Choroszy 1/72 Albatros J.I

KIT #: A66
PRICE: $26.00
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Kyle Bodily
NOTES: Resin kit


In World War I the new and untried nature of air combat made for a fertile field for the development of new tactics.  The battles of Verdun and the Somme in 1916 were such fields. 

 Originally the Germans tried a tactic called “Sparre” or blockade that would be like a trench in the sky.  This would deny the enemy use the airspace over the German lines and in the German rear.  In fact this idea was a two-dimensional tactic in a three-dimensional battlefield.  The French and British learned that they could easily go around, over, or under the patrolling Germans thus exploiting this weakness and being able to bomb, reconnoiter, and strafe virtually at will.

 On top of their tactics not being effective, the Germans found them to be quite costly in men and machines, to say nothing of the lost raw materials that Germany could ill afford.  The result was a total loss of air superiority in 1916, so devastating that a German troop would say, “has anyone seen a German aviator let alone a German aircraft”.

 Under the supervision of Generalleutnant Ernst von Hoeppner, the German air service began a total overhaul of its organization and tactics.   It had already started in August 1916 with the creation of the Jagdstaffeln, but now the Schutzstaffeln (protection units) were created.  The job of the Schutzstaffeln was to protect the Field Flieger Abteilungen (field flying units), the Flieger Abteilungen (long-range reconnaissance units) and the Artillerie Flieger Abteilungen (Artillery spotter units).

The Schutzstaffeln were organized to be every bit as mobile as the Jagdstaffeln.  This gave the Germans a very flexible tool to fight the war.  In contrasted to the relatively sedimentary allied units, the German units were moved very often.

 The new Schutzstaffeln were made up of mostly deactivated Kampfgaschwadder units.  Both Prussia and Bavaria organized Schusta units.

 The original Aircraft used by the new Schustas were the same two seaters and bombers that were part of the older Field Flieger Abteilungen.  Basically two aircraft would be assigned to a photo- reconnaissance mission.  If jumped by allied fighters, the aircraft with the important information, the photos and radios would head east while the Schlasta aircraft would stay and fight to cover the escape of the Abteilungen aircraft. 

 On 24 April 1917 Hauptmann Eduard Wolfgang Zorer of Schutzstaffel 7 took his pilot and aircraft to the front in support the Infantry units that were taking heavy pressure from the French during the infamous Navelle Offensive.  During this operation he used his machine gun and countless hand grenades to help shore up the German lines and demoralize the French.  This attack was considered so successful that Ground Attack tactics were developed and units were more and more tasked to attack the ground in support of infantry operations.  This is important because this was the first time that aircraft were used specifically to influence the outcome of the ground war in support of infantry objectives.  In other words this was the first time that a mission was specifically planned and executed in support of infantry objectives.  Until now, attacking the enemy trenches was what you did on your way home after the real mission had been accomplished or if you had a boring day that needed some spicing up.  If a ground attack was effective in influencing the ground war it was purely coincidental.  .

 Because of successes like Hauptmann Zorer’s and many others, the Germans began over time to assign more and more of these grounds attack missions to the Schustas.  The Germans began to be called infantry support missions Sturmflieger.  In March 1918 the Schutzstaffeln that were becoming quite good at their ground attack craft were renamed Schlachtstaffeln.  Modern day Army and Marine rotorwing attack aviation along with very specialized Airforce fixed wing aviation can trace their lineage to the German Schlachtstaffeln of the First World War.

 It was soon discovered that these aircraft needed some kind armor to protect the aircrews.  It was considered that the personnel density of the front was about six soldiers per meter of front. That means that from any one point of the front you could have well over six thousand soldiers who had you in the effective range of their weapons plus any who would take pot shots at you from outside their weapons effective range.  It is no wonder that accounts from the Schlasta pilots told stories of their aircraft being buffeted about from the turbulence caused by the large number of projectiles passing by their machines. 

 An average Schlasta attack would begin with the enemy troops running in disarray.  This allowed for an almost instant stop of the enemy’s advance or for the German troops to advance in somewhat safety.  It was not long however until the more experienced soldiers and NCOs would rally their troops begin to return fire.  One Schusta pilot said that it was like hearing thousands of whip cracks as the enemy bullets rushed by.  

 One aircraft designed for the challenges of the Schlachtstaffeln was the Albatros J.I.  This type of aircraft was developed for the even more dangerous low-altitude battlefield reconnaissance missions.  The pilots had to fly at altitudes of 150 feet or less to ascertain very specific points of interest.  Such as identifying the enemy units by seeing their uniforms and insignia.  For the most part Albatros J.Is were issued to Fliger Abteilungen in support of the Army Corps or Army Headquarters.

 The Albatros J.I was a derivative of the Albartos C.XII.  The J.I had a heavily armored crew compartment.  The sides and bottom were 5mm thick chrome nickel steel plate that was bolted to the wood frame.  The armor weighed some 1078 lbs.

The Germans began receiving the J.Is in April 1918 and they were first used in the Battle of Lys, or as the allies called it the Battle of Armentieres.  The crews were very grateful for the armor and the pilots were very happy for the very good visibility of the low set engine on landing.  The only real change in the original J.I was that if the spinner was damaged it would come off and could damage the aircraft or the propeller.  The aircraft was then modified with a bowl like nose somewhat like the Oeffag Albatros D.IIIs of Austria-Hungary.  By June of 1918 the new Albatros J.IIs started to show up at the front and the numbers of the J.I began to fall. 

 Albatros J.I served until the Armistice in the German Airforce and two were bought by Austria-Hungary.  Even after the war it was still operated by Poland, Norway, Ukraine.  Poland was the largest post war user of the type.


 When I started to build resin kits the first thing that I noticed was that they were not cheap.  The second thing that I noticed was that the quality was kind of hit and miss.  Sometimes you got a kit that had the best detail you had ever seen and other times it seemed like you bought a block of resin that you would have to carve a model from, 

 The first time I opened a Chorozy kit I felt like I had hit the jack-pot.  The quality was among the best that I have ever seen.  The wing detail is the best that I have ever seen in any scale.  The kits start at around $26.00 and go up from there.  I’ve seen the same kits that I got for $26.00 going for $35 on ebay.  So I guess it is important to shop around.  

 When you open the box you will find 51 parts in four zip-lock bags.  They are beautifully cast in yellow-tan resin.  The first bag contains the wings and tail surfaces.  The second holds the fuselage halves.  The third has the engine and associated parts.  The forth bag contains everything else.  Loose in the box are the decals and a small sheet of film for a windscreen.

 The instructions are nicely printed with very helpful four view drawings that I find really help me with the rigging.  The only color call callouts are for the exterior.  For the crew compartment you will need to get some references.

The decals are in two colors, black and white, but they are very well done and thin. 

 Well I can’t wait to start this kit so let’s build this thing and find out if it builds as good as it looks.


Well nothing to different here.  I started with the cockpit and engine.  The only thing I added to the cockpit was the Eduard P-E German seatbelt set.  The detail is very good and I really did not think the cockpit needed anything else.  The two fuselage halves went together well and I didn’t need any putty for the seams. 

 I decided to use brass stock for the interplane struts, all other struts were the resin parts from the kit.  At this point I studied the three views and any photos that I could get my hands on and determined the rigging placement.  I used a #80 drill bit and drilled all the holes for the rigging and painted everything.  I like to drill the holes for the rigging before I paint so I don’t accidently mar the paint while I drill the rigging holes.

 After I painted the rest of the parts I assembled the model without the undercarriage.  As a rule I save the undercarriage until the last so I don’t knock it off while I rig the model. 

I like to use mono-filament because of its strength and the fact that it adds a lot of strength to the model.  Sometimes resin models will droop over time.  I have found that if I rig like this, my resin kits don’t droop.

 All I do is drill little holes in the top wing that only go about half way through and drill little holes that go all the way through the bottom wing.  I use thick super glue to anchor the mono-filament in the top wing and set it aside to cure well. Then I thread the line through the bottom wing and anchor it with a drop of super glue.  After the glue has dried I clip the line flush with the wing surface.  Coincidently enough, the bottom insignia almost always covers up the rigging holes and all you need to do is apply the decals to the bottoms of the wings.  If not, just hit the area with a sanding stick and apply some touch up paint and you’re good. 


I looked at a lot of photos and decided to paint the fuselage wood.  The wings, horizontal stab, and elevator are typical green and lilac.  I painted the steel armored cockpit light gray inside and out to mach my interpretation of the photos.  I painted the struts and cowlings RLM 02 again to match my interpretation of the photos. 

 The decals went on well and settled down perfectly.  After the decals dried I weathered the model with the usual washes and dry brush techniques. 

 The rigging was straight forward and only took a couple hours.  Viola done 


This was a very fun and surprisingly easy kit to build.  This can only be credited to the quality of the model kit and the craftsmanship of the pattern maker.  Since it is an all resin kit you should have a little experience using super glue.  Other than that, if you’ve done some Bi-planes and want to build something that will probably not be boxed as an injected plastic kit then this is a kit you should consider.  Above all this looks awesome next to my other WWI two seaters


Schlecht-Flieger! Germany and the origins of Air/Ground support 1916-1918” Rick Duiven & Dan-San Abbott  

“Jane’s All the Worlds Aircraft 1919” (Jane’s Fighting Aircraft of World War I) 

“Austro-Hungarian Army Aircraft of World War One” by Peter M. Grosz, George Haddow and Peter Schiemer 

“Reconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War” Harleyford Publications limited  

Kyle Bodily

September 2010

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Review Index Page