With Wingnut Wings continuing to steal the show with their largescale Albatros D.V kits, Eduard's 1:48 versions have been somewhat kicked out of the limelight of late. That's a shame because they are still excellent models, packed with detail, and are widely available, including Revell's re-box that was released last year.
Pheon Models have released a superb set of decals that should help renew interest in the smaller scale model, offering no less than 10 spectacular colour schemes. The decals are custom-printed by Fantasy Printshop to their usual impeccable standard. The items are thin and glossy, with minimal crystal clear carrier film, and in perfect register on the sample sheet.
The decals include both personal markings (naturally) and a selection of national markings to augment or replace those provided with the kits.
This has been my first opportunity to examine a set of Pheon Models decals and, apart from the obviously high quality of the decals themselves, I was struck by the equally high standard of the presentation. The painting guide comprises full-colour profiles which are printed on glossy card which could be framed after use. These are accompanied by a very informative 9-page A5 booklet. This begins with a useful overview of Albatros camouflage or lozenge applications. While Rowan Broadbent cautions that is only a "broad brush" guide to the topic, it touches all the bases that modellers require and I don't doubt it will suffice as a standard ready reference for many of us. There then follows a similar discussion on the applications national markings, again clear and concise, and an excellent easy reference on the topic.
Attention then turns to the Eduard kit, as Rowan points out the few shortcomings of the kit – most obviously the short undercarriage legs which give the finished model a squat, overly pugnacious, appearance. Pheon also market a replacement undercarriage designed for the model. Rowan also recommends Vector's resin Mercedes engine as a replacement for the kit's version.
The first section of the instructions is rounded off by a generous list of references.
As a prelude to the colour schemes featured, Rowan has written a guide to applying the decals. I know, we all think we know how to apply decals, but this really is worth reading because some decal solutions are not suitable for use with Pheon/Fantasy Printshop sheets. So, ignore Pheon's advice at your peril...
Finally, we get to the descriptions of each colour scheme, along with notes on the individual pilot where known. The subjects featured are:
1. D.Va, Number unknown, Ltn. Otto Fuchs, Jasta 77b, March 1918
2. D.Va, Number unknown, Pilot unknown, Jasta 18, April 1918
3. D.V, D.2006/17, Ltn.d.r. Bernhard Kilian, Jasta 21b, September 1917
4. Number unknown, Ltn. Hans Auer, C.O. Jasta 32b, September 1917
5. D.V, Pilot unknown, Jasta 12, late summer 1917
6. D.V, Ltn.d.r. Friedrich Hochstetter, Jasta 12, late summer 1917
7. D.Va, D.7352/17, Ltn. Lehmann, Jasta 59, September 1918
8. D.V, Ltn. Arthur Rahn, Jasta 18, November 1917
9. D.V, Pilot unknown, Jasta 12, September 1917
10. D.Va, Ltn. Kypke, Jasta 41
There's something to suit every taste, with markings for wood-finished or painted fuselages, and camouflaged or lozenge-fabric wings (Note: lozenge decals are not included on the sheet).
Each scheme is supported by a number of references, and something I particularly appreciate is that where there is nevertheless some speculation, Rowan Broadbent's highlights it clearly, justifying the decisions made in designing the decals, and offering alternative items in several cases.
This is a superb set of decals for quarterscale Albatros enthusiasts, and it's only Vol. 1, so Rowan has plenty more up his sleeve! Ten subjects on one sheet should keep anyone busy for years (certainly at the rate at which I build...), and it would also make a perfect basis for a group or club build. Highly recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Top quality decals, backed up by detailed instructions.Lows:Verdict: Pheon Models' first installment of 1:48 Albatros D.V/Va schemes is a real treat for anyone intending to build the Eduard and Revell kits.
Our Thanks to Pheon Models! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...