Pegasus 1/72 Etrich Taube
KIT #: 4010
DECALS: None needed
REVIEWER: Brian Baker
NOTES: Limited production kit, probably issued about 1992. Probably available at swap meets


 The Taube monoplane evolved in Austria-Hungary around 1910 after its original designer,  Igo Etrich, experimented with a number of wing configurations.  He settled on the shape of the Zanonia seed,  which flutters to the ground helicopter fashion, and which accounts for the unique wing shape common to all Taube monoplanes.  It was subsequently produced by a number of Austrian and German manufacturers, and was the first mass produced military aircraft in Germany before the outbreak of World War I.  It had a wooden structure, and its wings were braced by numerous struts and wires. Wing warping was used for lateral control,  and numerous powerplants were used throughout its career.

The type was manufactured by no less than 57 companies, including  Etrich, Albatros, DFW, Gotha, Halberstadt, Kondor, Roland, and Rumpler.  The Rumpler version was especially popular, and the plane is now commonly referred to as the “Rumpler Taube” although many other firms were involved.

A two seater, the Taube was used primarily for observation,  although in the early stages of the war it was used to drop light bombs.  As the war progressed, more efficient aircraft replaced it, and the type was out of front line service by 1915. 


The kit is injection molded in white styrene, and consists of approximately ten  major parts, with a number of white metal parts, including the engine, seats, internal cockpit details, radiators, and some of the landing gear struts.  In addition, there are some plastic strips provided for making struts to brace the wings, tailplane, and landing gear. These are typical of limited production kits, with some flash, but nothing that any experienced model can’t trim off easily.  I found that the struts were hopelessly warped, so I used plastic strips and rods in most cases.


The cockpit interior needs to be build up and painted first, and this involves some trimming.  Superglue is needed, as there are some plastic to metal joints.  There isn’t much information in the small instruction sheet, so I would suggest Googling ”Etrich Taube”, which will bring up numerous photos and drawings which will be very helpful.  Keep in mind that there were numerous variations to this design, so  decide on which plane you will be modeling, and built it in that configuration.  A major problem is the engine, which needs to be seated down on a small shelf in the front of the fuselage.  The cowling needs to be trimmed back for this, as the engine will eventually need exhaust stacks and one water pipe assembly on the left side, and these will be difficult to fit unless the cowling is trimmed down.  This problem will become obvious when you get to this stage of the construction. 

 Once the cockpit assemblies are complete and are glued to one side of the fuselage, and the engine is installed, the fuselage halves can be joined.  I attached the horizontal tailplane, and filled in the seams at the rear.  The rudder-vertical stabilizers assemblies can go on next, although the lower unit appeared to be a mite small, so I used card plastic to scratchbuild one. At this point, I noticed that the wings butt fitted onto the fuselage sides with no other support, giving a very weak structure.  I did a little number with my drill, and managed to insert a small length of piano wire through the fuselage to serve as a main spar.  This added to the overall strength somewhat, but if I did it again, I would make the spar longer. Be sure to get the proper dihedral angle on the wings. A four view drawing on the box will help here.


Once the wings and tailplanes were  installed, and all seams were filled, it was time for painting.  I used the kit instructions for reference, using silver for the cowling and a beige fabric color for the rest of the airplane.  I masked off the engine and cockpit interior, so painting was an easy task. Then the fun began.


 The wings on the actual airplane were braced by a horizontal strut, and the bracing struts are between three and four feet long, and six of these struts had to be cut from stock.  The actual lengths of these struts are provided on the instruction sheet, and this is VERY helpful.  Thanks, Pegasus. The lower support spars (2 required) were also cut and painted, and after attaching the support struts, the spar was attached to the ends of the struts and the lower fuselage.  I drilled holes in the strut location beforehand, as this helped position the support struts.  Once the main supports were in position, I assembled the landing gear, and this is also a tedious process.  Parts are plastic and parts are white metal, so superglue is required. I also painted and attached the radiators to the side of the nose at this time, as it will be most difficult after rigging had started.  I then marked off all the strut locations, on the wingtips, tailplanes, and some of the “V” struts.  My suggestion would be to attach all of the landing gear and underside  struts while the plane is laying on its back. I used a small rotating table I have, so I could turn the plane around without handling it.  This plane is EXTREMELY delicate, and you don’t want to handle it any more than absolutely necessary.  I’ll guarantee that it you handle it, you’ll break something.  Once the landing gear and tailskid are attached, you can turn the thing over and test the structural integrity of the gear.  Don’t attach the upper struts, yet, however.   Wait on the prop, as it can be attached last.

 For a monoplane, this airplane has a LOT of wires, and this is where the Google photos will be helpful.

 There are some three view drawings on line that will be helpful.  Just about every conceivable part of this airplane is braced by at least one wire.  The box art four view drawing is also very helpful, and  it is complete enough that you shouldn’t really need any more information. Again, place the airplane on its back without any upper struts attached. I use stranded electronic wire, from which I strip the insulation. I then roll the wire out on a flat surface until the wire is perfectly straight.  I measure the wire’s required length with a set of dividers, cut it to size with a round bladed Xacto knife. Then handling the wire with tweezers, I use a spot of white glue to attach the wire in the proper position.  I took approximately three hours to attach all of the rigging wires on this model, and it certainly was a tedious process, but the effects are all out of proportion to the effort involved.  Once all of the struts and rigging wire were in place on the bottom, I CAREFULLY turned the model over on its gear, and attach any struts on the top.  Once these are in position, I cut and attached the wires on the upper surfaces of the plane.  I also attached the struts on the wingtips and tailplane, and then applied the wires in their proper positions.  Gluing on the prop was the final step, and the model was finally finished. 


 This kit is old and somewhat hard to find, but I don’t suspect that many of them have actually been built. I haven’t seen a review of this kit on line, so I guess this might be the first.  It certainly was a challenge, but any modeler with adequate skills and a lot of patience should be able to get one of these things together without too much trouble. It certainly fills in a gap in my “early birds” collection, and I’m glad that I built it.  Now that I’ve finished it, I’m afraid to touch it. It is way  too fragile to take downtown to an IPMS meeting. Try one.  You’ll be glad when you’re finished.

Brian Baker

April 2012

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