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2/9/2014

Hasegawa/Dragon 1/48 Fokker D.VII

By Sanjeev Hirve

Introduction

Hasegawa/Dragon 1/48 Fokker D.VII By Sanjeev Hirve Introduction
Hasegawa/Dragon 1/48 Fokker D.VII By Sanjeev Hirve Introduction
1/48 Fokker D.VII By Sanjeev Hirve Introduction   The Fokker D.VII is a popular subject for
 

The Fokker D.VII is a popular subject for modeling and build articles, hence I chose to model a relatively unknown craft (serial 291/18); little information is available on this craft. I chose some deviations and enhancements to the model not only to make the project more interesting but also because

the kit is easy to build. By the end of this article,

model not only to make the project more interesting but also because the kit is easy
the kit is easy to build. By the end of this article, I hope that you
the kit is easy to build. By the end of this article, I hope that you

I

hope that you will have learnt from the

techniques I used and the lessons I learnt

building this project.

The plane

that age. The Fokker D.VII is probably the second most well known German fighter of

that age.

The Fokker D.VII is probably the second most well known German fighter of the Great War in popular lore – the first likely being the red Fokker Triplane. In World War I, there were other planes that were superior in performance, more revolutionary, or had a greater impact on the war. However, the Fokker D.VII deserves a place in history for its beautiful and innovative design and extraordinarily short development time. The D.VII also restored Fokker’s reputation as one of the greatest designers of

extraordinarily short development time. The D.VII also restored Fokker’s reputation as one of the greatest designers
Fokker’s reputation as one of the greatest designers of Fokker D.VIIs were manufactured by Fokker, Albatros,

Fokker D.VIIs were manufactured by Fokker, Albatros, and Ostdeutsche Albatros

Werke (OAW). The planes entered front-line service in March of 1918 and continued

to

serve with many countries after the war.

The kit

I

built the Fokker D. VII from a 1:48 scale

Hasegawa/Dragon kit #52606 (SL6:2900) dated 1997. The kit includes moulded plastic parts, steel photo-etch parts, dry-transfer decals for Berthold's craft, and some steel wire for the rigging. It includes step-by-step instructions as well as colour and marking information for two crafts.

Currently this kit is quite rare and commands a steep premium at auctions. Had I known this when I bought

for two crafts. Currently this kit is quite rare and commands a steep premium at auctions.

it,

I would never have dared take saw to sprue.

The subject

Early into the project I obtained the Windsock Datafile special [DF]. Seeing the wealth of subjects depicted in it, I immediately decided that the project would be more interesting if I chose a specific subject and modelled it as faithfully as possible. Not only would it improve my detailing skills, but it would also hone my powers of observation. As it turned out, I probably got more than I bargained for.

My criteria for selection were simple. I was looking for a subject that was not too popular and had markings that were interesting. The markings had to be either available as decals or

that was not too popular and had markings that were interesting. The markings had to be

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should be easy to make by myself if needed.

The craft I chose was flown by Vizefeldwebel Meyer of Flieger Abteilung A298. It was assigned serial number 291/18 and Werke Nummer 2377. The Datafile contains a photograph on page 44 as well as a colour profile and top view representing the author's interpretation of the photo. It is identified as an ex-Jasta 6 machine.

What piqued my interest were the Swastika markings on the fuselage. Here was a good "conversation" piece’ and an opportunity to dispel some of the wrong impressions that many people nowadays have about this symbol. The Swastika is an auspicious symbol, even a religious one in many cultures, and it remains so despite the fact that it was usurped and made notorious by the Nazis.

Having chosen my subject in this rather unscientific manner, I studied the photo and the drawing in great detail. I observed many surprising details, some stimulating, some worrisome.

The craft is Fokker-built, but the top wing was replaced with an OAW-built one. How did the Datafile author deduce this? After casting around on discussion forums, I learnt that OAW followed a different fabric covering and rib-tape practice for the wings. I have Dan-San Abbott of The Aerodrome Forum [taf] to thank for this information. The top wing therefore is quite different from the lower one. It has the 4-colour pattern that became more common later, while the lower wing had the 5- colour pattern of early productions. The top wing had blue tapes, common on OAW- built Fokkers, while the lower wing tapes were cut from the lozenge fabric, as was the practice at Fokker. I also learnt that the OAW wing fabric had a very peculiar fabric orientation.

Aside from the top wing, the Datafile also concludes that the rudder was OAW-built. Again, Dan-San Abbott aided me by explaining this conclusion. On early Fokkers, the size and position of the cross is different from those on later crafts. This is evident in the Datafile photo.

The other major difference lay at the opposite extremity. Fokker D.VIIs went through many variations in the configuration of engine side panels, especially the louvre vents. Early models also had a low exhaust pipe exitting through the side panel while later models had a high swept exhaust. Well, guess what, my subject was an early model with non- standard vents and a low exhaust, while the dragon kit models later versions – not only did I have to replace the panels, I had to build the exhaust from scratch, too.

On close examination, I decided that the vents on the side panels in the photo surprisingly didn't match the colour drawing and unsurprisingly didn’t match any of the common configurations shown in the Datafile . Based on the photo and the plate, I concluded that the panel has two equal height vents in the front, venting aft, and three progressively shorter vents at the rear top, also venting aft.

The Build

In my projects, I try to avoid a simple out-of- the-box build. I usually look for some changes or detailing to make the project more interesting and worth writing about; most importantly, ones that will improve my skills so that I can take up scratch building someday. Think of it as riding a bike with trainer wheels.

In every build, I try to look for some one modification to make the project more instructive and challenging. With the Fokker D.VII, it is quite obvious. If the extensive coverage in the Datafile was not broad enough a hint, then the various build articles on the web would surely have persuaded me to take up a "nose job". Many photos of the D.VII depict it with the engine cowling partially or entirely removed. I have seen quite a few models of the D.VII built this way.

Except for these variations, I mostly stayed with the standard sequence for building a biplane. Open the box and stare at the parts.

for building a biplane. Open the box and stare at the parts.
for building a biplane. Open the box and stare at the parts.
for building a biplane. Open the box and stare at the parts.
for building a biplane. Open the box and stare at the parts.
for building a biplane. Open the box and stare at the parts.

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Wash the parts with light detergent – this cleanses it of casting oils and drool. Stare some more and think. Think some more while you saw the parts of the sprue and sand off the joints. My kit had no casting plugs or sink marks on the outside.

Next, detail the cockpit interior and the engine area, and join the fuselage halves. Attach the lower wing, build a jig for the upper wing, and make the struts. Make the empennage separately.

Paint the craft, cover the wings with lozenge, apply rest of decals, attach the upper wing and engine panels. Finish up by attaching the undercarriage, empennage, rigging, and exterior details, and any finishing touches. In the following sections, I will touch on the highlights, and go into more details on specific areas.

The cockpit interior

Because of their simplicity, Great War cockpits tend to get a lot of scratch building attention. As the kit does not quite match the layout shown in Datafile, I replaced the floorboard and repositioned the pilot seat. The

photo-etched seat belts turned out to be too stiff to flex and position realistically, so I replaced them with strips of soft aluminium, retaining the buckles from the P/E. For detailing I added P/E instruments and a floor compass from Eduards P/E set (#48291). Additionally,

I made a simple hand-pump from styrene and brass

rods and added braces and various control cables made from invisible thread. I used wire mesh for the foot rests under the rudder pedals.

I painted the sidewalls a shade of olive green to match

the exterior. I learnt later that it should be doped linen, since the exterior paint would normally have not bled through -- by then, however, it was too late to repaint it

The guns

The Fokker sported two LMG 08/15 machine guns, popularly known as the Spandau. For my project, I had the choice of making these from the kit, from Eduard's set, or from the set from Tom's Modelworks German Gun set. The last is by far the best of the three.

The Tom's Modelworks German gun set (#200)

is made of very thin photo-etched brass. The set

contains enough parts to make three Spandaus and two Parabellums. The parts being brass are highly detailed, are easy to work with and forgiving of clumsiness. The set also has optional parts for the variations. I added a charging handle and a barrel made of 0.5 mm diameter Minimeca steel tube to this gun. A short length of brass tube served for the muzzle booster. Unfortunately, I could not splay the mouth of the barrel to form the flash suppressor. I had to cut off and replace the fuselage gun supports in order to position the guns properly.

The kit guns, on the other hand, consist of a one-piece plastic receiver and barrel, that can be detailed with photo-etch parts for the barrel sleeve and fore-sights. The steel sleeve is not easy to work even after annealing but it does fit easily onto the fuselage.

The Eduard set (#48327) is similarly made of tough alloy, but is a little easier to work than the kit P/E. However, its barrel sleeve is too coarse and has fewer perforations than in the other sets.

The upper wing

The upper wing in my box was off the sprue (the box had been opened before I bought the kit). A close examination of the wing revealed warpage that gave the wing a pronounced dihedral. Armed with some extensive advice from members on the WWI Modeling List [wwil], I attacked the warp. This improvised technique worked quite well:

the warp. This improvised technique worked quite well:
the warp. This improvised technique worked quite well:
the warp. This improvised technique worked quite well:
the warp. This improvised technique worked quite well:
the warp. This improvised technique worked quite well:

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Lay the wing over a convex surface such as the side of a cooking pan. Press down against the warp very firmly until the wing is flexed slightly past the correct shape. If this is done gently and slowly, the plastic will whiten – a sign of stress. Get an assistant to blow hot air on the wing with a heat-gun or a hair dryer. Take care not to overheat the plastic. As the plastic heats up, it relaxes and one can see its colour return to normal – that's a good point at which to stop the heating. On cooling, the plastic re-whitens slightly. Check the shape. Repeat the heating cycle until the wing is the right shape.

The D.VII's wing presents a bit of a challenge.

At mid-chord, especially at the centre-section, it

is very thick, while the trailing edge is quite thin.

This severe difference causes the trailing edge to bow upward or downward when one tries to correct the wing dihedral. While this may look graceful on a soaring bird, it looks downright silly on a D.VII. Luckily after many back-and-forths I managed to get the wing into acceptable Prussian rectitude.

I built a jig to position the upper wing using stiff cardboard. The jig holds the fuselage and lower plane in proper attitude on the base. The upper wing is floated above, with stops at the end to hold it with the right incidence and stagger. The jig is essential because almost every strut needed to be rebuilt. I glued a cross of wood strips to the bottom to stiffen the whole jig.

Struts

The Fokker D.VII has three sets of struts: the cabane, the inter-plane, and the undercarriage. The DML kit supplies the cabane struts in the form of plastic parts, while the other two sets are in the form of steel photo-etched pieces. DML designed the struts well, as all struts have pins or tabs at the tips that fit into holes or slots in the body. The inter-plane struts have nicely tapered ends. For various reasons, I decided to replace the cabane and wing struts.

There are two problems with the cabane struts. As mentioned later, the upper wing is not positioned correctly in relation to the front fuselage, therefore the length of cabane struts need to be corrected. Secondly, the cross section of the kit parts is circular while the real struts were oval in section. The third reason to replace the cabane strut is of my own making – I decided to terminate the forward strut on the engine bearer rather than the face of the cowling panel.

To obtain the best cross section, I made the struts by gluing two 0.012 inch brass wires side- by-side. I filled the hollow with thick CA and obtained a very realistic replica resembling a 'race-track' in cross-section. Gluing two wires in this manner makes the strut quite strong too. The cabane struts consist of a tripod assembly in the front and a single brace at the back. I made up the tripod in two parts, a V strut and a brace.

I also needed to replace the inter-plane N struts for the same reasons; namely, the

cross-section is not right and the stagger of the wings is incorrect. The tips of these

struts taper to a point. Hence, I decided to try a different approach. I cut pieces of 1/32 by 1/16 brass strip stock, filed the ends to the correct angle and soldered them

together. Next I filed notches near the tips to simulate the tapered end effect, leaving

a little tab that embeds in the positioning hole in the wing. The edges of the strip

were rounded with a file to give them an oval cross-section. Initially I was worried about the strength of the soldered joint, but with practice and care, I could obtain a strong joint by carefully filing the surfaces for close fit and large mating surfaces.

I decided to use the P/E undercarriage struts from the kit. Despite being very thin,

they are quite strong because the legs are splayed and the lower ends have wide tabs that fit into slots in the axle fairing (wing?). Though the P/E is thicker than the typical P/E, it is still not thick enough. This I remedied by gluing a .010 inch plasticard to the struts and rounding the edges with a file.

The nose

I decided to build my aircraft with the engine bay partly exposed. Unlike some other

builds, I decided to rebuild the internal framework but attach new side panels. Rather than terminate the struts outside the side panels, my struts would pass through down to the engine bearers. For this I ended up making new side panels and

bearers. For this I ended up making new side panels and
bearers. For this I ended up making new side panels and
bearers. For this I ended up making new side panels and

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exhaust system. This fell in nicely with my decision to model SN 291/18, as I had to rebuild these items anyway.

The Datafile provides a lot of help on this aspect of the plane. It contains many photos of the engine bay details as well as line drawings showing the framework in 3 views. It also has a page full of the various louvre configurations of the cowlings.

I started by sawing out the sidewall of the nose

in each fuselage half (the bit that goes under the

side panels), leaving intact the complete bottom and two columns on the front face. Using the Datafile drawings for templates, I shaped and soldered brass wire to build the side panel frames and the engine bearers. I cheated on the engine bearers by building a cradle to support the bottom rather than supporting them on the framing and wing struts. This way it is a lot easier to align the bearers properly.

The framing was glued to the fuselage side with CA and epoxy. After the fuselage halves were joined, I attached a plastic sheet to the back of the engine bay. this might have been a simple fabric bulkhead as they didn’t believe in firewalls in those days.

After gluing the radiator to the front I could

afford to file the supporting fuselage columns to

a bare minimum thickness. A steel mesh was

glued to the back of the radiator to simulate the honeycomb look of its rear face. I also added a damper or shutter flap.

I made the side panels from 0.010 inch styrene.

Again the Datafile drawings were indispensable for templates. The entry holes for the forward cabane struts were located after some trials with plastic blanks. The hole positions were then transferred to the final panels. I used the same technique to locate the exit for the exhaust pipes. I marked the louvre positions carefully and made transverse slits with a sharp #11 knife. During the finishing stages, I pried the slits open with the blunt blade tip of a screwdriver. The resulting louvres open backwards like gills and appear to be made of thin sheet – quite a realistic appearance. However, the knife cuts were not sharp enough, or the plastic was too fibrous, and it left ragged edges. Lastly, I dimpled the panels from the inside to simulate fasteners.

The panels were glued in place temporarily to the nose during the painting step, but removed and reattached permanently after the wing and cabane-struts had been attached. The procedure for attaching them permanently is a bit tricky. With the top wing in jig, attach the upper ends of the cabane struts to the wing with 30-minute epoxy glue. Before the glue hardens, slip each side panel onto the cabane strut. Use a fresh batch of epoxy to glue the three lower ends of the cabane struts to the engine bearer and cowling frame. After the glue has set, attach the side panel to the frame with white glue.

The engine in the DML kit is detailed and well moulded. However, having made my previous one in 1:16 scale from about a hundred white metal bits, I felt obliged to provide some additional detail. This I did by replacing the overhead cam assembly and added rocker arms and springs for the tappets. Ignition wires were run from the magnetos to the wire bank, and thence to each spark plug. The wires were invisible thread and the run was made from steel minimeca tubing. The springs are made by coiling 0.006 inch brass wire on a thick rod, and the rocker arms are 0.012 inch brass wire flattened with a pair of pliers.

The Exhaust system

My subject had an early-style exhaust, not supplied in the kit. The early system consists of two separate manifolds servicing three cylinders each. Each manifold turns down and merges into a single pipe. The two pipes emerge out the side together as one unit, angled slightly downward and rearward (and I had to scratch- build this!).

My initial attempts involved filing brass wires and gluing them with epoxy. These were abject failures. I couldn't join the separate pieces after bending them to shape because it is almost impossible to get the shapes right. On the other hand, the joints

to get the shapes right. On the other hand, the joints
to get the shapes right. On the other hand, the joints
to get the shapes right. On the other hand, the joints

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could not bear the stress of bending. This problem plagued me through all my attempts.

The next attempts involved brass wire and solder. I built each manifold from 3 pieces of brass wire – the centermost extending to the exhaust pipe was slightly S-curved from the top view. The outermost wire was bent and angled to join the center piece. The middle wire was bent slightly to meet the others in the crook of their joint. The joint faces were filed carefully to provide as large a mating surface as possible. The pieces were held together in a clamp and soldered. The two manifold sub-assemblies were then clamped together and soldered. So far, the assembly was in the correct shape in top-view, but flat in front view. In the next step, I clamped the six wire ends tightly in the jaws of a pair of pliers and carefully bent the whole assembly into a gentle S curve. In front view, the pipes started out horizontal, sloped down, and then gently eased off to almost horizontal. The last step was to cut off the end of the wires and add two brass tubes to simulate the exhaust pipe openings. On the other end, the six wires were re-aligned and filed so that they lined up properly with the exhaust ports of the engine. In the final assembly, I used CA to glue the exhaust pipe to the engine as well as the cowling frame for insurance.

This procedure underwent many failed attempts and refinements. Solder joints are not as strong as I would like them to be, and they also do not take kindly to vibrations set up by a Dremel tool. By the way, don’t try to solder a tube, the molten solder just siphons in and fills it up.

Finally, I hit pay-dirt with silver solder. Radio Shack or any electronics store sells it in paste form, dispensed from a syringe. The paste is made of solder granules suspended in a flux. To solder a joint, simply dab some paste on the joint and heat it in the flame of a matchstick. The resulting joint is also a lot stronger than regular lead/tin solder. Note the benefit of soldering with a flame- with a soldering iron you have to press the tip onto the joint, which means that when you pull away the job may move and result in a weak joint. While I don't offer silver solder as a panacea, it definitely is a useful addition to the ten-thumbed handyman's toolkit.

Empennage

I replaced the kit parts for the empennage with four separate pieces built from styrene sheet. Each piece is made up of two layers of 0.010 inch styrene sheets glued together. I traced the templates directly onto the styrene, using a glass pane for support and backlit with a lamp. The empennage framing is steel tube, so I rounded the edges accordingly. I marked the inner framework (spars and ribs) heavily with a pencil on the inner faces of the sheets. Since the empennage is partly white, the pencil marks show through when backlit, giving it a realistic effect.

The tailplane and the tailfin are attached with CA glue, the latter with an appropriate offset to port. The elevators and the rudder were glued on with white glue. I glued a steel wire to the front edge of the elevator before cutting the central vee all the way through. I added small strips of aluminium to simulate the hinges.

The kit supplied control horns seemed incorrect, so I made my own double-ended horns with 0.012 inch brass wire flattened at the ends and filed to shape. The horns were pushed through holes drilled in the elevators and rudder.

The control cable for the elevator upper horns passes through the tailplane. Rather than trying to drill a hole at a slant, I glued separate pieces of cable, taking care to line up the upper and lower pieces.

Miscellaneous detailing

line up the upper and lower pieces. Miscellaneous detailing
line up the upper and lower pieces. Miscellaneous detailing
line up the upper and lower pieces. Miscellaneous detailing
line up the upper and lower pieces. Miscellaneous detailing

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The kit comes with a strut-mounted anemometer. I detailed it with an Eduard decal for the dial face and added a brass wire cage for the wind cups.

The Digmayer propeller came from Copper State Models. I attached CSM's P/E bosses to the front and back. Next I drilled holes and inserted bits of 0.012 inch brass wire to simulate bolts

In comparison, the wheels got a pretty shoddy treatment. I carved out a semicircular pit in the wheel cover to simulate an opening. I added a .006 inch brass wire rim on the hole, and painted the pit a dark grey. The effect is not very convincing – maybe I need a deeper pit and a valve stem.

Paint

Painting and finishing is not one of my long suits, so I will gloss over the subject, noting only the specifics.

The underside of the fuselage and axle wing is painted turquoise (Agama N42 P) – a concoction by the way, that sorely tried my patience.

The fuselage sides and top are Olive green (Tamiya XF-58). The rear end of the fuselage is coated with a dark green (Testors 1710 – FS34079) laced with a soupçon of black. To simulate the famous Fokker factory streaked camouflage, I semi-dry-brushed olive drab (Testors 1711- FS34087) – the effect seems a bit understated in my view. The empennage is black on white styrene. Struts and other metal parts are dark grey (Testors 2034 - FS36076). The radiator is aluminium (Testors) washed with light grey.

After decalling, the whole aircraft was coated with flat clear acrylic varnish (Testors Dullcote). Next, I added a little weathering with a wash of grey enamel mixed in thinner from my brush- cleaning jar. The weathering was necessary to dull the bright white of the decals. The bright new shiny propellor strikes an incongruous note on such a well-worn plane, but I did not have the heart to muck it up.

Decals

As mentioned earlier, this craft was Fokker built, but the upper wing was OAW-built. For the lower wing I used 5-colour lozenge from Eagle Strike. Rib tapes were cut from the upper lozenge decals, and wrapped all the way around. I find the single rib- tape theory more convincing than the one that expounds different tapes for the top and bottom. Rib tapes, especially the run around the edges, had to be tamped down with diluted white glue.

The upper wing was done in four-colour lozenge, and the rib-tapes were blue, all from Americal/gryphon. After covering most of the upper wing, I read the fine print in the Datafile and realized that, just maybe, the fabric seam location and orientation might be wrong. Sure enough, after forays into The Aerodrome Forum and consulting with WWI list-members, I learnt that OAW-built wings used to be covered in a very peculiar and specific way.

What to do? Lozenge decalling is a slow and tedious process, and I was not looking forward to scrubbing it off. After a sleepless night, I sought the advice of the wise ones of the community. My letter and the response appear in the appendix. Off came the old lozenge, and new ones were applied. The orientation of the fabric is shown in the annotated image.

I find both the Eagle-strike and Americal decals easy to apply, though the former are thinner and hence easier to work over curves. My batch of Americal lozenge was slightly out of register, but this was easily corrected by trimming the seams of the

but this was easily corrected by trimming the seams of the
but this was easily corrected by trimming the seams of the
but this was easily corrected by trimming the seams of the
but this was easily corrected by trimming the seams of the
but this was easily corrected by trimming the seams of the
but this was easily corrected by trimming the seams of the

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swath. The Americal colours are more subdued, and to my thinking, closer to reality.

The lower-wing crosses and most of the stencils came from Americal (Sheet # 175). The upper wing and rudder crosses were strips cut from white and black decal paper sheets. The crosses on the fuselage side are non-standard in thickness ratio, as I could find none in the Americal sheets that matched. I carefully compared the dimensions of the cross in the photo against the colour plate, and they matched – the folks at Albatros definitely took pains to produce accurate drawings.

Apart from the crosses, I used white decal sheet for some strange white stripes on the tail-fin visible in the photo.

I created the Werke Nummer decals on my PC using MS-word. I Started with 18 pt

Arial font about 9/16 inch high, and reduced it 1:8 to yield lettering approx. 0.07 inch high.

The lowest reduction setting on my photocopier is 64%. Reducing the picture 5 times to 66% (i.e. 0.66 ** 5) results in approximately 1:8 reduction. To generalize, the

formula is P**N = K where K is the desired reduction, P is the setting on the copier, and N is the number of passes through the copier. The aim is to choose the lowest N because each pass reduces the quality of the print. Apply the formula P = K ** (1/N)

for N=1,2,3

It is helpful to coat the stencils with decal film spray, though they can be applied without, with some care. I offer a close-up picture of the decals as proof that those smudges on the tail indeed started out as legible and legitimate numbers.

The rigging and "military acceptance" plates were drawn as line drawings on my PC with Paintshop Pro, which I then printed directly to a laser printer. It is important here to match the image resolution to your printer’s resolution. I applied the decals to thick aluminium foil (the kind that seals the mouth of a coffee can). One label went on the starboard cowling while the rigging label went on the port fuselage side.

Swastika decal

The decals for the Swastika proved the most challenging and troublesome. I decided to make the Swastika insignia myself, more as a learning experience than anything else. In retrospect, the easiest and best result would have been obtained by simply spraying the decal paper with the correct hue of red and cutting strips off it.

Instead, I decided to draw the decals using a drawing program. For my first attempt,

I printed this to plain paper, and copied it to a decal sheet using a colour copier (at

Kinko's). I then coated the decal with Krylon acrylic spray. The result was quite good but the colour suffered from the copying.

Next I printed decals with an Epson inkjet printer, and this was a total disaster. The ink beaded up, smudged, and refused to co-operate. So, finally, I bought special inkjet decal paper from Bare Metal Foil. After some experimenting, I obtained decent results on my Epson 600, resolution set at 720-dpi (medium), paper-type set at "Photo-quality glossy paper" (glossiest), and print quality set at normal. Despite some beading, the colour rendition was quite good. After applying the decals I hit the next problem. Inkjet printing is so translucent that the underlying green shows through and renders the decals a dirty brown colour. At this point I gave up and simply overpainted the decals with red paint (Tamiya XF-7). Vigorous weathering helped hide some of my folly.

Conclusion

The Fokker D.VII, especially this kit, is fairly easy to build. Out of the box, the kit provides sufficient detail. It can be a good introduction to Great War planes because of the minimal rigging in addition to robust and simple geometry of the wing and undercarriage struts. The kit also provides a decent base for the few deviations and detailing that I undertook.

In this project I learnt about designing decals, studying photographs, fabric covering practices, and I also improved my soldering skills. All in all, this is a very enjoyable and edifying project.

Appendices

References

,

until you get a value of P that is within the range of your copier.

get a value of P that is within the range of your copier. [DF] Fokker D.VII
get a value of P that is within the range of your copier. [DF] Fokker D.VII

[DF] Fokker D.VII Anthology 1, published by Albatros Productions, Ltd.

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Drawings Vol 1, published byScale Aircraft

Scale Aircraft

Air

Age Publishing, ISBN 0-

911295-02-X

Fokker D.VII in Action, published by Squadron/Signal Publications, ISBN 0-Aircraft Air Age Publishing, ISBN 0- 911295-02-X 89747-371-X [wwil] : WW1 Modeling list : an internet

89747-371-X

[wwil] : WW1 Modeling list : an internet Discussion List for WW1 modellers. WW1 Modeling list : an internet Discussion List for WW1 modellers.

[taf] : The Aerodrome : an internet site and forum for WW-I aircraft related topics. The Aerodrome : an internet site and forum for WW-I aircraft related topics.

Acknowledgements

I wish to acknowledge the many listmembers of [wwil] and [taf] who patiently answered my many questions and helped with reference material.

Specifically, I wish to thank Lance Krieg for sharing his meticulous notes from his build and for techniques, tips, advice and encouragement.

Letter to Abby

Dear Abby,

I have just finished covering the upper wing of my Fokker DVII with

lozenge decal. Now I realize that the seam positions are all wrong for an OAW-built wing. Abby, I wish I had realized this earlier. Now I am in a quandary.

Should I -

a) tear off the decals and start all over again, or

b) leave it alone and hope people wont notice, or

c) claim that this replicates the work of a rogue employee of OAW

Please advise.

Yours

distressed in Virginia

and the reply

Dear Distressed:

Tear off the incorrect lozenge and do it right.

You already knew this was the only possible way to go.

If you don't correct it, it'll be the only thing you ever see whenever you

look at the model. (Of course, the fact that only about 200 people in the whole world would know it was wrong does militate against going to the extra work!)

You cannot fight AMS, but you can learn to live with it by surrendering completely and refusing to cut corners. You can take a certain amount of

solace in the fact that this approach saves money, because you only build

a fraction of the kits that you would if you built 'em out of the box.

Sorry

Abby

Abby, of course, was played by Lance.

Kit inconsistencies

I have listed here all the inaccuracies that I found in the kit. The reader should decide independently if and which errors to correct or ignore.

My observations are based primarily on the photographs and General Arrangement (GA) drawings in the Windsock Datafile [Datafile]. Observations are limited to the Fokker-built version. Unless mentioned otherwise, I corrected all these inconsistencies. Except for the shape of the fuselage, most other points are sheer nit- picking.

2/9/2014

The shapes of the tail-plane and elavators are somewhat different. This includes the sweep angle and the radii of corners.

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shapes of the tail-plane and elavators are somewhat different. This includes the sweep angle and the

The shapes of the tail-fin and rudder are a little off.

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In side view, the fuselage differs from the GA

on various counts. Firstly, the height of the fuselage is less near the middle. I corrected this by padding the bottom with styrene sheet.

Secondly, the position of the wings is incorrect. To correct this I had to re-position the lower wing, and re-do the cabane struts.

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position of the wings is incorrect. To correct this I had to re-position the lower wing,

The upper wing is short in chord by a very small amount

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The shape of the Ailerons is incorrect, the tips being too rounded.

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- Inside the cockpit, each fuselage half has a (moulded) horizontal member on both walls at about knee height. It should be present only on the port side. I scraped it off.

horizontal member on both walls at about knee height. It should be present only on the

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The kit part for the cockpit floor runs the entire length of the cockpit. According to

the Datafile, the part below the floor under the seat is open. I replaced the floor with .020 in styrene.

The kit assumes that the aileron linkage rod of the control column is under the floor, it should be above it. I made one from brass wire and shortened the control column.

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The under-side braces of the tail-plane are too long

The instruction for the undercarriage struts are confusing if one indexes by the tab size. To position properly, the longer strut is to the front.

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The P/E parts for the control horns are wrong shape- the tips should be sharper and the hole should be much smaller or absent.

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The dimple for rudder control cable fairlead is in the wrong position.

Vendors

Copper State Models: makes and retails WW-I kits and accessories. Also sells Martin Digmayer's wooden propellors.

Agama : Line of Czech paints available through Hobbyshop.CZ

Eagle strike Productions : Maker of decals.

Americal-Gryphon : specialize in highly researched WW-I decals.

Bare metal foil : sells stock decal paper in various colours.

Archer Fine Transfers: Makers of dry transfers.