|KIT:||CMR 1/72 Albatros C.III|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Albatros C.III was a German two-seat general-purpose biplane of the First World War, built by Albatros Flugzeugwerke. The C.III was a refined version of the successful Albatros C.I and was eventually produced in greater numbers than any other C-type Albatros. It was used in a wide variety of roles including observation, photo-reconnaissance, light-bombing and bomber escort.
Like its predecessor, the C.III was a popular aircraft with rugged construction and viceless handling. The most prominent difference between the two was the revised tail, the C.III having a lower, rounded tail compared to the large, triangular tail of the C.I, granting the C.III greater agility. The powerplant was either a 150-hp (112 kW) Benz Bz.III or a 160-hp (119 kW) Mercedes D.III inline engine and, like numerous other two-seaters of the war (such as the British Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8) the cylinder head and exhaust manifold protruded above the front fuselage, limiting the pilot's forward visibility. However, cowling the engine would have produced unacceptable heat and severely limited the life of the engine.
The observer, who occupied the rear cockpit, was armed with 7.92 mm Parabellum machine gun. Later C.III aircraft were fitted with interrupter gear and a single forward-firing 7.92 mm LMG 08/15 machine gun. The C.III could also carry a bombload of up to 200 lb (91 kg) in a small internal bomb bay. Though far from fast, even by the criteria of the time, the aircraft provided sterling service and was used until the end of hostilities and afterwards.
In addition to being used by Austria-Hungary and Turkey during the war, Lithuania and Poland used the aircraft post-war.
As you can see, the kit is packaged in one of those multi-compartmentalized clear bags. This allows the lighter, more fragile stuff to be away from the heavier pieces and prevents unwanted breakage. For that reason, I've left the bits in the bags.
Careful inspection shows that there are almost no molding glitches aside from a tiny pinhole on the edge of the seat and in the rudder. The leading edge of part of the horizontal stab looks a bit ragged as well, but it may well disappear when the part is removed from the spure and cleaned up. The kit is quite complete with all the parts superbly molded in quality resin. This includes a full cockpit with seats, control wheel, rudder pedals and an instrument panel. An upper engine complete with cylinders as well as intake and exhaust manifolds. A gun ring and rear gun are also provided. The pilot's windscreen will have to be cut from clear acetate by the builder. All the fine strutwork is included and while it may appear flimsy, once the model is rigged, it will be quite sturdy.
There are several sheets included in the instructions of which one has the four actual construction steps that are very well drawn. One thing I noticed is that the expansion tank in between the wings is not noted in the instructions, but from what I have been told, not all aircraft had this feature. It is a simple matter to install if applicable. There is a full set of 1/72 scale five view drawings to assist with rigging. Markings are provided for five aircraft. All three German options have a wooden fuselage and linen colored flying surfaces. The Latvian aircraft has a green fuselage while the Turkish aircraft is either in grey or brown. Decals are superbly done and include all the required stripes and bands.
Czech Master Resin is probably the best resin kit maker in the Czech Republic and providing quality kits of interesting aircraft is one reason why they are so popular. This looks like another winner and a kit you can get with confidence that you are getting a quality product.
My thanks to Czech Master Resin for providing the review copy.
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