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JeroenPeters

Kagero Albatros D.III/D.V Aces' Fighter

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Famous Airplanes (5010)
Albatros D.III/D.V
Aces’ Fighter


Publisher: Kagero
Written by: Tomasz J. Kowalski, Wojciech Fajga, Vitor Costa, Damien Majsak 

Available here from Kagero for € 18,75

 

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Kagero has really made a name for itself in publishing high quality and affordable books for both modeller and aviation, armour or ship enthusiast. Some ranges are an almost must have when correcting of detailing your build. For instance the Top Drawings line for adding rivets and correcting panel lines. Or the Photosniper or 3D books for adding detail. Having said that, this book is from the Famous Airplanes range, which consists of 10 books at the time I’m writing this. Mostly ww1 subjects, but also two Japanese ww2 subjects. This range is clearly written and designed with the modeller in mind that wants to really grasp his subject and see how that translate into a quality build. The whole book is printed in two languages: Polish and English with the text side by side. This saves Kagero money on design and printing. You could compare this book to a Windsock publication, only of higher quality and more comprehensive. 

It’s a soft cover with a glued back and quality paper. I’ve said it before about Kagero books. They’re cheap and value for money. These days some high quality magazines can set you back almost 13 euro’s, so in my eyes 18,75 euro’s for this book is a bargain. Keep on reading to see whether you agree. 

 The contents are built up as follows:

- Albatros D.I – D.V History, construction development, combat usage

- Albatros D.III 1/48 Eduard (build report)

- Albatros D.V 1/32 Wingnut Wings (build report)

- Albatros D.Va 1/32 Wingnut Wings (build report)

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Albatros D.I – D.V History, construction development, combat usage

The left side of the text pages contain the English copy, with the right side reserved for Polish. 26 pages span the whole development of this sleek wooden fighter, with written personal experiences of test pilots and various pilots that became ace in the Albatros. Ofcourse attention is paid to the Albatros in Polish service too. The chapter covering the construction of the Albatros gives a valuable insight to the modeller in understanding what materials were used and how they were engineered. For example: The tailskid was made of ash and covered in canvas tape, ended in a steel pile show. It was fixed to the triangular stabilizing fin with an articulated joint and fixed with a rubber cord threaded through a fitted opening in the stabilizing fin. This gives the modeller an idea how to weather and paint the tailskid. 

 The chapter ends in 2 pages of period technical drawings.

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Albatros D.III 1/48 Eduard

Eduard has produced an impressive line of 48thscale ww1 models and for years dominated the ww1 aircraft modelling scene. I believe the kit built and described here originated from 1998. Whereas the first stages of this build don’t impress me too much, the work on the outer fuselage and wings is lovely. Modeller Vitor Costa shows what you can so using only a few ‘simple’ techniques to mask with ribtape and wood painting techniques. 

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Albatros D.V 1/32 Wingnut Wings (build report)

Wojciech Fajga builds the venerable Wingnut Wings Albatros D.V. This build is not about superdetailing an already great kit, but can be seen as a reference build for modellers trying their hands on woodgrain decals, adding rivets (or rather nails) to the wooden fuselage and doing some masking on a decaled fuselage. You sense trouble? You’re right. The modeller pulls of a large portion of wood grain decal. The things we have to deal with! Lovely extra details are added to the radiator louvres and engine. Also loving the homemade rigging turnbuckles. 

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Albatros D.Va 1/32 Wingnut Wings 

Damian Majsak also does magic to a Wingnut Wings Albatros, but builds the D.Va version. We see some different techniques, followed by a diorama base complete with figures. A feast for the eye. This build focusses more on weathering, which seems right for a model on a dio base. 

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Profiles

The books ends with amazing colour profiles. We see the whole range: a German D.I, German D.II, Two Polish D.III’s, Three German D.III’s, Two German D.V’s and a German D.Va’s. Ofcourse the D.V’s are a great inspiration for Wingnut Wings builds. Here’s hoping WNW will try their hands on earlier versions of this plane too. 

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Verdict
I’m a big fan of Kagero titles. Especially the ones’ written and designed with the modeller in mind. I don’t need a big bible full of black and white period photo’s. I need illustrated builds, colour profiles and step by step tutorials. This title (in this range: Famous Airplanes) provide just that. As said in the introduction, these books come cheap (€ 18,75) and are printed on quality paper. If I had to nitpick: the English felt a bit uneasy here and there. The English/polish text side by side never bothers me, but I guess that’s personal. If you’re into WW1 airplanes and have a stash of Wingnut Wings kits in the stash (you know who you are!), order one of these titles and get inspired to build one! Order here.

A big thank you to Kagero for providing us with a sample.

Jeroen Peters 

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