MAC Model's 1/72 Phönix D.IIa K.u.K Kriegsmarine
This kit follows quickly on the heels of MAC's first releases of the D.I and D.II and actually is nothing more than a decal change. Since a complete review of the D.I and D.II are in last month's issue of Internet Modeler, I'll just provide information on the new markings and direct you to the review from last month for the plastic.
The Austrian Navy received a total of ten Phönix fighters to provide defense of naval bases. The fighters received were the D.IIa, numbered J.21 to J.30, and differed from the D.II only in the engine. While there were several series of D.II fighters, all with 200hp engines, only one series of D.IIa were produced, fitted with the 230hp Hiero engine. There was little physical difference between the two engines, though, so the only way to know for sure if a plane was a D.II or D.IIa was to look at the serial number. The D.II/IIa was a popular plane with pilots who liked its power and robust construction.
While the plastic between the D.II and D.IIa kits are the same, if you want to build one of the Austrian Navy birds this is the kit you want to get. There's a large decal sheet that provides all the markings you need to finish your model in navy markings. The most noticeable part is the large areas of red, used for the wing and tail markings. The vertical tail & rudder markings are provided with the white in place, while only red is provided for the wings and horizontal tail. On these parts you'll have to paint in the white. Two serials are provided, J.21 and J.27, with a white zigzag included for the fuselage of J.21. The only other decals on the sheet are the crosses for the wings. The decals are printed by MPD and are thin, with excellent register & color. While the idea of providing just the red parts is admirable, it would probably be simpler to just paint those areas on the wings & tailplanes, using only the vertical tail decals.
With this release there are now three Phönix fighter kits available from MAC, and all three are well worth the money. I'm planning on getting several of these to complement my Austrian Albatros fighters. The Navy version will definitely add a lot of color to your shelves and will help complete the series of Phönix fighters.