This is a first look a the Eduard “Dual Combo” release of the 1/48 Fokker D.VII (MÁG), catalog number 1147.
This is a limited release and is a must have for any WWI enthusiast or collector. The kit comes with parts to build 2 complete models with full PE frets for both. The 6 decal sheets provide no less than 11 marking options allowing an incredible 40 different combinations to be built, from 7 Czechoslovakian, 2 Hungarian and 2 Romanian aircraft.
As well as a detailed A4 size 8 page instructions sheet there is a wonderful 16-page color reference booklet full of superbly researched details on these aircraft, their history and markings, including 4 view colour profiles of the all markings, very much like a mini “data file”.
In 1918 Fokker won a contract for the Austro-Hungarian Air Force (LFT) for some D.VII aircraft. The contract was given to Magyar Általános Gépgyár (MAG), originally a farm machinery and automobile company which, during
the war was producing the excellent 200HP Austro-Daimler aero engines for the LFT. Fokker was a shareholder and was keen to marry the D.VII airframe with the Austro-Daimler engine. Fokker delivered 6 airframes to the MAG complete with lozenge fabric covering, and MAG built around 30 of their own, including some 2-seaters before the end of the war, and the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The D.VIIs saw service in the fractious breakup of the Empire, and through one means or another ended up in service of several countries in the following years. The whole story is laid out in the booklet!
The instructions, themselves are concise and detailed as ever from Eduard, but the real jewel is the history and camouflage booklet that comes with the kit. It details the painstakingly researched histories of these aircraft and comes complete with full 4-colour profiles of most of the options, and details on how to mark the other options.
MAG Specific parts
Each kit comes in 5 sprues, giving 10 overall in the big box! Sprues A, B and C are standard for other D.VII kits, and contain wing, strut and Mercedes engine parts. Sprue G contains the parts unique to the MAG D.VIIs, such as the fuselage halves with the cut down cowling, exhausts, radiators, propellers, axles, long barrel machine guns, etc. Sprue X is contains the plastic parts for the Austro-Daimler engines. This is a highly detailed engine, and most of it will be seen on the finished kit. The engine itself accounts for 12 plastic parts an 6 PE parts. The modeler has a great change to really detail the engine here. A couple of sink marks near the cowlings may need to be dealt with, since the engine area is pretty open on these aircraft, but other than that I could see none in visible places. There was absolutely no flash on any of the 10 sprues I received.
Parts, both plastic and PE are given to make 2 of any of the aircraft depicted in the marking schemes.
The PE comes in 4 sheets, two identical colour ones containing generic D.VII parts ( seat belts, instrument panels, bezels, etc), and a sheet each of the MAG-specific parts.
Markings for 11 aircraft are given, in lozenge covered, camouflaged and clear linen coverings. Three countries of the defunct empire are represented. This gives the modeler a huge choice for the two kits (s)he will build.
A full set of top, bottom, tail, axle fairing and interior lozenge is given for a single aircraft, as well as a complete set of lozenge fabric rib tapes. Full instructions are given on the back of the colour booklet on the positioning and order to apply the decals. The decals are in perfect register and have minimal carrier film around the edges. The only issue I have is with the interior lozenge. I always thought interior lozenge was just the reverse side of the exterior fabric. Maybe I'll try applying it in reverse, to see how it looks. Also, the instructions call for rib tapes to be applied to the ailerons, but it is almost certain that this wouldn't have been done, as it wasn't done for aircraft manufactured for the German Air Force. But that is up to you.
A single set of national insignia for each option is provided and, again, the decals look excellently printed.
This is an absolutely awesome kit, or pair of kits to be exact. Every collector of WWI era aircraft should get one, at least for their stash. It is a limited edition, so they won't last forever. The instructional information given is superb and the quality of the plastic and molding is as fine as Eduard has ever produced.