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Roden's 1/32 scale
Albatros D.III

by Ian Robertson


Albatros D.III

Roden's 1/32 scale Albatros D.III is available online from Squadron.com




This is Roden’s 1/32 Albatros D.III in the markings of an aircraft from Jasta 5. Not having much in the way of reference material for WWI aircraft, I relied on a color profile in Squadron’s “Albatros Fighters In Action” for the scheme. The book also proved useful in detailing.

Roden's 1/32 scale Albatros D.III

The Roden kit is molded in softer plastic than I am accustomed to, and as such I found it a bit challenging to work with, particularly for the finer pieces because of the large sprue attachments. After a number of missteps in cutting, I opted to reproduce many of the finer pieces from scratch.



Nevertheless, for a limited run kit the Roden Albatros is good quality and makes for an enjoyable project. I’m looking forward to their 1/32 Albatros D. V.

Construction of the Roden Albatros D.III is covered in a Hyperscale article by Chris Wauchop, so I will simply describe some of the specifics of my model.



Details, Paint and Decals


I painted the engine a combination Alclad II Aluminum and Tamiya Gunmetal. Fine soldering wire was used to simulate the engine wiring. The completed engine was carefully nested within the internal braces of the forward fuselage.



Simulating wood grain within the fuselage was a two-step process. First, I applied Tamiya’s XF-60 (Desert Yellow) with an airbrush. Once dry, I hand painted Tamiya’s X-26 (Clear Orange) with broad brush strokes over the Desert Yellow base. A similar technique was used on the propeller, except that two base colors were needed to create the laminated effect (desert yellow and desert yellow + red-brown).



With the fuselage halves together, I masked and painted the white, black, and green surfaces. On the tail I used Polly Scale’s “Burl. No. Green” from their line of railway colors. I then traced the shape of the tail surfaces on paper, and used these as templates for cutting paint masks from Tamiya tape. The masks were applied to the tail, leaving exposed a thin trim line around the edges. I sprayed light gray over the trim, followed by Tamiya X-7 (red) - the red paint would not cover well if applied directly over the green. The same color red was used on the wheel hubs and spinner.

The wings were painted in RAF green with a touch of RLM 67 (Dark Olive), and a custom mixture of mauve (using Polly Scale German Mauve, RLM 23 Red, and ATSF Blue). The undersides of the wings were painted Polly Scale RLM 65.

Decals on the model were limited. I used EagleCals sheet #93 for the tail crosses, and the kit decals for the wing crosses. The fuselage cross was masked and sprayed on.

Fishing line was used for the rigging; however, the stuff I used (Berkley Fireline) sags in the cold. I completed my model over the winter but had to wait until summer to take pictures because the rigging sagged noticeably outdoors when temperatures were low. I will use something else next time.


A wooden cutting board was used as the base for the model. Celluclay was used to make the basic ground cover. The celluclay powder was mixed into a paste with water and white glue, tinted with brown acrylic paint, and then spread thinly over the cutting board. Note that the cutting board had previously been treated with several coats of clear lacquer to prevent warping while the celluclay dried.



While the celluclay was still wet I added pieces of Heki grass mat (item # 1574 - Wild Grass Savanna), fine sand, and small bits of moss. Heki products are available for purchase in the United States from “Scenic Express”.





Images were taken with a Nikon Coolpix 5400 digital camera. The “sharpen edges” tool of Adobe Photoshop was used to restore some of the clarity and crispness lost during image compression.



The “blur” tool was used to help merge the base with the natural background.


Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2007 by Ian Robertson
Page Created 28 June, 2007
Last Updated 24 December, 2007

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