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1:32 Gotha UWD


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1:32 Gotha UWD
Wingnut Wings
Catalogue # 32053

Available from Wingnut Wings for $199.00 plus shipping


In 1914 the German VPK (Verkehrstechnische Prüfungs Kommission) dictated that three types of tactical role aircraft were to be developed, each in their own class and with their own specifications. 

Type 1: A two seater, 130hp, for longer flights, carrying a small bomb payload or photographic equipment.

Type 2: A light, very maneouverable two seater for short flights. A plane that can take off quick and is armed with self defence weapons.

Type 3: The heavy bomber. Like the Gotha G.1. A three seater with at least 200hp. A wingspan that is only limited by what ground transport can handle. Heavy bomb load (450kg) and a speed of at least 120km/h. It should be able to climb 800 meters in 10 minutes and be able to fly for 6 hours. And last but not least: five men should be able to assemble it after transport in 1.5 hours. 

Fellow LSM reviewer James Hatch already elaborated on the background and history of the Gotha G.1 here. But today we are covering the Gotha UWD. Or: Ursinus Wasser Doppeldecker. The Gotha G.1 was actually born from a design for a civil(!) seaplane. So modifying it back to a seaplane was relatively easy. On 14 April 1915 (only two weeks after the first order of the G.1) the German Navy ordered their first UWD for long range recon and torpedo missions. This machine received marine number 120. It carried two Mercedes D.III engines with each 160hp. It took the Navy a whole year of testing before accepting it for service. It’s said that during one of these tests not three, but six men were carried. After the plane had landed the acceptance engineer saw six men climb out of the aircraft and was amazed. He cried: “Donnerwetter! That is a veritable Trojan Horse!” And for some reason this name stuck to the plane in naval service. This same Gotha UWD was used in a raid on Dover, accompanied by Friedrichshafen FF33, where it arrived at the coast first and dropped 32 bombs (probably 5kg) on the fort, castle and barracks. The Gotha UWD was also the first to return in Zeebrugge, whereas the other FF33’s were slower and attacked by Sopwith Baby seaplanes. The 120 remained in service until 2 October 1916 when it crashed. 

So, as you may have gathered by now only one operational version of the UWD has seen service. Look at the bright side: this saves you some time pondering what scheme to choose! 

Building tip
When looking at a kit I usually picture it built, in my cabinet. No other with this kit. Imagine a portion of train track, a few flatbeds and this baby sideways on top of it:



The kit
You might think that this kit is simply the G.1 kit, but without the wheels and with the floats. This is not the case. Sprue A gives you two different sets of ailerons. The UWD uses the larger one, and the Gotha G1 the smalles ones on the sprue. This also explanes why the crosses don’t extend over the ailerons on the UWD. Looks like the Navy requested an alteration in this area, after the crosses were painted on. They requested bigger balanced ailerons instead of the smaller unbalanced versions of the G.1. Sprue B (the wings) is identical for both versions. Sprue C (transparencies) is totally different. The UWD has a lot more windows for observation in the sides of the cockpit/hull, whereas the Gotha G1 only has a windshield for the pilot. Sprue D is totally different as well. These contain the floats. The same goes for sprue G. Some parts (like the engine covers) are on a whole different sprue than in the UWD kit. The photo etch fret is different as well. Three cooling jackets and sights. Where the UWD only carries PE for one LMG 14. The Mercedes D.III sprue is interesting. Designed in 2008, whereas all the other sprues were designed in 2016. This is because the Mercedes sprue is standard. You can put ALL of the props on it directly into your spares box. If you look at the middle disc on the sprue you’ll see: 160/180/200. This indicates in quadrant what parts are used for the 160HP, 180HP or 200HP engine. We will need the 160HP version. Another eye catching difference between the G.1 and the UWD was the probiscus bomb dropping tube. A tube that looks like a goatie under the chin of the cockpit. I dare you to Google ‘proboscis’. It will however give you a clue why they named this tube ‘proboscis’. All of this is actually of no real interest to you I’m sure. All I’m trying to show is that this kit is not just a simple modification of the G1 kit.

Compare the sprue overview of the G1 against the UWD:

Gotha G1:


Gotha UWD:


Not a whole lot of reference can be found on the G1 (let alone the UWD for that matter) since they were quite quickly obsolete and replaced by better versions. It kind of makes you wonder why WNW has chosen this subject. My educated guess is that this design paved the way for a number of seaplanes and shows how aviation grew it’s wings. The whole idea of putting the engines as close together and the hull as possible to even out negative dynamic effects… the idea of putting the hull above the engines to achieve better sight and a wider firing angle… it all makes sense in the evolution of things. As a matter of fact: the longer I look at this plane, the more I develop a love for it. 

A pretty big box:


Sprue A: Fuselage, wing mid section, elevators:


Leather pilot seat:





The inside of the aft fuselage shows some rudimentary detail of cross bracing and framing. This won’t be visible, but it might give the model some strength. 



I love the half opened storage case:


Handheld camera:


Smaller unbalanced Gotha G.1 aileron (that we don't use on the Gotha UWD):


Looking at the first construction stages, everything looks quite straightforward and typical for WNW kits. I love the attention to detail. From the half folded open storage case, the hand held camera to the creases in the leather pilot chair. The seatbelts are as always offered in PE, but I myself have never used them. I usually (well… always) get some HGW fabric seatbelts. Before closing the cockpit you’ll need to add the 10kg Carbonit bombs. The decals that go on them are simply amazing. The letters are difficult for an ant to read and I had to zoom in my photo to read the text: “Sprengstoff A G Carbonit Something.. bombe J

Sprue B: The wings:



Grainy surface texture. A matter of taste?


One peace moulded elevator. I prefer these parts to come separately:




Sprue C: transparencies. Crystal clear. And much more parts than the Gotha G.1:


Sprue D (x2): floats, engine covers and rudders:





Note the grain on the engine cover. I would polish this part:



Nicely thinned edges on these engine covers:


The engines were operated by rods. Parts G33 and G34. These rods come from the wings and protrude through the engine covers. I myself will replace these rods with real copper rod. Just because it looks better than plastic I think. What I really like are the thinned edges of the engine covers. Especially when posing the covers open, this will look pretty convincing. 

Fixed rudders. Where's my scalpel?





Internal strengthening in the floats:



Sprue E (x2): Mercedes D.III engine:

These are all the parts you'll need:






Sprue G:


If I had to nitt pick I should say that this is the first WNW kit I’ve seen with a tiny amount of flash. Not much, but enough to mention. You’ll see some around the cockpit combing of my sample.



The prop you'll need. All others on the engine sprue can be discarded:


The simple way to do the LMG 14. A solid piece:



Or take the high road and add a PE cooling jacket and sight:



When looking at the armament we get the usual option of using a full plastic LMG 14 with plastic cooling jacket, or you can be ballsy and add the PE jacket with PE gunsight. Ofcourse you’ll go for the latter! Or do like me and replace the gun for the amazing Gaspatch offering, here.


The gun mount looks great:


Here's the real deal:



A tip that was given by Gary Llaxob on the Facebook page: WingNut Wings Fans: on the G.1 there is rigging running through a couple of struts (A17 & A19). These show holes for the rigging to pass through. Please study your rigging guide, because it looks like these holes should also be present on two other struts. I can’t make them out for the UWD just yet, just a word of caution, because adding holes after the struts are installed can be a pain… 

Forward fuselage:




Engine control rods. I will replace mine with copper or brass tubing:




Painting schemes

As said: only one operational Gotha UWD is recorded so choosing a scheme is something you won’t have to do today. Ray Rimmell drew us a nice colour scheme in Windsock Datafile 83, but I’m glad to see WNW provides a much lighter version in their manual. A dark varnished plywood nose in high contrast with pale metal struts, engines and opaque linen.




Amazing detail here:



A cool detail on the decal sheet are the leather protecting patches around the control wire openings on the wings: 




Gotha_instr2.jpg Gotha_instr3.jpgGotha_instr4.jpgGotha_instr5.jpgGotha_instr6.jpgGotha_instr7.jpgGotha_instr8.jpgGotha_instr9.jpgGotha_instr10.jpgGotha_instr11.jpgGotha_instr12.jpgGotha_instr13.jpgGotha_instr14.jpgGotha_instr15.jpgGotha_instr16.jpg



Unexpected. Eye catching. Exotic. Daring. All words that come to mind when looking at this release. Judging from the date on the sprues a kit that has been in development for a few years (2016). Makes you wonder why a subject like the HP 0/400 recieves a pre-announcement a year in advance and this kit just suddenly ‘pops up’. But here it is. Big, ungainly and very well researched. Richard Alexander’s last few lines of the introduction text in the manual concern WnW’s choices when it comes to colour research. Richard is sure not everyone will share their opinion. This only shows how much debate arises when interpreting scarce black and white photographic reference. 

If you love multi engine WW1 subjects and floats, this should rock your boat. With only one scheme to ‘choose’ from, we’ll see little variation in online and show builds. What I personally don’t love about Wingnut Wings kits (and modern Revell kits for that matter) is the matted surface on the wings. A simulation of fabric perhaps, but I rather control my own grain in the surface finish with my paints. Gives me more control. It might also be just the way WnW loves to tackle surfaces, since it’s also on the engine cover.

I also would have rather seen the rudders and elevator offered as separate parts. Yes you can cut them loose, but this can be tricky with the hinges. Take care during rigging and check what cable runs through what strut and check whether the holes are present. Other than that, this kit is sublime. As it should be, since it’s Wingnut Wings themselves that have raised the bar over the last years.

Our sincere thanks to Wingnut Wings for this review sample.


Jeroen Peters







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Great review of an unexpected plane. WNW has lots of aces up their sleeves and I really enjoy seeing more and more obscure subjects besides the Camels, etc.
Am I the only one who doesn't like the manuals that much. Yes they are thoroughly researched, give a good idea about Colours and finished subassemblies, but the pure construction part, is where they lack sometimes. Rigging plans could be made a little more clear either.
Beside that you can't go wrong with these kits and the Gotha is one to consider. The only thing hindering me is the wingspan. I don't build four engine planes from the WWII era for a reason.

Cheers Rob

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