Eduard 1/48 Roland C.II 'Walfisch'
KIT #: 8446
PRICE: $12.00 MSRP
DECALS: One  option
REVIEWER: Kyle Bodily
NOTES: Weekend Edition

HISTORY

 The Roland C.II is a very important First World War aircraft.  It was probably the first aircraft that was designed to minimize parasitic drag.  Because of these smooth fish like lines it acquired the nickname in German for a whale WALFISCH.  The stream line nature made the Roland C.II the fastest two seater of its day.  In fact it was so fast that it could operate without a fighter escort since it could out run most any fighter of its time.  It was not however the best suited aircraft for dogfighting since the airflow over the body created turbulence that interfered with the tail surfaces resulting in a loss of tail control surface effectiveness.  The last batch fixed this problem with larger tail surfaces

 Now we know that that the space between bi-plane wings needs to be wider then the chord of the wings to prevent aerodynamic interference between the wings.  What basically happens is the high pressure from the top wing and the low pressure from the bottom wing move together causing a stall state between the wings.  Of all the things that Roland could have done to improve the handling of their C.II it would have been to widen the space between the wings.  The end results would have been an aircraft that could have turned and handled much better.  

 The biggest negative was that pilots found it hard to land and it suffered from many landing accidents.  On the other hand the construction technique pioneered by Roland made for a very robust airframe.  In turn many airframes that were damaged in accidents were repaired to fly again.

 The C.II was also the parent design to Roland fighters and the entire Pfalz fighter line from the D.III on.  This is expressed in the very clean lines of these aircraft.  Roland and Linke-Hofmann Werke AG built C.IIs and C.IIas 

 The first C.II reached the front in March 1916 and were first used in the Verdun sector.  The aircraft saw front line service until June 1917 after that you could find them as trainers until 1918.

 At its peak the Germans only operated some 64 Roland C.IIs.  This has always perplexed historians since like the Fokker Dr.I its numbers and performance do not match its fame.  I think like the men that died in the Fokker Dr.I gave the Fokker its fame.  Captain Albert Balls Ahab like fixation or should I say maybe obsession for hunting the Great White Whales known as Roland C.IIs made the Roland as famous as Moby Dick.

THE KIT

This is another excellent kit by Eduard.  In the box you get four trees of the highest quality plastic moldings youíre likely to find anywhere.  Three trees are in a light tan and one that is clear. 

 Iíve seen several reviews on this kit and I bet most of you have read one of them.  So I will keep this curt, but the quality of this kit is excellent.  No flash, the decals are printed spot on and the instructions are well done with nice rigging diagram.  The weekend addition gives you nice color drawings to help in painting.

 The only thing that I question is that Eduard calls for an all wood colored interior and I have not seen any photographs that show anything but a gray painted interior.  The only things that Iíve been able to identify as being in a natural wood finish were the instrument panel, the floor and the wireless antenna reel. 

CONSTRUCTION

This kit really went together well.  I built and assembled all the entrails as in the instructions.  The only place where I differed from the instructions was to paint the inner parts gray.  I painted the floor and instrument panel varnished wood.

 The fuselage halves went together very well.  The only difficulty was just sanding the seam around the gun ring. 

 I glued on the lower wings and after they had dried I applied some filler putty and polished the joint with finger nail polish remover.  I find that this process gives you a smooth joint very quickly.

 I painted the model and finished the assembly process.  The rigging is quite simple since the design of the Roland C.II eliminated the need for cabane struts.

COLORS & MARKINGS

I painted the model to match the art work on the box.  I used a home mix of paint to achieve the shade of green and brown that I used.  I weathered the model and applied a final coat of semi-gloss clear finish. 

The decals went on with out a hitch.  They settled down and adhered like they were painted on.

 For the propeller I painted it raydome tan then hand painted the laminations with raydome tan mixed with some leather brown.  I think this process looks good for the laminations.

CONCLUSIONS

 Iíve built this kit many times in the past and find it more and more a joy each and every time I build it.  It goes together well with little fuss.  The decals work perfectly.  The new weekend addition lets you purchase one for around twelve dollars.  Eduard deserves a big thank you and much praise for putting such well engendered kits in the hands of modelers at such a great price.  This model is highly recommended and would be a good kit for an inexperienced modeler who wants to build a biplane, and a very important one at that. 

 Besides, for twelve dollars you donít have to worry about making mistakes and throwing away your investment.

REFERENCES

ďWindsock Datafile #49 LVG Roland  C.IIĒ Albatros Productions LTD
ďJaneís All the Worlds Aircraft 1919Ē (Janeís Fighting Aircraft of World War I)

Kyle Bodily

October 2008

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