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Fokker D.VII

Roden 1/48 Fokker D.VII (Alb) early Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2005 Manufacturer Roden
Subject Fokker D.VII (Alb) early Scale 1/48
Kit Number 0421 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Great details, complete camouflage decals Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $16.98

First Look

Fokker D.VII
Fokker D.VII
Fokker D.VII
Fokker D.VII
Fokker D.VII
Fokker D.VII
Fokker D.VII

In early 1918, the Fokker D.VII entered service and was quickly recognized as the best fighter to date. While the German authorities wanted many more of these aircraft, Fokker's production capabilities were at maximum. This problem was solved by directing Albatros to cease production of their obsolete D.Va and begin co-production of the Fokker D.VII. Initially, the Albatross-built aircraft were identical to the Fokker versions and were only distinguished by an "Alb" designation after the aircraft name.

After service entry, a series of losses were experienced with the Fokker D.VII that were ultimately traced to overheating of the ammunition and subsequent cook-off of the rounds and fire. The initially popular aircraft was suddenly feared by pilots, many of whom started to fly without the cowling side panels to keep the ammunition cool. One pilot from Jasta 40 removed the top and side panels to achieve maximum cooling of his ammunition.

Albatros resolved the problem by adding a series of cooling louvers to the cowling panels and this change was implemented by Fokker as well. In all, approximately 2600 Fokker D.VII aircraft were produced by the end of the war.

The kit is molded in light gray styrene and features some nice detailing on the surface to represent the various construction techniques used on the aircraft. The rib detailing on the wings is nicely done. The kit comes on five trees of gray parts and these evidently have the parts to do about any variant of the Fokker D.VII. For instance, two complete engines are provided, only one of which applies to this version. Three propellers are also included, two of which can be used with this version of the Fokker.

Assembly begins with the engine and it is a beautifully detailed component that will get covered by cowling panels unless you opt to leave one (or more) of the access panels off of the aircraft. Should you opt to do so, the engine sits on engine mounts on the firewall, so the detailing is definitely worth a look. The remainder of the kit is also very straightforward, right down to the struts on the wings.

The kit includes four sheets of decals. Two sheets of lozenge camouflage (upper and lower colors), one set of red rib tape, and one set of distinctive aircraft and national markings.

Markings are provided for four examples:

  • Fokker D.VII (Alb) early, Jasta 30, July 1918 as flown by Lt August Hartmann
  • Fokker D.VII (Alb) early, Jasta 43, July 1918
  • Fokker D.VII (Alb) early, Jasta 43, mid 1918 as flown by Lt R.F. Jacobs
  • Fokker D.VII (Alb) early, Jasta 40, mid 1918 as flown by Lt Carl Degelow

Roden has turned out another beauty with this Fokker. With the absolutely complete set of decals, you won't be needing anything to complete this project. At the suggested retail price, this kit is definitely a great buy!

My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!

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