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Albatros D.III Oeffag 253
Weekend Edition

Eduard, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Eduard Kit No. 84152 - Albatros D.III Oeffag 253 "Weekend Edition"
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: Olive coloured plastic parts; markings for one aircraft.
Price: USD$19.95 plus shipping available online from Eduard's website
and specialist hobby retailers worldwide
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages:

Well moulded parts with no sink marks or ejection pins marring the finished product; sharply defined detail; excellent overall accuracy; decals with perfect registration and minimal carrier film; inclusion of stencil data.

Disadvantages:

No elevator control horns.

Recommendation:

The excellent fit of parts and the simplicity of the design make this an ideal “Weekend Edition” kit.  There is no convoluted livery and the lack of photo etched parts allow for a straightforward and trouble-free build. Despite being supplied with “only” the basic plastic items, the kit builds up into an excellent replica of this famous fighter and does so at a budget price.


Reviewed by Rob Baumgartner


Eduard's 1/48 scale Albatros D.III Oeffag 253 Weekend Edition
is available online from Squadron.com
 

FirstLook

 

The most popular fighters flown by the Austro-Hungarian Luftfahrtruppe were the various forms of Albatros D.III built by the Oesterreichische Flugzeugfabrik AG.

They came at a time when the treacherous Brandenburg D.I “star strutter” had to face the ever increasing might of the Italians. Fortunately the Oeffag was farsighted enough to make their licence built machines sturdier than their German counterparts. Not only were the wings made stronger but its airframe was bolstered as well. This meant that the aircraft could be powered by engines of increasing horsepower.

When the first D.III (Oef) fighters reached the Front in June 1917, they were met with an enthusiastic response. They had a far better rate of climb than the Brandenburg D.I and also possessed superior manoeuvrability.

Initial types were powered by the Daimler 185 hp engine and eventually culminated in the improved 225 hp version in May 1918.


 

Contents

This release represents the Albatros D.III Oeffag 253 and is an ideal candidate for the “Weekend Edition” range. By omitting photo etched parts and complicated colour schemes, the modeller is able to build a subject quickly, easily, and with a minimum of fuss.

Inside the box we get the familiar set of 5 high quality sprues that accompanied previous “Oeffag” releases. As befits the “no frills” boxing, there are markings for only a single aircraft on the well printed decal sheet.

Construction starts with the engine and this 14 part assembly is the same competent design we first saw in Eduard’s Fokker D.VII (MAG).

Some moulded structural detail can be found on each of the inner fuselage halves and to this is added a further 24 items to complete a nicely detailed cockpit area. An impressive assortment of instrument faces can be sourced from the decal sheet but those wanting seatbelts are best directed towards this manufacturer’s photo etched accessories.

The wings are a good example of the high quality of engineering seen throughout the product. Here we see a subtle representation of the stitching which can be found on each of the well defined flying surfaces. Also present are the ply formers along the leading edge and the strips around the trailing periphery. These areas really show the level of research that has gone into this kit.

The latter is perhaps a bit too exaggerated and this can also be said about the height of the rib locations. Nonetheless, these features will be less noticeable under a coat or two of paint.

Rudder, elevator and ailerons are all separate parts with the latter having moulded on actuators. This makes animating your subject a breeze. Kudos should also be directed at Eduard for including the characteristic “washout” to the ailerons. The radiator will pose no problems either as this has been skilfully incorporated into the upper wing.

Elevator control horns were catered for as photo etched parts in the earlier “ProfiPACK” releases. Sadly there are no plastic substitutes included here and cunningly the instructions do not show any of the associated rigging in this area.

The fuselage detailing is quite exquisite and clearly shows the method of attaching the ply sheets. These were butt jointed as opposed to the scarf joints used by Albatros. One anomaly that’s simple to fix is the extra hatch that Eduard have mistakenly added under the starboard cockpit opening. This doesn’t appear on period photographs but is easy enough to sand off.

All of the smaller items carry the same sharp, crisp detail that is found elsewhere in the kit, with the struts, undercarriage legs, and wheels being particularly well rendered.



Markings

Albatros D.III (Oef) 253.36, Flik 56/J, August 1918.

 

 

The single decal sheet is superbly printed with excellent definition and what looks to be good colour density. The carrier film is very thin and is kept to a minimum around the edge of the design. Stencil data, logos and the aforementioned instrument faces complete the very comprehensive package.

As the fuselage marking suggests, this machine was the mount of Oblt. Othmar Wolfan. He gained his single victory in this aircraft after downing a Sopwith Camel on 1st August 1918. Just over a month later he was hospitalised from a crash which forced him to sit out the rest of the war.



 

Conclusion

 

These “Weekend Edition” don’t contain any photo-etched parts, resin, or multiple colour schemes.

This allows them to be priced competitively compared to other releases. The result is a “no frills” kit that provides for a quick and simple build while still allowing the modeller to produce a quality result straight from the box.

Thanks to Eduard for the sample


Review Text and Images Copyright 2010 by Rob Baumgartner
Page Created 1 June, 2011
Last updated 2 June, 2011

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