1/48 Lloyd CL II by Special Hobby
World War I began as the last Napoleonic War revolving around infantry, artillery and cavalry, but quickly devolved into mass carnage at the hands of machine guns, barbed wire, poison gas and massed high explosives. Sweeping maneuver was replaced by trenches and stalemate. The advent of aircraft allowed the ground forces to see behind enemy lines to track troop movement and battle preparation, as well track shell fall of their guns. Soon the enemy sent up aircraft to shoot down these airborne snoops.
Both sides soon realized the need to arm these aerial eyes to protect themselves from other aircraft. Early warplanes looked like birds (can you say Etrich Taube?), while others looked like kites with motors, or engineering nightmares. Into this morass stepped Lloyd with an aircraft that resembled a Frankenstein’s bird, the Lloyd CLII. The Germans were underwhelmed by its performance, and relegated it to their ally, Austria-Hungary.
This has got to be one of the most ungainly aircraft ever to be flown in combat. The pilot was hunkered down peering forward UNDER the radiator. And should that radiator take any damage, guess who got steam cleaned? As well, the pilot’s aim had to be a bit off as his forward firing gun is in that odd box thingy
on top of the wing (to clear the propeller before the invention of interrupter gear). Finally, the wing bracing system was unorthodox to say the least (though not the only plane with diagonal struts between the wings. It does have an aesthetically pleasing wing form with those feather-inspired ailerons, though.
I picked up this kit at Modelpalooza a couple of years ago for a song — the fuselage halves were already assembled and the box was falling apart. Nonetheless, I had a great time putting it together. The plastic was a bit clunky, but generous use of sanding sticks made the cockpit walls more appropriately thin. The included PE made the gunner’s position
a real focal point. The sparse rigging is done in very thin wire.
The camo is called “falling leaf” and is a dark linen base with brown and green
added by crushed dry brush, almost like a home decorator sponging a wall. I am pleased with the final effect. I would do it again, but I cannot find another aircraft decked out so.
All in all, a fine kit of an odd aircraft. How far we’ve come . . . .
2 additional images. Click to enlarge.