RS Models 1/48 scale
Fokker D XXIII
by Roland Sachsenhofer
Hobby Boss' 1/32 Spitfire Mk.Vb Trop is available online from Squadron
The Fokker D.XXIII does not only look interesting, it is actually a highly interesting design in many respects, in whose layout central topics of aeronautical engineering have been approached in an unusual way.
There is, for example, the theme of the twin-engine propulsion: double engine power is desirable in itself, but it is paied with a doubling of drag. Considerations about the dream of combining two engines with the cross-section of a single-engine fuselage and thus only reaping the benefits have repeatedly come to light. As an example I refer here to the Do-335 of the late war years. Another advantage of this concept is the compensation of the torques generated by the two engines.
One possibility to make this dream come true is the design as a double fuselage aircraft, as it was also implemented here with the Fokker XXIII. One consequence of this concept is the necessity to design a high-legged nose wheel landing gear - which was a novelty that had not been tried and tested in Europe before.
An unresolved topic also arises with the question of how the pilot should save himself in an emergency, because a bailing out in the usual way was out of the question because of the stern propeller. The engineer in charge of the project, Marius Beeling, therefore planned the installation of an ejection seat for the series.
So the Fokker XXIII is full of innovations - and immediately after its presentation it aroused recognition and interest in other nations as well. The Walter-Sagitta I-SR engines installed in one prototype were recognized as too weak and were to be replaced in series by Daimler-Benz or Rolls-Royce engines.
However, the D.XXIII suffered from problems that were typical for this concept: the overheating of the engines was a problem that could not be solved until the end of the development.
The project, the flight testing of which had started in spring 1939, came to an end due to the German raid. The prototype was destroyed during the invasion of Schiphol in May 1940.
Construction, Painting and Decals
The RS-Models model provides a solid base for building a single prototype in two different paint states. I chose the look during the flight test in spring/summer 1939. The second option is the better known and more attractive paint with a complete set of Dutch emblems.
The parts of this short run kit have a mediocre fitting accuracy, fitting, sanding and smoothing are a must, especially at the transition from fuselage to wings. The assembly of the two fuselage beams to the wings is usually criticized as too rudimentary in discussion forums. Personally, I found the specifications quite sufficient. As already mentioned, intensive reworking is one of the pleasures that this model promises anyway.
I made the 24 exhaust nozzles on my own, because the kit parts clearly don't offer enough detail. After first attempts to reproduce the parts with hollow brass pipes, at the end of the construction I used a more proven method: appropriately dimensioned cable insulation, which was painted with Alclad metal tones, is now quite credibly the exhaust systems.
The three-tone camouflage was masked in individual steps, after applying the paint, the hard edges were drawn a little softer with freehand airbrush.
I improvised several details at the chassis as well as the pitot tube with parts from the leftover box respectively with wire and hypthermic needles.
This project really inspired me! First of all because of the fact that RS-Models has built such a shapely but also historically and technically interesting aircraft in 1:48 scale and in solid quality, secondly because of the inspiring and a little engagement demanding construction itself.
If you are interested in the (quite challenging!) building process, please have a look on the workbench at Scalemates:
As ever, remarks will be appreciated: email@example.com
Model, Images and Text Copyright ©
2019 by Roland Sachsenhofer
Page Created 4 July, 2019
4 July, 2019
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