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Glencoe 1/48 Pfalz D.III Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2005 Manufacturer Glencoe
Subject Pfalz D.III Scale 1/48
Kit Number 5115 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Simple build Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $9.98

First Look


The German Pfalz D.III was one of the cleaner looking designs to come out of World War I. While not the greatest fighter to take to the skies, its rugged construction made it an outstanding platform in a dive and would become one of the weapons of choice among German pilots for balloon busting.

Approximately 600 of these aircraft were produced before incremental improvements led to the D.IIIa and the D.V models. The aircraft was powered by a 160 horsepower inline engine (the D.IIIa would get 180 horsepower).

Regardless of its combat effectiveness, the squadrons still adorned their aircraft with very colorful markings and the D.III received its fair share of airborne art. One such aircraft was flown by the German ace Lt Fritz Höhn of Jasta 21 who had 21 aerial victories, 16 of which were reportedly balloons.

The Glencoe 1/48 Pfalz D.III kit has been around for a while. If memory serves, this kit was originally from Aurora, the molds of which were rescued from the scrap heap by Glencoe.


This 1/48 scale kit was very detailed for its day. It featured a reasonably detailed engine that could be tweaked by an experienced modeler, a seat for the interior, and options for a seated pilot and a crewman figure.

The majority of this kit is molded in medium gray, with the engine and wheels molded in black styrene.

The ribbing detail on the upper surface of the wing is not bad by today's standards. There is no ribbing detail on the undersurfaces of the wing - such was the molding state of the art back in Aurora's day.

Clearly the most impressive part of this kit is the Scalemaster decal sheet. This rather large sheet contains markings for ten different aircraft:

  • Lt Friz Höhn, Jasta 21
  • Lt Klein, Jasta 10
  • Lt Hegeler, Jasta 15
  • Lt Wunsch, Jasta 22
  • Buttlar, Justa 18
  • Jasta 10
  • Flugmast Undiener, Marine-feld Jasta III
  • Vzf. Hect, Jasta 10
  • Lt Lenz, Staffelfuhrer, Jasta 22
  • Jasta 5

With a street price of around $8.00 USD, the Glencoe kit is an easy build for modelers out to have a little fun and not ready to get wrapped up in more complex renditions of this interesting aircraft. For those who are more content with the more complex kits, then you'll definitely want to buy this kit for the decal sheet and give the model to one of your kids to build alongside of you. In either case, it is nice to see such inexpensive kit options still available to modelers.

My sincere thanks to Glencoe Models for this review sample!