Left is the box art for this kit, again WNW has presented the kit with superb boxing and splendid art work. Upon opening the box it was revealed that each sprue was individually wrapped, decals where well protected and placed on the bottom of the box with the thick instruction book laid over the decals for further protection. The decals cover 5 schemes, there is also a small PE set. The instruction book is to Wingnuts exceptional standards, very well illustrated with plenty of reference photos, the use of colour has made this a wonderful book. A colour paint guide is included with easy to follow painting guide throughout the book.

The Build

There were a lot of ejector pin marks on the inside of each fuselage side, they were only faint and very easy to remove. Because of the very close tolerances I have experienced with other Wingnut kits I cut thin strips of Tamiya tape and covered the slots in the fuselage where the bulk heads are to be fitted, this will save a lot of cleaning up later. The interior will be firstly sprayed with a base coat of Gunze 313 Yellow in preparation for the wood look using oil paints.

I made the fuel/air plumbing for the back of the small panel that fits on the right side of the cockpit. It is made from different size brass tube and I utilised vector cut nuts for the connections for the copper pipe, for these I used 0.35mm copper wire. It is all held together with runny CA. I have also made the levers which fit in the front of the panel, they are made from 0.3mm brass tube and will pass through the centre of each of the metal plates on the panel, the upper most dial is an air pressure gauge. Most of what I made here will not be seen, once the panel has been wood grained the assembly will be mounted to the back of the panel with a metal bracket, some small portions of the copper tubing will be seen protruding past the panel. The long thin pipe running from the bottom of the assembly is the drain pipe, it runs down and exits through the side of the fuselage, it was only a small diameter pipe so I used 0.13mm copper wire. The plumbing is quite complex and a careful study of photos from TVAL guided me through the process of bending and fitting the pipes. For a size reference, the main body of the assembly is a short length of 1.2mm brass tube, during construction I used 0.8mm, 0.6mm, 0.4mm and 0.3mm brass tube, a lot of drilling was also required to fit it all together, total construction time was two days.

Added detail not included with the kit - the fuel/air plumbing system

All wood areas were first base coated with Gunze 313 yellow then oil paint was used to simulated the wood, the light wood is raw sienna and darker wood is raw umber. The fuel control levers are fitted as are the decals. I added pipes (0.3mm copper wire) to the water pump and the instrument gauge, there is also a drain pipe from the bottom of the plumbing assembly, this passes through the fuselage side. The green is Humbrol No.23 Duck Egg Blue, I found this to be a close match to the TVAL replica aircraft. The ammo boxes are sprayed with Mr Metal Color Stainless and lightly buffed, the fuel tank is done with Mr Metal Color Brass. I made a new fuel pump body using 1.2mm brass tube. I cut the brackets from the kit pump and drilled 1.2mm holes, I then slid the new brass tube through the brackets, I removed the handle assembly from the kit pump and fitted it to the new pump, CA holds it all together. It is important to clean all the slots in the fuselage where the fuselage frames are going to locate, these are a very close tolerance and will be difficult to fit if there is paint in the slots. The fuel plumbing was fitted behind the panel and held in place with CA, none of the plumbing touches the fuselage sides so it is a very good fit.

The little floor has been added along with the rudder bar, I used 0.12mm mono for the rudder control cables with 0.4mm brass tube for the cable connectors. The control column is also fitted, I placed a short length of 0.3mm brass tube through the shaft to take the control cables, two running aft and two forward to the pulley. The aileron control cables have been fitted to the control column and are protruding above the fuselage, the wire you can see above the gun mount is from the small lever I made and fitted to the control column left side hand grip. I also made and fitted the two foot support loops which fit the rudder bar, they are made from 0.18 plated copper wire, they were shaped around a drill bit then CA’d into place, once dry the loops were painted with Mr Metal Color Stainless as are all the control cables.

The interior is now completed and the fuselage is ready to be closed up. I used the kit supplied PE seat belts, and I made my own seat cushion from Milliput.  The bulkhead behind the seat is made from paper, painted and glued onto the kit bulkhead, it is supposed to be a fabric screen.

The tail plane, elevator and rudder all fitted very well, make sure you fit the elevator control horns before fitting the elevator. I have joined the two fuselage halves, there were no dramas at all with everything fitting very snugly, make sure the grooves in the fuselage and the edges of each of the bulk heads have been cleaned of any paint, once this is done the fit is very neat. Once it was closed up I had to fit the electric cables from the switch to the starting magneto, also the throttle linkage from the throttle lever, this task was a little difficult because of the lack of room inside the cockpit.

The tail has been painted using Citadel Dark Angels Green, it was sprayed using the paint straight from the bottle, no thinners were added. The grey on the fuselage is a mixture of Humbrol gloss white, gloss black and dark blue mixed to represent the colours shown on Pheon Models full colour instruction sheet. I am doing Jasta 5 and No. 5 in the information booklet. The wings will have the lozenge covering top and bottom.

I sprayed the fuselage and tail with Humbrol Glosscote before applying the decals. Pheon Models decals went on very well, the small red stripes on the tail were a little fiddly but caused no problems, the large fuselage decal also posed no problems, the Wingnut decals also applied beautifully and all decals have no signs of silvering, they all adhered very well. I had to try and match the red Pheon Models used in the tail stripes so I used Humbrol No.100 Red Brown and I added about 8 drops of Humbrol No.220 Ferrari Red, this produced a colour nearly exact to the Pheon red, the spinner and portion of the nose is this colour. As can be seen in the photos everything is still gloss coated, once everything has dried properly it will all be coated with Humbrol Mattcote. The cockpit padding was first painted with Humbrol No.62 Leather then I applied a light coat of thinned Raw Umber oil paint.

Albatross 7037/17 Hans von Hippel, February 1918 Boistrancourt

I have applied the Pheon Models lozenge decals to both sides of the lower wing along with the Wingnut crosses and the Pheon ‘H’, they are yet to be clear coated with Humbrol Matt Cote. The wings were first sprayed with two coats of Humbrol Gloss Cote, then the lozenge decals were applied, they went on beautiful with no problems at all, I used Mr. Mark Softer brushed onto the surface before applying the decals, a little more Mr Mark Softer was applied along the edges, this allowed the decals to fold over the wing leading edge, trailing edge and wing tip and adhered very well The fuselage has now been coated with Humbrol Matt Cote as well as the spinner. The wheels are painted and the tyres are done with Gunze Black/Gray No.416, they also need to be clear coated.

The bottom wing and the undercarriage are now fitted, both went on extremely well with the bottom wing having excellent locating lugs. As with all of the parts with Wingnut kits all traces of paint have to be removed before parts will fit correctly. The struts in these photos are only sitting in position for photo purposes. I have also fitted the wing mounted turnbuckles in the bottom wing, seven on each side, hard to see in these photos but they are there. I made them from 0.5mm brass tube and 0.13mm copper wire twisted to form the eyelets, I used CA to hold them in the wing.

I have started on the engine by firstly removing the moulded valve springs. I drilled a 1.0mm hole into the top of the cylinders where the valve springs were, I went about 2mm deep.. Using 1.0mm wound guitar string I cut them to about 4.0mm lengths, inserted them into the holes and CA’d them in place. I then ground the top of the spring using my Dremel down to a point where the rocker assembly sits neatly on top of each spring, only grind a little at a time and keep checking the length with the rocker assembly.

Using the small brass nuts supplied by www.rbmotion.com makes making the spark plugs so easy. They are 0.025” hex  and the hole is perfect for 0.4mm brass tube. I cut the tube to a length of about 2.5mm and slipped the nut onto the tube, I left 1.0mm exposed above the nut to act as the insulator, a drop of CA holds the net in place. I inserted a piece of 0.13mm copper wire into the 0.4mm brass tube and let it protrude about 0.5mm from the top of the plug, this is the connection for the plug leads. I drilled a 0.4mm hole into each of the spark plug points on the cylinders then inserted the plugs pushing in until the nut touched the cylinder, again a small drop of CA holds them in place, lastly, the plug insulator section is painted.

The crank case is painted with Humbrol 27001 aluminium and the cylinder block with Hobby Color No.77 tire black. You can see the valve springs which were explained earlier, also this photo shows very well the spark plugs. I have also added a little bit of extra plumbing to the front of the engine, this is 0.4mm and 0.3mm brass tube with the rbmotion nuts used as connectors. I have only just started the engine so there is much more to do.  

One side of the engine is now completed. The ignition leads are 0.13mm copper wire painted with Humbrol No.94, the ignition lead tube is painted with Humbrol No.73. The brass hose clamps below the tube are made from flattened 0.3mm brass tube folded around a drill bit then fitted onto the engine.

These photos show the completed engine, I am not going to super detail the engine as all the engine cowls will be put in place. I added the six primer taps, made from 0.5mm brass tube with a 0.3mm hole drilled through the side, I then inserted a length of 0.3mm brass tube bent to the appropriate shape to act as a handle, CA holds it together. I CA’d each tap to the locating lug on each cylinder. The ignition leads are done the same as the other side of the engine. I also added the copper plumbing which runs along the top of the ignition lead tube, this is 0.5mm copper wire.

The engine is now fixed in position along with the oil tank which has been painted with Mr Metal Color Brass, the straps are done with Mr Metal Color Stainless. The machine guns were enhanced with the PE items supplied with the kit then painted with Mr Metal Color Dark Iron then lightly buffed with a soft brush. The PE metal plate between the two machine guns has been painted with the Dark Iron and again buffed. I will add a bit more wiring from the engine to the bulk head.

The engine cowls are now fitted as are the struts. The locating holes and pins on the cabane struts need to be cleaned of all paint before they will fit fully into their positions, once this is done they fit perfectly. The windscreen has been fitted, the frame of the windscreen is painted with Mr Metal Color Stainless then lightly buffed. The exhaust I used is from www.tigermodels.com, it is a resin exhaust and has all the weld beads plus the hollowed out pipe with very thin walls, a beautiful product and well worth fitting, I still need to add a bit more weathering to the exhaust. I have also added the lozenge decals to the top wing, the Pheon decals are brilliant and are a perfect fit, they adhere extremely well and are quite easy to apply, with the use of a hair dryer the compound curves of the top of wing are tackled with no problems, Pheon have done an excellent job producing these decals. The cross decals on the wing are from the kit and supplied by Wingnuts, they also applied beautifully. I have also coated the decals with Humbrol Satin Cote, the matt cote I originally had dulled the colour to much and took away from the overall appearance, the Satin Cote lifts the colours. I also changed the colour of the metal plate between the two Machine guns, it is now Mr Metal Color Stainless.

The top wing went on very easy and once the glue has set it is a fairly rigid unit without the rigging. Make sure all paint is removed from the holes in the top wing and the locating pins on each strut, failure to do this will cause the pins to not sit fully home in the holes. I inverted the top wing and sat it on a dense sponge block, I then inverted the model and sat it on top of the wing aligning all the struts with their corresponding holes, once happy with the fit I lifted the model and placed a drop of glue into each of the holes, then I returned the model and fitted each strut into each hole, I left it for at least 2 hours before moving the model.

The rigging is now completed, I used 0.12mm monofilament (fishing line) connected to turnbuckles made from 0.5mm brass tube cut to 2.5mm long, the eyelets are 0.13mm twisted copper wire with a 0.3mm eye, the rigging sleeves are made from 0.4mm brass tube drill out to 0.25mm and cut to 0.78mm long, every thin is held together with runny CA. I painted each line as it was fitted with Mr Metal Color Stainless. The rigging was quite easy to do and is not at all complex, there is plenty of room between the wings to perform the rigging operation. I also fitted the radiator pipe which connects to the front of the engine, hose clamps are made from 0.18mm plated copper wire.

Below are photos of the completed model. This model went together very easily, the detail I added was my own choice but if built OOB it would be an excellent model, Wingnuts have again excelled in producing this kit. As with all of Wingnuts instruction booklets, there are errors, these need to be picked up on before construction commences, it is a good idea to read through the instruction and familiarize yourself with all building procedures before starting.  

If you have any questions regarding this build or this model please contact me.

WNW Albatros D.V
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