Eduard, 1/48 scale
u m m a r y
||Eduard Kit No. 8256 - SSW D.III Profipack Re-Edition
|Contents and Media:
||78 plastic parts in grey plastic on two sprues; colour photo-etched fret; pre-cut wheel masks; markings for five aircraft.
Available online from:
Eduard - USD$34.95 plus shipping
Hannants - £22.60 EU Price (£18.83 Export Price) plus shipping
and specialist hobby retailers worldwide and online
||Detailed new-tool engineered mouldings.
||Over-emphasised rib stitching detail; questionable lozenge decal colours.
||Eduard’s return to new-tool WW1 subjects benefits from a revised decal sheet for this reissue although version #2 of the lozenge decals is still questionable.
Reviewed by David Wilson
Eduard's 1/48 Fokker F.1 Weekend Edition is available online from Squadron.com
The Siemens-Schuckert D.III arrived too late in WW1 to have any meaningful impact on the air war, but its squat, purposeful shape gave this pugnacious single seat German fighter a no-nonsense look that still appeals to WW1 modellers. To many, it represents the epitome of late WW1 fighter aircraft design.
The SSW D.III was a single seat biplane fighter powered by a 160hp Siemens-Halske rotary engine driving a large four bladed propeller. The type first flew in 1917 and entered service in April 1918. By the war’s end in November 1918 a total of around 80 aircraft had been made.
The SSW D.III’s early service history was marred by engine problems and retrofits of new engines, an enlarged rudder and cutaway engine cowlings featured on the latter marks.
The Siemens Schuckert D.III has a special place in the history of Eduard. It was the Czech manufacturer’s first 1/48th scale model kit, released in late in 1993. It was a short run kit with white metal engines and extensive photo etch. It went on to achieve sales of 10,000 kits and launched Eduard’s ongoing series of WW1 aircraft subjects, culminating in their recent SE5a models.
The single sprue from the original 1993 1/48 scale Eduard SSW
Eduard stepped away from new tool WW1 subjects in recent years but the 100th anniversary of WW1 saw the company return to Great War subjects promising new-tool kits, the first of which was a new tooled Siemens-Schuckert D.III which was released in 2015.
Eduard’s new Siemens Schuckert D.III was comprehensively reviewed by Brett Green on HyperScale in February 2015.
The plastic in this 2017 reissue is unchanged from the 2015 edition. It’s a cleverly designed kit and although Eduard produced special Brassin sets to replace the kit’s engine and machine guns (sold separately), these are not crucial. The Siemens-Halske engine is tucked behind a substantial cowl so little of it is visible.
The kit’s machine guns do look a little anaemic and aftermarket replacements would dress the model up somewhat. That said, out of the box, the SSW D.III is a nice kit and light years ahead of its 1993 predecessor.
For those who believe turnbuckles are crucial in 1/48th scale, Eduard supplies photo-etched turnbuckles on the colour PE fret.
The kit is not without some flaws though, most noticeable being over-emphasised wing rib tape detail stitching. This is grossly overdone but is easily fixed with a few swipes of a sanding stick and buffer pad.
The decals are another story altogether.
WW1 German lozenge decals still generate heated debate among modellers with no simple consensus on the correct shades that made up five and four colour lozenge patterns. In depth research and exhaustive study of surviving scraps of lozenge material has just seen everyone divide into separate camps – some favour a particular depiction of lozenge, others disagree and argue for another version.
Somewhere in the middle, it seems, is Eduard. Their 2015 interpretation of washed out lozenge colours drew some seriously negative reactions to the kit.
The 2015 lozenge decal sheet
Eduard re-vamped the lozenge decals for the Weekend Edition of the SSW and it’s this revised decal version which comes with the 2017 ProfiPack reissue.
Decal version #2 still does not conform with what could be argued as the “accepted” colour palette interpretation. The colour palette is still at odds with generally accepted lozenge shades (depending on which experts you follow) but it is streets ahead of the washed out lozenge of the 2015 release.
The new 2017 lozenge decal sheet
As a footnote to the lozenge decals issue, there are excellent aftermarket 5 colour upper and lower lozenge sheets available in 1/48th scale which really dress up Eduard’s kit and can be used in conjunction with the kit supplied individual markings.
Five colourful markings are provided on two decal sheets- one providing national markings and individual aircraft insignia, and the other with the full span cookie cut lozenge decals for wings and tail planes. The lozenge sheet includes pre-cut shapes for the wheel covers and wing struts.
The kit’s colour schemes are:
SSW D.III, Jasta 4, Ltn. Ernst Udet, Metz, October 3, 1918
SSW D.III 1618/18, Jasta 85 (Kest 5), Ltn. Heinrich Dembowsky, Schaffenhausen, November 13, 1918
SSW D.III, Jasta 15, Chery-les-Pouilly, July, 1918
SSW D.III 1626/18, Kest 4b, Vzfw. Reimann, September, 1918
SSW D.III 3025/18, Trier, December, 1918 to January 1919
Unfortunately the decal sheets with the review sample kit were damaged by the decal’s protective wax paper sheet sticking to the decal surface. Some decals were damaged while removing the cover paper so caution is advised here.
Eduard’s instructions are contained in a full colour 16 page booklet which is also available for download from their website.
Link to SSW D.III instructions: https://www.eduard.com/store/out/media/8256.pdf
Although a couple of years old now, Eduard’s Siemens-Schuckert D.III continues the company’s justified pride in its WW1 catalogue. The kit’s drawbacks are fixable and this SSW D.III represents a quantum leap on the kit that launched Eduard’s 1/48th WW1 range all those years ago.
Thanks to Eduard for the sample
Review Text and Images Copyright © 2017 by David Wilson
Page Created 25 August, 2017
25 August, 2017
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