Revell 1/28 Fokker Dr-1 Triplane as flown by Werner Voss

  • 65 posts
  • Last reply 1 year ago
  • 1/28, Dr1, Fokker, Revell, Triplane, Voss
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  • Louis Gardner said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    We all have our favorite planes from different eras.

    From the WW1 era, several types are among my favorites. The Fokker Dr-1 just happens to be one of them. I like the Sopwith, Nieuport, SPAD, Fokker, Albatros and Pfalz planes so much, that I have drawn up scale plans to build 1/6 ” scale electric RC planes of various types of these planes.

    I also have drawn up plans and started building an electric powered Curtiss Jenny that has an 88 inch wingspan !!! Now only if my RC flying skills were on par with my building……………….which they are not.

    This is something that I have been wanting to build for a while……………….. a Fokker Tripe, in plastic.

    Werner Voss met his fate on September 23rd, 1917 (almost 100 years ago), I wanted to try and get this build finished by the 100 Anniversary of the epic dogfight that ended this young German flyers life.

    My goal is to have this build completed by September 23rd, so I can post photos of the plane and an article about the man………………on the 100 year anniversary date.

    I purchased this Revell kit a few years ago from a store that is no longer in business.

    A few nights ago I finally opened it up to find the elevator / stabilizer parts were missing from the kit. In a flash of brilliance, (for me) I took this misfortune and turned it into doing what I had wanted to for a long time now……………..building a proper Voss Tri-plane.

    There were three F-1 prototypes built. They were numbered F-101, F-102, F-103. The first one, F-101 was destroyed in a destructive static load test. The remaining two F-102, F-103 went to the Front.

    Werner Voss (who was credited with 48 aerial victories) was killed in F-103 on September 23rd, 1917.

    The F-1 prototypes had a slightly different rounded shape to the leading edge of the stabilizer. So I will be scratch building a new elevator / stabilizer assembly for this plane.

    Because of this, I wouldn’t be needing the missing parts, since they were not correct for the Tri-plane that Voss flew that fateful day. If you look close at this photo below of one of the 3 “F-1” prototypes, you will see the leading edge of the stabilizer is not straight as on the production Tri-planes, but instead has a slight curvature to it…………….

    To top things off, I just found (and purchased online) a set of brand new decals for Voss’ Tri-plane in 1/28 scale !!!! I will post up a picture or two of them once they arrive……………

    Things are lining up, so I took this as a sign to start the build………………….

    I gathered my reference books:

    and I dug out one of my few surviving kits that I built as a kid.
    (shown below)…………… to use as a reference for the missing elevator and stabilizer assemblies. This one may end up getting a facelift, or possibly even a complete make over with different markings now that I will have an extra set of decals…………

    Late last night I started gluing parts together, and after some clean up of excess flashing, I had the wings assembled.

    This kit is from 1957 vintage as by the molding of the copyright date inside of the fuselage !!!!!

    Then I started figuring out how I wanted to replicate the cockpit parts since the kits items are lacking details that will be easily seen once completed……………..

    So please follow along with me as I attempt to make a model of the last plane that Werner Voss flew………………..

  • Jeff Bailey said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    Great subject, mi amigo! Voss was a good one who I read about as a kid.

    Those old Revell models hold up surprisingly well, considering.

    I certainly will follow this one!


  • Louis Gardner said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    Thanks Jeff. I sincerely appreciate the words of encouragement.

  • Louis Gardner said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    Tonight I managed to get some detail work done inside the cockpit. I wasn’t too pleased with the barren side walls. So I started scratch building…………..

    First order of business was to spray on a coat of Panzer “Interior Buff” color to resemble clear doped linen.

    Then I took a piece of 1/32 inch balsa sheet and fabricated the plywood that gave the sides of the fuselage their shape.

    I stained the balsa wood to resemble real aircraft plywood. Once it was stained I glued these parts in place using CA glue as seen in the photo below. What better way to replicate wood than to use real wood ???

    Next came the stringers that held the plywood in place against the side fuselage formers. I didn’t stain these and left them natural wood as seen below.

    The next addition was to install some plastic tubing to represent the welded steel tubes in the fuselage frame.
    Here’s how they looked before I painted them.

    Lastly I painted the plastic tubing with RAF interior green as it is supposed to be a nice match to the color used on the fuselage tubing of Fokker built aircraft.

    I’m calling it a day.

    As usual comments are encouraged.

  • Bernard E. Hackett, Jr. said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    Louis, nice to see a classic kit from my yuth’ being built. Nice work on the interior.

  • Paul Nash said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    Hi Louis – I think you’ve seen the post of my own version of Voss’ 103/17 and I’m sure you’re aware of the 3 main differences between 102 &103/17 and the ones that followed:-
    1) The curved leading edge of the vertical stabiliser as you’ve mentioned. I bottled replacing this on my version of Voss’ a/c.
    2) Curved wing tip skids under outside undersurface of bottom planes were not fitted to 102/103.
    3) The engine cowlings on 102/103 differed from the production a/c in that the flat facing plate extended a few cms below the point where the cowling slopes downwards towards the bottom mounting point, curving back to follow the line of this curve. Lots of the b&w white photos of 103 in particular show this since the moustaches of the face are painted over this area, highlighting the difference. If you have Paul Leaman’s Dr1 book there’s a diagram on p 118 and many pics of 103/17 that show this. It’s an easy fix with a bit of styrene suitably fitted. I don’t think it shows in the pics with my post but if you’d like to see how I did it I’ll take a pic or 2 of this area t show what I did.

  • Louis Gardner said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    Thanks for the information Paul. I didn’t realize that the prototypes had a different cowling. But just like you said, they do. It shows up if you look closely at the details.

    If you don’t mind taking a photo of your cowling that would really be nice. Thanks

    I added a small strip of plastic card stock along the bottom edge of mine but it will be very easy to remove if your way is easier / better / more accurate.

    Meanwhile I built the rotary engine and painted it with Model Master “Metalizer” using the burnt metal shade.

    I also did some online research and found some pictures of original engines. These engines have the intake manifold tubes the same color as the rest of the engine.

    So I decided that I would paint mine all the same color.
    Here’s how the back of the engine looks after a coat of paint.

    It still needs a coat of oil wash that will bring out the details a little more. The spark plugs also have to be painted.

    It should look OK once it is installed. Here’s a picture showing the engine mocked up with the cowling.

    Calling it a day. Thanks again for the information you provided for the cowling.

    As usual comments are encouraged.

    Take care.

  • Louis Gardner said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    Good news !!!!! The Copper State decals just arrived in the mail.

    I hope that I can make some headway today with the cockpit.

  • Robert Royes said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    I’m glad to see you doing this subject, this was my fathers’ favorite German aircraft and pilot, I did one of this for him in the seventies in Voss’s markings, Your doing a fine job.

  • Jeff Bailey said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    Lou – outstanding! The real wood looks like … well, real wood! Lol ! Keep up the awesome work ! Like Robert, Voss was my personal favorite after Eddie Rickenbacker. As I mentioned, he was one I was interested in as a kid.

    Great job, my friend.


    PS – How’s that Challenger coming along?

  • Louis Gardner said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    Thanks Robert. Like your father I have always liked Voss too. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

  • Louis Gardner said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    It’s good to hear from you Amigo. As far as the Challenger goes, I’ve been really busy working on it replacing the sheet metal on the rear of the car.

    I placed it on a frame alignment jig that I built to hold the frame in position set at the factory specs. Here’s a photo of the car sitting on the new frame jig.

    I spot welded on the rear window filler panel, trunk floor and under the seat floor pan. Here’s a picture below that shows the progress as I was spot welding the new panels on just like the factory did.

    Then I started with temporary fitting of the rear wheel housings. These will come back off again prior to final spot welding in place.

    Then I fitted the rear quarter panels on each side, just to make sure that all of the parts would fit before I permanently spot welded them in position.

    Here’s how the drivers side looks in the picture below

    And how the passenger side looks:

    These parts will come back off again and I’ll have to do this again for a few more times as I weld a new part in place. It’s time consuming but it’s the best way to ensure a perfect fit.

    That is the status of the Challenger Jeff.

    Take care buddy.

  • Louis Gardner said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    Last night I made some headway on the cockpit.
    I took this original part and made a new one using plastic rod.

    The original had way too much flash and I thought it would be easier to simply make a new one. Here’s a picture of the new one below.

    And how it fits…………..

    The kit propeller looked too thick to my eyes. So I started sanding it down to remove a few small dimples and flashing. It looks better now, and will look even better once painted.

    I used some clear plastic and heated it to form thin round strips that I used as cables. The cables were then installed on the fuselage tubing just as the real plane was.

    Then I turned my attention to the pilot’s seat. The kit rendered this part as something wooden, almost as if the original was made of wicker.

    But the seats used in Fokker Triplanes were aluminum and sometimes covered with fabric.

    So I used the kit parts as a template. Then I covered the parts with “Matt Aluminum ” bare metal foil. I glued the parts together to form the new seat.

    Hopefully tonight’s progress will be great.
    As usual comments are encouraged.

  • Paul Nash said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    Hi Louis – You’re obviously making good progress. I must have missed the fact that on the Oberursel the inlet manifold tubes weren’t copper but some other metal compound but looking at the N Zealand Vintage Aviator site where they’ve built an Oberursel I think from original drawings, it seems you’re right. Having painted these copper colour on my version of this kit, I take comfort in the knowledge that, like other German pilots, Voss had fitted a captured 110 hp Le Rhone engine to 103/17, and the French engine did have copper pipes. The Revell kit undoubtedly represents an Oberursel but since this was Fokker’s copy of the Le Rhone, few will spot the difference. In any case, you can make your own choice since I’m sure 103/17 would have had the Oberursel when it was delivered for combat evaluation. I have to admit, the “knowledge” I have comes from Paul Leaman’s detailed book rather than my own original research.
    In any case, it’s looking good. I’ll check the apparent angles of the olive green stripes on the horizontal surfaces since for some reason I don’t really understand these differ on the main planes, rear fuselage decking and horizontal stabiliser, just to make it more complicated. More later…………

  • Louis Gardner said 1 year, 2 months ago:

    Paul, I just did some online research, and you are 100 percent correct about the French Le Rhone’s having copper colored intakes. I found a few photos of surviving original engines that show this.

    The Oberursel rotaries had steel colored intake pipes as seen in these two photos below.

    I didn’t realize this difference until you pointed it out, so I learned something new. Thanks !!!

    So if anyone is using this build log as a guide to building a Voss Tripe:

    If you are building it as it was delivered with the Oberursel rotary, go with the steel color on the intake pipes.

    If you are building it as it would have looked shortly before it was shot down, then go with copper color, since Voss installed a French built Le Rhone in “F-103”.

    As far as the different angles of the “Fokker Streaking”, These parts were probably painted before assembly of the plane. I have read somewhere that they used a 3 winch wide brush to paint the green paint over the linen fabric.

    (but I’m not 100 percent positive on the brush size).

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