Datafile #146 returns to familiar territory with a fresh look at the Pfalz D.XII. The aircraft was originally the subject of Datafile #46 by the late Peter Grosz, but that volume has been out of print for many years leaving the way clear for an all-new expanded study.
This time the noted aviation historian and writer, Colin Owers, tells the story of the Pfalz D.XII in a 40-page volume, copiously illustrated with photographs, scale drawings and colour profiles. The text is concise and well written, breaking down into the following main sections:
History - this covers the development of the D.XII and the designs leading up to it, through competitive trials and its hasty adoption for the front-line before it had even completed its Typenprüfung, to a brief period of active service as a number of initial design problems were overcome. The section also relates the fate of surviving machines after the war, including the handful of present-day museum exhibits.
The Pfalz D.XII described - this section deals with the physical construction of the airframe and the type of equipment fitted.
Camouflage and markings - examines the overall finish, along with a description of the various stencil markings.
From a modeller's point of view the pictorial content of the volume is really excellent. The period photos not only include the expected shots of Pfalz D.XIIs in service, but also an extended series of views of airframes under construction. These photos were posed for the German press and reveal a mass of useful details including the internal structure, how the fuselage and tail surfaces were skinned with plywood, and the wings being covered with lozenge-printed fabric.
Coming up to date, there is a very useful colour walkaround of the preserved airframe 2600/18 following its recent restoration. In fact, the Datafile goes one better, with a unique look at the equipment and fittings of 2600/18, with a further 58 black and white photos taken during the restoration process.
No Datafile would be complete without scale drawings, and Martin Digimayer provides detailed internal and exterior views in 1:72 and 1:48, with the interior cutaway also presented in 1:32 in anticipation of the forthcoming Wingnut Wings kit. Add to these a reproduction of the drawings from the 1918 Typenprüfung and some of the plans produced by the restoration team of 2600/18 and you have a thoroughly comprehensive set of reference drawings to measure a kit against.
Last but not least, Ronny Bar brings a selection of the period photos to life with seven excellent colour profiles, including a 3-view on the back of the book. Each profile is accompanied by a short but useful caption relating what is known of the specific aircraft and noting any unusual points.
Datafile #146 - "Pfalz D.XII At War" is an excellent addition to the Datafile series. There have been a number of 1:72 and 1:48 kits of the type released over the years, and Colin Owers' study will be the ideal reference for getting the most out of them. And of course the timing of this publication is perfect - with Wingnut Wings' 'D.XII all set to appear, the aircraft is guaranteed a new surge in popularity! Highly recommended.
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Highs: Concise and informative text, backed up by well chosen period and modern photos, new scale plans and colour profiles.Lows:Verdict: Datafile #146 is the ideal reference for anyone building a kit of the Pfalz D.XII, be it one of the existing 1:72 and 1:48 models, or the eagerly awaited Wingnut Wings 1:32 version.
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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...