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1:32 Pfalz D.IIIa fighters of Jasta 30

James H

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1:32 Pfalz D.IIIa fighters of Jasta 30
Pheon Decals
Catalogue # 32026
Available from Pheon Decals for £12.75 plus P&P
Use website contact detail for further info




Wingnut Wings released their own aftermarket decal set for their 1:32 Pfalz D.IIIa, back in 2011, and SP&R reviewed it here. The focus of these separate decal sheets, as indeed with most AM sets, is to provide a variety of schemes which usually differ vastly from each other. However, this release looks at the Pfalz D.IIIa aircraft which flew specifically with Jasta 30, and their most unusual and attractive diamond emblems. This isn't of course the first time that Pheon have focused on a single Jasta. Take a look at our Fokker D.VII's of Jasta 18 review, here.


Pheon's new Jasta 30 decal set is packaged into a large, A4 ziplock wallet, and contains a bubble-ink printed cover sheet showing the schemes in small profile format, THREE laser printed profile sheets, and a single, large and very colourful decal sheet, printed by Fantasy Printshop. Pheon's detailed instruction booklet is the norm for all releases, and is of course included here.

The cover profile sheet really doesn't do the schemes as much justice as the vibrant laser-printed sheets actually show. One of the schemes is for a machine which is painted burgundy, looks like a chocolate brown on the cover sheet. Appearances can be deceptive, and you must only use the cover sheet as a guide to contents.


This set contains decals for SIX Jasta 30 machines, of D.IIIa type, meaning the WNW kit is the only game in town when it comes to wanting to use these decals. Those three laser printed sheets show the schemes in a larger scale format than those on the cover sheet. Four scheme port-side profiles, including the burgundy machine, are shown on the first sheet. The second sheet shows those machines in upper plan format, whilst the last shows the last two profiles in port and upper profile. Where there are any question marks hanging over scheme specifics, alternative cutaway views are supplied. As with most WW1 subjects, the scant lack of surviving evidence of 'absolutes' with regard to some aircraft, means that there is an element of modeller freedom allowed!



All six schemes are a variation around Jasta 30's orange diamond with its black trim line. Pheon do not give specifics for the history of each machine they supply decals for, presumably due to scant information being available, but they do supply a brief history of Pfalz Flugzeug-Werke, and how it come to produce its own designs, after initially building aircraft designs under licence from other companies, such as Otto (Lilienthal?), Roland and Morane-Saulnier.


Of course, the real money to be made was in the design and building of home-grown designs, and this is what Pfalz began to do, branching into fighter design in 1917, with the D.III, taking the technologies of companies such as Roland, and incorporating them into their own designs. The D.III became the D.IIIa when modifications to the MG arrangement were made so that clearing a jammed gun in flight was easier than it was with the enclosed guns of the D.III variant.




Jasta 30 was one of those which exclusively used the Pfalz D.IIIa, hence the subject of this decal release. A history of Jasta 30 is given, and that of the key protagonists within it, plus notes on the general finishes given to the machines they operated. The use of Wingnut decals for national markings, where Pheon don't include specific alternatives in this set.


All schemes, with the exception of the burgundy machine, are based around the standard Pfalz silver/grey aluminium paint finish. Each machine carried the orange/black diamond on both port and starboard fuselage side, as well as on their upper wing centre panels. There are a number of very attractive variations in the schemes which include black fuselage stripes and also an orange tail section, trimmed in black. Where the fuselage diamond overlays the black stripes, Pheon have produced this as a single decal for you. Those tail sections in orange, and the black trims, are also supplied as decals, so you don't need to try and match the colour of the main diamonds, with any paint.


There is no indication that I can see for the shade of burgundy used for that machine, so you'll have to use a shade which you consider to be more period-looking. Notes are given that the rounded struts, and not the pointed-end ones should be used for all machines in this set.

The six schemes offered are:

  • 4203/17, Ltn. Hans-Georg von der Marwitz, March 1918
  • Serial unknown, Ltn. Hans-Georg von der Marwitz, May 1918
  • Serial and pilot unknown, Phalempin, May 1918
  • 4202/17(?), pilot unknown, Phalempin, May 1918
  • 5888/17, Oblt. Hans Bethge, March 1918
  • 5947/17, Ltn. Freiherr von der Horst, early 1918

The single decal sheet is split up into sections for each aircraft, easily identifiable from the scheme drawings and their accompanying scheme numbers. The individual decals themselves aren't numbered, but they don't need to be. Everything is self-explanatory, with decals marked left and right, where applicable.




Printing is excellent with good, solid colour. Essentially, only black and orange inks are used in this set, but printing is in perfect register, and carrier film is minimal. The decals are also printed thinly too, which should help you with your setting solutions.


This particular decal set has actually been a few years in hiatus. They were originally planned to coincide with a book on Jasta 30 that never materialised. Realising that the book would probably shed no more light on the schemes that was actually known, Rowan decided to release them now, instead of depriving modellers of what is a beautiful set of decals. There isn't too much in the way of variety, but the basic scheme itself is very attractive, and these are most certainly worthy of your consideration if you are hankering for a Pfalz build.


Very highly recommended


James H


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





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