Roden's 1/32 scale
Siemens Schuckert D.III
by Jerry Creager
Siemens Schuckert D.III
Roden's 1/32 scale Siemens Schuckert D.III is available online from Squadron
After the release of the 1/32 scale Siemens Schuckert D.III by Roden it was just a matter of time before I could clear my work bench of “other” projects and get started on this unique plane. I’ll skip the history and background and get right to the construction. There is a fair amount of information available on the internet so there is no point in my repeating this information.
This is the second SS I have built. The first was one I did in Udet’s scheme with the red fuselage. I looked around on the internet for a somewhat flamboyant color scheme with a varnished wood finish but didn’t find anything that caught my eye. So I decided to use option III Shown on the instruction sheet. I am glad I did because I think the wood finish gives the model a factory finish look.
Roden did a great job of engineering the kit but there is always room for improvement. My biggest complaint is that the panel lines were way oversized and just didn’t look right. I filled all of the panel lines with cyanoacrylate and re scribed them. Next I opened the large louvers on the bottom of the cowl behind the engine.
Since I went to the trouble to open the louvers I decided I might as well open all of the handholds and step. On the real aircraft these points were enclosed with a “box” on the inside of the fuselage so as to keep water and “other stuff” from finding its way inside.
The engine is simple to build and when finished really stands out because you can see most of it due to the open cowling framework. I added ignition wiring and painted the spark plugs for a little more detail.
The wood finish was painted with oils over an acrylic base of radome tan. For the interior I used a base color of yellow ochre with just a tiny bit of burnt sienna. I painted the interior stringers and framing a darker shade of the yellow ochre for contrast. Once the interior was dry I added the interior detail. Roden did not supply any instrument decals so I copied instruments from another German 1/32 WWI kit on my ink jet printer and cut them out and white glued them in place.
I did have a problem with the upper fuselage part 10A fitting properly to the main fuselage halves. I added a small piece of styrene on each side of the seam where these parts connect then sanded them smooth with the main fuselage. This lifted the upper deck section (10A) up just enough to make a flush fit all around.
The exterior was painted just the opposite using the burnt sienna as the base with some yellow ochre to lighten it a bit. After the exterior was completely dry I used a very thin mixture of burnt umber with a very thin long hair brush and laid down some very fine squiggly lines. I then used a small rake brush over the line using a back and forth motion to smear the line into what looked like wood grain. I did this in a random pattern until I got the affect I was looking for. After everything was completely dry I gave the fuselage several coats of Future. The rest of the painted areas such as the cowling and landing gear struts were painted with Tamiya paints.
Decaling the wings were by far my greatest challenge. I had trouble with the lozenge on both of the Roden D.III’s. I found them to be very thin and brittle. As they dried they did not want to conform to the curvature at the leading edge of the wing. Even using the great quantities of Micro Sol and Micro Set the decals did not soften enough to wrap the leading edge. The trailing edges were particularly troublesome as they kept chipping and exposing paint while applying the rib tapes. Possibly a result of excessive handling. I don’t remember the decals on my first SS being as bad as these. Before I decaled the wings I primed them and gave them a good coat of Future in hopes that the decals would adhere better. I decided to try to use the one piece decal on the top wing. Big mistake! The decal tore in a jagged pattern leaving me with a puzzle pattern of decal pieces that had to be fitted together. If ever I do another Roden WWI kit that requires lozenge decals I will find another source before I use the kit decals again.
As a result of these problems I spent a considerable amount of time matching paint to lozenge colors and touching up chipped decals, both top and bottom, though the bottom decals didn’t have a tendency to tear or chip as bad as the upper decal. The kit comes with decals for the outer wing struts but because of the decal problems, I hand painted the wing struts using the top lozenge colors as they were fabric wrapped on the real aircraft according to some of the tech data on this particular airplane. In hindsight I should have painted both the leading and trailing edges a dark green similar to the green on the decals thus making the touch up spots less obvious. I think this would have reduced the amount of touch up time considerably.
To dress things up a bit I used photo etched machine gun jackets and seat belts. The turnbuckles were made from twisted wire and the rigging is a stranded thread used for making fishing flys. The prop was painted a light tan color then masked and painted the darker color just slightly darker than the fuselage.
Another problem that I did not catch until after I had rigged the model was that the top wing had a warp in the outer 1/3 of the right side. Since I had already decaled it I couldn’t dip it in boiling water and work the warp out. I simply bent the wing while applying heat from a hair dryer. This worked OK but if you look closely enough there is still a slight warp. I tried this technique before and ended up with a broken wing. This time I guess I was just plain “lucky”.
Overall, I think it is a good kit any serious WWI modeler would want to add to their collection.
Model, Text and Images Copyright ©
2011 by Jerry Creager
Page Created 10 June, 2011
10 June, 2011
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