Revell Fokker D.VII
Revell have certainly gotten some mileage from the 1/72 scale WW1 kits they released in the '60s. The D.Vll was first issued in 1963 and it's still available today. For the most part the kits are pretty darn good. Smaller parts like struts, machine guns and propellers need replacing and the cockpits are completely devoid of any detail save a seat that looks like it came from a tiny fast food restaurant. With a few exceptions the major parts are acceptably accurate though and fairly well moulded.
I decided to go to town on this one and gave it a thorough re-working. Starting from the front, the propeller was carved from two pieces of 1/32" plywood (click here to learn how). The radiator is made from fine stainless steel mesh and scrap plastic.
All struts were replaced with flattened brass rod, the engine is from Aeroclub and the machine guns are from a Tom's Modelworks photo etched set with stainless steel tubing muzzles. Revell's moulding represents a late D.Vll with the louvers on the engine panels and the late exhaust. The louvers and raised panel lines were sanded off and new side panels scribed on for this early D.Vll. The exhaust was made from flattened brass tubing soldered to 6 pieces of copper wire for the pipes.
The cockpit has brass rod for the framework and control stick, and seat, belts, rudder bar and throttle are again from a Tom's photo etched set. Fine wire rolled with a steel ruler on a piece of glass to straighten it was used for the bracing wires and the cables to the rudder bar.
Revell's tailplane is the weakest of the major components so new ones were cut from .020" sheet with stretched sprue ribbing. Sand these down until they almost disappear and it looks quite acceptable under a coat of paint. The 4 colour lozenge camouflage is Americal/Gryphon's and paint is Humbrol Lufthansa Blue (hey, it's German, isn't it?) and white. I couldn't find any suitable crosses for the top wing so these were cut from black & white decal film.
A fine example of Murphy's Law in action. It took a couple of attempts to cut the trident markings from black decal before I was happy with them. A few months later Superscale came out with a D.Vll sheet that had this aircraft on it. Typical!
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