Albatros Productions' bi-monthly magazine is almost essential reading for serious early aviation enthusiasts and this issue presents another classic mix of WW1-related research and modelling articles, along with reviews of recent releases.
Moscow-based author Marat Khairulin begins a very interesting study of captured Halberstadts in Russia. Part 1 (expertly translated into English by Sergey Vlasenko) focuses on an aircraft that was captured during 1915 in the area of Kovno fortress in Lithuania. A degree of mystery surrounds the Halberstadt, which was alternately described by the Russians as a "German Sopwith" and a "Bristol Airplane", but while there seems to have been some confusion originally over its identity, thankfully for present-day modellers a series of very useful photos remain of the Halberstadt in Russian service. The aircraft went on to lead a short but very active career with its new owners, being damaged in an accident and then modified to carry three machine guns. The Halberstadt's demise came around a year after its capture when E M Hofman and his observor M I Ivanov crashed after taking off on a reconnaissance flight, the aircraft bursting into flames as shown in the gruesome post-crash photos included. Completing the fascinating article are a series of high quality colour profiles by Aleksandr Kazakov showing the aircraft at various stages of its Russian career.
I'm impressed by Lance Krieg's Modelling Master Class every month, but this installment really is rather special, dealing with a topic that is probably the single most daunting aspect of building early aircraft - the struts and rigging. As usual, Lance describes various techniques for achieving realistic results, some of which are better suited to different scales. These are accompanied by detailed photos of some truly stunning examples master modellers' work. The highlights this time are Ken Foran's wonderful scratchbuilt models which are truly inspiring even though few of us can ever hope to match them. But what I really like about Lance's approach is how it caters for modellers at every level - perhaps the single most useful item is a series of diagrams showing the different styles of knots suitable for rigging. Straight out of a Scout's or fisherman's handbook - some of the knots not only secure the rigging, but simulate the turnbuckles (or springs on radio aerials). I'll certainly try some of them on future projects.
This month sees the beginning of a new series - Great War Paint. The first article covers the Macchi M.5, always a modelling favourite with its flamboyant colour schemes. A contemporary colour cutaway gives a very useful glimpse of the fuselage interior, but the core of the feature consists of 13 top quality colour profiles by Arvo Vercamer showing a fantastic array of spectacular Macchis sporting everything from the classic Flying Dragon of s/n 13042, to black and white stripes with a skull and crossbones motif.
Rara Avis this month delves further into the archives of the late Ian Stair and George Haddow and brings us a set of 1:72 drawings of the Wright Navyplane. It's certainly a basis for a really ambitious scratchbuilding project with its 5-bay(!) wings, pusher engine and tailbooms configuration, not to mention floats. Definitely not one for the fainthearted...
From The World's WW1 Workshops follows Ray Rimell's visit to Skysport Engineering in Bedfordshire, where their latest project is an Avro 504K built to original specifications and incorporating a number of vintage components. Ray illustrates his article with 16 colour photos of the Avro under construction - maybe not quite a full walkaround, but revealing many useful details that are normally hidden on a completed airframe.
Dawn Patrol marks something of a departure for Windsock, covering a Great War flying display team with a difference. From some of the photos you might mistake the subjects for full-sized restorations or replicas, but in fact they are truly stunning 1:3 scale models. The quality is really superb, with no allowances in the rules for departures from true-scale dimensions for the sake of flying qualities. It's inspiring stuff, and their displays must be incredible with up to 15 models in the air at once. Arguably most amazing of all the models is the enormous Gotha G.V currently under construction, making Wingnut's otherwise enormous 1:32 effort seem positively humble by comparison!
The magazine ends with its regular reviews sections. On The Transfer List rounds up the latest decal releases from Wingnuts and Pheon with a positive deluge of Albatros and Pfalz markings, but undoubtedly stealing the show for me are Pheon's exciting new "cookie cutter" Albatros lozenge decals. Ray Rimell described how to use the ready-shaped panels which are designed specifically for the Wingnuts D.V, and they look a dramatic departure from standard practice, offering much greater convenience than individual strips. (Pheon have kindly sent us samples too, so I'll be taking the plunge for a full-test myself very soon.) Among the highlights of Kitbag are the extraordinary DFW T.28 Floh from Planet Models (who'd ever have believed we'd see this produced in 1:32?!), Eduard's welcome re-release of their quarterscale DH-2, and new Hanriots and Nieuports in 1:72 from HR Model and Roden respectively.
This is another cracking edition of the world premier WW1 scale modelling magazine, with the ideal blend of research and model subjects. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm just off to practise those blood, clinch, trilene and overhang knots ready for my next rigging project! Highly recommended for all early aviation enthusiasts.
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Highs: Excellent research articles combined with expert WW1 modelling advice.Lows:Verdict: As far as I know, Windsock Worldwide is unique in its focus on WW1 modelling, but I find much of value in its pages that extends beyond Early Aviation to aircraft modelling of other eras too.
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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...