The Fokker D.XXI fighter was designed in 1935 for use by the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force (Militaire Luchtvaart van het Koninklijk Nederlands-Indisch Leger, ML-KNIL). As such, it was designed as a cheap and small, but rugged aircraft, which had respectable performance for its time. Entering operational use in the early years of World War II, it provided yeoman service for both the Luchtvaartafdeling (Dutch Army Aviation Group) and the Finnish Air Force, and a few were built by the Carmoli factory before the factory fell into Nationalist hands during the Spanish Civil War.
The Fokker D.XXI was a low-wing monoplane with a steel tube fuselage covered in large part by fabric. Following some of the standard Fokker design practice, it had wooden wings and a fixed spatted undercarriage. Power was provided by a Bristol Mercury radial driving a three-blade two-pitch airscrew. When it entered service in 1938 it was a quantum leap forward for the Dutch Army Aviation Group, whose fighter force had until that time consisted of aging biplanes with open cockpits. The new Fokker proved to be an extremely sturdy aircraft capable of attaining a speed of 700 km/h in a dive.
This is MPM’s fourth release of the Fokker D.XXI but the first in Dutch markings. Upon opening the of an end opening box you are greeted by a cellophane bag, containing all of the sprues and two small zip seal bags, one containing the resin parts and the other the clear sprue. Also in the box are a decal sheet, a fret of coloured etch and an A5 instruction booklet. Two sprues of grey styrene sprues make up the majority of the airframe with the cockpit parts being provided in resin and etch parts (although a basic cockpit is provided in styrene as well).
A close inspection of the parts shows a minimal amount of moulding flash and I only found some sink marks on the back of the propeller blades. There are fine recessed panel lines and rivets with raised details for the fabric covered ‘stringers’ for the elevators, ailerons and rear part of the fuselage. The styrene cockpit parts reasonable done with raised details which make it suitable to dry brush the dials and switches. The resin cockpit parts are highly detailed and would certainly improve the cockpit over the styrene parts. The engine and nacelle is also well represented and a careful dry brush should make these details ‘pop’. The clear parts are very clear but as always will benefit from a dip in some Klear (Future).
The Instructions, Colour scheme and Decals
The instructions come in the format of an eight page A5 size booklet printed in black and white. They start with the front cover having a profile picture of the aircraft with a brief history of the aircraft. The next page shows the layout of all of the parts and reference recommendations. Nine steps then follow starting with the usual format of cockpit, fuselage, wings, engines, undercarriage and cockpit canopy. The instructions are very informative in both Czech and English complete with the colour call outs throughout.
Four marking options are provided with colour call out in Federal Standards and Gunze Sanyo. They are all in a camouflage scheme of Brown FS20059/H17, Green FS24077/H36 and Beige FS26360/H332 (although H332 is RAF Light Aircraft Grey not beige).
- No 234 of the 1e JaVa (1st Fighter Squadron), ML (Militaire Luchtvaart, the Royal Netherlands Air Force) April-May 1940
- No 221 of the 1e JaVa (1st Fighter Squadron), ML (Militaire Luchtvaart, the Royal Netherlands Air Force) April-May 1940
- No 231 of the ML Vliegschool Texel (the Royal Netherlands Air ForcePilot School) April-May 1940
- No 231 Captured by the Luftwaffe, Fluglehrerschule (Pilot Instructor’s School) at Brandenburg-Briest, October 1940
The decals printed by Aviprint and are in good register but only provide the basic markings for the options, there is no additional stencil data.
Another interesting choice of aircraft from MPM although bit pricey for 1/72 you do get all you need to improve the kit. As with most short run kits care will have to be taken when assembling as there are no mounting pins. MPM have catered for all skill of modellers by giving the option of just using styrene parts or going one step further and including a resin cockpit. The advanced modeller is also given the option of going a step further by giving etch part to create an open canopy.
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