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Windsock Datafiles


Brandenburg W 29

by Ray Rimell


S u m m a r y

Publisher and Title: Windsock Datafiles The AMC DH2 Brandenburg W 29
Media: Soft cover, A4 format magazine
Price: each 10.85 available online from Albatros Productions' website
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Knowledgeable authors; superb collection of photographs; both 1:72 and 1:48 scale plans; informative sketches; detailed colours and markings section; attractive colour profiles.
Conclusion: With new kits of these popular subjects coming onto the market, these reprints will be most welcome. They provide an opportunity for modellers to obtain the quality reference material needed to gain an excellent understanding of their subject.

Reviewed by Rob Baumgartner

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com



There has been a resurgence of large scale WWI aircraft in recent years with Roden and Wingnut Wings in particular leading the way.

This has seen modellers from other spheres of interest try their hand at building biplanes. As a result, many have missed out on obtaining the appropriate reference material for detailing these kits. Fortunately Albatros Productions has realized this requirement and have thus made available a couple of limited edition reprints.

They both remain essentially unchanged from the original publications.


Datafile No. 48 - “The AMC DH2”

The Fokker monoplanes were dominating the skies when they were first introduced at the end of 1915. It was only when the DH2 made its appearance that air superiority was back in the hands of the RFC.

The Geoffrey de Havilland designed aircraft was powered by a 100hp Gnome Monosoupape engine. It carried a single machine gun in the nacelle, an area also occupied by the pilot. The first fighter group to be equipped with this scout was No.24 Squadron RFC in January 1916.

There were the inevitable teething problems but these were generally solved by the middle of the year.

One famous incident in this aircraft earned the flyer a Victoria Cross. His name was Major L W B Rees and he was the commanding officer of 32 Squadron. On his own he attacked a formation of enemy two-seaters and sent two of them down, despite being seriously wounded in the leg during the encounter.

By the end of the year, newer German types were taking their toll of the DH2 and it was relegated to lesser duties. It did have a remarkable career though and rightly holds a special place in the annals of aerial warfare.

This book is Barry Gray’s classic study of the famous “pusher” fighter.

Between the soft card covers are 36 pages containing the usual assortment of information for modellers’ and enthusiasts alike.

Nearly 90 images are included which cover both archive sketches and period photographs. The former includes the instrument layout from the AMC parts manual as well as a diagram of the petrol and oil systems. A contemporary drawing of the type’s complicated rigging will help the modeller and all this compliments the extensive plans feature.

Ian Stair takes care of these and both 1:72 and 1:48 scales are represented. Top, bottom and side views are carefully displayed and great pains are taken to distinguish between the “early” and “late” aspects of the design. Thus we see multiple drawings for the different cockpit layouts, nacelle details, rudder pulley locations, aileron control systems and of course the variety of gravity tank layouts.

Barry explains the colours and markings of the fighter and includes those schemes applied by the individual squadrons. Ray Rimell supplies the attractive colour profiles and the publication is rounded out with a couple of pages of specifications and a compilation of both flying and non-flying DH2 model kits.


Datafile No. 55 “Brandenburg W 29”

The Curtis and Felixstowe flying boats operating from the North Sea coastal stations were doing so with relative impunity.

To counter this, the German naval airmen required an aircraft that had better speed, and maneuverability than their counterparts. Enter the Brandenburg W 29, a two-seater monoplane fighter that was loved by its crews and respected by the opposition.

It entered service around the middle of 1918 and its first recorded combat is noteworthy.



Four W 29 aircraft came across three Felixstowe flying boats in the early morning of July 4th. The German side was lead by none other than the famous ace Friedrich Christiansen. One of the W 29s returned to base after having its radiator holed on the first approach. The three Felixstowes however were all brought down by the remaining W 29s in the following half hour battle.

The late Peter Grosz authored this volume which also contains the standard 32 pages of the series.

Here we have a fascinating collection of over 50 period photographs plus a few extra ones from an existing license-built W 33. As no surviving examples of the W 29 exist, the next best thing is the W 33 of which the latter images provide a tantalizing glimpse of what the cockpit interior looked like.

This time it’s Colin Owers that provides the general arrangement drawings. These also appear in the popular scales of 1:72 and 1:48, and care has been taken to illustrate the prototype and production series of aircraft.

Factory “3-views” provide additional information and the appendices cover the German Navy’s orders as well as the numbers built of these famous float equipped monoplanes.

As well as supplying the colour profiles, Ray Rimell takes a look at the colours and markings worn by this aircraft. Both “blue” and “brown” patterns of the hex camouflage are discussed with additional tone drawing profiles illustrating the schemes displayed by other operators.


The A4 format suits these publications perfectly.

Many photographs are printed 1 or 2 to a page and their size allows the reader to glean as much information from them as possible. Naturally a lot of the clarity is dependent on the originals but the publishers have done a fine job with their presentation.

The text is easy to digest and gives the reader a good understanding of the subject matter. With the inclusion of scale plans and a comprehensive colours and markings section, these resources are the “one stop shop” that modellers have been looking for.

These are unreservedly recommended for anyone with a passion for WWI aircraft.


Thanks to Albatros Productions for the review sample

Review Copyright 2010 by Rob Baumgartner
This Page Created on 3 February, 2010
Last updated 14 February, 2010

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