Flashback's 1/48 Aviatik Berg D.I (Lo) Series 115
click on thumbnails for full image
The Aviatik D.I was the first indigenous fighter designed and built in A-H to enter LFT service. Designed by Julius Berg, the proposal was disapproved and Aviatik was directed to build Knoller aircraft until vigorous representation by the head of the LFT allowed construction of the prototype Aviatik D.I. About 1000 aircraft were ordered from Aviatik, Lohner, Lloyd, MAG, Thole and WKF using a wide variety of engines due to supply difficulties.
Flashback kits, with the exception of the Hansa-Brandenberg W.29 and Messerschmitt Me-163A, have primarily been re-pops of earlier Eduard releases, mostly of kits done before Eduard's mold-making and injection-molding process went through the terrific upgrade three years ago. Even the W.29 and the Me-163A were done in this "heavy" style, and might have been planned Eduard releases that were sidetracked for quality reasons. The new Aviatik Berg D.I seems to be something of a "halfway house" between the two production styles. It's "smooth," but in a way still "heavy," on the one sprue of injection plastic that creates the main parts for this kit.
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Wing rib detail is particularly heavy, and needs to be sanded down to get a more accurate look, as well as thinning the trailing edges of all flying surfaces. The cockpit detail provided is certainly sufficient to represent the sparse cockpit of a World War I fighter. The photo-etch spokes for the open wheels is a very nice touch, which takes some skill on the part of the modeler to create an accurate-looking wheel. For those who don't feel up to that, a pair of "solid" wheels are also provided. The instrument panel, seatbelts, and fore and aft bulkheads for the cockpit are in photoetch. The 200 h.p. Austro-Daimler engine is done in resin, with separate exhausts, and looks quite nice.
The decals are where this model will definitely stand out. The Austrian-Hungarian "Fliegertruppe" developed a hand-painted, hexagonal camouflage that at first blush looks like a variation of German lozenge, which was done on a printed fabric. While they are larger patterns than found in the German camouflage, in this scale they would be equally difficult to recreate, and so the provision of decals to accomplish all of this is appreciated.
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My knowledge of Austro-Hungarian camouflage colors is slim, so I cannot comment on the accuracy of these other than to say they look highly reminiscent of the camouflage on the scratchbuilt 1/32 D.I created by the late George Lee in 1973, and he had a history of getting things right before other people knew it was right. The separate sheet of markings provides the personal markings of Austrian ace Frank Linke-Crawford, who flew this airplane on the Italian front in 1918.
[editor's note: Linke-Crawford was O.C. of Flik 60J which used a black band as the background for their individual markings - Flik 14 used red. The lozenge is a little too garish for my taste. See the James Dietz painting they based the boxtop on or my profile of 138.55 "MIZZI" for a more accurate representation. Both may be seen at the Over the Front website - RNP]
Overall, this D.I looks to be more simple to construct than the Eduard Nieuport 17 or Albatros D.III, which I think are good "tooth-cutter" kits for someone just entering the field of World War I modeling. Anyone with experience of working with large decals should have no problem creating a very distinctive-looking model.
This review sample was kindly provided by Eduard.
1/32 Scale Guide $18.00
1/48 Scale Guide $25.00
1/72 Scale Guide $25.00
HH-43 Huskie Color
Reference Guide $15.00
Please add $3.20 Postage in the US.
PO Box 90933