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Pfalz D.IIIa

by Ken Henderson

 

Pfalz D.IIIa

 


Eduard's 1/48 scale Pfalz D.IIIa Profipack is available online from Squadron.com

 

Introduction

 

Before I describe Eduard's 1/48 scale Pfalz D.IIIa "Profipack", lets talk about the markings. 

 

 

Markings and Painting

 

Eduard supplied the markings for a Pfalz D.IIIa flown by Hans Berthge C.O. of Jasta 30 March 1918 (White stripes over the factory SilberGrau). I cannot confirm this color scheme in any of  my references.

 

 

I therefore decided to do finish my Pfalz in the markings of Lt. Erich Kaus of Jasta 30 (Jasta 30 was one of the few units equipped exclusively with the Pfalz D.III/D.IIIa). This aircraft featured black stripes over the SilberGrau factory finish with lozenge covered wings.

Windsock also states the stripes could also be lilac, but after studying the photos I decided on black.

I applied this color scheme in reverse. In other words I painted the fuselage black first (primed white, which is also the color of the tail surfaces). I then masked the black stripes using scotch magic tape cut from Xerox copies of the decal sheet. (Insert copies into a plastic sheet protector & use a very sharp X-acto blade)

I used the Profipack express masks to mask the tail outline. These express masks are GREAT if you get the chance to use them DO SO!

Also while I was at it I cut out masks of the Diamonds including the black outline around them, this way I could trim the black outline from around the orange diamond & just position the orange diamond (decal) on the completed model.

The wings were covered in 5 color lozenge decal. (Pegasus Decals, expensive! But some of the best I have used!) Light blue rib tape also from Pegasus. Remember the leading & trailing edges also have rib tapes applied. I used Testors Azure blue which is almost an exact match, & a very fine brush run along the leading & trailing edges.

 

 

The center section of the Pfalz D.III/D.IIIa's were covered in plywood. SO back to the reference material!!!! Was this also covered in 5 color lozenge???? YES!!!! After looking & looking I started looking at crash photos of Pfalz D.III aircraft & there it was a wrinkled center section! (wood doesn't wrinkle!) This is what I based my 5 color lozenge covered center section on.

I intended to use a base coat of green on the upper surfaces of the wings & a lighter color for the under surfaces as per Pegasus' recommendations, but I was running out of time!!!! I had three days to finish this Sucker for a regional !!!! Ouch I hate rushing!!!

So I used a coat of Future on Eduard bare plastic to lozenge the wings, this says a lot for Pegasus decals! On to the kit!

 

 

Construction

 

Is Eduard's Pfalz D.IIIa a good kit? Yes. Does it have problems? Yes, as most kits do.

Don't get me wrong. I loved this kit but it does have it's problems, especially for someone who is not familiar with the aircraft. The two biggest problems for me were the interior & the way the lower wing fits to the fuselage. The problem with the interior (which I discovered real quick!) is that it is for a Pfalz D.III which had the guns buried in the fuselage. So back to the scratch building corner!

Everything had to move back toward the cockpit because the guns moved making the ammo cans way too far forward. SO What started out as I'll throw this sucker together in a few nights turned into another, If I don't fix this, I'll never sleep again! (as usual!)

The way the lower wing is molded in one piece looks great at first until you remember that the center section of the wing is an integral part of the fuselage! I had a bear of a time getting rid of these seams!

 

 

I used lead wire rolled out flat for the seat belts. (with buckles added from the Eduard photo-etched set) Photo-cut machine gun jackets. Eduard intrument bezels with decals.

The prop was sprayed Testors wood then masked & sprayed a darker shade of wood.

Surgical steel wire was used for the rigging (Thanks Bill Arnold) I know I have left a lot of stuff out so feel free to Email me with any questions! I am always very happy to share & answer any questions!

Quite surprisingly to me I did well at the Regional competition.

I took a 1st, best overall aircraft, & best era aircraft. I needed a beer after that!

Happy modeling to all! & Remember to have fun. I did - in between the cussing! 

 


Model, Text and Images Copyright 2001 by Ken Henderson
Page Created 23 April, 2001
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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