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Albatros D.III

by Mike Robinson


Albatros D.III


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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 Albatros series. 

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 plastic.






This is made from .040 plastic vacuformed over a carved basswood master. I use basswood for carving over balsa, as its very straight grained, carves easily and isnt as soft and prone to damage as balsa.

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 Toms 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 method.



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 wasnt. It has won two awards, First Place Scratchbuilt , and Best Aircraft at SYRCON X in 1997, in Syracuse New York.



Photography and Acknowledgements


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 Mike Robinson
Page Created 07 October, 2002
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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