Roden 1/72 Albatros W.4
reviewed by Steve Jantscher
This kit represents one of the most recent additions to the Roden line of 1/72nd scale WWI aircraft. The Albatros W.4 was a short run (118 built) seaplane fighter, first flying in 1917. According to the supplied history, its major failing was in being a single seat aircraft. Twin seaters were seen as being better sea plane fighter types. As that may be, this kit represents a beautiful looking aircraft, and ought to make a nice economical addition to one's collection of models.
If you're at all interested in WWI model aircraft, in this scale, you've no doubt been excited by the recent offerings from the Ukrainian model company Roden. I've noticed an improvement over the past year in their quality, however, as in this case, their models just don't yet have the "snap" (in details) when compared to those of first line kit manufactures. The detail, while ably represented, isn't quite as crisp as one would like. Also, as is evident from the enclosed photographs of this kit, their injection technique or mold quality are allowing too much flash, especially when one considers that these are new kits, with fresh molds.
On the other hand, look at the details of the engine. These are going to build up into little gems. In addition, as with most Roden kits I've seen recently, there are a large number of extra parts, some obviously for different future version releases, others just as extra guns or other parts for the spares box. These kits do represent good value, and an excellent base upon which to build a fine model of very much under reresentated aircraft from the great war. I have also noticed that the quality of the instructions have improved greatly in the past year. While the detail might not appear crisp all the time, I do like how Roden has captured the fabric effect at such a small scale. The cockpit is somewhere that the advanced modeler might want to add some generic sidewall and floor detail, as the kit's is a bit empty. Check out your Windsocks for details.
A very important part of this airplane
is the maritime lozenge scheme, thus making the decals of vital importance to
the final presentation of this kit. These look to be thin, but are also of the
"flat" variety, and I personally haven't had a good track record with
decals that are flat. Most of the time this indicated an inferior decal, but
not always.They are in register, and while I'd be willing to give them the benefit
of a doubt, one might be well served to have a separate source for these lozenge
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