Book Review
Dolphin & Pfalz D.IIIA
Building The Wingnut Wings Dolphin & Pfalz D.IIIA
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Albatros Productions have released the latest in their WWI Modelling Specials as Ray Rimell takes a detailed look at two Wingnut Wings kits - one of the earliest releases in the form of the Pfalz D.IIIA and the latest fighter in their range, the Sopwith Dolphin. The Pfalz has received plenty of coverage since it was released some eight years ago (is it really that long?!), so the Dolphin understandably gets the lion's share of the limelight in the 60-page A4 magazine-style book.

Things kick off with the Dolphin. It's always a treat to see Ray's work, and following a 2-page in-box review, he embarks on a superbly detailed 40-page step-by-step guide to the kit. It's clear from the start just how impressed Ray is with the Dolphin, which he describes as one of WNW's finest releases to date. Armed with the results of several trips to the RAF Museum at Hendon to study the preserved airframe on display there, Ray ended up following a different course to his planned OOB build, and instead has added a mass of scratch-built detail, particularly to the interior.

This is covered in almost forensic step-by-step detail and backed up by hundreds of high quality colour photos, plus vintage reference shots and drawings, as well as exclusive views of the RAF museum exhibit during and after its restoration. The shots taken during restoration provide a goldmine of information for anyone building a model of the Dolphin, as they reveal aspects of the airframe and equipment that are rarely visible.

Ray rates WNW's Pfalz as the most accurate 1:32 version of the German fighter so far, so it certainly warrants a fresh look despite being declared "sold out" earlier this year. Hopefully its continuing popularity will ensure that it reappears before long, but until then it is widely available on the second-hand market.

Once again Ray begins with an in-box review, before leading the reader step-by-step through the kit's construction and finishing over the course of 12 pages. Once again the build photos are excellent, and a number of well chosen vintage reference shots accompany the text. Ray makes a change to the standard kit by adding rib tapes to the horizontal tail and makes a convincing case for the original being a fabric-covered construction.

Accompanying both build guides are excellent colour profiles by Ronny Bar to provide extra inspiration for anyone tackling the kits, plus a very handy overview of the many after-market accessories available for the Dolphin and Pfalz and recommended further reading. There’s even a jargon-buster of aeronautical and modelling terms aimed at WWI modelling.

The one sad note which the book ends on is a dedication to the late Des Delatorre - an inspiration to WWI modellers around the world and sorely missed by us all. He was always so welcoming and understanding to me and generous with his advice, despite being so busy running WWI Aircraft Models.

This is another excellent volume from Ray Rimell. The bias in the content is clearly towards the Dolphin, but Pfalz modellers have plenty of useful material included and I welcome Ray’s decision to include the Pfalz because (like many modellers I’m sure) I snapped up an example when it was clear that stocks of the original production run were running low. I don’t have the Dolphin yet - and I write “yet” advisedly because perhaps the ultimate recommendation of the book is that it has convinced me that I seriously must buy one!

Obviously, the content is aimed at the WNW kits, but much of it will be very useful for anyone building the Dolphin and Pfalz D.IIIa in other scales too.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE
Highs: Highly detailed build-guides of two popular kits. Excellent model photos, plus extensive reference material.
Lows: The Pfalz does come off rather second-best in terms of coverage, but this is understandable.
Verdict: Any modelling guide by Ray Rimell is going to be worth reading, and this combined look at two classic WNW kits provides a wealth of very useful information.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:32
  Mfg. ID: 1905698536
  Suggested Retail: £26.00
  PUBLISHED: Dec 10, 2018

Our Thanks to Albatros Productions!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright ©2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Good review, Rowan, thanks for sharing this.
DEC 10, 2018 - 10:01 AM

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