Eduard 1/48 Fokker Dr.I Dual Combo

KIT #: 8161
PRICE: $39.95 MSRP
DECALS: Six options
REVIEWER: Paul Mahoney
NOTES: 2 full kits; photoetch included (some colored)Short run with photo etch and resin parts


Rather than repeat what has already been written, and in deference to those of you who know much more than me about these things, I will refer you to Tom Cleaver’s excellent historical summary on his build of this kit:


This is one of the more recent Eduard releases, so that means it includes lots of photo-etch (colored and non-colored), beautiful cartograf decals, and a comprehensive instruction sheet.  The parts are all nicely molded, little to no flash, and just a bit of molding-line clean up necessary on some of the stuts, control stick and other similar pieces.  There really is nothing to add to this kit in terms of aftermarket – it’s all in the box except for the minimal rigging that will be necessary.  As with other ‘Dual Combo’ kits, you have enough parts for 2 complete models to be built. 

Recently I have been turning to the Eduard WW1 kits when I want a quick and easy build, and that was my reasoning for building this one.  Luckily, so far, the kits I have chosen all have minimal rigging so that keeps with the ‘nice and easy’ theme!  As I am primarily a WW2 aircraft modeler, I find I am able to do these WW1 kits with a minimum of obsession over accuracy (which is something that often slows down my building considerably).  Nothing against the guys that do that sort of thing on their WW1 kits – in fact, more power to any of you that can sift through the references and research on this era  - there is considerably less of it (and less clarity within it) than any of the WW2 stuff.  And even more power to those of you able to take on those heavy rigging jobs – I am completely intimidated by them!  That being said, I did do a bit of research on the web about both this kit and the actual aircraft, including the few builds here on MM.


I followed along on Eduard’s build sequence for the most part, only deviating in areas where I knew it would complicate my paintjob.  I assembled the cockpit per instructions, only to later find out that the Bosch starting magneto (PE 4) is not accurate for the Dr.I and should be left off.  The cockpit was painted using Eduard’s suggestions, and looked really nice straight out of the box.

 I assembled the fuselage, attached the lower wings (one piece), and then ran into my first issue.  The midwing (again one piece, and molded with the top piece of the fuselage).  This top piece did not fit squarely onto the fuselage, and it appears the ammo boxes (assembled during the cockpit construction) interfere with the fit.  A little filing down of their corners resulted in a better fit, but it still wasn’t perfect by a long shot.  I used a bit of wood glue to fill the small gap around this piece and blend it into the fuselage.  This top portion of the fuselage is metal I believe, and needs to have a clear line differentiating it from the rest of the fuselage so I wanted to avoid sanding it in order to keep the crisp ‘corner’ where the sides meet the top.  I have yet to build an Eduard FW 190, but from my reading this almost sounds like a similar problem on those kits with the fit of the firewall/gun covers/etc.  Still, not a major issue by any means.  A nice little plastic strip representing the stitching fits along the lower fuselage, very effectively covering the parts seam.  At this point I test-fitted the other major components, but did not attach the horizontal stabilizer, rudder, wing and cabane struts, cowling/engine, top wing or landing gear.  Basically about ½ the airframe!  Eduard provides some nice one piece wing struts that slide through the mid-wing and set firmly in place in the lower wing.  I was able to slide these in, then successfully fit the upper wing on top of them with a snug fit.  This would be easy to re-assemble after the paint job.



Since I was going for a simple build, and since Eduard provides some gorgeous decals, it was an easy decision to go with the kit markings.  The question was, which one?  After consulting someone with an eye towards colorful things (my 4-year old son, whose favorite color is red), it was decided to build Ltn. Werner Steinhauser’s aircraft from Jasta 11.


The decals were lovely and colorful, but the challenge was in replicating that Fokker streaked camouflage.  After trolling around on the web quite a bit, the method of using artist’s oils over an acrylic base coat seemed to me to be the way to go.  I used Gunze Aqueous RLM 65 for the undersides, Tamiya Flat White for the rudder, the markings bands on the lower wings, and as and undercoat for the yellow stabilizer.  I masked off all the undersides using Tamiya paint (the Gunze held up well to this), then I used a light tan color (I forget the exact one) from Gunze Aqueous and sprayed on all the upper surfaces and sides. 


After letting everything dry for a few days, the oil painting adventure began.  I used Grumbacher ‘Olive’ for my ‘streaks.’  Squeezing a dollop of it out onto some matboard (cardboard works equally well) was a trick I learned ages ago that will leech off the carrier, and with it a lot of the shine associated with oils.  I then used brush that has the bristles spread out and looks similar to a rake or a fan (surprisingly called a ‘rake’ or ‘fan’ brush!).  With just a bit of paint on the ends, and with the bristles spread far apart, I was able to get some nice, somewhat parallel, streaks of green on the model.  I went back over it in areas, using a conventional paintbrush, to build up the darker areas.  If I got on too much, I could easily wipe it away with a tissue.  These oils take a long time to dry, so you have plenty of time to work with them.  Finally, I did another pass along the entire surface with the rake brush to blend it all in.  The blended look seems more in scale to me than the very crisp separations of the some of the decal sheets that are available to replicate this camouflage. 


I let all this dry for several weeks (I’m a slow builder anyway, so that wasn’t a problem), and then hand brushed 3 coats of Future to protect the paint job and get ready for decals.  After the Future dried, I very gingerly masked off the upper fuselage area in front of the cockpit, and the upper wing markings area, in order to apply some Tamiya Olive Drab.  I also sprayed the landing gear ‘wing’ topsides with the Olive Drab.  Finally, while this was drying I sprayed Tamiya Flat Yellow on the horizontal tail, and Gunze ‘Thunderbirds Red’ on all the struts and cowl.  I thought this was a good match for the decals’ red color, but in retrospect it was less than perfect.  I am justifying this in my mind by saying that the fuselage was canvas, so the paint might look different on there as compared to the wood and metal of the struts and cowling.  That’s my story, and  I’m sticking to it!  Eduard also provides a neat little mask for the wheels which made it easy for me to paint the hubs, mask, and paint the tires. 


Finally, the decals were all applied.  I’m trusting Eduard on the authenticity of everything, as I don’t have any reference volumes (other than the internet) to look into, and frankly I did not want to be too nit-picky for this build.  They all went on smoothly – but do be aware the fuselage crosses are not perfectly symmetrical, and each only fits properly on one side.  I really liked having all the little data stencils and markings – adds a nice extra bit of detail.


Now came the time to assemble everything.  Having previously test-fit most of it, I knew there would be minimal issues.  In fact, there were none.  The interplane struts fit solidly in the mid and lower wings, so I put the cabane struts in the top wing using tube glue.   Since the tube glue takes some time to set, I was able to mount the top wing easily on the main struts and then maneuver the cabanes into place.  The landing gear looks flimsy but actually is quite solid once it is all in place.  After everything was together I added rigging – I used stretched sprue for the control lines to the ailerons and tail, and stainless steel surgical wire for the cross bracing above the cowl and on the landing gear.  After the build I realized I also needed the lines just behind the rear-most cabane struts that represent the aileron controls going from the cockpit into the upper wing.  They are there now, but weren’t when I took the pictures.  At this point I sprayed a light coat of Tamiya flat clearcoat from a rattlecan on the entire a/c to give it a light sheen, since I didn’t want dead flat.


 The prop was done by spraying the whole thing an acrylic tan color, then I applied small strips of tape the length of the prop to represent the laminated strips, and used the same oil paint technique as with the camouflage streaks.  I used Grumbacher Burnt Sienna and streaked it along the exposed part of the prop until a wood grain effect appeared that I was happy with.  Once dry (again several days), I removed the tape strips exposing the unadorned tan portion.  Several coats of Tamiya Clear Orange and Clear Yellow were applied until I got a nice wood effect.  I have seen people do much better ‘wood’ jobs, but I’m pleased with the results.  Finally, the twin Spandau machine guns were assembled, and the etched metal cooling jackets really make these stand out.  It took a bit of doing to squeeze them in after I had already attached the top wing, so you might want to consider leaving the wing off until the very last thing.  Eduard provides a small clear acetate sheet with outlines of 4 windscreens printed on it (2 different styles), so I cut one out, coated it with Future and attached it to it’s tiny photoetched frame, and then to the aircraft.



 A fun little (and it is little) aircraft to build.  Thank you Eduard for producing these high-quality kits with everything in the box.  I’m sure there are some things that could be refined for the purists, but for an enjoyable build that looks the part, this is indeed a good kit.  The (uncorrected) errors that I know about are the magneto switch mentioned earlier, and the location of the clear inspection panel in the top wing (it should be over a wing spar).  The landing gear also appears to be a bit too long according to the website listed below.  But for me it looks the part.  And did I mention I had fun building it?  In fact, I just picked up Eduard’s 1/48 Eindecker which will be a whole new challenge for me.  It isn’t a biplane, but there is a lot of rigging to be done…..


Kit purchased courtesy of my wallet.

REFERENCES (some seriously dedicated WW1 people here – a great resource)  In particular this site lists omissions/additions that should be made to the cockpit of this kit, as well as further information on the markings options available in the kit.  Just do a search on the site for Eduard Dr.I and  you will find a great deal of info.  Another great source of info on all aviation things in WW1.


Paul Mahoney

July 2010

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