Eduard 1/48 Roland C.II: Easy to Build & Affordable Bi-Planes
I use to stay away from Bi-Planes for obvious reasons...rigging, wing braces, small parts...etc. Then I built a few Wing Nut Wings Bi-Planes and discovered that if the kit is engineered well, and you get good instructions, a bi-plane is no more difficult then a typical mono-plane. Really turned me onto WWI aircraft and every time I get a chance I want to build one. Problem is I dont always have the energy, and/or time, to take on a huge, highly-detailed, 1/32 WNW project, and more importantly, I just cannot afford the price of a WNW model, even though I often comment that "they are a good value for what you get".
Well started to read a lot about the new Eduard moldings of several WW1 bi-plane kits. Everyone who built one would remark that they are the equivalent of a 1/32 WNW model but in 1/48. So I wanted to build the WNW 1/32 Roland C.II late but instead decided to build it in 1/48 and purchased the Eduard kit. Well it was a great kit with excellent detail for 1/48. The Profi Pack version included everything you needed except some rigging material. The engineering and instructions were high caliber and resulted in an easy, straightforward build OOB. Many of the parts fell together but it did have its challenge here and there. This was not due to engineering issues but just the normal result of building a very detailed model in smaller 1/48 scales. No matter how well you engineer you cannot do anything about having very small, fragile to scale parts to work with and assemble. You just need to take your time, follow the instructions and use a magnifying device. It was not much harder then a typical 1/48 mono-plane b/c the items that make a bi-plane more difficult are well engineered and causes no issues with this build.
Even since I was turned onto "EZ-Line" rigging material I have enjoyed rigging. I use to avoid rigging like the plague. But this EZ-Line stuff IMHO makes rigging much easier, and enjoyable. When it comes to building bi-planes you cannot avoid the rigging issues, so you must have a material that is easy to work with. The EZ-Line fills that role for me. I really do enjoy rigging now. You may need some other references, other then just the instructions, to properly rig her. So make sure you find so good reference photos of the Roland. Again, take you time and follow instructions. Don't give up!
I do have to say that since I started to build models at age 10, and now in my middle ages, I have never ever needed to purchase and use purple paint...LOL. I think the purple/green camo was part of the draw to this kit. Its just so colorful...loved it. I did need to paint it prior to final assembly in order to overcome the common issues with trying to mask and paint a small bi-plane. But that was not a problem b/c it assembled so well after painting. The landing gear bracing was a little fiddly, but not due to engineering issues, but rather due again to small size, and to-scale parts which are thin, and very fragile.
BTW, those are curtains you see on the windows of the cabin. I did not make that up. And yes the model includes the decals of these curtains. The story I read regarding the etiology of this oddness relates to an inside joke the pilots had regarding the crew of these planes. It had something to do with the cabin being more roomy then most planes of that era, and they spent so much time flying and/or being with these planes on the front-lines that they needed to live in them. So they dressed it up like a flat with curtains on the windows. Maybe some else has a better explanation? Also it does include some Photo-Etch so you want to have some comfort level and/or skill in working with this material in a small scale. I dont recall any challenge out of the usual with this aspect of the kit.
In summary these kits are great so give one a try. I cannot wait to purchase and build another Eduard 1/48 Bi-Plane. Any recommendations for which one to try next? If you have any build questions please ask. Comments are welcomed. Hope you enjoy!
19 additional images. Click to enlarge.