Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

Phonix D.I

by Robert Baumgartner


Phonix D.I


MAC's 1/72 scale Phonix D.I is available online from Squadron.com




The Phonix D.I was a well-liked aircraft to the flyers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was both faster and a better climber than the Albatros D.III (Oef) and had improved flight characteristics over the Aviatik D.I.

This rugged and reliable fighter was the mount of many aces and could also be found in the photoreconnaissance role. December 1917 saw the D.I being flown with Fliks 4, 15, 17, 48, 54 and 66 as a fighter and with Fliks 14, 30, 60, 61 and 63 as an escort fighter.



MAC's 1/72 Phonix In The Box


Upon opening the box, the modeller is greeted by the now familiar package that has made MAC very popular with 72nd scale modellers.

Two sprues of tan coloured plastic, a fret of etched metal, an acetate sheet and a perfectly registered decal sheet, provide all the basics for a good looking model.

One of the sprues contains parts common to both the D.I and D.II. These items being exhausts, radiator, cabane struts and tail skid. The other has wings, fuselage, and tailplane that were appropriate for the D.I.

All 33 plastic parts are well moulded with no flash and good detail. The upper wing displays subtle rib detail and even has a representation of washout at the wingtips!

Personal preference will decide whether or not you slightly reduce the thickness of the trailing edge on the upper wing.

George Haddow’s drawings in the Albatros Productions Datafile on the Phonix were used as a basis to check for accuracy. As expected, the outlines matched very well. This is no surprise because MAC admits to using this source of information themselves. If only all manufactures would tell us what references they use!

There were only very minor differences in shape noted. A quick wipe with “wet and dry” will solve this. If the slightly short fuselage worries you, then a slice of plastic strip at the tail should see you right.





Construction starts with the cockpit and MAC supply the basics such as floor, seat, and p-e control column, seat belts and instrument panel. Other detailing can be added to taste. The acetate sheet containing the printed dials is a real bonus. When this is used in combination with a dash of gloss varnish over the dials, a very realistic effect can be produced.

Phonix D.I  Summary
MAC Models Kit No 72035
Advantages: Accurate no nonsense kit
Disadvantages: Tricky exhaust and strut alignment

The inner fuselage halves have the internal structure moulded on and this looks good when painted in a contrasting wood colour. The engine can be mounted on the supplied floor and the two fuselage halves joined. I found that I needed to scrape away some of the fuselage floor to allow this to happen. The engine is quite basic but was jazzed up later after final assembly with the various pipes made from stretched sprue.

The lower wings were now pinned to the fuselage for strength. The fin and tailplane needed only a light sanding to allow a perfect fit. I decided to use plastic strip for the tailplane bracing but MAC’s p-e would do just as well.


It was now time for the struts and here I ran into a small problem.

Two of the outer struts were found to be too short and had to be lengthened and shaped with Milliputt. After installation, a suitable jig was used to give these items the correct inward slope. The cabanes did not escape the adjustment process, as they also had to be played with to give the top wing a proper sit. Note that the exhaust pipes will have to be manipulated to allow them to fit properly between the cabanes. Thankfully, the undercarriage presented no problems at all.

With the top wing on, the radiator can be attached and the rigging added. This was accomplished with invisible mending thread. Extra piping to the engine and radiator can be added and again I used stretched sprue but MAC does supply these items in photo-etch.



Painting and Marking Options


Markings are supplied for two aircraft.

  1. Phonix D.I 328.26 of Flik 14J in Feltre. Those doing this machine should note that there is a flare rack on the starboard side as well as a mirror on the port cabane strut. These two items were not added to the review kit. Note also that the tailskid that MAC tells you to use is correct as opposed to the colour depiction on the rear of the Datafile.

  2. Phonix D.I 328.33 of Flik 16. A photoreconnaissance fighter flown by Oberleutnant Schultheiss. This aircraft carried a twin gun sight in front of the windscreen. The large white 16 on the fuselage is actually painted on a band of colour that encircles the fuselage. This band is not mentioned on the instructions.

The plywood fuselage was painted in a light brown colour over which a darker brown was stippled. It is best to do the underlying brown colour using a different medium to that of the stipple. This way, the stipple can be easily removed and reapplied if the effect is not to you liking. Repeat the process for the upper wing surfaces but use a much lighter background colour to represent the fabric.


The decals settle down very well, especially with decal setting solution, and this being needed when it came to the marking on the wheels.

Thoughtfully, MAC provides the Phonix logo for the tail.





This was a most enjoyable kit to build despite the dramas caused by the struts. All can be easily sorted out with a little patience after some trial and error.

This is a well-produced kit of a seldom-offered subject and MAC is to be applauded for giving it a go.

Highly recommended.

Thanks to Squadron for the Review Sample.

Model, Images and Article Copyright © 2002 by Robert Baumgartner
Page Created 19 February 2002
Last updated 04 June 2007

Back to HyperScale Main Page

Back to Features Page