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Eduard 1/48 scale Albatros D.11 (LVG)

Manufacturer: Eduard, Obrnice 170, 43521 Obrnice, Czech Republic,
www.eduard.cz
Kit: No. 8080 Scale: 1/48
Price: $22.99
Comments: Injection-molded plastic, 63 parts, decals
Pros: Excellent molding, good fit, pre-cut vinyl masks for ÒmetalÓ portions of the fuselage, good decals
Cons: No windscreen provided, decals can stick, wheels are too small

The World War I German Albatros D.II is the conventional biplane predecessor of the better known D.III and D.V sesquiplanes (11Ú2 wings). D.IIs reached the front lines in the autumn of 1916 to equip newly formed fighter units called Jastas. The D.IIs, with their twin synchronized guns and superior performance, dominated the British fighters of the day.
Eduard's kit of this plane is a beauty! The parts are well molded in tan plastic with no flash, sink holes, or serious ejector-pin marks. Two decal marking options are provided, along with masks for the "metal" areas of the fuselage which contrast with the largely "wood" construction of the rest of the airplane.
This issue represents an early version of the D.II with fuselage-side-mounted radiators. The later wing-radiator version has also been announced by Eduard. The Mercedes engine and cockpit are nicely detailed, and a well-sculpted, seated pilot figure is also included. The instruction sheet is easy to follow, and colors are indicated for five different brands of paint.


Building the detailed cockpit was time-consuming, but it and the engine fit perfectly in the fuselage. After closing the fuselage, I painted it, the wings, and the tail with custom-mixed Polly Scale acrylic colors. The supplied masks worked well on the fuselage. The decals are excellent, but I recommend applying a little saliva and water onto each location before sliding the decal in place. This will allow you to move the decal into position. Micro Sol softened the decals and they snuggled onto the surface.
I drilled holes for the rigging, used nylon monofilament for the wires, and cut brass wire for the control rods. No windscreen is supplied, so I cut one from clear sheet. I found Eduard's wheels to be a bit small in diameter, so I substituted a spare set from an old Aurora kit. I used sewing thread to simulate the elastic bungee chords that cushioned the landing gear axle on the struts.
Squadron/Signal's Albatros Fighters in Action and the old Profile No.127 Albatros D.I-D.III were my references. Wing span, chord, and fuselage length are very close to scale dimensions. After 40 hours, I've got a fine model and an interesting addition to my WWI collection. It's not for beginners (is any biplane?), but it's a fine model for experienced builders.

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