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Fokker D.VIII

by Matthew Burchette


Fokker D.VIII


Eduard's 1/72 scale Fokker D.VIII is available online from Squadron




In a fit of madness a few years back I built the Eduard Strip Down E.III. I added some details, a few wires, etc. and I had a tiny see-through plane that was really cool to show off. Fast forward to 2002…

In another fit of madness (see a theme?) I purchased Eduard’s D.VIII. I really like the way this plane looks and I thought it would be nifty to show the “solid” pieces of the aircraft painted in an operational scheme. It would appear that the fabric areas of the plane had been stripped off, leaving just those areas that were wood or metal. You get just a hint of the colours that had been applied to the whole aircraft.





With this plan in mind I began to build. I quickly found out that the instruction’s illustrations were not quite in line with how the model should be built. Make sure that you check the box a top photograph for the correct way to assemble the wings, specifically the wing tips. I inserted the spars in wrong – but correctly according to the directions – and had it all glued up before I realized that not everything lined up. Out came the debonder and I started over. This was really the only major problem that I encountered, but be sure and keep looking at those box photos BEFORE you bend or glue.

I decided to fill out the cockpit area with some plastic strip and rod to give the etched pieces more dimension.



The rudder bar was the first area to be improved. I kept the etched bar, but added the central rod out of wire and some very small plastic disks punched with the trust Waldron punch and die set. I also added a small piece of half round rod to the compass mount to fill it out, and added an instrument decal to give it an authentic face. I then fabricated the priming pump out of rod and added the tiny etched T-handle from the kit piece. I fleshed out the flat cockpit coaming with insulation stripped from small diameter wire, a drop or two of super glue to round out some knobs, and I was done.

Then AMS really hit. I decided that I HAD to add the control wires and pulleys. The kit supplies etched control horns, but the rest was going to be up to me. I had already glued the fuselage together, so I was going to have to fish the wire through the rigging and cross members. Not a really big deal, I had done the same thing on the Eduard E.III Strip Down. What was a pain was adding the pulleys to the tail area. I also had to fake the set up because I could not find any pictures with that kind of detail. Shep Paine calls it “creative gizmology,” it looks busy, but it ain’t real.

Out came the punch and die again. More disks, more pulleys. After many words that shall go unmentioned, I was able to have two pulleys that looked the part. I then began fishing surgical steel suture wire into position. After more words, I had all the wires glued in place and trimmed to fit. On to the wing…


More words… lots of words. I realized that the control wires for the ailerons went THROUGH the wing ribs! That meant that I had to cut small (miniscule) pieces of wire to fit between each rib from the center of the wing to the aileron. Man! What a chore. There were numerous times that I really considered my sanity, but in the end I did manage to get the wire run. A few more pulleys at each end of the wing and I was done with that exercise in frustration. It is a small detail, but when you realize it’s there it really looks cool.



Painting, Markings and Finishing


Now was the time to put it all together. After the many words of previous days I expected more blue air, but this final phase of the project went smoothly. I masked off the stripes for Theo Osterkamp’s “bumble bee” scheme, and after painting added the side panels to the fuselage. After adding flying wires, guns, and a small windscreen from thin plastic, I was done.





I am in the midst of stripping paint from the Dr. 1 kit. Tamiya white primer does not stick to metal… now I know this. As soon as the madness strikes again I will get back on that kit.



Until then, it’s 1/32nd scale 109s for me!



Additional Images


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Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2003 by Matthew Burchette
Page Created 02 March, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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