Short Fuselage Roden 1/72nd Junkers D.I Conversion

By Bill Powers

The Kit

What a disappointment to learn the new Roden kit of a Junkers J.9/D.I is the long fuselage version. Only four of these were made! Even more so because the kit is so beautiful!

I immediately began plotting how to shorten the fuselage and preserve the delicate corrugation. I decided to cut the tail cone off and then remove this amount from the end of the fuselage corrugation. My reference says the J.9/D.I fuselage was lengthened one foot and ten inches, about 7.5 mm or 5/16th of an inch, so that is the amount to cut off.

First I glued the sides and bottom pieces of the fuselage together. As a guide for the cut, I used a strip of masking tape the width to be cut off. I wrapped this around the fuselage, using the junction of the corrugation and tail cone as a reference (see picture). I cut off the tail cone first, and then cut along the tape to shorten the fuselage.

To match the tail cone to the new width of the fuselage, I split the tail cone along the glue seam until it matched the cut fuselage.

I then curved the top and bottom of the fuselage sides. This meant I had to separate the bottom from the sides for about one inch, cut a curve and reglue. I then glued the tail cone to the fuselage, aligning the bottom edge of both.

Using a #11 blade and a block sander, I reshaped the top of the fuselage sides to align with the tail cone. There wasn't a smooth curve where the tail cone met the new fuselage, the tail cone needed to "tilt" back at the top. SO I broke off the tail cone (Ouch!) and inserted a wedge of plastic until the top curve was smooth. (see picture).

A trial fit of the fuselage top (part 11B) showed it overlapped the sides. I inserted a bulkhead of plastic to widen the fuselage until the sides aligned with the top piece. I cut the kit top piece to match the new length.

This completed the short fuselage. I've included a picture that compares the kit version to the shortened version.

Take care fitting the wings. There was much trial fitting and sanding.

The landing gear spreader, part 21A is too long and the wheel attachment too short (for me). I glued the struts to the wings, using photos and drawings as a guide and then cut the spreader to fit. I added brass rod stubs for the wheels.

I painted the model with Tamiya paints: the wings are NATO Green and Mauve (a mix of Red, Blue and White), fuselage Khaki Drab and undersides RLM 76.

From the two kits I bought, one set of decals was badly out of register and not usable, but the other was OK. The decals stayed together BUT eight applications of SolvaSet were required before the decals snuggled down.

Conclusion

This is a beautiful kit. The corrugation is incredibly delicate so take care not to drop glue on the surfaces, especially when installing the landing gear struts!

(Editor's Note: A relatively Out-of-the-Box review will appear in the February issue.)

References

The way to the World's First all-metal fighter Peter Grosz Air Enthusiast #25
Scale Aircraft Drawings Model Airplane News
German Aircraft of the First World War Peter Grey

 

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