1/48 scale Pfalz D.IIIa Profipack is available online from Squadron.com
Before I describe Eduard's 1/48 scale Pfalz D.IIIa
"Profipack", lets talk about the markings.
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!
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
Model, Text and Images Copyright ©
2001 by Ken Henderson
Page Created 23 April, 2001
Last Updated 04 June, 2007
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