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RS Models DFS 230

The Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug (DFS) 230 is another addition to RS Models’ ever-growing 1/72 scale range. This glider was widely used for troop and cargo transport during World War II.

The kit contains three plastic bags. One is for two plastic sprues, roughly molded in beige. Although exterior details are sharp and look true to scale — especially the ribbing in the wings — the interior details are murky, with large ejector-pin marks in critical areas. There aren’t many interior plastic parts, though. The control stick, pilot’s seat, floor, and seat cushions are it. The rest — seat belts, instrument panel with Mylar dials, seat mounts and backs — are all beautiful, true-to-scale photo-etch (PE).

The clear parts are a kit weakness. The main canopy looks good, but the small side windows are thick and cloudy. Pledge FloorCare Multi-Surface Finish helped a bit, but I believe either replacing them or sanding them down might be best. They are individually molded, not the strip of windows common in this type of multi-window aircraft.

When cementing the fuselage halves, remove the prominent ejector-pin marks in the forward-most section or the floorboard will not fit properly. Also, when gluing the pilot’s seat to the PE framework, remember it is extremely delicate and bends easily. I recommend cementing the seat in after the fuselage is joined.

Cleanup is essential on all plastic parts, even as small as they are. But most of the construction is straightforward. Removing the locating tabs for the wings produced a better fit onto the fuselage. 

Finally, before paint, it was time to attach the exterior PE bits, which included gunsights, pitot tubes, and horns on the control surfaces. The most trouble I had with this kit — and it was me, not RS Models’ fault — was the control horns. They are small and realistic, and I had a hard time placing them because the instructions don’t show exact locations. But mainly I lost more than half of them off the tips of my tweezers. I tried to fabricate my own, but to no avail. In the end, I left them off.

The painting diagram is on the back of the box. No paint brand is referenced, just RLM dark green, black green, and light blue. Fortunately I have all those colors.

One of three versions can be built: Unternehmen Rösselsprung (which is portrayed on the box cover); Operation Vassieux-en-Vercors, July 1944; and Sonderkommando Dora, North Africa, 1942. I decided to build the Vercors version for several reasons, but I’ll just say it was the most colorful.

Painting was a breeze. But the decals? The print quality was good and they laid down beautifully, but they are extremely fragile. The identification numbers for the version I wanted to build were destroyed while I was placing them, so I used another set. Bummer. No swastikas were provided.

In conclusion, the kit is typical of this series of models — a bit rough around the edges. But the problems I had were 90% my fault, and I would recommend this kit to experienced builders. It does build into a nice little glider.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the October 2016 issue.

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