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DFW C.V (Mid Production)

James H

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1:32 DFW C.V Mid Production
Wingnut Wings
Catalogue # 32040
Available from Wingnut Wings for $99.00USD, with FREE Worldwide shipping










If you know anything about World War 1 aviation, it's that the DFW C.V was one of the most numerous types built, and also that it had an key bearing on how both war in the air, and war against ground forces, was conducted. For Germany, this was undoubtedly one of their most important aircraft, if not the single most important. It's true to say that, for such an important aircraft, not a lot is known about the development of it, except for that it was designed by Heinrich Oelerich and first flew around May 1916. The premise of the aircraft was simple. It was a two-seat reconnaissance machine, able to direct deadly ground-to-ground fire into the heart of enemy emplacements, with ferocious ease. DFW's C.V machine was, like the C.IV and C.VI that followed, of regular biplane format, with fabric covered wings and plywood sheathed fuselage. This exceptionally strong design had a fully enclosed 230hp Benz Bz.IV engine, hidden behind shaped aluminium cowls. Control surfaces were built from welded tubes, whilst regular wood was used for the main flying surfaces; an approach that Fokker used on numerous types.


Like many reconnaissance types, the DFW C.V could also carry a small bomb load internally, totalling around 50kg. It was armed with n internal, forward facing Spandau IMG 08, or alternatively an LMG 08/15. For defence, the observer had an LMG 14 Parabellum, mounted on a moveable gun ring. The DFW C.V was built by Aviatik, Halberstadt, and LVG, as well as DFW, and around 4000 had been built at the time of the Armistice.


They say lightning never strikes the same place twice. Well, that's obviously wrong anyway, and is most certainly wrong when it comes to Wingnut Wings. Not only have they released this 'Mid Production' DFW C.V, but they have also released in in 'Late Production' form too. I do know that this is one kit that many had perhaps hoped for, but also that no one saw coming! In that light, it is most certainly a privilege to crack open these boxes and let you see what's inside. Today we'll look at the Mid, whilst Martin will follow shortly with the Late kit.


When we were kids, our imagination was always let loose with the superb, action-packed artworks on the kit packets or boxes. WNW continues this tradition with superb Steve Anderson artworks on their releases. This release has a painting of on LVG-built C.V banking away from the background action, featuring an Albatros D.V and a Sopwith Camel. Edged in silver, WNW artwork is always something to look forward to. The box edge contains the customary Ronny Bar scheme profiles. We'll come to these later.


Again, a warning. Removing these sprues could mean that you can't fit them all back again afterwards! Yes, this is a box that is crammed with a significant amount of plastic. In fact, there are no less than FIFTEEN sprues. Some of these are minor sprues, and are moulded with a connection to another small sprue. Nevertheless, this is a kit that you're not going to finish in a rush. There is some serious value for money here with regard to parts count and the resultant time to complete. All sprues are packed individually, or in moulded groups, with one exception. Sprue L is packed doubly with co-joined sprues M and N. In the botton of the box lies a sumptuous instruction manual, and a single, large decal sheet which is also enclosed in cellophane. Within this, a small PE fret is included, in its own sleeve.





This sprue is common to all DFW C.V releases, and Is marked as such. Detail freaks; here is where the lions share of the DFW C.V's cockpit and observer station are found, centred within a bulkhead and framework module. Construction for this area is very typical of WNW releases, meaning you will need to decide which serious of optional parts and detail you will wish to display, from the very outset. Two floor parts (moulded on sprues L and M) will determine whether your model will have a hatch over the camera port or not. There are other small internal details that we'll look at on the fuselage interior parts later, so now we'll focus on this specific sprue.








The largest and most obvious parts here are the interior cockpit side wall frames, complete with integral levers, plumbing, brackets and quadrants. All ejector pins points are moulded externally to the framework, and will just need snipping away. This also applies to minor sprue tracks too. I very much like this method of kit design, as it allows us to do what we enjoy doing, without bothering about annoying, remedial donkeywork.


Instrument panels/boards are one of my favourite parts of a build, and this one is comprised of many parts. The forward face contains the instruments and some pipework runs, as well as the openings for the rudder pedal foot wells. Instruments themselves are supplied as decals. Detail is then attached to this panel, including the empty belt container, magazine parts and synchroniser gear from this sprue. The rear of the panel is faced with another bulkhead with the moulded foot well recess and also instrument gauge rear faces, with plumbing. A rear bulkhead is provided, containing the internal cable rigging holes. Four out of six require opening up, meaning there must be subtle internal differences from version to version.








I don't know if you can consider your seat also being a fuel tank, but that's what the pilot of this machine had to sit on. This is very akin to the Junkers J.1. The DFW also comes with a reserve tank that forms the pilot's backrest. Lucky guy! Thankfully, this is tempered with an attached cushion, and separate leather, studded cushion for the seat. You have the option of posing the observer's seat in a deployed or folded position also. Detail is excellent throughout.








Other parts on this sprue include forward cockpit floor, rudder pedal bar, wireless aerial tube and aerial winder, internal bomb racks, engine bay bulkheads, engine bearers, IMG 08 mounting bar, lever detail, hand pump, ammunition drum shelf, minor engine detail and undercarriage spreader bar, to name but a few. All parts on this sprue are slated for use with this release.






The familiar outlines of the DFW C.V's fuselage are recreated here, with total authenticity. Understandably, the exterior of the fuselage is very sparse due to its plywood finish. Small plates for lifting positions are sharply moulded and a slot extending from the rear tail post indicates that a large, single piece stabiliser is to slide into here, as opposed to individual port/starboard parts. Whilst the fuselage has the area below the observer as a separate part due to kit options, the whole upper rear deck is integral, stopping at the coaming for the pilot position. Engine panel access panels are separate due to parts options. The lower engine cowl is separate, sitting on the top of plastic structure underneath. If you build scheme A, then you'll need to open out a port here. Depending on which machine you build, there is a very small amount of detail which needs removing, related to whether you use the IMG 08 or LMG 08/15 guns.










There is very little detail within the fuselage too, as the cockpit module almost exclusively supplies this. Again, there is a little raised detail within the cockpit area which must be rubbed away, depending on whether you build an LVG/Halberstadt or an Aviatic machine. Holes will need to be drilled for both types, irrespective, but this is all clearly shown on the instructions. A couple of amazingly minor ejection pin marks can be seen in the engine bay area and will easily be removed in a matter of seconds.


This is the first time that I've seen raised nail detail on a WNW, presumably because it's specific to this type. Nail detail can be seen around the edges of the pilot's coaming. The leather trim and cut out is also asymmetrical, allowing for the forward facing gun. As the engine is also fully enclosed, you will find the majority of the various cowl panels here too. Some modification will be required, dependent on your scheme/machine choice. Cowls are moulded with delicate open louvers, while other external plates are detailed with some of the sharpest and finest minor detail I've seen.








Other parts on this sprue include the undercarriage V struts, with superbly moulded bungee detail, spinner and separate back-plate with hole detail, two MG options (standard, and high detail to incorporate the PE cooling jacket), two versions of gun mounting ring, tail control cable access plate, and rear cabane strut 'V'. This sprue is also a common sprue for all versions of this kit.






As is customary, this is the clear sprue. Three parts are included here, moulded with exceptional clarity. These are the camera lens, forward windscreen, and a windshield for scheme E. Frame lines are nice and sharp, so masking should be easy.



SPRUE D (x2)



Wingnut Wings tend to mould the parts which are supplied as multiples, across two identical sprues. Another common sprue, this one contains wheels with separate outer hubs (2 choices), wing struts with their delicate attachment plates, various louvered plates, control horns, radiator housing options, and also bombs for the internal carrier. Detail is exceptional throughout, including the fine meshes for the radiators. Another common sprue.












This sprue is supplied co-joined to sprue G, and of course, packages together. The powerful Benz Bz. IV engine is supplied here, in amazing detail. Although the instructions show that only two cylinder head parts are to be used, you can indeed use the ones that are shown not for use. These are the same as the intended ones, except that they don't contain moulded pushrods. This will allow the detailer to add his/her own rods for more 3D realism. A small number of other parts are not for use with this kit.






Rocker heads are supplied as separate parts, and you MUSTN'T use the carburettor intakes supplied on this sprue. Alternative parts are supplied on a different sprue.






Only four parts on this common sprue, but they are the very substantial wing panels. One of the things I like about WNW kits are the fine trailing edges of the wings. This is no different. These edges are scalloped, to represent the tautening of the fabric against the wire that formed the wing trailing edge. Ailerons are only specific to the upper panels, and are separately moulded. Hinge plate detail is very fine too. Again, wing detail is excellent, with a very realistic drum-skin tight fabric between the ribs, and the ribs being finished with capping strips. Shorter length ribs can be seen between the main ribs, disrupting the tight finish between them. Most excellent!








Biplanes can seem daunting with those struts, but WNE have ensured you can't locate these into the wrong positions, simply by adding different connecting shapes within the strut location point. Upper wing panels are jointed together with an insert which fits into the underside of the wings, and also provides the single rib bay which sits between the dihedral panels. The cabane strut location will also click into this joint. This has all been so designed with maximum joint surface area so that the wings won't sag.










Detail also includes some access ports and walkways, as well as wing – fuselage locating plates. A compass is moulded into the lower port wing, and it is so good, you would swear it was a separate part!






A very small sprue, this deals with the Parabellum, and includes parts for the standard gun, and also the High Detail version which uses the PE cooling jacket. Here you will also find a mounting bracket and the various ammunition drums and a direct gun feed for the one which you'll display clipped to the gun.






I have seen this sprue in other kits, and it's not common to just the DFW. It comes moulded to the engine sprue (another non-specific aircraft sprue), and packaged within the same sleeve. If you're looking for other parts labelled as being on sprue 'G', then there is a secondary Accessory Sprue that we'll look at later, carrying almost the same nomenclature.






You will find this small sprue attached to sprues J, K and O, and it contains two engine cowls, and a couple of access ports. A two-part exhaust is to be found here too, with a delicate, open-ended aperture. Depending on whether you pose the cowl panels closed, you may need to remove a little plastic and form a slot.






Yes, this exists, but no, you won't use it for this kit, despite the parts being for the Halberstadt-built machine. The parts plan shows this missing entirely from the kit, but it isn't. Don't get confused. Remove it and toss it in your spares box immediately. A part on my sprue was sprained and bent, but that doesn't matter here!








These are quite similar to Sprue H, in that they carry some engine cowl parts. They also both carry the forward cowl ring too, as well as extra engine enclosure cowls and some louvered port detail. Not to highlight the finesse of detail on the various cowl pieces would be to do WNW a disservice. Some of the most beautifully fine louvered ports and hinge detail can be seen.












This sprue is packed in a sleeve with two other-co-joined sprues. A little stressing of the plastic can be seen were the cabane strut meets the sprue. There is no damage though, as it is right at the point of junction. This is another stress mark where it really isn't important, as all these cabane parts aren't for use in this release. In fact, very few parts are to be used here. Those that are, are the rear observers floor with shuttered camera port, and also the lower external fuselage. Depending on your scheme option, you may need to drill a hole here for the camera port. Unusually, you'll find a solitary cockpit component here too; the control stick, and this will need modification for this release.






Another odd circumstance of development means that this sprue is also labelled as one for use with the LATE version of the DFW C.V





Aha! This is a MID-specific sprue! Here you will find the cabane struts you actually will use for this model, as well as alternative observer position floor and exterior fuselage underside panel. Other parts include radiator water pipes and header tank, radiator interior parts, and flywheel/radiator water pipe part for the engine assembly stage.












Back to another common sprue now, and one that includes the stabiliser, rudder, ailerons and fin. Look at the forward edges of the stabiliser. You'll notice small protrusions along the length. These are actually nails. You will need to remove these for Scheme A, but it's optional for the other machines. I'd be inclined to leave them in situ for other machines, if for nothing else than the unusual factor.








All surface detail superbly represents the rib and fabric structures of the real thing.











There are a good number of exhaust options presented here, but only ONE is to be used, in conjunction with the option available on Sprue H. The carburettor intake can be found here, as well as Astra, Wolff and Wotan prop options. All are slated for use with this release.


SPRUE G3 (German Accessories)



We've seen this sprue in other two-seat German aircraft kits before, and it contains a good number of diorama parts, as well as a few which need to be fitted to the model, such as wireless wind-driven aerial generator, anemometer and radio gear. Other than that and a few extras, you'll find cameras, ladders, pistols, flare racks, and even a teddy bear mascot! A number of parts aren't to be used here though, and those include the four propeller options.







Nothing to fault at all. Ejector pin marks were never going to be an issue. Flash is non-existent, and perfect moulding means no sink marks. Seams are negligible too. Detail is as meticulous as ever, and the kit is intelligently designed from start to finish. A real builder's kit.






A single fret is included. Cooling jackets are provided for the Parabellum, and both Spandau variants, as well as gun sight reticules, and two sets of lap belts. A couple of parts are not to be used with this release. Production quality is first rate. Remember to anneal the belts and MG jackets before you use them.






WNW produces the very best assembly manuals in existence. Seriously, they do. Nothing can touch them. The various constructional sequences are look almost hand-drawn and are illustrated in grey, with newly attached parts being highlighted in blue. Sub-assemblies are shown in full colour to illustrate the overall appearance. Colour call-outs are given throughout assembly, giving Tamiya, Humbrol and FS paint codes.







Rigging drawings are also included, and the manual is punctuated with many very useful period images. The rear of the manual is taken over with Ronny Bar's exquisite scheme profiles, which also come with some colour and historical notation, as well as specific machine images.

There are five schemes supplied here, with one of these having a sub-scheme The schemes are:

  • DFW C.V (LVG) 5203/16, Habsheim, April to May 1917
  • DFW C.V (Av) 5920/16 "Red 6", Kurt Wesser?, FA (A) 275?, September 1917
  • DFW C.V (Av) 5927/16, Hans Huppertz & Friedrich Neumüller, FA 18, April 1917. Photos are also supplied which show this machine under captured colours, as a possible scheme.
  • DFW C.V "Grenade", FA 48b, 1917 to early 1918
  • DFW C.V "Stripes", FA (A) 282?, 1917 to early 1918











A single, large decal sheet is supplied, printed by Cartograf. Printing is superbly thin, and carrier film is minimal. Registration is perfect. Wing crosses are printed so that they contain cut-outs for aileron hinges etc. The aileron portions are also separate. 'Red 6's' number is printed in both red AND black, in case you disagree with the fact that it may not have been red at all. Trim lines are also supplied for the wing and tail-plane edges for the last machine. Other white and black stripes are included for this machine too.










Numerous stencils are also supplied, as is a whole section for propeller decals, and many interior/cockpit/engine decals. Notice the decal sheet gives its date as 2013 too........


Yes, and YES! This one, whilst not immediately anticipated, is most definitely a very welcome release. WNW have released both this and the Late Production kits, meaning there will undoubtedly be the squarer-nosed Early Production kit out in the not too distant future. This release has everything; amazing internal and external detail, and five very good scheme choices which provide something subtly different for an aircraft whose schemes were not generally very varied. As usual, there are a number of interesting parts options too.


This model is a very reasonable size too, and contains 320 parts, so is no weekend project. Yes, there's rigging, but it's not too complicated. Again, WNW are releasing this kit for a very reasonable $99.00, including their famous FREE Worldwide shipping. Go on, you know you want to!


VERY highly recommended


Our sincere thanks to Wingnut Wings for this review sample. To purchase direct, click THIS link.


James H



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Well done Guv'nor .... Another great read and superb review for a very important German machine. The name may not be as famous as it's more illustrious cousins but this (Early, Mid or Late) is a definite must for the serious WnW's collector.


Although my boxes will undoubtedly be without any autographs from any Wingnut Wings luminaries (ahem ... Jeroen P & Jonathan Reed ! <<not jealous! not jealous>>) they will nevertheless be available pretty soon .. keep an eye on the site for both versions

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