During the spring and early summer of 1917, the Sopwith Triplane reigned supreme in the skies over France and Belgium. The German High Command took notice and ordered the aviation industry to come up with their own designs. The simplest of which were basically the standard fighters of the day with a third wing added Albatros Dr.I and the Pfalz D.III-ish Triplane come to mind here. However one design was to become legendary, out of all proportion to its size and numbers built. the aircraft? The Fokker F.I/Dr.I.
The first three triplanes were designated F.I. Of these, F.I 101/17 remained for testing, 102/17 went to Manfred von Richthofen, and 103/17 went to Werner Voss. These three were soon followed by the production triplane, now redesignated as Dr.I. However during October 1917 a series of deaths due to wing failures caused the grounding of all the new Dr.Is and their return to the Fokker factory for repairs, it was early 1918 before they returned to the front. Never issued in great number, perhaps 320 Dr.Is all told were constructed.
Roden Dr.I has been issued in two different boxes, as the Dr.I and as
the F.I, I have yet to see the F.I myself, but have been told it is the
same except for the wingtip skid (the F.I never carried them) .. the F.I
should have acurved leading edge to the tailplane, but I am unaware if
this is so for the Roden release.
The kit consists of two sprues, one of which is common to the Fokker
D.VI reviewed in this issue by Peter Mitchell. On this sprue may be
found the tailplane, cowl, rudder, fuselage halves, engine. two different
propellors, wheels, interior structure, Spandau machine guns. The fuselage
halves are lacking their upper decking, this is provided on the second
sprue and I trust is kit specific to the Dr.I and/or the D.VI release.
The second sprue contains the wings, axlewing, both styles of ailerons carried by the Dr.I and the various struts. In common with the Revell parts breakdown (and the real thing) the interplane struts are in individual sections, and not one continuous plank. All struts in this kit are very fragile and will require some care in assembly.
Unlike the Revell middle wing, the Roden one has the forward decking moulded integral with it. How well this and the rear decking fit to the fuselage remains to be seen.
The separate ailerons are anice touch .. . many kits feature one or the other type based on what references were used, now we have the ooption to do any Dr.I with little extra work required.
are provided for six options, all are quite familiar .. MvR, LvR, Raben,
Neckel, Goring and Jacobs - but not Jacob's familiar God of the North
Wind, but rather an overall black Dr.I with white crosses. there is a
full colour profile of MvR.s 152/17 on the rear cover, with additional
swatches to show the other colours for the other options.
With the demise of Toko, it is nice to see Roden rise up to continue their line of nice, well detailed and in-expensive WW1 kits.
Next month we shuld take a look at the new Eduard Dr.I and the Roseplane F.I Update kits. . later we shall be doing a comparison build of these and the other currentl;y available 1/72 Fokker Dr.I kits.