Pfalz D.IIIa model kit in 1/32 scale
Luchtvaart Afdeeling (pre-decessor Dutch AF)
The Pfalz D.III
was a German biplane from the beginning of 1918. It saw extensive service
in the Great War. The type flew first in 1917 and turned out to be a pretty
good design. The Pfalz D.IIIA got some modifications as compared to the
original D.III. First, the lower wing got rounded wing tips. The horizontal
stabilizer was a bit enlarged with a rounded leading edge. During maintenance
it turned out that the machineguns were a bit difficult to get to, so they
were repositioned and set more in the open.
War I Aircraft
of interned aircraft for the Dutch "Luchtvaart Afdeeling"
The RODEN kit on 1/32 scale of the Pfalz D.III (no.613) is a good kit. The parts and details are fine and although no etched metal parts are provided, it can be made into a nice model. The markings are only for colourfull schemes, but no lozenge decals are provided. A slight conversion is needed to make a D.IIIa.
NOTE: WingNut Wings has issued a 1/32 model of the Pfalz D.IIIa, but the RODEN kit after some conversion is fine as well.
do we start the build?
Using the kit instructions, assembly
is no problem, but as expected most work is in the rigging of this biplane.
For the rigging I used the technique of rigging thin fishing line through drilled holes. So the various holes were drilled in the various surfaces like the wings.
After all rigging, the holes were filled at the "end"sides (so on top- and lower- wing surfaces) with putty. This was sanded flat when dry.
Now it was time for colouring the interned Dutch D.IIIa.
The orange LVA markings were airbrushed after masking the circles with masking tape.
Establishing the rest of the colours was not easy. At the time "photo" glass plates were used and interpreting the colours from these B&W pictures is really confusing. It is better to use marking information from the time and pieces from museums of the lozenge and construction.
Usually German Pfalz planes got an alumimium dope sheme with struts wood grain gloshed and individual planes colourfull markings. The Lozenge camouflage pattern was also introduced with various colours. John of the Dutch IPMS told me he had discovered glass plates with lozenge pattern seen on the single Dutch D.IIIa interned.
Richard of the Dutch eerste wereldoorlog forum mailed me that Sergey Vlasenko did some research for his paper cardboard model, also based on discussions in the Aerodrome forum.
I settled for the following Dutch D.IIIa colours:
Lozenge pattern with 5 colours on
wings (lower surface light colour, upper surface darker). I used
lozenge decals from TECHMOD 32030.
Fuselage: mostly dark red-brown, I
used Revell Aquacolor nr.85 ;
|I had rigged the wings already, so
now it was pretty difficult to drape the lozenge decals onto the wings.
Better to do this earlier before wing assembly onto the fuselage with the
The ribtapes (using white decals from a WingNut Wings decalset) were not forgotten.
The propeller first got a coat of wood brown, a couple of gloss varnish coats of Future and than with a sponge some darker brown wood grain was applied. The engine exhaust pipe end was drilled open.
The LvA registration "PF-225" could not be found on pictures, so I left it as I had no evidence if and where it was set on the airframe.
A couple of control cables made from
fishing wire and set in the open drilled holes can also be seen at the
- Pfalz D.IIIa, WindSock datafile
Back to 1/32 scale Models.......
(c) Copyright "designer"/ All rights reserved/ Amsterdam The Netherlands.
June 22, 2011