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1:32 Fokker D.VIIF


Jim H
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1:32 Fokker D.VIIF


Pheon Decals
Catalogue # 32047
Available from Pheon Decals
Use website contact detail for further info

 

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I don't think there's much doubt that the Fokker D.VII was one of the most colourful canvases to ever take to the air. Their pilots and ground-crew must've had some of the most fertile minds when it came to decorating their machines. Whether it be a genuine show of originality, or simply to disguise the day to day horror of the war, the resulting 'ultimate fighter' cut a very bright and beautiful sight whilst in the air, belaying the sheer brutal killing power of the robust, rig-less design.

 

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This certainly isn't the first Fokker D.VII decal set from Pheon. We reviewed their Jasta 18 set recently. However, it is their first dedicated Fokker D.VIIF release, addressing at least one machine which we were very surprised hadn't made the Wingnut Wings release itself. More on that later. Now, there are so many machines from which Pheon could have taken their pick, but again, the choices here are inspired for their unusual character, quirkiness and uniqueness. Let's take a look.

 

Pheon's latest release, packaged into the usual large ziplock wallet, has an inkjet colour insert sheet at the front, highlighting the SEVEN schemes included within this release. Yes, the profile sheet does indeed show NINE machines, but two machines have alternative paint colours, either in whole or part, thus simply represent alternatives for those aircraft. Still, having seven schemes to choose from, is a real bonus!

 

Fokker D.VIIF, 508/18, Offz-Stv. Wilhelm Hippert, Jasta 74, St. Loup-en-Champagne, September 1918
So why don't we start with something a little contentious. As Rowan says in his manual, there are some historians who say that this machine was NOT a D.VIIF, but instead a Mercedes-powered aircraft. Why would one of the flying 'proles' be assigned a machine which was in high demand, and one which some of the more prominent and acclaimed pilots were struggling to secure? Good question, but as this machine was fitted with a side-slung oxygen bottle for high altitude flying, it would indeed make sense.

 

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Another reason for including this is that simply AMAZING colour scheme, and certainly one of my real favourites for the D.VII of any type. The fuselage and tail surfaces are painted in a black and white chessboard style pattern, whilst the lozenge wings have a very large 'Mimmi' motif on the top surface of the upper wing. This machine is indeed quite a startling looking aircraft, and begging to be built. What about that oxygen bottle though? Well, Pheon will shortly be releasing this in a photo-etch and resin format, and when they do, we'll let you know, as I will be securing one of these to build this aircraft.

 

The cowl panels for this aircraft are supplied in the WNW release, just needing a little louvre removal in order to correctly represent Hippert's aircraft. The wheel hubs, engine cowl and upper deck were painted blue. No national markings were displayed on the fuselage.

Fokker D.VIIF, serial unknown, Oblt. Theodor Hermann Dahlmann Adjutant JGIII, Lieu St. Amand, September 1918
If you are a fan of black and white aircraft, then this machine, like the first, should certainly enthuse you. Before Dahlmann went onto become a General in Goering's WW2 Luftwaffe, he was a very competent fighter pilot in the Great War. His machine was adorned in black and white bands, as was the tail plane. The nose was painted black also. Worn in an area to the front of the fuselage cross was Dahlmann's black and white Wälkure (Valkyrie) emblem.

 

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Rowan does state that only one image of this aircraft exists, and the creation of the scheme from that image is conjectural, but very likely to be correct when looking at the practice of Jasta 26 practice. Dahlmann continued to fly with Jasta 26, despite him being Adjutant of JGIII.

 

Fokker D.VIIF , 5125/18, Oblt. Hermann Goering, Kommandeur, Jagdgeschwader Freiherr von Richthofen Nr.1, September 1918
Of course, Goering went onto to find infamy as Germany's Reichsmarshall under Adolf Hitler, and ultimately, the end of the hangman's rope. During WW1 though, he became a highly decorated fighter pilot, and was one of Germany's most prominent aviation figures.

 

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This is the scheme that I am surprised wasn't included within the WNW kit release, as it is so simple, it could have been included merely as a bonus scheme. Goering's all-white Fokker D.VIIF was presented to him by Anthony Fokker, who was a friend of Goering's. Goering himself had a hip injury which made access into a cockpit a little awkward for him, so this machine was slightly modified, with a cut down upper coaming on the port side, and an external grab handle to facilitate a more comfortable entry/exit for him. This machine was also fitted with what can only be described as wind deflector plates to the fore of each Spandau spent ammo chute.

If you don't like to weather your models too much, this scheme is for you. Goering's crew kept this aircraft in a rather pristine condition, so as the instructions say, 'go easy on the weathering'.

 

Fokker D.VIIF, serial unknown, Ltn. Heinrich 'Heinz' Drekmann, Jasta 4, Monthussart Farm, July 1918
This particular scheme may have had an overall red or overall black finish, as depicted in the colour profiles, printed on the glossy profile sheets. Drekmann was Ernst Udet's wingman, and both Udet's and Drekmann's highly sought after BMW-powered 'F' machines were procured by Udet, for the pair of them. The limitations of defining the colours on period images means that while it is likely the machine was painted black due to a scheme feature instigated by Udet, it is possible the aircraft could have been red. No one will ever really be able to argue one way or the other with any proof, so this is one of those opportunities that you can use to finish it

Drekmann was a citizen of Hamburg, and the city emblem of a ship is displayed on the fuselage sides.

 

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Fokker D.VIIF, serial unknown, Vzfw. Wilhelm Stör, Jasta 68, Preutin, September 1918
Stör was credited with 5 victories during the war, before becoming a Messerschmitt test pilot in the 1930s, and becoming a part of the ill-fated attempt to sell the Bf 109 licence to Japan during WW2. Stör's machine had a lozenge fuselage with a black and white band, and a sword/wings emblem also. I'm not sure about the engine cowl colour (also the wheel hubs), but they look like dark grey. There is a YouTube link to a slightly flawed replica, and that might give you some useful pointers. Rowan has said the partially displayed serial is indeed conjectural, as the full numerical status is unknown.

 

Fokker D.VIIF, serial unknown, Oblt. Rudolf Berthold, Kommandeur, Jagdgeschwader II, September 1918
This is a strange one, because no actual photos of this machine exist whilst Berthold was its pilot. Instead, images of the machine, with a different pilot's over-painted scheme, have had to be analysed in order to peel back the layers and recreate Berthold's machine. This D.VIIF was painted blue, with a red nose and engine cowls, undercarriage struts and wheel hubs. The rudder and partial fin were painted white. A wings and dagger motif in white is emblazoned on each side of the fuselage.

Whilst the lower wing retained its lozenge finish, the upper side of the top wing was painted blue, with a white centre section.

 

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Fokker D.VIIF, serial unknown, Lt. OliverFreiherr von Beaulieu-Marconnay, Jasta 15, Chery-les-Pouilly, August 1918
As Pheon admit, this is another aircraft whose scheme is one of conjecture. Being very similar in appearance to Berthold's machine, this one carried either a red or yellow nose/cowls and wheel hubs. The white fuselage motif is painted over the original dagger/wings emblem, and the upper wing has a lighter blue centre panel to contrast the remainder of the upper wing, painted in the same blue as the fuselage.

 

Instructions

 

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For reference, these are simply the very best you can find with aftermarket decal sets. Starting with a brief resumé on the D.VIIF, and some hints and tips on the best method of applying your decals, each machine is then described in turn, using historical reference to help colour an image of the aircraft, it's deployment and the pilot who flew it. Some historical notes extend for a couple of pages, and make this set quite a treat to the aviation modeller/armchair historian. Rowan explains which kit parts are needed to recreate the different machines, with some cowl images included for the first machine, where louvers need to be removed.

FIVE glossy A4 sheets are included which show the aircraft in larger profile section than the profile insert at the front of the packet. Where necessary, cutaway and plan drawings are included too. Notation is also supplied for the various aircraft modifications which are needed for certain aircraft.

 

The Decals

 

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There are TWO sheets included in this set. One of them is an A4 sheet, and the other A5. A good number of the decals supplied here are 'cookie-cut', as per the chessboard pattern on the Hippert machine. For this, the fuselage is broken down into two panels for port and starboard, and separate panels for upper and lower. These should be easy to place due to accurate cut-outs which tie in with stabilizer and wing root cut outs. These are printed as black/clear, and are designed to sit upon a gloss white base coat. The tail plane patterns for highly decorated machines, are supplied in one piece too. Where other machines carry bands and bars, these are also supplied, so no need for any awkward or inaccurate masking.

 

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The first, larger sheet carries the large decal panels for the first two schemes. Yes, only TWO aircraft! This goes to show you the quantity of pre-shaped panels included here. The second sheet also carries markings for these aircraft, as well as the remaining schemes. The large 'Mimmi' for Hippert's aircraft, looks particularly good. A number of national markings are supplied here, but not enough to make all 7 schemes. If you need more, you can buy a supplement sheet from Pheon for a very reasonable price.

 

Decals are printed by Fantasy Printshop, and I know from experience just how good these are at conforming to surface detail and working with setting solutions. Carrier film is thin and minimal, and printing is perfectly in register.

 

Conclusion
This is by far my favourite sheet from Pheon, and when you look at what they have produced so far, that's quite a statement. The scheme choice, inclusion of those cookie-cut decals for the first two machines, and the fact we have Goering's D.VIIF here, is a clincher for me. This is a great set, packed with historical notes and includes schemes which are linked directly or indirectly to notorious figures from the following Third Reich. There are at least THREE I want to build here, so I'm thinking it's time to fire yet another order through to Wingnut Wings!

 

Very highly recommended

 

James H

 

Our sincere thanks to Pheon for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.

 

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Great review Jim, but I expect that from you!!

I was lucky enough to purchase this set at Telford on Saturday so I can confirm first hand just how good it is!! I was also able to spend some time with Rowan and his lovely wife Sabine and I must say you couldn't meet 2 nicer and enthusiastic people.

Now where's the re-print of Ltn. Wolfs Albatross?

 

Steve S.

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