Pfalz DIIIa in 1/48...
...a new Weekend series kit from Eduard
Kit reference 8417 is another release from Eduard in their Weekend series of kits. These are straight plastic kits without the addition of the masks and etch details of their ProfiPack series. The Pfalz DIIIa was the improved variant of the original DIII and they were built and went into service early in 1918, some still in front line use by the time of the armistice at the end of the year. It is I think interesting as the real aircraft had the wooden plywood strips used to make up the fuselage laid horizontally over moulds, and the two resulting halves joined together, rather like the standard plastic kit it seems.
The kit itself is very nicely moulded in grey plastic, as we now expect from Eduard. The detail inside the cockpit is nicely done and will repay some careful painting to recreate the wood finish, and a transfer for the single main dial on the instrument panel, while transfers are also used for the seatbelts on the pilot's seat as well. The engine is partly exposed and is neatly done in the kit, along with the two machine guns mounted on the fuselage between the cockpit and the engine. On earlier versions they were mounted internally but proved difficult to clear jams when in combat, so this was an improvement in the DIIIa as a result of combat experience. The struts are in units which make the assembly of the wings easy enough to set squarely and there are holes to enable you to fit rigging wires as well. Diagrams in the instructions show where the rigging needs to go. The kit itself is not complex and will be a straightforward build.
There are two options in terms of colours and markings, and they are quite a contrast in colour.
A. Flown by Oblt. B von Alvensleben of Jasta 21 at Boncourt, France in June 1918. The bulk of the airframe is black, with white on the tail, the nose/spinner, the outer panels of the upper wing surfaces and all the undersurfaces of the wings. Also a bit different as the national markings were the straight 'beam' style crosses, more akin to the style used in WW2.
B. W.Nr. 8143/17, flown by Onlt. W. Ewere of Jasta 77 from Vraignes, France in April 1918. The bulk of the airframe is in a silver-grey while the spinner is bright blue, and there are bright blue and red strips on the fuselage spine and the upper wing to surface. The tail planes are also bright blue.
A nicely done kit as ever and simple enough to build. The two colour schemes are both interesting and yet very different as well as being particularly from the period of the last year of the Great War.
Thanks to Eduard for this example.