Changing it up: Wilhelm Hippert’s Fokker D.VIIF in 1:72

It’s been a while since I wrote about modeling on the blog; that’s because I’ve been primarily focused on building something far outside of my comfort zone, namely a 1:72 Roden Fokker D.VII. I’m building it for my friend Paul Greenberg; my original plan was to build Paul’s Fokker D.VIIF and my own D.VII OAW concurrently. However, there were too many issues to switch back and forth between them, so I focused on Paul’s.

My first mistake was picking a scheme that was nearly all decals! Of all the Fokker D.VIIs, Paul’s had the most involved scheme. Wilhelm Hippert flew this aircraft, with its checkerboarded fuselage and “Mimmi.” legend atop the wing. Printscale does decals for this machine in 1:72.

The Roden kit is pretty rough – the fuselage halves needed a lot of cleaning up and the fit in places (like lower wing to fuselage) was beyond suspect. I have a mess of Roden WWI planes, and this does not make me look forward to them.

The Czech company Part, however, makes a lovely set of photoetched brass that replaces virtually all the interior parts. This was assembled and makes for a nice model all on its own!

Fokker D.VIIF framework in fuselage

Fokker D.VIIF frame in fuselage

The lower fuselage needed a shim to close it, and the lower wing had to be sawed in half and shimmed with a 1/8-inch piece of plastic. As I said, fit is not great.

Fokker D.VII bottom w:wings

 

The PrintScale decals fit well except for the panel for the top of the fuselage. The corner on the left side was replaced with individual decal blocks of black and white to fill in the missing pieces.

Fokker checkers 2

One think I’m learning about WWI planes is that the details can be a blast. Here’s the propeller, which was masked, painted and drybrushed to give the illusion of a carved wooden propeller. The hub is a brass piece from the Part set.

Fokker D.VII Propeller

The machine guns are from a Russian company called Mini World – a machined body with a photoetched jacket and sights. Very impressive when built up – and they also include a photoetched ammo belt to add to the feed troughs on the model!
Fokker D.VII Guns

The kit lozenge decals were a disaster, as were the PrintScale lozenge decals, which wrinkled hopelessly on the model. Luckily, I found a couple of sheets from Aviattic. These are well researched and printed. The model was primed with a linen color and the decals need it – they’re translucent. The instructions encourage the users to experiment with paint effects under the decals, but be careful – anything you do will be readily visible. That said, they went on like a charm, reacted well to MicroSol and, best of all, came with the rib tapes already printed on, and spaced for a Fokker D.VII.

Fokker D.VII bottom

Fokker D.VII Mimmi

Here’s a shot of the plane with the landing gear struts added. The Roden kit is missing things like locating pins or holes – the struts had pins but the fuselage had no locating holes, so the gear was carefully cyanoacrylate-glued to the bottom of the fuselage.

Fokker D.VII on geat

So, we’re in the home stretch here – I have to add the bungee cords to the landing gear, add the machine guns and ammo belts, rig the tail and its associated control cables, and get the top wing on straight. No problem! It’s only taken six months to get to this point so I should be done in, maybe, a week, right?

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