HR Models 1/72 Resin Fokker D.III
by Bob Pearson
The first fighter aircraft as we have come to know it would have to be the Fokker Eindecker in its various forms. However it was only a success due to the fact that it had a forward firing gun in an age when no one else did. As soon as the Allies came up with a counter to it in the form of the DH2 and Nieuport 11, it was quickly removed from frontline service.
The next generation of Fokker fighters were the biplane Fokker D.I-IV. These differed from one another in engine installation, the D.I and D.IV having inline engines, while the D.II-D.III had rotary - that of the D.II being a 160hp Oberursel two-row engine. All had wing-warping for lateral control, and the steel tube fuselage which was to be a Fokker trademark. Small numbers were used in the Jastas, the most famous being Boelcke's 352/16 (which survived until an Allied bombing raid in WW2) however they were quickly superceded by the superior Halberstadt and Albatros designs that were also coming into service. The Fokker D.III ended its days as a trainer at the jastaschules.
A recent arrival is this resin kit from the Czech firm of HR Models, as in their other releases the parts are molded in a light tan resin with most parts being contained in two 'wafers'.
The fuselage is cleanly molded although the aft profile from above may require some sanding as it is wider at the 1/2 way mark then at the cockpit.
The wings have the characteristic half ribs on the leading edge. Both these and the ribs can benefit from sanding to a thinner profile, and the same can be said for the trailing edge of both wings. Me? I'll leave them as is. . it looks like a D.III to me.
The rest of the parts are on two wafers and these consist of struts, two-part engine, wheels, tail surfaces, cowl, propellor, floor, seat, guns, joystick, rudder bar, axle and tailskid. The cowl has the cooling holes cut into it. The struts appear to be very fragile, especially the cabane ones and can possibly stand replacement from whatever your favourite method is.
There are also two small Photoetched frets included. These are for the control panel (with film backing), seatbelts, prop boss, foot rest and replacement freted jackets for the resin Spandaus.
Documentation consists of a short history, three-view drawing, cutaway drawings of the real thing as well as six photos. No model instructions are provided.
The decal sheet provided is the same as that in the Fokker B.II kit reviewed previously. This time the relevant decals are those for Boelcke's D.III 352/16, plus two others - 364/16 and 194/16.
I have heard criticism about many of the smaller companies that their kits aren't up to Eduard quality, while this may be true, they do provide models of rare types that when built look the part. That is my main criteria, and this kit falls well within those parameters. The HR Fokker D.III will look very nice when built, and it looks to me like it will be a nice, easy build. The wing-warping means there is less rigging than a 'normal' biplane, so it may even be acceptable for a beginner.
My sample was obtained from VAMP Mail Order