Special Hobby 1/48 Albatros C.III

KIT #: SH 48090
PRICE: $49.00 MSRP
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Kyle Bodily
NOTES: Includes resin and photo-etch parts


The first Albatros C.III aircraft began to show up at the front in December 1915 and were continuously delivered to the end of the war.  They replaced the earlier Albatros C.Is and were a mix of the best aspects of the Albatros B.III and C.I types.  It’s combat life span started in December 1915 and tapered off by the middle on 1917.  After this they were used as trainers right up to the armistice.  The aircraft was so popular as a trainer that even after it was pulled from active duty over 1000 brand new airframes were built from mid 1917 to the armistice for training purposes only.   It was simple to build and maintain.  Some seven firms were licensed to manufacture the Albatros C.IIIs   

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 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.  Along with the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey the type was used after the war by the Polish, Finnish, Bulgarian Latvian and Lithuanian Air Forces.  I’ve also seen photos of C.IIIs with Russian, English and French insignia. 


I love box art and Special Hobby always has box art that is suitable for framing.  The picture that greets you on the box of their new Albatros C.III is no exception.

 If you have had any experience with Special Hobby kits in the past, this kit will be familiar.  Special Hobby kits are all multimedia and consist of the three main media that modern models are made.  First is the resin and it is of excellent quality, no bubbles or voids and no warped parts.  Second is the photo-etched.  This too is of the highest quality.  Thirdly is the injection molded plastic and I know of no other limited run manufacturer that produces better plastic parts.  I would say that the kit is very similar or reminiscent to some of Eduard’s kits of similar type.

 73 gray plastic injected plastic, 3 tan resin, 2 plastic film wind screens, 90 photo-etched parts including 50 turnbuckles and decals for three different aircraft.

 As I said earlier, the plastic parts look very nice, aside from some sink marks in the radiator.  This problem will be fixed by photo-etch grills that will be placed over the sink marks, and a little light flash (this too poses no real problem since it can be easily cleaned up with an x-acto blade or a sanding stick).  I would have to say that all in all the parts are top notch and will give the model builder excellent detail inside and out. 

 The fabric detail looks a little over done to me but really no more than any other world war one kit.

 The photos-etch sheet gives you some nice touches like gun shrouds, seatbelts, bomb chutes, turnbuckles and control horns, along with the afore mentioned radiator grills 

 The resin parts are of the fuel tank and two different exhaust stacks.  Once again they are very nice and I can’t find any flaws in these parts.

 The decal sheet is printed spot on and gives you all you need to build one of three aircraft.

 1st  Albatros C.III, C.722/16, Kampfgeschwader IV, Kampfstaffel 20, Carignan Base, Western Front, 1916.
2nd  Albatros C.
III, C.736/16, of an unidentified unit.
3rd  Albatros C.
III, C.106/16, of an unidentified unit, Verdun, 1916.

 The instructions are very well done and quite adequate for their purpose.  They are clear and show the builder a straight forward mode of construction starting from the cockpit all the way through rigging to final painting.  As an added touch they also give you an internet address to get full color downloadable pictures.

Now for the shortcomings of the kit.  “You didn’t really think it would be all sunshine and lollypops did you”.

 First, on old aircraft like this, radiator plumbing was very prevalent.  The kit has no plumbing or any information on how to build it yourself.

 Secondly I know of very few Albatros C.IIIs that had a joined upper wing.  In fact I really know of only one or two that I can positively identify as having a joined upper wing like the wing in the kit.  There may have been more that had the joined upper wing but I just can’t find photographic evidence.  To correct this oversight the builder will have to commit to some major surgery.

 Third and last and I think this even more obvious an omission then the center section of the top wing is the fact that the folks at Special Hobby didn’t include a gravity fuel tank in the kit.  I know of at least four types of gravity fuel tanks that were carried by the Albatros C.IIIs and this kit doesn’t have even an attempt at one.  The box art and even the three view drawings show a gravity fuel tank and somehow it was forgotten in the kit.  Oh well it wont be the first time that I’ve had to build these parts from scratch.  Since the older Eduard kit had all the same omissions I guess that I can use my experience fixing the Eduard kit to fix this new Special Hobby kit.  Oh did I tell you how this kit reminded me of the old Eduard kit.


Well if you haven’t guessed it yet the Albatros C.III is one of my favorites.  This will be my third review of this aircraft type.  The first two were all in 1/72 scale.  They were the very nice Pegasus and the all resin and also very nice CMK kit. 

 This kit is in 1/48th scale and prior to its release the best all around kit, in my opinion was the long out of production Eduard kit.  The Eduard kit is still quite good and to be honest I like it.  I don’t think that I’ll sell off any of my old Eduard Albatros C.III kits.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that both kits are good.  The Special Hobby Albatros C.III is better and best of all is that it is in production and can be had for a good price at your local hobby store.  No need to go to an auction site.

 I can recommend this kit to any builder that wants to stretch their skills.  All in all this is another excellent kit from Special Hobby

  This kit is now in my to do pile and I cant wait to start it.


 “Windsock Datafile #13 Albatros C.III” Albatros Productions LTD

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

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

July 2010

Kyle Bodily

Review kit courtesy of Earls Hobby Hangar  

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

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