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Eduard 1/48 SSW D.III Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2014 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject SSW D.III Scale 1/48
Kit Number 8256 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Beautiful kit Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $34.95

First Look


Siemens-Schuckert Werke (SSW) entered the fighter construction business with a reverse-engineered Nieuport 17 with a proper German engine and a few additional enhancements. While the aircraft looked great on the drawing boards, flight test showed the aircraft lacked the needed performance to be combat effective. SSW literally went back to the drawing board with an airframe that was built around the Seimens-Halske Sh.III engine, the resulting fuselage shape earned the D.II the nickname 'Flying Beer Barrel' but it offered promising performance. The D.III took the longer wing of the D.II but replaced the two-bladed propeller with a shorter four-bladed propeller which also allowed for a shorter and stronger landing gear. Once a few teething problems were worked out of the engine, the aircraft entered production and offered a very impressive fighter platform but came too late in the war to make a difference in the outcome.

Eduard announced this kit at the IPMS/USA National Convention a few months ago and it certainly drew much interest. To the best of my knowledge, this is the second styrene kit of this subject in 1/48 scale with the first being an earlier offering from Eduard. Roden has also produced this subject in 1/32 scale. This kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on two parts trees plus a single fret of photo-etched parts. Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Nicely detailed cockpit
  • Nice Sh.IIIa engine
  • Nice 7.92mm machine guns
  • Simple construction

The kit provides four marking options:

  1. D.III, Jasta 4, Ltn Ernst Udet, Metz, Oct 1917
  2. D.III, Jasta 85, Ltn Heinrich Dembowsky, Schaffenhausen, Nov 1918
  3. D.III, Jasta 15, Chery-les-Pouilly, Jul 1918
  4. D.III, Kest 4b, Vzfw Reimann, Sep 1918

As you can see in the images to the right, this kit comes with three decal sheets which provide the upper/lower 5-color lozenge camouflage on the wings and horizontal tail surfaces, rib tapes, and distinctive markings for each of the four subjects.

The instructions provide excellent coverage on how to rig this model after assembly. Rigging will take a little time but the results will be stunning in conjunction with these nice kit markings.

If you've been waiting to try your hand at biplane modeling, this kit will make a nice entry point between the simple construction and great instructions. If you're an AMS modeler, Eduard didn't forget you, there are a number of detail sets for this kit including a resin and photo-etched engine, resin and photo-etched machine guns, and fabric pilot restraints. Either way, this will be a fun project, give one a try!

For a look at this kit built up, look here.

My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!