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Blue Max Pfalz

Encore Models, 1/32 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

Encore Models Kit No. EC32004 - Blue Max Pfalz

Scale:

1/32

Contents & Media

82 plastic parts plus substantial new resin parts; photo-etched fret; two resin figures and markings for three options.

Price:

USD$38.24 Web Only Sale Price available online from Squadron

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Good use of Roden donor kit; well cast resin with excellent detail including book/movie figures; clever use of photo-etched parts; decals in perfect register with minimal carrier film; an instruction booklet with clear diagrams and assembly photographs.

Disadvantages:

 

Conclusions:

Variations on a theme are what Encore do best. By supplying high quality resin and photo-etched accessories, they allow the modeller to customise an included donor kit. In this case it’s the Roden Pfalz D.III which can be reincarnated into the mount of “Bruno Stachel”. Some careful cutting of plastic is required, but it’s all within the capabilities of anyone that can brandish a scalpel. The included movie figures are posed to reflect the personality of each character and as such will translate into a very interesting diorama. So if you want your “Pfalz” to stand out from the crowd, then this the kit for you.

Reviewed by Rob Baumgartner


Encore Models' 1/32 Blue Max Pfalz is available online from Squadron.com

 

Introduction

 

“The Blue Max” inspired many modellers to direct their talents toward World War I aircraft.

It was the title of Jack Hunter’s 1964 novel which, despite changes to the book’s storyline, was made into a successful feature film. To create the flying scenes, converted Tiger Moths and Stampe SV.4s were used, as well as a number of purpose built replicas. One of these was the Pfalz D.III and this is the subject of Encore Models’ latest release.

As a basis for the conversion, Encore have chosen the 1:32 scale Roden Pfalz D.III.

 

 

Inside the box we get the standard sprues of the original Roden offering, plus a fret of photo etched parts and a healthy dose of resin. Decals are contained on three sheets and cover both book and movie versions. As an added bonus, a wartime example from Jasta 15 is also included.

 

  • Encore Models 1/32 Blue Max Pfalz Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Encore Models 1/32 Blue Max Pfalz Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Encore Models 1/32 Blue Max Pfalz Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Encore Models 1/32 Blue Max Pfalz Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Encore Models 1/32 Blue Max Pfalz Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Encore Models 1/32 Blue Max Pfalz Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
  • Encore Models 1/32 Blue Max Pfalz Review by Rob Baumgartner: Image
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The 82 plastic parts have stood the test of time quite well with only minimal cleaning up required. Despite no external damage being done to the box, the wingtips on my example were savaged by an unknown marauder. Easy enough to fix but disquieting nonetheless.

 

 

What's New?

 

The movie version was powered by the Gypsy Major 4 cylinder inline engine. This normally inverted powerplant was mounted upright, with dummy cylinders added to give it a more realistic appearance. Resin is used to accomplish this and it’s also utilised to produce a more detailed version of the 160hp Mercedes powerplant. In both cases, only the visible portions are needed and thus supplied.

 

 

Stachel’s aircraft will need a new cowling and this is also catered for in resin. The instructions clearly show you which areas of plastic to remove in preparation for the substitution. Those doing the hybrid D.III/D.IIIa as portrayed in the movie also get a revised cowl to accommodate the exposed guns.

 

 

The other resin parts are used for such items as the machine gun bodies, chutes, compass, and seat cushion. The casting in this medium was excellent with no air bubbles or defects found in any of the samples.

 

 

Naturally the kit’s interior reflects that of the wartime Pfalz. This will be different from the aircraft used in the movie, so purists will have to research and add these changes themselves.

Further detailing comes courtesy of the photo etched parts.

 

 

This material takes care of the pilot harness, machine gun jackets, radiator shutter, air intake, and a multitude of covers that are found on the airframe.


 

The Cobra and the Countess

As we have seen in other Encore releases, the figures are an integral part of the package.

Here we see the predatory Bruno Stachel (George Peppard) eyeing up his next “victory” while causally leaning against the Pfalz’s fuselage. His quarry is the sensual Käti von Klugermann (Ursula Andress) who stands unabashed in a revealing veil of finery.

 

 

The figures are very well cast with each evoking a sense of their character….Bruno with his bottle of alcohol, and Käti as the femme fatale. 


 

Colours and Markings

The decal sheets allow the modeller to build one of three options.

  1. Stachel’s hybrid aircraft as depicted in the movie.

  2. Stachel’s fictional Pfalz D.III 4201/17 as depicted in the book.

  3. Pfalz D.III 4059/17 piloted by Leutnant Heinrich Artzen of Jasta 15, January 1918

All items were printed in perfect register and are surrounded by a minimum of carrier film. As they are printed by Cartograf of Italy, one can expect them to behave flawlessly.

 

 

Stencil data, propeller logos, placards, and the much appreciated instrument faces are included.

The movie’s 7-colour “lozenge” is cookie-cut to match the various areas needing coverage and thoughtfully we even a spare bolt for touch-ups.

 

 

Evidently those in charge of the film’s historical accuracy didn’t match these to original fabric! To reflect some wartime exposure, a “wash” to mute the colours wouldn’t go amiss.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Encore Models have a habit of coming up with interesting permutations of existing kits, and this one is no exception.

They supply a well thought out package of accessories that either compliments, corrects or improves the original offering. The instructions clearly illustrate what parts belong to each variant, but do take care to avoid silly mistakes. A handy rigging diagram is included, as are photos of the finished sub-assemblies.

If you are looking for something that’s a little bit different from the norm, then this “Blue Max Pfalz” could be just what you’re looking for.

Thanks to Squadron for this review sample.


Text and Images Copyright 2014 by Rob Baumgartner
Page Created 12 September, 2014
Last updated 12 September, 2014

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