Czech Master Resin 1/72 Albatros C.III

KIT #: 5016
PRICE: $
DECALS: Five options
REVIEWER: Kyle Bodily
NOTES: Resin kit

HISTORY

The name ďWork HorseĒ fits quite well the Albatros C.III.  The first aircraft started to show up at the front in December 1915 and were continuously delivered until the end of the war.  Itís combat life span started in December 1915 and tapered off by the middle of 1917.  After this they were used as trainers.  In fact it bodes well for German aircraft production that they were able to build over 1000 brand new airframes from mid 1917 to the armistice for training purposes only.   It was simple to build, and accordingly seven firms built them during its life span.

 Pilots who flew the aircraft liked it.  It handled nicely and responded to the controls well.  It trained many German pilots as a primary and secondary trainer.  It would also train observers in all the necessary skills needed to survive and accomplish missions in one of the most deadly dimension of the First World War. 

   Many other countries used the Albatros C.III after the war.  It saw further action in some of the civil wars that sprang up with the power vacuum left by Germany and Austria-Hungary, so if you have some good references you have many options. 

THE KIT

See the earlier preview.

CONSTRUCTION

The first thing I do is remove all the mold blocks and any flash. Then I examine all the parts to make sure they are going to fit and that I have all the necessary parts.  Before I start to assemble the model I check for hidden air bubbles.  I find it easiest is to fill them now instead of having one open up while sanding.  It is easy to find these hidden devils by looking at the parts with a bright light behind them. The bubbles will show up as lighter spots. I mark them with a very fine tip marker and then drill the bubbles out and fill the drill holes with stretched sprues, then sand smooth. Since resin has a bad reputation of not letting paint bite or stick well, I think it is a good idea to give all the parts a rub down with acetone and a light spray of automobile paint primer.  Most of the time I donít have a hard time with painting but sometimes Iíve had problems.  I find it easier to prime the parts with automobile paint primer as a preventative measure since if you run in to a particularly obstinate piece of resin it can makes life really hard.

 Basically from here on out I find that resin kits go together pretty much the same as regular plastic kits.  In fact if you use super glue to assemble model kits, the assembly is the same as youíve been doing.  If you are used to plastic model cement you will get the opportunity to try a new adhesive.

 Now for the glue. Some people like epoxy and others like super glue. I find epoxy a little more difficult to deal with than super glue. So I like super glue and I donít limit myself to one viscosity. I like the gap filling slow glue for large parts like the fuselage halves and thin fast glue for smaller parts.  Iíve even been known to hit the weld again with thicker glue for added strength.  Just like plastic parts, Iíll clean off the paint and any other contaminants that the glue might not like wherever a bond needs to be made.  I just apply a fine bead of super glue on one of the parts to be glued and put them together just like a regular plastic kit.  This kit built just like any other plastic kit of a similar aircraft.  The parts matched up well and needed very little sanding and polishing. 

 This brings us to another point of resin kits.  As with most airborn particles, the resin dust is not good for your lungs.  To limit any problems, most resin kit builders will use a wet sanding process or a good fan to pull the particles outside and away from the builder and anyone else that may be adversely effected by the dust.  I have a friend that uses a painting booth and really likes it.  You can find the process you like.  Just remember resin dust is NOT GOOD TO BREATH.  

COLORS & MARKINGS

Painting this model is fun since I like to paint wood and most early Albatros C.IIIs were varnished wood and the wings were clear doped linen.  Now donít let this put you off because as time went on they were also painted a light gray or sky blue.  Iíve seen a picture of a polished aircraft that had Lozenge fabric wings.  The kit comes with decals to build a Turkish and Latvian aircraft, both with unique paint schemes.  Your imagination is your only limit here.

 I began with the wood fuselage and painted a base coat of Testers Model Masters Wood and then streaked on oil paints to simulate the wood grain.  The cool thing about this process is that the oils dry slowly and allow you to work until you are happy.  I have several shades of brown and tan and mix them as needed to get the depth of finish that suits me.  Iíve been told that it looks hard but I think it is quite easy.  Trust me if I can do it, you can also.  I think that most people can pick this process up in an evening.  Just get an old model or some styrene and experiment.  The only hard part is not touching it until it is dry and that takes about two days at room temperature.

 I painted the wings, stabilizers and control surfaces clear doped linen.  I like modelmasters raydome tan for this.  You can lighten it or shade it to suite what you may like the best

 All the metal parts were painted light gray.  I canít tell you the exact color, not because it is a proprietary secret but because I mixed it some time ago and forgot the exact mix.

 To weather it, I used a drybrush technique and I oil stained it with water based paint so I could get a oil growth ring effect that seems to be endemic of this era of aircraft.  The rule of thumb I use for weathering these aircraft is that the aircraft would get filthy during operations but were meticulously cleaned as soon as tactical conditions permitted.  If you didnít clean these aircraft, the fuel, oil and general grime would quickly make then unserviceable.  That is to say nothing of all the extra weight that this crud adds to the airframe, a slow sluggish airplane is not what you want to bet your life on in combat.  Also one of the more common forms of weathering on these aircraft was to the paint.  The ground crews would touch up the paint job as needed and then repaint, sometimes several times.  So I decided to what degree this aircraft would be in service and weather accordingly.

 Basically use your references and have fun

 The kit came with decals for five different aircraft.  As I approached the final assembly I got out an old Pegasus Albatros C.III that I had started last year and used the decals to finish it.  The decals fit the CMR kit just fine.  I now have several different Alb C.IIIs.   

CONCLUSIONS

While challenging, I liked it. If you want a shake and bake kit you will not find it here.  It is well built and did fit together very well, virtually like a plastic kit.  I did substitute the kit struts with brass stock and I think it worked out well.  I think that the kit struts would have worked but I have started to make it my habit to use brass on most of my resin kits.  Other then that every thing is from the kit.

 I would say that this would be great for the World War One modeler with intermediate skills that wants to try a resin kit on for size.

 Thatís my story and Iím sticking to it. 

REFERENCES

 ďWindsock Datafile #13 Albatros C.IIIĒ Albatros Productions LTD

ďReconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 WarĒ Harleyford Publications limited

ďJaneís All the Worlds Aircraft 1919Ē (Janeís Fighting Aircraft of World War I)

My thanks to Czech Master Resin for providing the review copy, Ed.

Kyle Bodily

July 2008 

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