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Albatros D.III Kit

Eduard 1/48 Albatros D.III Weekend Edition Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2016 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject Albatros D.III Weekend Edition Scale 1/48
Kit Number 8438 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Beautiful kit, simple build Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $24.95

First Look

Albatros D.III Kit
Albatros D.III Kit
Albatros D.III Kit

The Albatros D.III was introduced into service in late 1916 to great reviews by its pilots for its maneuverability and rate of climb. Operational experience revealed some of its shortcomings as well including the engine's radiator mounted in the center section of the upper wing that when hit by gunfire, would spray scalding water on the pilot. Another design flaw was the location of the lower wing's mainspar was too far aft and the structure would allow too much leading edge flex in high-speed/high-G maneuvers to cause wing failure. While the wings were reinforced after the fleet was grounded from multiple wing failures, the type would still be limited in its combat maneuverability.

Eduard first released their 1/48 Albatros D.III (early) kit back in 1998, with the early distinction being recognized by the centerline radiator in the upper wing. This kit remains the best kit of this subject in this scale and has been periodically reissued over the years. This latest reissue is in their budget-minded 'weekend' series which provides the basic styrene kit without any resin or photo-etched enhancements in the box. This kit does provide all the essentials in styrene and provides the option of photo-etched pilot restraints, machine gun cooling jackets, and other details in separately available detail sets.

Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on two parts trees. If you want the super-detailed parts, these are available separately, but this kit will go together nicely out of the box. The skill level remains 'experienced' simply because of the number of tiny parts plus rigging the airframe as well.

Among the features and options in the box:

  • Detailed cockpit
  • Detailed engine
  • Rigging instructions

I'd recommend a jig for holding the wings while the glue for the interplane struts is drying. This will eliminate many frustruations with one of the wings going out of alignment and also be useful for future biplane projects as well.

This release, as mentioned above, comes with your choice of two decal subjects:

  • Albatros D.III, Jasta 2, Proville, France, 1917, as flown by Lt Werner Voss
  • Albatros D.III, Jasta 11, Harelbeke, Belgium, 1917, as flown by Manfred von Richthofen

This is a nice kit which makes it nice to see back on store shelves, even if Eduard only releases these periodically.

My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!