The Fokker D.VII represented the apex of fighter development in World War I, and is widely known as the only aircraft to be specifically named in an armistice agreement. Germany lost all of its D.VIIs after the war, these were war prizes seized by the victorious allies; France, Britain and the United States, all of whom hoped to apply the lessons of the D.VII to their own planes in the hopes of achieving aerial dominance.
But many - including Anthony Fokker himself - went to great ends to hide D.VII airframes from the allies. Fokker smuggled more than 100 back to Holland; other nations grabbed handfuls from the collapsing German forces.
A few D.VIIs remained in the newly-created Hungary. The government needed a trainer to build up its air corps, and the D.VII seemed like an ideal advanced trainer. After all, Fokker himself had embarked on the C.I two-seat version of the D.VII, only to have the war's end spoil his project, A second cockpit was added, which altered the location of the original cockpit, and the between-the-wheels fuel tank was discarded, as were the machine guns. The result was a hot trainer and observation plane - a little short on range, a little under-armed, but still fun to fly.
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Omega's kit of this rarity has 38 parts, many of them very small, cast in resin and a sheet of decals for the Magyar-Soviet Republic in 1919. The single-piece wings and fuselage are straight as an arrow, with no warpage. A few air bubble are present, but mostly in easy-to remedy locations, like the floor of the cockpits (add a piece of styrene sheet). The cockpits are divided inside the fuselage and include seats, control columns, rudder bars, blank instrument panels and a compass, though detail freaks may want to add more stringer detail and other touches to enhance the interior. The modeler must make windscreens from the provided sheet of clear plastic. The cockpits are sealed off by an upper fuselage section, which provides the proper round openings. The wings are very well-rendered, with good fabric and rib detail on their tops and flat surfaces below.
The kit includes a very nice MAG-Daimler engine, which is enhanced with the option of two different radiator faces and an exhaust manifold. The propeller needs some clean-up thanks to its position on the carrier.
All the detail parts - including the struts - are contained on a wafer of resin. This will require a lot of careful clean up and could lead to some headaches. References will be critical to attaching the struts; the instruction diagram is a bit confusing. Also, I have my doubts about the strength of the resin struts; judicious replacement of these struts with airfoil-shaped rod, or perhaps struts swiped from a plastic D.VII kit - might be more durable. The tail sections are nicely rendered, with a mounting point on each horizontal stabilizer for bracing.
The decals provide markings for a linen-colored D-VII two-seater with the odd Hungarian star insignias - a white star in a red field on the left wing, a red star in a white field on the right.
I'd recommend this model to those with experience with biplanes, and a bit of resin and even vacuform experience wouldn't hurt. But the subject is truly unique, and lovers of the D.VII will find this an interesting addition to their shelves.