- Published on Friday, 22 April 2011 12:56 Robin Jenkins
1/48 Airco DH.2 (ProfiPACK Edition)
Kit number 8094
Available from Eduard and other good hobby retailers for around $39.95USD
I have previously written on this site that I consider the Airco DH.2 pusher biplane the most charismatic and representative aircraft used in the First World War aerial combat arena. There is something indefinable about its quirky shape and structure that strikes a chord within me; perhaps it sums up the adage that aircraft used in WW1 were basically wood, fabric and wire better than anything else I can think of (below). Add to which there was its involvement in the first real aerial duel between 2 top-quality pilots (albeit Lanoe Hawker was killed in his DH.2 by von Richtofen in his Albatros D.II) and a V.C. winning action (Major Lionel Rees, commanding officer of 32 Squadron), as well as being one of the aircraft that put a halt to the air superiority of the Fokker Eindeckers in 1916 and you have a very special aircraft in my view.
This latest 1/48 'release' from Eduard is another old acquaintance of mine. First released 6 years ago, as with a couple of other Eduard re-releases I have reviewed recently, the contents are basically unchanged apart from the addition of a mask set. I will make some comments on the actual kit later, but first, I will describe what is in the box. There are 3 light tan sprues, the decal sheet, the aforementioned mask set, an etched fret, a small clear windscreen set and a 12-colour instruction booklet.
The first tan sprue (below) holds the wings, cockpit nacelle, wheels, seat and other fitments.
The second of the tan sprues (above) contains the tailplane, rudder, most of the struts, undercarriage, engine and alternative 2 and 4 bladed airscrews. The final sprue (below) is the source of the fuselage booms and all of the detail parts for the aircraft.
The photo above shows the decal sheet, etched fret, windscreens and mask set. I am not happy with the shade of blue or red used in these particular decals; they are much too bright and alternatives may have to be sourced. The mask set gives, amongst its contents, masks for the wheel and the underside of the cockpit nacelles of options A and C identified below.
The 12-page instruction manual is standard Eduard in approach (below).
As I mentioned, the decal options have not altered since the original release. They are:
A. 6011, 24 Squadron RFC, 1916: Arthur Gerald Knight (above)
B. 7581, 32 Squadron RFC, C Flight, France, 1916: William G.S. Curphey/E.G.S. Wagner
C. 5998, 24 Squadron RFC, France, 1916: Captain John Oliver Andrews (both shown below)
D. 5967, 24 Squadron RFC, A flight, France, July 1916: Robert H.M.S. Saundby (above).
It is good that the 3 basic different 'camouflage' styles of the DH2 are portrayed in these options.
As with the review of the 1/48 Yak 3, my notes about the original kit and its building were still on file and they should give the modeller a few hints and tips:
- a huge leap forward from the old SMER kit and much easier to build than the Blue Max offering
- accurate to the plans in my possession, apart from the leading edge of the tailplane which needs rounding off at its tips
- very good fit all round
- most DH.2s show some degree or other of wrinkling of the fabric around the cockpit nacelle - this can be added with filler or a skin of wrinkled foil
- check your references which of the 3 instrument panels to fit - option A is early production, applicable to marking D; option B is mid-production, applicable to markings A and C; and option C is late production, applicable to marking B
- exposed engine needs spark plugs added; pushrods are overscale
- the fuselage booms are exactly to scale but are minimal in strength to hold any sort of rigging under tension
- wheels and armament are top class
So what do we think?
A re-release of the best and most accurate DH.2 kit in the market in any scale. The only problem is the overall strength of the model and how well it stands up to the forces imposed once rigging is started. Well recommended to all WW1 modellers.
Our thanks to Eduard for the review sample. To purchase this and other Eduard products, click THIS link.