Book Review
Building The WNW Albatros Kits
WW1 Modelling Special #2 - Building The Wingnut Wings Albatros D.V/D.Va
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Recently released by Albatros Productions is Windsock Worldwide's WW1 Modelling Special No.2 - once again focussing on a Wingnut Wings subject, this time their hugely popular Albatros D.V and D.Va kits. The 48-page A-4 softcover publication presents a comprehensive guide to constructing both kits, along with a mass of background reference material and colour artwork.

Part 1 - Inside The Boxes gives brief reviews of the D.V and D.Va, very much in the style of Windsock Worldwide's bi-monthly magazine, and adds a very handy "need to read" list of published references on the Albatros.

This is followed by the first of no less than three selctions of rare original photos. Archiv Nr.I is drawn from the collection of Volker Koos, while Harry Woodman provides Archiv Nr.II, and finally Archiv Nr.III comes from P.L. Gray. Each presents a fascinating contemporary view of the aircraft, with many useful details for modellers. The 27 vintage photos are well reproduced, but of course the quality of the 90 year-old originals does vary. A frequent bugbear in interpreting vintage shots is trying to pin down apparent colour and tonal differences due to the variety of film stock used, and among the photos here is a perfect example of the problem; two views of the same aircraft, apparently shot very close together, appear totally different - so what could be mistaken as a very striking pale painted fuselage in one, is actually revealed to be factory-finish varnished wood.

In Part 2 - Building The D.V, master-modeller Ray Rimell undertakes an "intermediate" build of kit #32009. In the 8-page article, Ray points the pitfalls waiting to trip the unwary and, while staying mostly OOB, goes some way beyond the "basic" Wingnut Wings kit, refining some details and adding others to get the best out of an already great model. The build is broken down into 17 stages, each fully covered with colour photos, plus a selection of more vintage and modern reference shots. Painting the Albatros is nicely described, with a straightforward and effective way of producing a convincing woodgrain finish. All in all, it's an essential accompaniment to the excellent instructions included with the kit.

Part 3 - Keeping It Simple takes an unusual twist in building the D.Va straight form the box with the interior largely unpainted - the lack of detail effectively hidden by tissue paper "tapaulins". Admittedly, I think most modellers will want to show off the interior, not hide it, but the build illustrates just how good the D.Va looks OOB, and sports the kit's colourful Jasta 14 scheme.

Part 4 - Décor Detail gives plenty of inpsiration for trying some interesting alternative colour schemes, as aviation artist Ronny Bar covers 13 aircraft with beautiful colour profiles. All are accompanied by a detailed description, and most are backed up by archive photos. For the two subjects where no photos are shown, souces are provided to allow the modeller to track down references.

Back to the kits, and in Part 5 - Building The D.Va Ray shows how to add extra detail to the Albatros, along with tackling a truly spectacular Jasta 76b scheme comprising candy-striped fuselage and lozenge-fabric wings. The 10-page build is broken down into 15 stages, once again fully illustrated with step-by-step photos and a few more useful reference shots.

Part 6 - Albatros "Walk-Arounds" travels to The Vintage Aviator Ltd. to examinine the first two of their amazing Albatros D.Va reproductions in close up, with a mass of useful details of the engine, cockpit and exterior for modellers. Accompanying the 23 TVAL shots are a pair of photos of the real thing - NASM's D.Va D.7161/17, showing the servicing covers and drain holes on the underside.

A 2-page article, Part 7 - The Devil In The Detail, suplements the two main builds covered earlier, and looks at refining the Albatros kits still further with items ranging from fuselage tack heads (clearly revealed in the predeeding walk-around) to adding the petrol tank drain cock and improving the kits' anemometer.

Finally, Part 8 - Setting The Scene looks briefly at the considerable scope for displaying the Albatros kits in vignette form, suggesting some useful figures and diorama accessories that can be used, while Part 9 - Decals and Accessories lists the growing range of aftermarket products already available, with handy links Internet provided for each manufacturer.

WW1 Modelling Special No. 2 provides a great all-in-one guide to tackling the Wingnut Wings Albatros kits. Ray Rimell acts as a wonderful mentor, helping average modellers to ensure a pain-free build, while also showing how to go beyond the standard kits, adding extra detail to suite your level of ability. Highly recommended to anyone building the kits.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Comprehensive descriptions of building each kit, with corrects and added details, backed up by archive reference photos, modern walk-arounds, and full-colour artwork.
Verdict: Ray Rimell's guide makes for almost essential reading for anyone wanting to get the best out of the excellent Wingnut Wings kits.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 978-1-906798-21-5
  Suggested Retail: £20
  PUBLISHED: Jul 14, 2012

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.


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