An SSW D.III with all the trimmings - Eduard 1/48 Siemens-Schuckert D.III
In full disclosure I am not a WWI modeler. It’s been twenty plus years since I attempted a model withmore than one wing or one wire. I am a however a 48th scale modeler and a big fan of Eduard. As I hung out at Eduard’s booth during the IPMS Nationals last August they were very busy and very proud talking about their forthcoming WWI kit. I wasn’t ready yet, but there was a buildup of a test shot on the table and they wanted everyone to look at their new masterpiece. I look at the Eduard’s website often and read their webzine as soon as it’s available each month and my curiosity was peaked about the SSW D.III. So when Internet Modeler offered me the opportunity to review and build the new Eduard biplane I was ready to share the joy with my friends at Eduard and build their new model.
The SSW DIII came from a requirement for an aircraft able to compete with the Nieuport 17. The DIII couldn’t do that but its remarkable Siemens-Halske Sh.III air-cooled rotary engine gave it an ability to climb quickly and it was well liked by its pilots. The DIII initially suffered from some designed shortfalls and engine problems attributed to improper oil led to the type being withdrawn for a while. Ultimately these problems were corrected and the DIII’s climbing capability made it a good fighter in Home Defense Units.
In the spirit of the season this is an SSW DIII with all the trimmings because Eduard provides a beautiful kit and the opportunity take that kit to next level if you want – all the trimmings.
The first release is the ProfiPACK so it’s a multi-media kit to start. There are 79 plastic parts on two sprues. The molding is very precise. The panel lines are crisp and the fabric representation is really well done. I found no flash and all the parts are really well formed. The flight controls are separate and the trailing edges on the wings and tail surfaces nicely thin. There’s a multi-part cockpit that will make up a very busy WWI front office. The plastic parts for the engine and machine guns are nice if simple representations of the real thing.
There is of course a fret of etched parts- some color and some not. The color parts allow you to buildand realistic seat with seat belts. Other etched parts provide the ability to super detail the guns and there are etched turn buckles for the rigging. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to rigging an aircraft with photo etched turn buckles. There’s a piece of film to cut the wind screen and they give you two- in case your first try goes awry. Finally, there are masks for the wheels even if only one of the five schemes does not use lozenge decals for the interior of the wheels.
Speaking of decals, there are five different and fairly striking schemes on the decals printed by Cartograf.Several of the schemes feature a brown fuselage which I assume is wood meaning you would want to create a wood grain appearance, but the directions don’t clarify that point. Some internet searches seem to confirm that. You get an extensive set of decals to complete Lozenge pattern. Large decals, thesize of the entire wing so you don’t have match the pattern- not once. It would seem there was additional fabric reinforcing strips placed on each rib. Eduard has accurately recreated these in decalform. I counted 154 stripes, and I thought USN F-4 stencils were a challenge. Decaling the D.III should keep you busy for a couple of evenings.
The kit will build beautifully out of the box, but Eduard is not a company to leave well enough alone. If you want to take your DIII to the next level then Eduard offers a host of additional sets- all the trimmings.I want to tell you – I have them all!
I have the fabric seatbelts. This one of Eduard’s newest accessories- belts made of cloth. They actually bend and fold like the real thing. The color-etch are cool, but these are fabulous. They will be a great addition to an already well appointed interior.
I have the resin and resin + etch machine guns. The kit guns are ok, but you can get so much more detail out of resin. Eduard gives you two choices of aftermarket machine guns. The first are 100% resin and a big improvement on the plastic and will look really nice painted with a wash. The second set has a front and a rear and you wrap the etch-metal sleeve around them to capture the look of the real gun. These should come out like a work of art. I’ve been reading about annealing metal for these, because that’s the only way to wrap that metal, but they are going to be gorgeous when complete.
Finally, I saw one review that said the engine was simple and the push rods oversized. Well if that concerns you then go for the resin engine with the etched-metal rods. The engine was the heart of the DIII. It’s what made the aircraft special and lack of proper oil was the big issue that set the DIII back. So show a little respect and do the engine up right- I plan to! The cylinder heads are beautiful and the etchbrass push rods as close to real as you can get.
The Eduard ProfiPACK SSW DIII is a great multi-media kit right out of the box. You will be able to create a beautiful model with the contents of the box. Eduard also has given you the opportunity to take your DIII to the next level. Add a couple of detail sets designed by Eduard to enhance to kit and create a masterpiece. A Holiday treat from Eduard that you can have - with all the trimmings!