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1/48 scale Blue Max
Pfalz D-XII

by Michael Robinson

 

Pfalz D-XII

 


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Introduction

 

This is Blue Max Models Limited Production kit of the Pfalz D-12, corrected to make an accurate D-XII.

 


 

Construction


Fuselage

The Fuselage as it comes from the kit is heavily molded, but accurate in outline. A Dremel was used to hog out the heavy plastic inside the halves to thin the plastic to a more workable level, and also so the White-metal kit Bulkheads would fit correctly. The two side Cowl panels were removed entirely, then thinned, and the engine area was thinned out also, as I was not going to use the kit engine, but rather a modified Hi-Tech Mercedes 160HP Engine.

 

 

The lower Fuselage is molded intact with the Lower Wings, so the wings were cut at the join line so the rather substantial seam along the bottom of the wing fillet/ fuselage join could be filled and sanded easier. Rigging and Control Line holes were marked out and drilled out at this time, and the Cabane Strut locations were marked and drilled, as these were lost when sanding the Fuselage seams and preparing for assembly. A set of drawings by William Wylam was used for reference. Cockpit interior was done from Scratch, with Copperstate Models gages and seat belt buckles.


 

Wings

Upper Wing was used as is, just cleaned up by sanding down the molded in rib tapes, and thinning of the trail edge to a more acceptable thickness. The Lower Wings, now two pieces, were drilled out for brass wire spars, going through the Fuselage underneath the floor, and attached to Fuselage. The kits strut holes did not line up with the drawings I had, so they were filled and sanded with CA glue, and new strut and rigging holes drilled with a #80 drill, with a .030 bit for the strut holes.

New N Struts were made from Strutz to replace the poorly fitting and cast white metal N Struts and Cabane Struts that were supplied. Aileron Control Horns were made from .020 plastic as the kitís were unusable.


 

Tail Surfaces

Same as the wings, sanded down the heavily molded rib tapes and thinned trail edges, as well as cut Rudder and Elevators loose from the Fin and Stabilizer. Control Horns made from .020 plastic, kit horns were way to thick and clumsy. Fin outline was corrected according to drawings.

 

 

Brass wire was used in predrilled holes for hinges and locating pins to the Fuselage. Fin is spaced from Fuselage Ĺ scale inch like the original. The gap is supposed to be there.



Landing Gear

The White-metal struts and plastic Crossbar were used from the kit, but I reshaped the ends of the struts and used brass wire in drilled holes for locating pins, the heavy cast pins were too thick for my taste. Kit white metal wheels were replaced with resin cast copies of wheels from a DML Fokker D-VII. Bungee shock cords simulated with thread.


 

Engine

The kit Engine was discarded in favor of a Hi-Tech Mercedes 160HP Engine. The camshaft was modified for accuracy, and bits of guitar string was used to simulate Valve Springs. Rockers are strips of .010 x .010 Evergreen Strip.

 

 

The kit Exhaust Manifold was used, altered in shape to fit the Hi-Tech Engine, and drilled and hogged out on the end to open it up. The kit Prop was dumped for a hand carved Prop from Copper State Models. Copper Screen was used to make a Radiator inside the Shutter. And the kitís White-metal Shutter was polished and clear-coated for a natural aluminum look.


 

Machine Guns

These are a combination of scratchbuilt Breeches and Cooling Jackets from Foto-Cut.


 

Final Assembly

The model was jigged for alignment and Struts cut to fit the jigged wings to ensure alignment. Five Minute Epoxy was used to glue Struts in place, then Cabane Struts were cut and fitted one strut section at a time, then removed, joints filled and reinforced with CA, painted and installed. Rigging is Invisible Thread monofilament, CAíed into the predrilled holes and tightened with a hot pin held in a pin vise.

 


 

Painting and Markings

 

Lozenge Decals are from Techmod, laid on with individual strips after model was overcoated with Future for a primer. Rib Tapes are individual strips laid on one at a time. 5 days were spent just decaling. National Insignia are home made decals, as the kit Crosses were to thick to use.

The Fuselage was painted with custom mixed Model-Master Enamels, to represent the D-12 on Display at the Champlin Air Museum in Arizona. This aircraft is an original D-12 and was used in many movies in the 30ís, including Dawn Patrol with Errol Flynn.

 

 

After completion, the model was lightly oversprayed with Dullcote to tone down the gloss for Scale Effect. The base is a scan of the decal sheet, enlarged and printed on label paper, and applied over 1/8" plywood.

 

 


Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2004 by Michael Robinson
Page Created 08 December, 2004
Last Updated 08 December, 2004

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