Eduard Fokker Dr.I, 1/48. Udet's Striped Triplane.
Last year I built a Fokker D.VII, and towards the end of that build I started up on this Fokker Dr.I before putting it down, but I felt the motivation to put some work into it a few weeks ago and got to work!
This is Eduard's Fokker Dr.I, first released in 2008. Its not quite like their kits today with mould lines and some flash, but nothing too troublesome. One of the great things about the Fokker Dr.I and the D.VII is the lack of rigging beyond 4 wires each, plus the control cables if you wish to add them. As such, I'd recommend these kits for someone like me who is interested in that era but still intimidated by the idea of rigging.
After the Shinden kit I found myself in a weird area of not having a planned build afterwards, normally I spend the last week or two of a build like a kid in a candy shop eyeing up all the endless possibilities of models to build. But with the Shinden I didn't have that due to originally thinking I'd have to put down modelling for a bit and focus on the real world, so I pulled out a Tamiya Mustang and this Triplane for quick builds so I could figure out what main project I wanted to work on next.
Unfortunately I found a lot of the construction to be somewhat problematic when compared to their D.VII, I found the upper wing to be quite weakly joined tto the struts and that the fuselage really didn't want to close together due to the majority of parts not having any tabs to join to. These could just be the standard gripes with any WWI kit, but then again I am somewhat critical of Eduard on their fit of kits regardless.
Painting on the other hand was very fun, this model belongs to the 'Du Doch Nicht!' trio kit with an Albatross, Fokker Dr.I and Fokker D.VII. The box included two options for Udet's Triplanes, this beautiful striped machine as well as the replacement for this aircraft when the engine disintegrated and damaged the wing (standard First World War reliability) which, was left in a standard scheme as Udet was hoping in getting the new D.VII soon anyways.
For the streaking effect I simply took Tamiya Olive Drab, thinned to airbrush consistency, then applied it with a wide brush over the model which was painted in Tamiya Buff. If I were to do it again I'd definitely choose a green several shades lighter, however I think this method provides a very quick and effect way of doing it as the Tamiya paint dries level, but when brush painted does dry very streaky.
Painting the stripes was also quite enjoyable, with this sort of thing I don't think it's worth getting it pinpoint precise to the instructions but instead used what was available. This generally meant using 5mm tamiya flexi tape, this results in the wings probably missing a stripe or two but who cares at that point? For the fuselage I painted the sides, then joined them up via the topside. When it comes to stripes I'm happy to choose the nearest to a pre-existing size rather than cut up my own in order to keep it uniform.
The markings are all decals on this one, I found the black crosses were more translucent on these than on the Fokker D.VII, with the stripes being more visible through them. Of course, one could mask off and paint the crosses for a better result, at least these crosses would be easy enough to do.
Finally the propeller was done simply by spraying it one colour, and then brush painting the other one on to mimick the laminated wood, before it was all painted with a Tamiya clear orange that had been diluted. I think it came out decently, it wouldn't win an award but again it's a method that works alright for a quick job.
Weathering was kept simple, a little bit of oils focused on the undersides where dirt or mud may have flicked up off the wheels, and some oil leaking from the engine. My go to with oils is Mig OilBrusher, I find they have a good range at a price which is decent especially compared to the praised Ubteilung, and they seem to dry far quicker than standard artist oils. Castor oil was the lubricant of choice to allow these rotary engines to spin, which came with some unfortunate side effects for the pilots...
Overall the painting of this kit was enjoyable, building less so which is partially due to Eduard but largely due to the nature of the aircraft itself. I'm half tempted to pick up a Tamiya Swordfish to see if my gripes with biplanes are more due to fit of the kit or the aircraft design itself. That being said I'm quite happy with how it turned out, it's far from perfect but as a quick side kit it did the job whilst I figured out what kit I wanted to do next.
In a case full of Navy blues, RAF browns, and Japanese greens, the colours found in these old steeds for the knights of the air certainly stand out!