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Reviews : German Last Updated: Aug 21st, 2020 - 13:06:35

Fokker E.IV Eindecker. Eduard ProfiPack kit 7025. 1/72nd
By Clarence Wentzel. IPMS USA
Apr 16, 2006, 10:38

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History; The Fokker E.IV was one of those aircraft that started with what should have been a good idea but ended up less than successful. In the fall of 1915, the Fokker design staff attempted to improve the performance of their successful E.III Eindecker. The plan was to utilize the 160-hp double row Oberursel rotary engine in place of the 100-hp engine of the E.III and two synchronized Spandau machine guns instead of a single gun. The fuselage was lengthened slightly to maintain balance. The “improved” model was faster and climbed better than the E.III but the airframe tended to be unstable and the larger engine was complicated and prone to failures.

The synchronization of the two machine guns also proved to be a problem. The German ace Max Immelman died in the crash of an E.IV when he shot his prop off. The arrival of the new Albatros biplanes in the spring of 1916 brought to an end the front line usage of the Fokker monoplanes.

The Kit: This is a recent kit from Eduard and in my opinion is excellent. The kit consists of a single sprue of light tan plastic, an Eduard Express Mask for painting and a photo etched detail set. Decal markings for four different aircraft are included. The photo-etched set includes cockpit interior structure, pilot seat and seat belts, parts to improve the two Spandau machine guns, the tailskid structure, the wing support structure, engine pushrods and the cowl support. The model could be completed without using these parts but they do add a lot to the level of detail. Construction starts with the fuselage. Some molded-in details have to be removed in order to use the photo etched sidewall parts. This is not a major problem. The fuselage is molded in halves such that the join line is in the middle of the flat top and flat bottom of the fuselage. This makes cleaning up the glue joint a necessity but care taken to line up the two sides when gluing makes clean up much easier. The injection-molded machine guns are modified by replacing the cooling jacket with a rolled photo etched part. This improves the overall appearance. The motor consists of two rows of cylinders and the photo etched part that mounts to the front and includes the pushrods and rocker arms. Take care when mounting this very fragile part. I used a drop of thin super glue and the parts set up too quick. My pushrods are slightly misaligned as a result.

This kit is so well engineered that it can be painted before assembly if desired. I chose this route and needed very little touch-up. The Express Mask provides templates for painting the curve on the fuselage side, the metal areas on the wings and the wheels. This was the first time that I have used the Express Masks but I was impressed with their ease of use. They are easy to locate in place and I had no problem with paint leaking under their edges. The landing gear structure consists of three parts, which go together well and align easily. The key is to mount the rear frame at the correct angle and then the remainder of the landing gear parts will be in the correct position. The tailskid structure initially appears flimsy but when cemented in place, provides the support for the skid and the rudder. Take care to get this part bent correctly before cementing it in place and everything will fit right.

Painting: Eduard give excellent directions for painting. Color references for Tamiya, Humbrol, Revell, Testors and Gunze are given. I followed their recommendations except that I used Testors no. 2709, Light Ivory instead of their color. I chose the markings of Lieutenant Kurt Witgens for my model. It was the most interesting and is shown on the back cover of the Squadron Signal in Action book with a photo inside. Eduard provide parts to produce spoked wheels for the model, however I didn’t find any photos of aircraft in the field with spoked wheels. These will be saved for a future project.

Final Assembly: Once all of the parts have been assembled, the final item is the rigging. The Fokker Eindecker series must have rigging in order to look realistic. The Eduard illustrations are excellent for showing how the rigging must be applied and the photo etched wing support structure includes the simulation of a pulley for the wing warp rigging. I chose to utilize .004 inch diameter stainless steel wire for this rigging. Long pieces were inserted through the wing and then bent toward the center. These were then glued to the proper locations on the wing support structure and the landing gear. Wire was also used for the landing gear bracing and the elevator and rudder controls. If I were to do it again, I would use invisible thread for the wing rigging. With so many pieces of wire, the glue joints got pretty large. Thread would have been neater.

In conclusion, I can recommend this kit without reservation. It is as close to an “add glue and shake” kit as you can find for a WW I subject. I expect that I will obtain one of the better known Eduard E.III kits to add to my collection. A big thanks to Eduard for providing this kit for review.

Reference – Fokker Eindecker in Action – Squadron Signal number 158 by D. Edgar Brannon.

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