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Paul Nash
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Revell 1/28 Scale Fokker Triplane

July 13, 2017 · in Aviation · · 21 · 4.9K

Back in the mid 1960s, I developed an interest in Voss and the Triplane that he flew until his death in September 1917. This was probably when brought out their series of WW1 scouts in this unusual scale, so I tried to make Voss' 103/17 with mixed success. In my more recent childhood, I decided to have another go and this is the result. A detail set and decals from Copper State sorted out much of the issues with this old moulding but I was determined to try to reproduce a bit of the cockpit detail, including the Fokker/Platz tubular metal fusellage framework that typified many of Fokker's designs. Shame it's only marginally visible, but it kept me amused for a bit.
Despite the wonky wheels, it doesn't look too bad and the paint finish seems to be a reasonable interpretation of the scheme applied to the 2 F1 operational prototypes. From contemporary b&w pics, of which there are many, this paint scheme was more delicate than the brush-painted wider stripes that appeared on the production versions.
I also managed to make 2 modifications to the basic kit that identified the 2 F1 models from the Dr1s that followed, but I baulked at one that I thought would challenge me one step too far. I'd be interested to hear if anyone can spot the missing bit.

I've since added some pics of the cowling modiification I made which I hope shows how the cowlings of the first 3 pre-production tripes were apparently structured. I guess Anthony Fokker's desire to cut costs had as much to do with this as the need to maximise airflow for engine cooling. The diagram of the cowlings was what I used for this and the 2 pics of Werner with 103/17 clearly show this cowling shape. I hope this helps Louis with his tribute to this young and skillful flier.

Reader reactions:
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14 additional images. Click to enlarge.

21 responses

  1. You do remarkable work, Paul. I think this is my favorite of all the submissions I see from you, though that is no slight to the others. Beautiful.

  2. Beautifully done! I have 3 of those old kits; the Fok. DR1, Sop. Camel, & the SPAD. They are good models, though in an odd scale. My Dad actually made them back in the 60s when they were new releases.
    Great job on Voss' plane!

  3. Thanks vm for all the comments guys. This one's certainly better than the one I built back in the 60s when I recall also building the Spad. I got so involved with the Dr1's construction that I was asked by an old friend, now long gone, to finiish off for him the Hachette 1/8 scale model that he'd started. That kit is pretty rudimentary OOB so gave me lots of scope to indulge my amateurish detail ability. I'll post it on the site sooner or later. It's a brute!

  4. Missing bit: curved leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer.

    • Bingo ! We have a winner ... You beat me to the answer.

    • Tom/Louis - Spot on! Curious that Eduard's recent Fokker F1 has 2 horizontal stab including one with a slightly curved edge while they didn't bother with the slightly different cowling that both F1s had in comparison wth production Dr1s

  5. Very nice job on that unusual finish, Paul...I like that.

  6. Great work! I especially like the camouflage!

  7. This is remarkable timing. I just pulled out my Revell of Germany Dr1 kit. I plan on building up mine as a Voss tripe too. The 100th anniversary of his death is September 23rd. I hope to have mine done in time to post an article about him and his triplane. Excellent work. I really like it.

    • PS: if you don't mind what colors did you use for the light blue and the green streaks ? To me it looks very realistic. I also like how you painted the cowling in solid green instead of how it is sometimes represented with a yellow or even red color on it. I really think that you have captured the original look rather well. Two thumbs up !

      • Hi Louis - The paint scheme is Tamiya AS-5 all over with the green streaks brush-painted with something close to RLM dunkelgrun. I figured that, while German WW1 a/c tended to be more colourful than the Jagdwaffe a/c of WW2, the basis of the official colour palette was pretty uniform. Maybe simplistic but it looks about right. I relied heavily on Paul Leaman's detailed book on the triplane which helped me with the differing angles of the green stripes on each of the different surfaces.

        I went for the green cowling rather than yellow largely because there are no pics of 103/17 other than with a green cowling. It's not impossible that Voss may have had the cowling painted the Jasta colour yellow but I wonder why none of the 56 Squadron pilots involved in Voss' final engagement didn't remark on this had this been the case. They must have got close enough to see and their combat reports are otherwise quite detailed.

    • Louis - I took another look at the model on the shelf since none of the pics I took and posted show the underside colour. I'm pretty sure (it must have been 6-7 years ago when I built it) that the u/s is that AS-5 I mentioned. If not it was my own mix that's close to AS-5 which is a bit closer to what I think of as the greyer WW2 RLM 65. I can't tell from the model since the finished model was sprayed with something that gave all surfaces a slightly glossy finish (not quite satin) which is my interpretation of the many b&w pics of both 102/17 and 103/17 that are in Paul Leaman's book. The finish has darkened the underside colour from the shade that AS-5 becomes once you've sprayed a couple of coats of acrylic varnish on. The book is a great reference for the early triplanes, as well as Voss himself and the 23 Sept engagement. You may have read "September Evening" by Barry Diggens which is good background on Werner Voss. It carries a cover pic of 103/17 complete with yellow cowling and yellow wheel discs but I think he admits it's far from proven. Good luck with the build - it's one of the few WW1 scouts with limited rigging issues!


      • Thank you very much for posting the additional photos of your plane and the information you provided will be very helpful too. Yours is definitely a work of art. Thanks again, Louis

  8. THREE thumbs up!

  9. Love the paint scheme, and the overall finish on the model is excellent! I'm not a WWI guy, but I sure admire what you guys do with those fragile aircraft.

  10. Thanks for sharing this, looks great.! One of my Dads' all time favorite aircraft. He must have built a half dozen before he slipped the earthly bond.s

  11. I think a Revell have just reissued this kit with some additional 'historical' literature included

  12. Paul, great make me want to build the kits I have in the stash. Jeff

  13. Some kits are time less and hold up well to contemporary standards. The artisans used slide rules, pencil and paper. Long before batteries and the digital natives...

    Two thumbs on this one Paul.

  14. Paul,
    I can only hope that my Triplane turns out half as nice as yours has. You have taken this old kit and turned it into a masterpiece. It's truly amazing and a wonderful work of art. I sincerely appreciate that you took the time and made the effort to post up these additional photos. Thanks again my friend. This update is definitely going to help me during my build of Voss' plane.

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