The Fokker D.XXI was designed in 1935, in
response to requirements laid out by the Royal Netherlands East Indies
Army Air Force (ML-KNIL), as an inexpensive, rugged, compact fighter
aircraft that would possess respectable performance for its era.
Entering operational use in
the early years of WWII, it provided yeoman service for both the
Luchtvaartafdeling (Dutch Army Aviation Group) and the Finnish Air
Force. Additionally, a few examples were constructed by the El Carmolí
factory before it fell into rebel hands during the Spanish Civil War.
Following the invasion and occupation of
the Netherlands in May 1940, several captured Dutch D.XXIs were
subsequently placed into service with the Luftwaffe.
from PM, the D.XXI has been served in 1/72 by FROG in 1963 (this kit
being reboxed till 2000 by various, mainly eastern bloc countries
manufacturers), by Kora in 1998 (resin with PE and vac canopy), and by
the very nice, though limited run in nature MPM and Special Hobby
offerings from 2003 onward.
The PM tooling appeared in
1990 under Pioneer2 brand, which was PM’s name back then, regularly
reissued ever since, also reboxed by Matchbox in 1995. The specific kit
is PM's 2020 reissue, coming in a small, high quality side opening box
and carrying an attractive box art of a Dutch example’s side profile,
made by artist Metin Ogrek.
Upon opening the box, I was greeted with
36 light gray styrene parts, arranged in three sprues, one holding the
fuselage halves and cowling, one holding the wings, and the third one
holding everything else. Panel lines are raised all over, quite finely
done. Molding is good without too much flash and with some easily
tackled minor sink marks noted.
Cockpit is sparse, with only a flat floor
and a seat and would benefit a lot from some added detail. The engine,
though generic looking, is not bad, as are the one piece prop and
cowling. The aerodynamic surfaces are finally sufficiently represented,
as is the fixed landing gear, where you have the option of wheels or
The one piece canopy is acceptable, with
some easily removable minor flash at its base, its relative thickness
being somehow welcome, as it will hide a good amount of the cockpit's
Instructions come in the form of a high
quality color leaflet, featuring a short history of the type, with the
construction spread in 7 clear steps. No internal color callouts are
given, so you will have to do your own research here. Whereas the parts
themselves appear numbered at the instructions, no relative sprue map is
provided, but this is not a big issue, as it is easily sorted out due to
the low parts count (and, nevertheless, you can download the Matchbox
instructions which contain a sprues map).
very attractive schemes are provided, for a Dutch and a Finnish machine.
Color shades are given in various manufacturers codes, but also in
generic form. Decals are well printed and expected to work
satisfactorily. Finally, a nice printout of the box art is provided in
high quality paper.
Instructions want you to
first trap the cockpit floor and seat between the fuselage halves, then
assemble the engine, wings, tail planes and main landing gear (wheeled
or ski equipped) and attach them to the assembled fuselage, followed by
the various smaller bits (guns, pitot and the like) and finally the
canopy, ending a simple and seemingly pleasant build.
This is a simple yet good kit of the
distinctive Dutch fighter. General shapes of parts look correct, molding
is good, external details are sufficient, the canopy is acceptable,
decals look great and instructions are good. The cockpit itself is
sparse and would benefit from some extra work (not that much, as the
thick canopy will hide a good amount of it). Construction is simple,
easily tackled by even a novice.
Though there are newer,
more detailed options available, this is a neat simple kit, offered at a
low price, definitely worth tackling.