Intech 1/72 Fokker D.XXI Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||October 2007||Manufacturer||Intech|
|Kit Number||-||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Interesting subject||Cons||Next to nil interior|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$12.00|
The Fokker D.XXI fighter was designed in 1935 for use by the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force. As such, it was designed as a cheap and small, but rugged plane, which had respectable performance for its time. Entering service in the early years of WWII, it provided some yeoman work for both the Luchtvaartafdeeling (Dutch Army Aviation Group) and the Finish Air Force.
The Fokker D.XXI was a low wing monoplane with steel tube fuselage covered in large part by fabric. Following some of the standard Fokker practice, it had wooden wings and fixed spatted undercarraige. Power was provided by a Bristol Mercury radial engine, driving a 3-blade two pitch airscrew. When it entered service in 1938, it was a quantum leap forward for the Dutch Army Aviation Group though. Until then, its fighter force had consisted of aging biplanes with open cockpits. The new Fokker proved to be an extremely sturdy aircraft capable of attaining a speed of 700 km/h in a dive.
Although the order by Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force was canceled, the Luchtvaartafdeeling (Dutch Army Air Force – before WWII) placed an order for 16 planes, which were all delivered in time to participate in the war against the Germans in May of 1940. The Fokker D.XXI, although much slower and more lightly armed than the Bf-109, performed suprisingly well in dogfights, due to its maneuverability. Nevertheless, the numerical disparity of the Luchtvaartafdeeling compared to the Luftwaffe resulted in the destruction of most Dutch Fokker D.XXI’s during the campaign. Some were captured during and after May 15th, but their fates, apart from their capture, is unknown.
The Fokker D.XXI performed better and for much longer in the Finish Air Force, which had acquired a number of license-built fighters prior to the start of the Winter War. Against the aircraft of the Soviet Air Force, the Fokker was more evenly matched, and its rugged design – with a radial engine and fixed undercarraige made it very suitable for Finnish conditions. Later in the war, as newer models of Soviet fighters appeared, the Fokker D.XXI was underpowered and too lightly armed (with only four .30 cal machine-guns) to compete. Plans to arm the Fokkers with the 20 mm cannons were dropped and only one fighter was armed as such with 2 x 20 mm cannons and 2 x .30 machine-guns. Another fighter was equipped with retractable landing gear, but due to bad performance of it, wasn’t continued in the series. During the Continuation War (1941-44) the Finnish State Aircraft factory (Valtion Lentokonetehdas, VL) also built some 50 D.XXI’s with the Swedish-built Pratt & Whitney R-1535 Twin-Wasp Junior engines, as the Bristol Mercury was then in short supply. These can be identified by their longer cockpit glazing, smooth cowls, and large ventral air intakes under the cowls.
The Danish Army Air Corps received 7 aircraft and built 15 more under license. Finland operated Fokker D.XXI’s in the 10th, 12th, 14th, 26th, 30th and 32nd Air Force Squadrons. Germany captured an unknown quantity of Dutch aircraft. The Dutch Air Force received 35 aircraft.
Intech is a model company based in Krakow Poland. The kit comes in a small tray and lid type box. The box art shows a D.XXI in Danish Army Air Corps markings. (one of the markings offered on the decal sheet)
Inside the box is a single sealed cello bag holding all the plastic parts. The decal sheet and instructions complete the kits contents.
The instructions consist of a single stationary size sheet (8 ½” x 11”) printed on both sides and folded twice to fit the box.
One side has two 3-view drawings of the two marking and camouflage schemes provided in the kit. Colors are called out in Polish only, but my pen pal was kind enough to put the sheet in his typewriter and type the colors in English for me. Nice guy.
The first scheme is for a aircraft of the Finnish Air Force. It is in a camouflage of black and olive, above a light blue underside. The upper scheme is also applied to the spatted landing gear. It carries the finish blue swastikas national markings and a squadron marking of a white kicking mule. The cowling is yellow and it also has a yellow fuselage band. The fuselage code is FR-110 in black. We are not told what squadron this represents.
The other scheme is for a Danish Air Force D.XXI. It is done in a dark green and light green upper scheme and on the wheel spats. The forward part of the cowl is red and the underside is light blue. It only carries the re and white Danish roundels.
The other side of the instruction sheet has 8 assembly steps illustrated. Below this, I think, is a short paragraph that is a history of the D.XXI in Polish only.
The parts are molded in medium gray and clear.
The first gray tree holds: one upper and one lower wing half, the rudder parts, forward horizontal tail surfaces, the pilot figure, wing flaps, the engine, pitot tube etc. (16 parts) Some of these parts had broken off the trees in transit from Poland.
The second gray tree holds: the other upper and lower wing half, the prop, the main wheels and tail wheel, the prop retainer washer, the spatted landing gear, the horizontal tail flaps, pilot seat and the cowling (16 parts) Again, several parts had broken off this tree.
The final two gray parts are the fuselage halves.
The single clear cockpit transparency and the decal sheet complete the kits contents. The decal sheet is all carrier film, so you will have to trim the insignias close to the bone and use Future to blend them into the camouflage.
Another sore point is that there is only a seat and a clunky looking pilot provided for the interior of the cockpit. Purists will want to beef this out with a dashboard, joystick, cockpit floor by scratch-building same.
This is a neat little fighter and has a rather pugnacious look to it that I have always liked.
I recommend it to modelers that have a little or no experience building 1/72nd scale aircraft as it has few parts and is an easy build.