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Milan Tesař
28 articles

Albatros D.III, 1:32, Roden, Lt. Karl Emil Schäfer, Jasta 28, 30 victories

June 2, 2024 · in Aviation · · 22 · 173

I saw two nicely built D.III Albatross here recently and I liked them so much I thought I'd build one too. I chose the less presented coloring of the ace Emil Schäfer.

I modified a nice looking engine with pipes, cables, spark plugs and decals. I also added details to the cockpit and fuselage. Since the Roden plastic is very soft, I reinforced all the struts with copper wire. Used Gaspatch turnbuckles and fishing line again. The parts fit nicely using a minimum of sanding.

I wrote about the development of the Albatross in my previous articles and something about the pilot.

Karl Emil Schäfer (17 December 1891 – 5 June 1917) was a German pilot during World War I; became one of the main German flying aces of the war with 30 confirmed aerial kills.

The demands of flying duties Schäfer trained as a pilot and served on the Eastern Front with Kampfgeschwader 2 from July 1916. He moved west and now flew with Kampfstaffel 11 of KG 2, where he scored his first victory. With just this one victory, he brazenly telegraphed to Manfred von Richthofen, who was assembling a "top gun" (kanone) squadron on Jasta 11: "Can you use me?" Richthofen replied, "You've already been asked."

Schäfer was then posted to Jast 11 on 21 February 1917. In intensive operations during Bloody April, he became an air ace, credited with 21 kills and awarded the Pour le Mérite. While a member of Jasta 11, "Karlchen" (Charlie) became known as the joker of the squadron and recorded many vivid incidents in combat and in play. He flew an Albatross D.III with red and black markings. Somehow in between all this he found time to write his autobiography Vom Jaeger zum Flieger ("From Soldier to Pilot")

Schäfer was then given command of Jasta 28 on 26 April and after claiming further victories for a total of 30 claims, Schäfer was shot down and killed on 5 June 1917 in combat with 20 Squadron. FE2d piloted by Lt Harold Satchell and observer Lt Thomas Lewis neutralized his aircraft which disintegrated in mid-air. Both men reported that the Albatross had gone down in flames. Max Ritter von Müller of Jasta 28 reported seeing the disintegration but not seeing any fire. Photos of the wreckage show no scorching and the wings are still attached to the aircraft. His Jasta 28 comrades found Schäfer's body, noting that he had no gunshot wounds, but that every bone in his body was broken.

With his 29 kills on the Albatross D.III, he was one of the most successful pilots of this type.

Reader reactions:
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10 additional images. Click to enlarge.


22 responses

  1. WW1 aircraft have so many options for subjects and schemes and, Milan, you do the subject justice. Well done!

  2. Excellent result as always, Milan!
    Very interesting history of Lt. Schäfer.

  3. A fine result on this Albatros, Milan @milantesar
    Thanks for sharing those historical facts.

  4. Really nice work, @milantesar and a great result.

    FWIW, I have 25-year old Roden WW1 models, and there has been no distortion of any struts. Rest easy on that.

  5. Very nice Albatros of a not as well known WW1 ace.

  6. A great rendition of the Albatros D111 Milan, your attention to detail is tops. Love the narrative on Lt. Schafer as well.

  7. Very well done, great engine detail!

  8. Excellent build! WW1 stuff is out of my wheelhouse, but looks like it is solidly in yours!

  9. Really beautiful work Milan, truly outstanding work. The Albatross series of fighters has always been a favorite of mine. I know what you mean about the soft Roden plastic. It reminds me of Airfix's plastic except gray and not as "pebbley". They are nice kits though, if you don't mind a little extra detailing.

    • Thanks Clint, yes I agree that the Roden kits, they are a very good base to build, plus they were able to fill a gap in the great war planes in this scale.

  10. Nice work, Milan. That’s not an easy kit.

  11. Excellent job with this one. It looks really nice. I’m always attracted to anything that relates to the First World War and especially when it includes aviation. I especially enjoyed reading the article and learned about what happened there.

    I’m going to be starting a “Great War” group build in the near future that will follow the actual dates of the war.

    If you have any plans for building anything else like this in the future it would be awesome if you could join us.

    Well done and I made sure to click on several of the various like buttons.

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