On the shelf at my local plastic emporium today was Hobbycraft kit
#HC1695 titled: "Fokker F.1/DR.1 Early Aces". Looks like Roden's release
has spurred Hobbycraft to get the lead out. Since their recent re-tooled
Sopwith Camels looked so good I forked out $18 for the kit. I hear from
Fred Hultberg (The Ol Etcher) that Squadron has it listed for even less.
So what do you get. Decal sheet is large and the color instruction on
the bottom of the box cover 8 different aircraft, the 2 Fokker F.1s and
6 DR.1s. The F.1s are, of course, the ship vonRichtofen obtained
victories 59 and 60 with and the ship flown by Werner Voss. The actual
colors and markings on Voss' ship are subject to much argument and this
kit will stoke the fire. Personally, I would go with the markings on the
box. That yellow rudder in the Imperial War Museum came from somewhere
and no one can actually prove these markings are wrong after 88 years.
The DR.1 markings are for Manfred vonRichtofen's 114/17, 127/17, 152/17
and the last and best known 425/17. There are also markings for Lothar
vonRichtofen's 454/17 and last but not least Werner Steinhauser's
All aircraft are shown with the early style iron cross type insignia, so
if you want to do vonRichtofen's 425/17 as it appeared on April 21st,
1918, you will probably have to wait for kit #HC1698 "Late Fokker DR.1
Rib detail on the wings is not as good as on the Roden kit, looking
more like Hobbycraft's Nieuport 17 in style. A bit of sanding down in
the upper surface will be needed, a lot more on the underside of the
wings. Most outlines look good compared to Ian Stair's revised drawings
in Windsock Vol.21, #s 2 and 3. The rudder looks a little anemic but
probably won't be noticeable when finished. You get two separate
stabiliser/elevator assemblies and two different sets of ailerons. The
cowling looks like the F.1 type, and modifications are shown to make it
correct for some of the DR.1 markings supplied. Two different propellers
are supplied. The instructions show different assembly details for the
cockpit, machine guns and the middle wing.
Is it as nice as Roden's? Not quite! The wing ribs will definitely need
some work, but it's about $20 cheaper and the decal sheet is a plus. I
would say it can be built into a nice model with a little more work.
Ya pays ya money and ya takes yer choice!
16 years ago