Roden 1/32 Fokker D.VI Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||September 2005||Manufacturer||Roden|
|Kit Number||0603||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Great details, complete camouflage decals||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$37.98|
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.
In early 1917, the top German fighters of that time were the Albatros D.III and D.V and these reigned supreme over the enemy. The allies didn't let that leadership last long and by mid-1917, the Sopwith Camel and S.E.5a had entered service and pushed the Albatros fighters off the top rankings. Of course the Germans didn't take this lightly, calling for a fighter competition in January 1918. While many manufacturers put forward ambitious designs, they were all plagued by the same limitation - the lack of suitable engines. Only one design stood out as an interim solution, the Fokker D.VI.
The D.VI was supposed to be a stop-gap development with only 120 built, but this was even cut in half as the German Air Command looked forward to another fighter competition. The D.VI was a capable aircraft in most respects except for climb performance. The aircraft, like its competitors, needed more power. Its construction was very similar to the previous Fokker dogfighter, the Dr.I. The obvious difference of course between the D.VI and Dr.I was the number of wings
I am happy to report that Roden didn't rest on their laurels! The hugely successful 1/32 Dr.I kit entered Roden into the 1/32 market, and they followed that premier with this Fokker D.VI. Molded in the Roden tan-gray styrene, the kit is presented on six parts trees. There are several parts that are not used in this release as several of these trees were also used in the Dr.I kit.
Assembly begins with the engine and it is a beautifully detailed component that will be visible at the bottom of the engine faceplate. The cockpit is also nicely laid out, though I'm sure someone will turn out some photo-etch to enhance this area. The remainder of the kit is also very straightforward, right down to the struts on the wings.
Like the Dr.I, the Fokker D.VI didn't need all of the wire bracing to rig the aircraft together, consequently the kit will be a simple build.
The kit includes three sheet of decals which provide the markings for three aircraft:
- Fokker D.VI, 1689/18, Flugpark Armee Abteilung B, 1918
- Fokker D.VI, unknown, Home Defense Staffel, Kest 1a, 1918
- Fokker D.VI, unknown, 'Fratz', Jasta 80b, Leutnant Kurt Seit, 1918
Roden has turned out another nice-looking Fokker. The construction is straightforward and the decals make the finish a snap.
My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!