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Fokker Dr.I Kit

Eduard 1/48 Fokker Dr.I Weekend Kit First Look

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2015 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject Fokker Dr.I Weekend Scale 1/48
Kit Number 8492 Primary Media Styrene, Fabric
Pros Straightforward build, nice details Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $19.98

First Look

Fokker Dr.I Kit
Fokker Dr.I Kit
Fokker Dr.I Kit

In the early years of aerial warfare, the title of 'best fighter' exchanged hands many times as technology advanced. During World War 1, the Germans, British and French kept their aircraft designers busy trying to push the performance envelope while addressing the threats introduced in the opposition's latest aircraft. Such was the case with the Sopwith Triplane. This aircraft was more maneuverable than anything that the Germans had on the drawing boards at the time. When one Sopwith Triplane fell into German hands, it didn't take long for the German aircraft industry to jump on the bandwagon.

While numerous German aircraft companies tried to employ the tri-wing concept, only Fokker was able to develop a usable design that would become the most famous triplane of all - the Dr.I. The aircraft was not that fast (not with all of that drag!), but it was highly maneuverable. As with modern combat aircraft, the Dr.I achieved its maneuverability at the expense of stability. This inherent lack of stability intimidated many German pilots, but in the hands of skilled aviators, this triplane was deadly. Even after the best fighter of WW1 emerged, the Fokker D.VII, many German aces would still fly the Dr.I.

Eduard first produced this kit over six years ago but it remains one of the nicest Fokker Dr.I kits in 1/48 scale on the market. Eduard recently reissued their Weekend kit with the weekend series being targeted to the modeler who is less comfortable working with mixed media kits and/or cyano-based adhesives. In this case, the kit doesn't have photo-etched parts included (that would be the Profipack edition) but this does include one of Eduard's growing line of fabric pilot restraints. Molded in gray styrene, this kit is presented on three parts trees plus the aforementioned fabric restraints.

As a kit, the Fokker Dr.I has one advantage over other WWI era aircraft - minimal rigging. For those who are intimidated with the extensive flying wires found on most biplanes, the Dr.I did not have the wire bracing out on the wings. They did use the cross bracing between the fuselage and landing gear as well as between the fuselage and upper wings.The Eduard instructions show where these wire braces are installed on the kit (not included but can be replicated with a variety of materials including fishing line).

The layout of the kit is quite nice, especially in the cockpit. Unlike many other Dr.I kits, this one provides the steel tube framing separate from the fuselage sides making painting of the doped interior surface easier. The kit also includes the cockpit ammo cans for the twin Spandau machine guns. Among the other features and options in this kit:

  • Detailed cockpit
  • Positionable ailerons
  • Positionable elevators
  • Positionable rudder
  • Movable engine and propeller

The kit provides two markings options:

  • Fokker Dr.I, 425/17, as flown by Manfred von Richtofen
  • Fokker Dr.I, 213/17, as flown by Ltn Friedrich Kempf

It is nice to see this kit back on store shelves as this remains one of the best kits of this subject in 1/48 scale. If you're looking for inspiration, there are a number of these kits nicely built online. Give one a try!

My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!