Eduard 1/72 Albatros DV Profipack

By Marc Flake

 

Stock Number: EUK2020

THE KIT

The kit comes with one sprue of 28 plastic parts and a fret of 36 photoetched parts. Also included is a decal sheet with options for four aircraft. The instructions are made up of 10 pages, four of which provide decal placement and painting instructions. Each step is amply illustrated with exploded views, arrows and even suggestions on where to apply the glue.

CONSTRUCTION: PART I

Assembly begins with the cockpit. The photoetch pieces fold easily and fit well into their respective slots. Some of the smaller pieces were just too small for me, so I left off the levers on the control panel and machine guns. I painted the interior ModelMaster RLM 02 Gray except for the leather seat bottom and wood control panel. Be sure to attach the ammunition boxes to the firewall before cementing the firewall into the fuselage. Once the interior is completed close up the fuselage, attach the wings, tail and tail skid. This is also the time to affix some fiddly bits (mostly PE) to the nose.

PAINTING AND DECALS

At this point the instructions wisely advise that the lozenge decals be applied. And before you apply decals, you’ll have to do some painting. I chose Lt. Waldhausen’s mount, mainly because I wanted to try my hand at painting wood grain.

First I put a coat of ModelMaster Wood on the fuselage. When this dried, I took a dark brown (Chocolate) watercolor pencil and darkened the panel lines. Then I took a lighter brown (Burnt Sienna) pencil and scratched in the wood grain on each panel. Then I used some Gunze-Sangyo Clear Yellow for an overcoat, which effectively blended the watercolor pencil lines to provide that wood grain look. The metal parts of the fuselage were painted RLM 02 Gray. I also sprayed Gunze-Sangyo Clear Gloss on the wing and tail areas that would receive the lozenge treatment.

The lozenge decals in the kit don’t look right to me, so I used Americal/Gryphon five-color lozenge. These come in scale fabric strips about 3/8" wide. I measured the strip against the wing and cut the appropriate length off. Keep in mind that the aerlions were covered separately and frequently in a direction 90 degrees to the fabric bolts on the rest of the wing. Some tricky work with an Xacto knife is needed around the upper wing radiator. Once the lozenge surfaces are dried, it’s time to add the rib tapes, which must be purchased separately from the lozenge strips. This requires cutting and pasting a strip of blue tape to each rib and along the leading edge. You can cheat by painting tape along the trailing edge if you can match the color of the rib tape.

Eduard uses some very thin decals that require a little extra wetting agent or else they will stick to whatever surface they first touch with no hope of repositioning. I use some detergent in my decal water and liberally coat the surface with this water before applying the decal. Using this method, I had no problems with the decals.

CONSTRUCTION: PART II

When the decals are dry, take a pin or sharp knife and punch out the locator holes for the interplane and cabane struts. Before attaching the top wing, follow the instruction in the placement of the aerlion actuators and radiator detail. I found the top wing attachment to be rather easy. First, I glue in the "V" struts into the bottom wing. I let the plastic melt together a bit, then turn the model upside-down over the top wing, which is laying on the table. Using a pair of tweezers, I guide the strut locator pins into the appropriate holes in the upper wing. The assembly is held together for several minutes, and then flipped over right-side up. A temporary jig of paint bottles is used to set the alignment of the wings. Before this completely sets up, I attach the cabane struts, first to the top wing then to the fuselage. All struts fit perfectly into their locator holes.

After this assembly is dried and set, I tackled the undercarriage. This was the only part where I had any trouble. The parts were just too spindly and I didn’t feel like I could get them to attach properly without growing another pair of arms. A query posted on the WW1 Mailing List provided an easy solution. I drilled out the locator holes in the fuselage with a .020" drill. After removing the locator pins, I drilled through the side of the struts and replaced the pins with .020 Evergreen rod. This worked amazingly well, providing a much stronger join that was automatically in perfect alignment. More fiddly PE is applied at this point, including the elevator control horns.

Now is the time to add the rigging. I used .005 steel wire. Take a pair of dividers, measure the length you need (measure a little long), and then clip it off the main wire. Then place the wire up to the place where you want to glue it and clip it down until it fits. The instructions provide a complete rigging diagram.

Conclusion

If you are familiar with handling photoetched parts the ProfiPack version of the Albatros D V will be an easy build. The parts go together easily requiring little clean-up. It is incredibly accurate and makes the Airfix DV look like a cow next to it. The Decal choices are great. Choosing which colorful bird to build will be one of the most difficult moments in putting this kit together.