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Fokker D.VII
Albatros - early built


Roden 1/48

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Fokker D.VII (Albatros-early built) Kit #421
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 90 parts in injection moulded plastic; markings for four aircraft
Price: USD$15.96  from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Well-researched, accurate and superb attention to detail.
Disadvantages: Some short moulding of lower wing scallops.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended


Reviewed by Robert Baumgartner

 Roden's 1/48 scale Fokker D.VII Albatros early build is available online from Squadron.com




Roden’s release of the early Albatros-built version to their existing range of the Fokker D.VII is a welcome one. Licence variations were significant so this latest offering provides the modeler with a sound basis to reproduce these differences.  

As expected the majority of the sprues have been seen before, but to cater for this option, Roden include a new “H” sprue. This contains a new radiator, top engine covers, and side panels, all-important items to produce this particular version. 

The total of five sprues remains the same and these have been moulded in the familiar soft grey plastic. Although there are 90 parts in all, the spare parts box will again profit as many of them are used for other releases or options. Despite the number of sprues that the moulds have produced so far, there is no deterioration in quality. The detail on the parts remains sharp and clear with only a minimum of flash. 


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Construction starts with the engine and here Roden provide both Mercedes and BMW engines. In this case the former is chosen and looks very nice when assembled.

Be careful when installing it into the nose section, as it is very easy to have the engine sitting too low.  

To save in tooling costs, the rear fuselage sections are in separate parts. Fortunately, some prior test fitting will ensure that these sub assemblies come together with a minimum of fuss. 

The fuselage halves are very nicely done with tubular frame detail moulded onto their insides. A quite comprehensive cockpit is supplied. Along with the more usual floor, seat, rudder bar, control column, Roden also provide the pressure pump, compass and tachometer. Additional items are the fuel tank (with gauge), forward cross member, rear “fabric” screen and instrument panel. This latter item is in the “Fokker” layout so purists may want to modify it to one more typical of Albatros. 

Other items that can be incorporated into this area are the auxiliary “throttle” lever and ignition control handle. Both of these are located on the port side of the cockpit.

Don’t be put off by the shallow ejector pin marks on the inner fuselage surfaces. These do not become obvious on the completed model. 

A couple of notches are present to ensure that the lower wing locates securely into the fuselage. This is a tight fit and a little trimming is needed to ensure that no anhedral is introduced. 

Both wings come as upper and lower halves with separate wingtips. Careful alignment will allow for a snug fit but there is still the problem of the “short moulded” lower wing. This has resulted in the loss of some of the scalloping on the trailing edge and a little bit of putty to needed to recreate these. While on the subject of the lower wing, don’t forget to add the stacking pads. 

The surface detail on the wings is very well done with a subtle representation of both the ribs and plywood sheathing. The separate ailerons are a welcome feature, as are the elevators and rudder, and all feature slots to allow for the secure attachment of the control horns.  

One area of construction that may tax the builder is the attachment of the upper wing.

The struts have to be perfectly positioned and those that make the fully cowled version will need to thin the side panel entry holes. This will help in positioning the struts at the correct angle. 

Interestingly Roden suggest the use of part 11A for the “axle wing”. This is more akin to OAW machines and part 9A is a better choice with the leading edge hinges. Three different types of propeller are supplied as well as just as many wheel covers. The ones with the rectangular covered valve holes being the items usually worn by this version.



Marking Options


Four very striking options are provided: 

a)Fokker D.V.II (Alb) flown by Ltn. August Hartmann, Jasta 30.

Hartmann’s personal insignia of a “witch on a broomstick” was used on this Fokker D.VII. The fuselage is believed to be brown with a yellow nose and tailplane, this being described in a British intelligence report on the finish of Jasta 30 aircraft. 

Hartmann didn’t score any victories, the situation not being helped when he was wounded after being with Jasta 30 for only a couple of weeks. 

b) Fokker D.V.II (Alb), Jasta 43, July 1918.

The red raven on this aircraft suggests former ownership by Jasta 18. The upper surface of the top wing appears to be a solid dark colour and given the machines pedigree, it is assumed to be red in the style of Jasta 18. The two white stripes also seen here are not supplied on the decal sheet but are easy enough to apply with decal strip.

The fuselage is white, broken up with some very eye catching red striping at the front end. This latter decoration also needs to be sourced elsewhere. 

c) Fokker D.V.II (Alb) flown by Ltn. d R. Friedrich Jakobs, Jasta 43, mid 1918.

Jasta 43 aircraft carried some very interesting markings and here is another one. It is the crest and star marking of Jacobs and is flanked by white stripes on a black fuselage. A photo of this machine suggests that there were at least two bullet repair patches near the starboard fuselage cross.

It is obvious in a photo that the cowling area is in a different grey tone to the rest of the aircraft and it is suggested that this was finished in the factory grey-green. 

Jakobs only scored one victory, this being a DH9 on the 22 July 1918. A couple of days later he found himself wounded in action when he was shot through the foot.

d) Fokker D.V.II (Alb) flown by Ltn. d R. Carl Degelow, Jasta 40.

Degelow spent some time recovering from a wound at a sanatorium in Dresden. Here he saw the establishment’s trademark of a leaping stag and decided to use it for his own insignia. The silvery white artwork complimented the Jasta colours very well, these being a black fuselage and white tail.

It is thought that this aircraft carried 5-colour lozenge so the purist will have to replace the kits 4-colour sheets. Roden do supply the white stripe for the upper wing. 

Degalow went on to score 30 victories, 26 of them while with Jasta 40. As an airman he was the last recipient of the Order Pour le Merite (Blue Max), this being on the 9 November 1918. 

There are four sheets of decals that come with the kit. Two are for the upper and lower 4-colour lozenge, one is for the pink rib tapes and the other contains the national insignia, personal markings and stencil data.


 Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

There were no register problems at all with these sheets and this shows a commitment from Roden to improve their product in this area. I couldn’t resist trying out one of the “crosses” to test the usability of the items and was pleasantly surprised to find no problems with the application or result.





Roden’s accurate series of Fokker D.VII aircraft continues with this latest Licence-built version. As usual, the kit stands up well to the best plans available and this makes the modellers’ job a lot easier. 

Some extra care will be needed during assembly so take your time and your patience will be rewarded. 

Highly Recommended


Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.

Review and Images Copyright © 2005 by Robert Baumgartner
Page Created 01 February, 2005
Last updated 01 February, 2005

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