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WNW Hansa Brandenburg W12 in 1/32

Designed by the famed Ernst Heinkel in late 1916, the W-12 was developed as a 2-seat patrol and recon seaplane for the German Imperial Navy and gave excellent account of itself in combat with RNAS patrol craft and airships in the North Sea and Flanders coast. It was fast, manuevreable, stable and sturdy, and was still in service in numbers at the end of hostilities.

When WnW announced the W12 along with the Felixstowe a few years back I ordered mine right then and there…this plane just screams Coolness! If you have a fear of building biplanes or haven’t built a WnW kit yet, do yourself a big favor and get this kit! Hardly any rigging to worry about, and a very easy, solid construction makes for a Very enjoyable build!


I won’t delve into the actual construction too much, I followed the instruction sequence pretty much all the way through, painting and detailing as I went along. Here are a few tips during building:
Paint only the sides of the parts that will be visible (such as the interior side structure, WnW moldings are very precise and too much paint will cause fit issues.

Wood is very easy to simulate, I use Tamiya Dark yellow, then depending on how light or dark the wood I want to simulate, I rub on burnt umber or burnt sienna oil paint with a small piece of makeup foam until I get the look I want, then after drying I spray a light coat of Tamiya Clear Orange.

For this plane the rigging is very simple, merely a pair of crossed wires between the front and rear interplane struts on each wing and of course the rudder and elevator control wires, which can be simulated with thin brass wire , available at any good model train shop.

I used Tamiya paints as recommended in the instructions thruout the build and had a blast building this kit! With WnW kits there is no real need for aftermarket decals, the unusual hex lozenge pattern makes for a very unusual looking airplane. It also makes for a very imposing fighter, very much like the brawler it was in real life. When friends ask me what kit I would recommend as their first WnW kit, this is the one I tell them, due to ease of assembly, wealth of detail and a lack of rigging!

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.


13 responses to WNW Hansa Brandenburg W12 in 1/32

  1. Not being a fan of WWI aircraft, I feel kinda dumb askin’ this question, but that airframe didn’t require a vertical stabilizer….? How’d THAT work ? 🙁
    Beautiful job on the build, by the way – (AND the plaque).

    • Quite a number of early aircraft did not have vertical stabilizers, such as any of the Sopwiths, the Fokker DR1 and Eindeckers, and the Nieports. They started making apearances on the latter aircraft like the D7, Se5 and Spads. In the case of the w12, the fuselage was deep, which helped with the lateral stability, and the rudder was comma shaped, and curved under the tail giving the rear gunner a clear field of fire.

    • The rudder is lowered to give the gunner a clear field of fire. With the rudder completely behind the fuselage, the fuselage acts as the vertical stablilizer. The same was true of the W.29.

  2. Masterful representation of this unique looking bird. Congrats on the award. Well deserved

  3. Juan, This is a real beauty, Like Craig asked “where the rudder” ? Then I noticed it.
    Your explanation for this design explains it well. (I find it unnecessary that it had to be answer a 2nd time) .
    Very nice workmanship, I like it a lot !

  4. Thank you for taking the fear of building WW1 acft…..I do have 3 of them in my stash….and I am step nearer to starting one….

  5. My that’s nice, really a lovely job on this one Juan, and congrads on the award.

  6. Good looking model, now i want to build one myself.

  7. An amazing build!
    There is something special about the old sea planes and flying boats.
    Thanks for sharing.

  8. Beautiful build. The HB seaplanes are among the most unique looking seaplanes of WW1 (and a personal favorite since I saw the pics in a WW1 aviation encyclopedia.)

  9. That’s a beauty! Cool looking aircraft as well. Nicely done.

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