by Mike Robinson
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This is a project I finished roughly 6 years ago, before
Eduard released their plethora of WWI kits, including their excellent
I have always admired the Albatros series of fighters
for their elegant lines and advanced construction techniques for the
time. Up until I built mine, the only kits available were the old Aurora
kit, which is more a D-V than a D-III, and a little larger than 1/48th
scale, my preferred scale.
I decided the only way I will be able to build an
Albatros would be to scratchbuild it, so with references in hand and a
few beers to settle the nerves, I began carving wood and shaping
This is made from .040 plastic vacuformed over a carved
basswood master. I use basswood for carving over balsa, as it’s very
straight grained, carves easily and isn’t as soft and prone to damage as
Also, for strength, I cut up the master and left it
inside the vacuformed shell after interior pieces were added and the
fuselage sides were glued together. Interior stringers and bulkheads
were added, Engine Bearers were added and then the cowling was drilled
for the cylinder openings, then removed to make a separate cowl master
for vacuforming a new one piece cowl with no center seam.
Control column was built up from Evergreen rod, with a
trigger and handle assembly from Tom’s Model Works German WW1 Interior
PE Set. Gauges and instruments are a combination of photo-reduced
negatives and Foto-Cut Bezels. The Seat was built up from .010 plastic.
Wings and Control Surfaces
The wings are built up using .005 styrene sheet over a
basswood core, with ribs embossed in the plastic from the backside using
a straightedge and blunt scriber. Ailerons were built using the same
The Horizontal Stabilizer and Fin are solid .080 plastic
sanded to the correct shape, and Elevator and Rudder built up the same
way as the wings.
The wing “V” struts are basswood with brass pins in the
ends, and the cabane struts are brass wire, soldered together for
strength. A Tail Skid of basswood with a brass shoe and brown thread for
the bungee, and a Fin of .020 plastic complete the Tail Gear.
The Engine is from Hi-Tech, Machine guns have
scratchbuilt breeches with Cooling Jackets from Foto-Cut, and the wheels
are from the spares box, with Landing Gear Struts made from basswood and
the Axle from brass wire. Again brown thread is used to simulate the
bungee shock cords. The Wing Radiator was cut from a radiator from an
old AMT truck kit with a Header Tank made from .060 plastic. Lozenge
Decals for the wings and control surfaces are from Aeromaster, as are
the markings for a plane flown by Jasta 49 in April of 1917. The
Fuselage woodgrain was accomplished by spraying a coat of light tan
enamel overall, followed by masking off the different panels and dry
brushing dark brown for the grain appearance. Final rigging is stretched
sprue. This is the first model I ever built where it is finished with
decals more than painting. As fate would have it, I finished this model
right about the time Eduard released their D-V, and at a regional
contest in Syracuse NY, I was asked several times, “Is that the new
Eduard kit?”, to which I would politely have to explain it wasn’t. It
has won two awards, First Place Scratchbuilt , and Best Aircraft at
SYRCON X in 1997, in Syracuse New York.
Two of these photographs were done with Forced
Perspective, where the foreground was taped over the edge of a table,
and the background was placed behind the model.
I would like to thank Mike Parillo, from Binghamton New
York for the Forced Perspective Photo, and Tom Johnson of Rochester New
York, for the other photography work.
ALBATROS SCOUTS Described by Charles Schaedel –
Kookaburra Technical Publications.
Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2002 by
Page Created 07 October, 2002
Last Updated 04 June, 2007
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