In-Box Review
Fokker D.VII Sieben Schwaben
  • Ed_DVII_7_Schwaben_Boxtop

by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Eduard's Fokker D.VII needs little introduction - it arguably set new standards in mainstream WW1 kit production and presentation when it first appeared almost four years ago; drum-tight fabric surfaces, full colour 3-D shaded instruction diagrams and, somewhat controversially, "weathered" lozenge pattern decals.

Now the kit is back once again in a new Limited Edition - the Sieben Schwaban. The moulding is as excellent as ever, with no signs of flash or sink marks, but the instructions are illustrated with much more conventional line drawings plus, of course, a truly spectacular new set of decals featuring the characters from Grimm's fairy tale.

The kit arrives in an attractive conventional box and comprises:

93 x beige styrene parts (10 unused)
115 x etched parts - some pre-painted
Painting masks for the wheel disks
Decals for a single aircraft, including lozenge patterns and rib tapes.

The kit is physically almost identical to its original incarnation (note that the sprue-chart hasn't been updated to reflect the few minor changes). The detail throughout is very good, with a 13-part engine and 20 part cockpit with a choice of etched or moulded instruments, pre-painted seat harness and alternative styrene or metal gun cooling jackets. Despite the overall level of detail, the basic kit isn't overly complicated and (at least in its Weekend Edition form) the D.VII is a good choice for a beginner's WW1 model due to the lack of rigging. That said, I'd only recommend this Limited Edition version to quite experienced modellers, because its relatively high price means you'll want to make the most of everything included, including the comprehensive set of etched details - and that means working with some quite tiny and delicate parts.

Instructions & Decals
The assembly diagrams are clearly drawn as an A-5 pamphlet and the construction sequence is logical. While the plain line drawings are nowhere near as eye-catching as the original shaded colour illustrations, I must admit that I find them clearer to work with. Colour matches for Gunze Sangyo paints are provided throughout. A full-page diagram is included showing the correct sequence for applying the 4-colour lozenge decals and rib tapes to the wings.

The decals, of course, are what this particular release is all about, with no less than four separate sheets providing markings for Gefr. Wilhelm Scheutzel's colourful Jasta 65 machine featuring large fuselage cartoons of the Sieben Schwaben. The quality of all the decals is excellent, with the thin glossy items printed in perfect registration.

Everyone has their personal favourite lozenge decals, and Eduard's original version came in for a bit of stick from some quarters, not only for the "weathering" but also the colours chosen. Comparing the old and new decals, the new undersides are generally lighter while the topsides are strikingly different. P. M. Grosz stated how much the colours could vary in his Windsock Datafile, and I'll be quite happy to give them an outing. Not mentioned in the instructions this time, Eduard have again included sections of lozenge decal for the inner sides of the cockpit (best "knocked back" with a thin coat of off-white to give the impression of the dyes bleeding through the original fabric).

Obviously the Sieben Schwaben decals will be the focus of attention, and they really are quite superb - a real credit to Cartograph (the lozenge decals are Czech-produced). The pair of fuselage artworks are each printed in 10 colours(!) as a single, precisely registered item. Unfortunately, decals of this quality don't come cheap (I know from experience of getting decals custom-printed just how scarily the price shoots up with the number of colours used) and it explains the relatively high price of this boxing.

Eduard's D.VII series have always been fine models, ideally suited to average modellers looking to try their hand at a biplane, and are available in a number of forms if this Limited Edition is too pricey for you. With a production run of only around 1000, the Sieben Schwaben is like to appeal to specialist WW1 enthusiasts. Collectors will also probably see it as something of an investment to stash away, but that would be a shame because, with those superb decals, it really does deserve to be built for everyone to enjoy - and on that note, look out for my On-Line Build to follow... Recommended, if your budget can stretch to it.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Well moulded and detailed, with pre-painted etched parts and very high quality decals.
Lows: The relatively high price may limit the kit's appeal.
Verdict: Eduard's Sieben Schwaben is a very fine kit - it's just a shame that those beautiful custom-printed decals bump up the price so. But we all deserve a treat once in a while!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 1139
  Suggested Retail: $54.95
  PUBLISHED: Mar 15, 2009

Our Thanks to Eduard!
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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.


I just got confirmation on this. The cost of living in the Czech Republic has ". . .gone through the roof . . " I am told.
MAR 27, 2009 - 05:17 AM
Cheers Stephen A look at those other photos would be a great help, not only in trying to get the cowl right, but also determining the tonal balance between the grey and the brown. Some build photos I've seen on the web have a very pale grey, whereas I remember you called it slate grey. It certainly looks similar in tone to the brown and the wheel centres in the photo I have. I'm feeling a bit under the weather, so it's the perfect excuse to stay indoors this weekend and really try to get some modelling done. All the best Rowan
MAR 27, 2009 - 05:18 AM
Thank you Thank-you Stephen for taking away the confusion . I understand what you are talking about now . I don't have the Anthology 2 and the OAW isn't cover in the 3 installment all that much . funny though I was looking at the same pictures and still couldn't see it it has nothing to do with old age ...
MAR 27, 2009 - 09:15 AM
I just got confirmation on this. The cost of living in the Czech Republic has ". . .gone through the roof . . " I am told.[/quote] Hi Stephen The sheer number of colours used is an alternative explanation. Back in the days when I produced Blueprint Models sets, I had some very ambitious plans for decals to go with them - until the quotes came in from the printers! It's pretty frightening how the cost (as well as the obvious registration concerns) escalates with each colour, and the Sieben Schwaben artwork is printed in 10 colours. I don't know if I've ever seen as many colours used in a single silk-screened decal before. All the best Rowan
MAR 30, 2009 - 08:54 AM
Blessings be! We've got Gallery problems - so I don't have to show my meagre progress over the weekend. But I did do some work ; the engine and cockpit sections are coming on strong... and the wings... Well yes, that means lozenge-time! Eeeek! This is a review-build, so I'm duty bound to use the kit decals! I've got a nice gloss coat ready for the decals so, regardless of the colours, should there be a blue "rib tape" running around the leading and trailing edge? My refs seem to say so. All the best Rowan
MAR 30, 2009 - 09:30 AM
Hi there All lozenge connoisseurs had better hide their eyes, because here comes a progress shot of the kit's decals! Obviously, there's still a LOT to do (more Solvaset needed in places, for a start), but I thought I'd better prove I was actually working on the kit! Eduard do provide a fairly generous amount of spare decal this time, so I'll try some tests to see if a light overspray (maybe clear orange or red) will pull the colours a bit more towards the accepted values. I'm still bracing myself to attack the cowling, but I've filled the panel lines with "supafiller" (CA+Talc) so there's no going back now... All the best Rowan
APR 08, 2009 - 08:31 AM
Hi all Anyone thought about buying this kit should have a look in the moduni "we move" sale: ... 20,18€ is a nice price .... cheers Steffen (not affiliated)
JUN 21, 2009 - 12:58 AM
Looks great Love the decals Cheers Nick
JUN 21, 2009 - 01:04 AM
Fascinating, Rowan, and a 90 from you, too! LOL Wish they would release this in 1/32nd scale.
JUN 22, 2009 - 04:09 AM

Click image to enlarge
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  • Ed_DVII_7_Schwaben_Parts_B
  • Ed_DVII_7_Schwaben_Parts_C
  • Ed_DVII_7_Schwaben_Parts_D
  • Ed_DVII_7_Schwaben_Etch
  • Ed_DVII_7_Schwaben_Colours
  • Ed_DVII_7_Schwaben_Decals_1
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  • Ed_DVII_7_Schwaben_Decals_3
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  • Ed_DVII_7_Schwaben_Decals_Comparison
  • Ed_DVII_7_Schwaben_Cowl
  • Ed_DVII_7_Schwaben_Surface
  • Ed_DVII_7_Schwaben_Engine
  • Ed_DVII_7_Schwaben_Exhaust
  • Ed_DVII_7_Schwaben_Radiator
  • Ed_DVII_7_Schwaben_Propeller
  • Ed_DVII_7_Schwaben_Seat
  • Ed_DVII_7_Schwaben_Instruments
  • Ed_DVII_7_Schwaben_Gun