In-Box Review
S.S.W. D.III Conversion
Backdating Roden's kit
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by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]


The S.S.W D.III was a development of their earlier D.IIc prototype. The D.III was an equal-span sesquiplane powered by a 160 hp (119 kW) Siemens-Halske Sh.III conter rotary engine. Idflieg placed an order for 20 aircraft in December 1917, followed by a second order of 30 aircraft in February 1918.

Approximately 41 D.IIIs were delivered to frontline units between April and May 1918. Most aircraft were supplied to Jagdgeschwader II, (Jastas 12, 13 15 &19.) whose pilots were enthusiastic about the new aircraft's handling and rate of climb. (This version is covered by the Loon Models set LO32006.) After only seven to 10 hours of service, however, the Sh.III engines started showing serious problems with overheating and piston seizure. The problem was later traced to the Voltol mineral oil that was used to replace the now-scarce castor oil. Furthermore, the close-fitting engine cowling provided inadequate cooling to the engine.

In late May 1918, Jagdgeschwader II replaced its D.III aircraft with the Fokker D.VII. The remaining D.III aircraft were returned to the Siemens-Schuckert factory, where they were retrofitted with new Sh.IIIa engines, an enlarged rudder, and cutaway cowlings that provided improved airflow and ballanced ailerons. A further 30 new production D.III airframes incorporated these modifications. Total production amounted to 80 aircraft.

Kit History

Loon Models is a subsidiary to Roll Models.com. Loon Models has manufactured resin 1:32 ''Master Series'' Correction / Conversion / Detail (LO32006) and its sister set LO32007 are resin parts applicable to Roden's 1:32 Siemens Schuckert D.III. Set LO32006 backdates the kit to the earliest production issues first release for front line operations and testing to JG II in 1918. All parts clean up with minimal effort.

Box Contents

Siemens Schuckert D.III early conversion includes 20 pieces of good quality resin. They are;

2 @ Early full-cowlings (1 being an extra)
6 @ Engine braces (2 being extras)
1 @ Engine forward support ring
1 @ Unvented spinner
4 @ Early wingtips.
4 @ Ailerons
1 @ Early horizontal tail unit
1 @ Early version rudder

The instructions are two sided half page of text. There are not any decals with this kit.


Eisernes Kreuz und Balkan Kreuz by H.Nowarra, Hoffman Pub. p.120, 1968.
German Army Air Service in WWI, Osprey, Vintage Warbirds #2, Photos 102-105, 1985.
German Fighter Units - June 1917-1918 by A.Imrie, Osprey Pub. 1978.
Lafayette Foundation Archive, Denver CO. USA.
Over the Front Vol. 2, #4, p.376, 1986.
Over the Front Vol.14, #3, p.280 1999.
Over the Front Vol.14, #4, p.368-370, 1999.
Over the Front Vol.15, #4, p.370, 2000.
Pictorial History of the German Army Air Service by A.Imrie, Ian Allan Pub. p.173, 1971.
Siemens Schuckert D.I/ III/ IV by Harry Woodman, Scale Models, Pp.348-352, July 1981.
Siemens Schuckert D.III & IV by P.L.Gray, Profile Pub. #86, 1966.
Spandau Machine Gun by David Watts, 1998 WWI Aero.
SSW D.III by Dick Bennett, WWI Aero #123, Feb. 1989.Pp.8-25.
SSW D.III Cockpits & Instruments by Roy Meyers, WWI Aero #123, Feb. 1989, Pp.72-75.
SSW D.III - D.IV by P.M.Grosz, Albatros Pub. Ltd. Windsock Datafile #29, 1991 & 98.

When contacting manufacturers and publishers please mention you saw this review at AEROSCALE

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Good quality resin. Decent price range. Unique subject matter often over looked by large manufacturers.
Lows: No diagrams included for the engine braces would be helpful to the neophyte. No Iron cross decals for the early type airframes.
Verdict: As conversion kits go this set makes top marks for detail and being modeler friendly. I would purchase more of Loon's sets as they become available..
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:32
  Mfg. ID: #32006
  Suggested Retail: $23.00
  Related Link: Roden's 1:32 SSW D.III
  PUBLISHED: Aug 28, 2010

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About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)

I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...

Copyright 2021 text by Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]. 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.


Here is a bit of fun especially at the end of the video clip. There is a SH IIIa motor in the full support cradle exposed. You can see which way rgw individual braces go. See here "The Graveyard of German air ambitions". Immense numbers of machines and engines are being destroyed under terms of Peace Treaty". Panning shot over a vest scrap yard - half destroyed biplanes are piled in heaps. M/S of a man with a large hammer breaking apart a piece of a biplane. Panning M/S of the shells of biplanes. C/U of the man's arms as he smashes a bit of engine with a lump hammer. Top shot of neatly stacked engines."
AUG 29, 2010 - 06:19 AM
Very nice review Stephen . I was heart broken when watching the small vid clip , seeing that man hammer on a Merc. D.III engine and then on a SH III .....sad , just very sad .
AUG 30, 2010 - 02:15 AM

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