AZmodel 1/72 Pfalz E.I
Back in 2004 I built the Pfalz E.IV from ICM. When I finished it I told myself that it was the first and last WW1 monoplane that I was going to build. But never say never…..
Last year a friend challenged me to build the AZmodel Pfalz E.I so I jumped at the opportunity and though it took a while to finish it I am pleased with the results and also with the chance of being able to contribute an article to IM for the first time.
To help detail the AZmodel Pfalz I looked through my pile of instructions and dug out the Pfalz ICM instructions. They were very helpful.
After comparing the fuselage with the drawings of the book “Pfalz Aircraft of WW1” from Flying Machine Press, I found that although it had the correct shape the width should be increased in about 0,5 mm (from the beggining of the fuselage, for 5,5 cm). Also the fuselage is a little too long, so I shortened it in about 1 mm.
I decided then to detail the interior.
After comparing with photos in the book, I made a decision to take out all the kit's interior detail, thin the fuselage and make new interior details. I also added the tank behind the pilots seat. After making a scratch gasoline tank, a square of about 8 mm by 10 mm was cut off the fuselage so that latter on, the gasoline tank could be easily fitted.
To simulate the cables that show under the fuselage, two rectangular holes were cut in the fuselage and an interior structure (and new plastic card floor) was made to support them and the control stick. To complete the interior (painted black) a scratch seat and pump were added.
On the outside of the fuselage some modifications were also made. The panels in front on the fuselage and the ribbing were added with the help of plastic card. The wings were also repositioned because the angle did not seem correct to me.
Part 13 was replaced by a new plate made from plastic card and after dry fitting I decided to shorten parts 19.
Another small detail added was a fuel tube near the motor.
According to the instructions you should cut off a section of the wing. But I was not happy with the wing's thickness nor with the shape of its external section. So I decided another approach. First the wing was sanded until I was satisfied with the thickness. Next I cut off a section of the outer part of the wing, repositioned it to match the plans and filled in the gaps with super glue and filler. To finish, small strips of white decals were used to simulate the rib tapes and holes were made to pass the wires.
Undercarriage and cable support
I used the kit undercarriage but I had to shorten the axle rod (after comparing with the plans). As for the supports for the wires, the bottom one was made from scratch and the solution to harness the wires was copied from ICM’s idea (to pass the wires you should add two plastic rectangles – one with two holes that will support the wires that come out of the fuselage and another with one hole were you will pass all the wires that support the wing).
As for the top support I ended up using one of the kits supports but was obliged to increase its height. To pass the wires two small metal loops were inserted on each side.
Vertical and horizontal stabilizers and skid support
After checking the plans new stabilizers were made out of plastic card. To hold the horizontal stabilizers to the fuselage I added (again coping from the ICM kit) two small plastic squares to the end of the fuselage. After sanding them I drilled them so that I could later pass a broken 0.3 mm drill to hold the stabilizer.
As for the skid support, new pieces were made, the actual skid being the only part used from the kit.
Painting , decals and rigging
As for the paint scheme I choose (paint scheme 1) the aircraft flown by Max Holtzen as a test pilot in 1916 because I had never seen a Pfalz with black wings.
Although the paint scheme says to use white and black, I replaced the white with a mixture of white and linen (Humbrol 20 *H34 + 1+H103). The rest was painted black.
Next step was to apply the decals (a coat of future was applied).
I was a bit afraid of the white decals over the black background but I was very satisfied with the end result. The only decal that needed some extra work was the pfalz logo that had the white background off-centered. This was solved by applying a small circular white decal and then applying the logo.
After this the entire model was varnished with Pébéo acrylic varnishes. Rigging was installed with painted nylon thread.
Last but not least the propeller, wheels and scratch glass was added.
I had a great time building the AZmodel Pfalz E.I. It turned out into a wonderful model although construction is not straight forward and some experience is needed.
Pfalz Aircraft of WW1, Flying Machines Press