“. . .Aircraft of such impeccable design are a rarity. . .” is a quote from German aviation historian Peter M. Grosz concerning the LFG Roland C.II types. The nickname “Whale” did not do justice to the true shark-like appearance denoted in the super clean lines and consequently low drag coefficients of this 1916 design. The wrapped monocoque fuselage ate up the greatest amount of man hours to manufacture. Had a company with more resources or larger contracts been involved more would surely have been built.
The second concern was the fuselage mounted “ear - radiators” Had the “wing mounted” Teeves and Braun type radiators been available who knows how far this design could have progressed. As it was the Roland C.II design served better as long range reconnaissance than it did in combat. The main problem seemed to be that it was difficult to land. Better training and more reliable instrumentations would have been the answer. Though looking at crashed airframes the deep fuselage probably saved the lives of more than one crew.
At the 2000 IPMS Nats in Dallas Texas. the owner of Eduard admitted to the minor fit problems to the lower wing and the six-cylinder engine. A minor concern for me was the interior walls had the direction of the diagonal veneer detail reversed. Only the most seriously affected with A.M.S. (Advanced Modeler’s Syndrome) will notice. By the way there was an Eduard Weekend kit as well #8446. I in this build we will look at #8043 to discuss here.
Page 1. This Eduard’s usual multilingual history page.
Page 2. Is the general instructions, parts and paints maps.
Page 3. I began with assaulting the panels in plastic parts A5 and A12 as these are to be open wood frame work on the full sized version. I note that on existing photos that the interior side walls are over painted the same solid color tone as the early C.II types had over-all on the outside surfaces. The floor panels were varnished wood. And in some early machines even the floor panels were over-painted. Fixtures such as the ammunition drum storage bins were also over painted
Plastic parts B20 and B17 “the hand pumps” are supposed to be identical . If you have opened up plastic part A5 as recommended this is now possible. Simply cut a short piece of HSP (Heat Stretched Plastic) to lengthen B17. These items were bright metal with dark stained or painted handles. Painted monofilament can represent the air pressure lines. running to A19 “the main fuel tank” under A13 “the pilots seat.” A small scrap of plastic to simulate the rear panel of A19 “the fuel tank” is needed. Small gauge solder wire can simulate electrical conduit.
The Ammo storage bins B23 (x2) should be located together in the rear cockpit of the right half of the fuselage A1. I scratch built a ‘transmitter box” and placed it above the area where the instructions said to put B23 in the left fuselage half A2. I recommend moving the location for clear plastic part F7 “the camera.” If you follow the instructions you would hide the “Signal strength meter” for the transmitter ( you’ll have to scratch build this unit as well.) The camera was never left in the aircraft on the ground, so have a crew figure carrying it to the aircraft. Photo etch part PE46 “the generator engaging lever” should have a cable attached leading forward and connecting it to B21 “the generator” on the lower half of A1.
Page 4. Looking at Plastic Part C6 “the rear compartment floor” The stud sticking up in it forward area is the housing for the wireless cable feed. The antenna cable ran from PE43 to this stud in C6 through the flooring to an opening in the belly of the fuselage. In some cases PE43 could be located else where in this compartment but that variation is up to the modeler.
In the front cockpit note that the rudder cables ran exposed from A11 “the rudder bar” back through the rear cockpit back to the rudder through small openings in the fuselage adjacent to the vertical and horizontal stabilizers. A forward leading rod needs to be added to PE49 “throttle handle” that goes to the engine compartment on A2. Plastic part C2 “the control column hand grip” is a bit thick and oversized in my opinion so I replaced it with a brass etched item. PE11 “the trigger mechanism” for the Spandau will need to be cut in half noting one trigger for one gun operation. I thinned down the edges on A13 “the seat”. While the clear window pieces are fine for this kit, I will replace them with thin clear sheet plastic..020 for better photos. I take photographs at an f32 stop with 400 speed film outdoors. I like using a medium to diffuse harsh light and shoot at a low angle. The key to trick the eye into believing what its sees is a real aircraft is putting the kit into a realistic perspective. When it comes to plastic part A10 “the dash panel” the instructions recommend that you erase the detail and add photoetch part PE28. This item is a better fit than the plastic piece and adding C11 x2 to the photo etch part and a small scrap of .020 plastic for support of PE10 “the 4 levers” behind PE28. Also use a micro drill bit .80 gauge to open the holes in the scrap plastic support piece for the lever insertions. These levers are for main and reserve fuel tanks, air pump and air gauge. Constant air pressure had to be kept in the fuel tanks. The levers were selectors that turned the needed mechanisms either on or off for normal operations or in case of an emergency. Plastic part C13 “the starter magneto” is a little thick and I cut 1/3 of the depth away and drilled a hole for PE5 “the starter crank”
Page 5. Dressing up the generic Mercedes won’t be hard especially using the kit #8043. Erase the center seam with either flexible sanding film or micro shaped files. The Mercedes cylinders are covered with metal shell water jackets. These jackets were the color of “blued gun metal.” To detail you could add short sections of fine wire to “sparkplugs” and attach the other ends to the pipe/conduit below the sparkplugs and spanning the cylinders back to the magnetos on each side of the motor. You could add the inverted “Y” shaped water pipes to the rear of the motor. But if you don’t remove the cowling panels these detail will not be seen.
The term “Mercedes 160 hp” was generic to possibly seven variations of the 1466 motor fitted to the Roland C.II and C.IIa types. The variations of components fitted to the basic engine determined where vents were fitted to the fuselage at the factory assembly level Daimler the parent company would buy from suppliers who could provide “x” number of air, fuel, oil or water pumps, “y” number of carburetors or “z” number of magnetos. Each production run (or “batch”) of these components could have alterations or “improvements.” These changes could tend to alter the ultimate attitude or location on the basic motor so the vent locations were altered to provide optimum cooling for components that generated heat and or fumes. This portion of WWI aviation research is still in its infancy. Hopefully some one will do resin castings for the possibility of better matching model profiles to photo evidence.
You could also use “Grandt Line” bolt heads to provide fittings for the Mercedes tie down to the mounting shelves A20 and A21. I cut off the four lugs on the undersides of the these tie down brackets this tends to lower the whole motor by 1/16". I further modified the engine compartment to fully accept the motor by thinning out the inside cowling areas of fuselage halves A1 and A2 near the leading edge of the top wing inside the mold halves. I extended the hole for the engine in A1 and A2 about 1/16" forward. The leading edge of the #1 cylinder should line up with the leading edge of the top rear vent on the cowl ring. Next I pre-drill holes to accept the monofilament rigging that comes later.
Some careful gluing and sanding using a flexible sanding film. will make quick and easy work on the joint lines for the fuselage and B1 “the lower wing.” But this is a must to get a plumb and square build. I brought B1 “the lower wing” together with the fuselage assembly using “Lego building blocks” as a jig to keep everything plumb and square. I also opened up two holes for bombing and high lighted the framed oval opening for camera use in the belly of the assembled fuselage. My kit had two sink holes that needed to be filled near the placement locations for the roll cage front legs. While joining the fuselage some references will show a fabric cap strip covering the joints between A1 and A2 on the spine and the belly areas. Now remember that these half units were nailed and screwed to oval cross sections and a linen covering doped and nailed in place. The fabric cap strips can be readily seen in many first generation copies of crashed Roland C.II and C.IIa types under the fuselage fabric. I gloss coated the spine and belly and then added a strip of decal film to the unpainted fuselage.
Page 6. I inserted brass pins into the contact points for the two plastic parts C 7 “I-struts.” Four pins in each strut,.two upper and two lower. More care and filling in for part B7 “the gunner’s ring” to smooth it into the fuselage contours. Building the C.IIa type I chose to shorten the four PE4 “control horns” as they are a bit too tall. I offset the control surfaces to give the model a more natural look. Almost all exterior parts and components should be painted before moving to the rigging (See Profiles “A” and “B” below.) In some cases I will leave the upper surfaces of B2 and B3 “the top wing” and the under surface of B1 “the lower wing” unpainted until rigging is completed. Fortunately the national markings of WWI aircraft models tend to hide the scars left after rigging at least on the outer wing panels. I will run short sections of monofilament through the holes securing them with Cynoacrylate glue. The PE4 “control horns” are rigged after the decals are dry on the wing surfaces.
Then I replaced A4 and A18 “the landing gear” with bent brass rod of appropriate diameter. I also replaced the plastic axles in A16 “spreader bar and axle assembly” with brass rods. I added upholstery thread to the under carriage to represent bungee cords. As the profile that I chose did not have the bomb rack I deleted its assembly from this project.
Page 7. I added a “ring sight” to the Spandau MG. but otherwise followed the instructions for it and the Parabellum except in the painting area. German machine guns for aircraft were given a protective coat of “baked on” black semi-gloss paint to the exposed surfaces per contract orders. I added a “C” shaped handle to the left side of PE30 “the base of the rear cockpit MG mount.” Plastic part A3 “the propeller” was replaced with one that I scratchbuilt from layered dark & light woods. The one surprise I had was working with the PE fretted gun jackets. Both fractured when I tried to rolled them into the needed cylinder shape. Since I have beau coup spares its not a too big a deal for me. But Buyer be warned.
Profiles “A” to “D.” The camouflage divisions are generally accurate except the multi coloured camouflage should have three types on the upper surface. Also profile “B” in the use of “violet”or “mauve”is entirely incorrect. The mauve color did not come into use until the late summer early fall of 1917 with the Albatros aircraft. Basic colors extended to aircraft use on upper surfaces, appear to be dark green, light green, chestnut brown or the “venetian “ red brown. The Roland C.II and C.IIa types served from March 1916 until June 1917 either in front line units or as in most later cases in training units. So the use of violet can be precluded. The Eduard “Express Masks” work well but must be well burnished to the edges for a crisp demarcation. Allowing the paint to dry between applications keeps runs to a minimum. Few of the WWI German tires had large amounts of carbon black in their makeup. Various shades of grey would be appropriate with a generous wash of dust or earth in the crevices.
Profile #163 Profile Publications Ltd.by Mr. Pete Grosz.
Datafile 49 Windsock Publications Ltd.by Mr. Ray Rimell
Roland’s Mighty Whale Aviation News Vol.14, #2 by Colin Owers.
The Benighted Rolands Air Enthusiast Quarterly #3, by Dan San Abbott with editing by Peter M. Grosz.
Highs: Great subject. Decent fitting parts, excellent decals, Decent amount of PE. Lows: Typically the colour camouflage references are out of date with good current research. 2 Minor fit problems PE gun jackets fracture easily.Verdict: Over all this is one of the better WWI kits around with tremendous references available. Like the old Profi-pack (#8041) version this kit (#8043) offers all the “bells and whistles” one hopes for in a good kit with the best value.
About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash) FROM: COLORADO, UNITED STATES
I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...