Mirage Hobby, well-known among aircraft modellers for their WW2-era Polish subjects have made a dramatic move into WW1 modelling with an excellent Halberstadt CLII.
The kit arrives in a surprisingly compact top opening box. The presentation is excellent, with the sprues bagged for protection and the decal sheets separated by the instruction booklet to keep them apart. Tucked away at the bottom of the box is a large etched brass fret. The kit comprises:
141 x grey styrene parts (16 not needed)
100 x etched brass parts
A clear film for the windscreen and instruments
Decals for 3 x colour schemes
Mottle decals in 2 styles
The moulding generally excellent. This is a high-pressure moulded kit and there's no problem with sinkage in my kit. I did find a little flash here and there, but nothing that will take more than a minute or two to clean up.
The surface finish is excellent, with crisply defined details and a subtle representation of the fabric surfaces. All control surfaces are separate parts.
A few details
Construction begins with an 18-part engine that includes optional parts for the generator to drive the radio equipment.
The interior comprises over 50 styrene and etched parts. Seats have etched brass harnesses and the instruments are supplied on clear film (that must be punched out) with etched bezels. Alternative moulded or etched cooling jackets are provided for the machine guns, along with etched ammunition belts.
There's a choice of propellers and the cowling panels are separate, so you can display some of that detail if you desire.
Both the top and bottom wings are built up from individual panels and a very nice touch is the inclusion of jigs to set the dihedral and spacing. A printed template is provided to help assemble the undercarriage struts.
Instructions & Decals
The construction guide is superb, printed in colour with CAD illustrations, backed up by numerous reference photos. Detailed notes are given in both Polish and English. Every stage is accompanied by comprehensive paint matches for Vallejo acryllics. A rigging diagram is included and, rounding everything off is a pair of miniature printed maps.
Decals are provided for 3 colour schemes:
1. Halberstadt CL.II 14277/17 "3", Schlachtstaffel 26b, Bissinghem airfield, spring 1918.
2. Halberstadt CL.II "5", Schlachtstaffel 6, Schlachtgru 3, March 1918.
1. Halberstadt CL.II "5", "Marianne", Schlachtstaffel 23b, Quiévy airfield, March 1918.
Each scheme is illustrated as a full colour 4-view, with detailed notes and an explanation of the camouflage system employed on CL.II types.
The decals look excellent quality - thin and glossy and printed in precise register. No lozenge decals are included, but Mirage Hobby have provided 2 different types of the mottled camouflage. Getting these decals to conform around the contours and details of the fuselage could prove challenging, so some may chose to use the decals as a reference to apply the patterns by hand.
Mirage Hobby's WW1 debut is a very exciting kit. It's a real enthusiasts' model - packed with detail and backed up with comprehensive instructions. It's a great choice of subject too, with German 2-seaters being relatively overlooked as modern kits. Highly recommended.
Mirage Hobby's Halberstadt is available from Modelimex - specialists in Eastern European and short run kits.
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