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Albatros W.4 Late



Roden's 1/72 scale Albatros W.4 Late is available online from Squadron.com


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 034 - Roden 1/72 scale Albatros W.4 Late
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 58 parts in injection moulded styrene; markings for two aircraft
Price: USD$8.97 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Well detailed, accurate kit
Disadvantages: Tricky fit of parts
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Robert Baumgartner




This kit is the logical development of Roden’s earlier seaplane fighter release.

Although there are fifty-eight plastic parts, not all of them apply to this variant. The decal sheet shows markings for two aircraft, both carrying Naval lozenge.

Most of the sprues are the same as those seen in Roden’s “early” Albatros W.4., the exception being the addition of sprue L that contains the new style floats and correspondingly shorter struts.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

As expected, the wings are very well moulded with subtle representation of the ribs. There is a little bit of flash that needs to be cleaned off as well as some “bumps” on the underside near the wing tips. All of these tasks are easily achieved with a sanding stick.

Roden correctly supply the aileron equipped lower wings and linkage that were present on his version. The three-piece top wing takes a little care to line up correctly but a metal rule guiding the leading edge soon solves matters. Lifting the rear of the center section slightly, and adding a smear of putty is all that is needed to create a seamless wing.

The fuselage assembly is a little more difficult to build. I have found the following method gives satisfactory results. Clean up the top decking and fuselage halves until they dry fit as best as they can. Tape all three items together and then attach one side of the decking to one of the fuselage halves with glue. When thoroughly dry, use CA glue to tack the other fuselage half to the assembly a little at a time, waiting for each tack to dry before tacking the next section. The soft plastic will allow you to gently coax the parts together for a very good fit.

Inside the cockpit, Roden supply a moulded on internal structure, as well as seat, rudder bar and control column. Detailers can have a bit of fun here.

The lovely thin struts are as near to scale as possible so care is needed when removing them.

A superb engine is found on sprue Z, one that we remember from Roden’s previous Albatros kits. This sprue also feeds the spares box with machine guns and an extra version of engine.

Don’t forget to apply the hexagonal camouflage decals before adding the struts for the top wing.





There were at least two versions of this Naval hexagonal camouflage and the history of its use is still not clear. Roden have done a reasonable job with their interpretation.

The colour notes on the box follow documents that can be found in the German Bundesarchiv. These orders related to the aircraft having the 3-colour hexagonal scheme cover the upper surfaces of the wings, fuselage and floats. The side surfaces of the fuselage, floats, fin and rudder were to be painted gray blue. This also applied to all struts. While the undersurfaces of the wings were to remain in clear doped linen, this part of the fuselage was painted light grey.


The instructions show details for Albatros W.4 1486, but for the second option, 1511, one must refer to the box art.

The decals are well printed with good colour density and show only the slightest problem with registration. Care must be taken with the matt carrier film as this can silver, even on the glossiest of surfaces. Despite copious amounts of setting solution, the decals fought vigorously to conform to the top of the floats. Considering the raised detail in this area, the decals were always going to lose.





Overall, this is another great kit in the Albatros family. It looks great next to Roden’s earlier W.4 release and is a deserving kit of a much-neglected subject.


Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.

Review and Images Copyright © 2003 by Robert Baumgartner
Page Created 09 May, 2003
Last updated 15 August, 2003

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