In early 1918 the WKF series 80.06 (8 = WKF, 0 = Experimental, 06 = sixth in the sequence), took to the skies and after succesful trials, crashed. This was replaced by the similar 80.06B and this was ultimately accepted for series production as the WKF D.I. The design of which was further modified into the Series 85 aircraft. Approval for 48 aircraft was given in September 1918 – 20 to be delivered by December 1918 and the balance in January 1919. However by war's end only two aircraft had been accepted, but construction continued and 24 were reported to be complete in January 1919. Poland was interested in purchasing 20 of these aircraft, but the deal fell through due to the two test aircraft being defective.
This kit is the second in Alliance's lineup (see the Aviatik in this issue for their first), and it's not too bad. Like the Aviatik, this kit is 100% resin, with no etched brass included. The parts have crisp detailing and the construction is straightforward.
Starting with the innards, this kit has a nicely detailed engine, although it could probably use some additional sprucing up, as a lot can be seen in this scale. The interior could also use some additional detailing, but the parts that are there are crisply molded. The most glaring omission is the seatbelts, but that's a simple thing to add.
The wings are beautifully flat with subdued ribbing detail and a very nicely done scalloped trailing edge on both upper and lower wings. The lower wing fits into a notch in the lower fuselage and some trimming and work will likely be needed here to make sure everything is lined up correctly. The instructions make this clear and show that the lower wing needs to be 90° to the fuselage, otherwise the upper wing and struts will be off, as will the landing gear.
The struts are very nicely done and look to be the proper thickness. This might be a problem, as that means they are thin and they may not support the upper wing very well. The landing gear struts should probably be replaced with something a bit more sturdy as well, as they will have to hold up a fair amount of weight.
The decals are nicely printed and are in perfect register (well why not? They only have two colors on them!). Wing crosses and fuselage numbers are all that's provided. The color scheme is a striking one, consisting of brown and green over lacquered canvas, with aluminum engine panels.
If you want to build a 1/48 kit of the WKF D.I, this is going to be your best bet. I can't think of any other kit of this plane in this scale. Even so, this kit is nicely done and it should build up nicely straight out of the box. Set down on the table next to all those other WWI subjects, this kit is sure to turn some heads with the question of "What's that???"