Roden 1/72 Fokker D.VII (Alb) late




$9.98 MSRP


5 options


Scott Van Aken




Just after a gain of "Fighter Competition" in February 1918 by Fokker V11 prototype, Inspectorate of Aviations Troops (Idflieg) immediately ordered from Fokker Flugzeugwerke 400 new aircrafts, which received official designation Fokker D.VII. But at the spring of 1918 park of German fighter aircrafts was totally obsolete and needed much mope a new planes. Fokker's plants had a limited possibilities and Fokker also developing in same time new prototype V18 with best performances in compare with D.VII (this plane would became late well-known as Fokker E.V/D.VIII, or, more familiarly, "Flying Razor").

Idflieg solved this problem simply: soon Albatros Flugzeugwerke, which stopped at this moment production of obsolete Albatros D.Va type, received order on license production of D.VII on its plants. Apart from main factory, based in Johanisthal, Albatros had a branch factory OAW (Ostdeutschen Albatros Werken) on the Schneidemuhl, and these two plants could build many more aircrafts than on the Fokker plants.

First Albatros-built D.VII was absolutely similar to early-built by Fokker Company, and only presence letters Alb (to Albatros) just after the serial differed these machines.

After some crashes on the air connected with the ammunition caught fire, pilots began afraid the new plane. Some experienced pilots still flying on D.VII but without cowling panels (for best ventilation of engine and ammunition); Carl Degelow from Jasta 40 even deleted upper panel for maximum ventilation.

Albatros Company modified system of ventilation, - new louvers were added to the side's panels as well as with special maintenance openings. This innovation remained on further license aircrafts (OAW also changed system of ventilation).
About 2600 aircrafts were built under license (together with OAW plant), - more than half from all - built Fokker D.VII.
Allies as trophies received many D.VII just after the end of WWI; all other's aircraft's were scrapped in accordance with Armistice conditions.

Once again, Roden saves my butt by providing this historical background!



 Roden has gained a loyal following by producing WWI subjects over the last few years. Much of this is due to the depth in which they have researched the subject and their willingness to ensure as much accuracy as possible. When you look at this kit and compare it to the much simpler Revell offering of the late 1960s, you can see that there has been a quantum jump in detail. As is so much the norm with modern kits, a multiplicity of variables have catered to with this kit's molding. The real difference when it comes to the D.VII variants (and correct me if I'm wrong) is the forward fuselage of the aircraft. It is here that the different engines, radiators and engine side panels show the correct variant and/or manufacturer. Instead of offering separate noses, Roden just chose to mold the appropriate fuselage halves that includes the correct radiator.

You'll have to excuse me in regards to the image as I used one from a different kit to show the various bits, but the only difference is the fuselage sprue. It has the correct multiple-louvered engine cover panels that were a trademark of late Albatros builds. The parts themselves are typical of Roden kits in that they are of relatively soft plastic and have some flash and in some instances a slight sink or surface glitch. This is mostly due to the heavy use of the molds and the majority of the sprues are used in multiple kits. In fact, you will have quite a number of parts that you don't use. Just looking at the sprues you can see that there are two engines, two exhaust stacks, two sets of wheels/axles, and three different props. The modeler also has to modify the fuselage halves by removing some plastic around the engine to properly portray some of the aircraft in this kit.

The instructions are excellent, showing any modifications needed and specifying which parts will go with which versions. There are five decal options; three from Jasta 34 and two from Jasta 40. The Jasta 34 planes include the box art aircraft with the forward fuselage in green and the aft in light grey. The individual planes also have colored stripes around the fuselage which the builder needs to paint. From Jasta 40 are two planes with black forward fuselages and white tails. These both have white pilot's markings on the side. You can also see that there is a huge sheet of nothing but upper and  lower camouflage and rib tape stripes. There has been much discussion as to the color of this lozenge camo, and I don't know enough to make an opinion, but it looks about right to me. It is really quite nice of Roden to include this large sheet as it cuts down on the cost of hunting up an aftermarket sheet. Since basically the wings are in this lozenze and in some cases the fuselage or at least part of it is in this material, it means that you won't have to do that much painting. I can see where decal application will take on a much larger percentage of the build time!


So there you have it. Another entry into the WWI ranks and one that I'm sure is finding favor with a lot of modelers.

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