Kit Reference: 32048
Price around USD $69.00 (around £46.00 GBP)
Review by Geoff Coughlin (Mar 2013)
Our thanks to Wingnut Wings for supplying our review sample. Get this great kit and all the other superb kits in the WW range here now at: www.wingnutwings.com
Here’s a nice bit of inspiration…
Background from WW…
The legendary Fokker Eindecker, armed with a machine gun synchronized to fire through the propeller, made its 1st kill on the 1st day of August 1915. It was a 80hp Oberursel U.0 (license built 80hp Gnome) powered wing warping Fokker E.1 flown by Max Immelmann and marked the beginning of the “Fokker scourge”. Inspired by the capture on 18 April 1915 of Roland Garros and his Morane-Saulnier Type L Parasol fitted with a forward firing machine gun (using armoured deflector plates to protected the propeller from ‘serious’ bullet damage) the Germans set about coming up with their own version. Legendarily, the 25 year old Anthony Fokker created his own interrupter gear in just 48 hours after being inspired by the capture of Garros, but this is undoubtedly a myth.
A mechanical interrupter gear had been patented in 1913 by Hans Schneider of LVG but it was not until Fokker perfected it, or a similarly inspired design, that it worked sufficiently well to be employed in combat. Lawsuits filed by Schneider against Fokker continued up until September 1933.
Fokker’s unarmed 80hp and 100hp reconnaissance A type Eindeckers (inspired by a successful pre-war wing warping Morane-Saulnier design but with a welded steel tube frame fuselage) provided the airframe for further development and E.1 (armed Eindecker 80hp) types started shipping to front line units in June 1915. Although initially armed with a Parabellum LMG 14, which proved less that satisfactory, very soon into production they were fitted with the lMG 08 ‘Spandau’. The 100hp Oberursel U.1 (license built 100hp Gnome Monosoupape) powered E.II was developed concurrently with the E.1 and started entering service in July 1915. The E.III (externally identical to late production E.II) followed in August 1915 and from about October updated E.III started appearing with internal ammunition storage and a wing mounted compass. The 160hp Oberursel U.III powered Fokker E.IV, initially fitted with 3 lMG 08 machine guns (which proved to be 1 gun to many) first appeared in September 1915 but did not arrive at the front in larger numbers until March-April 1916. By this time the appearance of the highly manoeuvrable French Nieuport 11 and British DH.2 had marked the beginning of the end of the “Fokker scourge”, effectively rendering the wing warping German monoplanes obsolete. Most Eindeckers had been withdrawn from front line service by December 1916.
Any history here is of necessity very brief so we recommend that you seek out the references mentioned below for the better understanding of the various Fokker Eindeckers, but we do so with the following caution; considerable confusion exists about these important aircraft (in no small part because of incorrect or conflicting Idflieg and Fokker factory records). Because of this we highly recommend you treat published drawings & specifications with a great deal of scepticism. We feel that Josef Scott’s new Windsock Datafile Fokker Eindecker Compendiums published in September 2012 will go a long way towards clearing up much of this confusion.
It appears that Fokker Eindecker steel tube framework and fittings were painted in grey-green while all aluminium panels and cowls remained unpainted and were given a ‘squiggly turned’ finish. Despite conventional wisdom, photographic evidence indicates that no Fokker Eindeckers were factory finished in Clear Doped Linen (CDL). Contemporary allied combat reports record Fokker Eindecker colours such as “dark brown”, “dark brown wings on the upper side”, “grey”, “straw yellow”, “white”, “black” and “butcher blue”. A French report mentions that “the fabric of the Fokker wings was generally beige in 1916” while capture reports of later production E.III 196/16 and E.III 210/16 simply mention “beige”. It is possible that “beige” and “straw yellow” are actually same colour and “white” and “black” may refer to misidentified Pfalz Eindeckers. It would appear that the linen covering was dyed, possibly before being fitted to the aircraft, or colour doped after being attached but before being finished with clear shrinking dope and varnish. Most Fokker Eindeckers exhibit heavy castor oil staining along their fuselages which soaked through the fabric from the inside, considerably darkening the coloured fabric.
Wingnut Wings is certainly producing some fantastic kits as I write and their release schedule would put many bigger manufacturer to shame!
I would recommend that you look at the previous Wingnut Wings Here Now and Finished Now reviews available in your SMN – you’ll see what an amazing job WW is consistently doing with each new release and this one – the Fokker E.III (Late) Eindecker is easily up there with all that we have featured so far. It won’t have escaped your notice that the E.III is a monoplane albeit an early design and there’s less rigging too! Can’t be bad.
Looking at the breakdown of the parts-assembly it all looks logical and if you’ve completed any WW kit you’ll recognise the whole approach. Presentation of the whole package is second to none. This really looks like it would make an ideal entry into the world of Wingnut Wings and 1:32 WWI scale modelling if you are a newbie or relatively new to this type of subject in this scale.
Superb levels of detail…
Levels of detail are superb and highly appropriate for 1:32 scale. The open cockpit will allow all that wood in the cockpit to be seen and admired. The engine is largely encased in the cowling so not a lot of that will be visible, although the lovely wooden prop will be. High levels of detail, crisp clean moulding – you just want to start cutting and building it!!
The wings have excellent fabric / ribbed detail moulded in and if you check out the multiple WW builds in SMN you’ll see just how well this can be painted and weathered to create a realistic effect. In addition, check out Dave C’s completed Rumpler build in Finished Now.
The two-piece wing sections have neat locating tabs that will make assembly and lining up with the fuselage much easier.
These are another highlight; especially as the MGs will look good when painted gunmetal and what’s great is that the metal cooling jackets are provided in photo etch adding considerable refinement to the model.
More on the cockpit… plus PE
I think that this is going to be a bit of a highlight with this release and the familiar cage, control column, seat and instruments will all look great when viewed from above. The seat harness is supplied as photo etch (PE) and this is great having used these WW brass items before. You’ll see from the photos that other small items are provided on the PE fret like the gun sight and other small details.
The Wingnut Wings (WW) instruction booklet is one of the big highlights with any WW kit and this one is no exception – quite superb. Full colour illustration and diagrams give very clear instructions as to where everything goes. Good use is made of different colours to make identification and placement of all parts – and rigging later in the book, straightforward. There’s quite a bit of rigging to add to the Eindecker but the diagram makes locating each wire very clear.
There are also several period images in black and white and these give a very clear steer as to weathering possibilities later in the project. Add to that the all colour walkaround images covering all aspects of the airframe and you have a five-star guide to completing your WW Eindecker E.III (Late).
There are several great colour options for your E.III:
- Fokker A.III 03.43, Flik 8 & Flik 19, Austro-Hungarian Army, May 1916
- Fokker A.III ’A8’, Austro-Hungarian Navy, 1916
- Fokker E.III 246/16, Max Immelmann, KeK Douai, June 1916 (15 victories)
- Fokker E.III 405/15, Otto Pfalzer (3 victories), Ernst Udet (62 victories), KeK Habsheim, March 1916
- Fokker E.III 608/15, Josef Jacobs, Fokkerstaffel-West, May 1916 (48 victories)
- Fokker E.III, Manfred von Richthofen, Kasta 8, June 1916 (80 victories)
There are some lovely small stencils that will add the finishing touch to your markings; excellent quality decals if a little thick; colour density looks good as does accuracy.
There is no doubt that Eduard are pioneering some superb WWI models in 1:48 scale – Revell has some perhaps surprisingly good ones in 1:72 and Silver Wings cannot be ignored either in 1;32, I recently built their very nice Siskin. Wingnut Wings though has set a very high bar indeed for 1:32 and is unequalled in all elements of their package. The whole package is available post-free from WW at a staggering US$ 69.00 (around £46.00 GBP at the time of writing), amazing value for money. These models are available from Hannants in the UK, but check the pricing first to make sure you get the best price and service and compare with WW own website.
SMN Quick Summary
|FEATURE||STAR RATING (out of five)|
|Quality of moulding||*****|