly painted. Notice there is no horizontal line above the total weight. There is only a "k" and not "kg." after the total weight. Regarding the stencil Gesamtgew vs Gesammtgew, photographic evidence suggests that Gesamtgew is only found on OAW built D.Va airframes while Gesammtgew appears on Johannisthal built D.V (3 line weight tables only of course) and D.Va airframes. The differences are reflected in decals #22 and #63 on this decal sheet (but not on Mr. Bar's beautiful profiles). Just to be fair, there could be exceptions to this 'rule'.
6. Albatros logo is notably backward on the restoration. Was this a mistake or could the rudder have been taken from another plane like the wing panels? It's common for OAW planes have the backward logo.
7. The correct Jasta marking for this plane would have included a yellow spinner and wheel covers (as seen in WNW kit #32015 profile). The restoration looks like the green tail stripes may have been painted the same color as the dark green metalwork mentioned in comment #2 here.
8. The Camouflage of this plane had traces of green/lilac paint on the tail fabric which means that it should also have those colors on the wing. But replacement lozenge covered wings were derived from captured examples in French storage stocks for the bond tour.
9. The restoration is missing the two manufacturer plates for the nose areas. It seems like this plane would had these when it was delivered. Possibly the relocation of the access port prevented this? The rigging datum line is also missing.
What you get in the package:
The decal sheets came “Zip-Loc” sealed in A4 sized plastic zip locked bag, making it easy to reseal, and keep the decals safe until you use them. A folded A4 sheet printed in full colour serves as a four page booklet that gives you the instructions on application and also the bio of the pilots that flew the planes. The style of the monograph is similar to what we have seen in the instruction booklets from the kits. Full colour profiles are done by Ronny Bar and they are complimented by archival images of the subjects.
One fine detail in the instructions hints as to which optional parts to use from the kit and which engine option to choose.
The decals are of the same quality and style of what we have gotten used to from their kits. Cleanly and crisply printed by Cartograf of Italy, my samples were in perfect register with a glossy sheen and clean opaque colours. Small decals such as the prop, weight tables and rigging instructions are also included on these sheets. Some of the Iron crosses tend to duplicate what is already in the basic kit.
Lozenge or no lozenge is no longer a question!
Now that Wingnut Wings has released their version of the intermediate factory printed 5 colour lozenge (Farbenflugzeugstoff) these decals are even more relevant. These sheets that have been released don't have any lozenge included in the package. Notably this is what many other manufacturers have done in the past, Microscale & Superscale being the most memorable.
But notably every WNW sheet includes profiles that have standard two tone uppersurface camouflage painted wings, and does not need lozenge to be finished.
The instructions for the Albatros sheets do state that the lozenge decals are available separately. Decals # 30001 (5 colour upper), #30002 (5 colour lower) and 30005 (rib tapes). So if you fancy doing one of the lozenge covered profiles, you either have to purchase them separately or look at what other aftermarket manufacturers may have and purchase them separately as well.
The conclusion is we are in the golden age of WWI aviation modeling subjects. My suggestion is to get what you can, while you can. You never know what the future will bring. Model On!
A very special thanks to Dave Douglass for allowing me to use his research & artwork concerning D.7161/17 "Stropp" for this review!
When contacting manufacturers and publishers please mention you saw this review at AEROSCALE