A big chicken from a little egg....

Some added airpower for your world war 1 armies: ideas from Nuno Cabešadas


In the beginning, there was an egg...

Wrong story, but still true. Indeed these pre-painted Fokker Dr I came inside a plastic egg with just 4 cm height, but they can be built up to a reasonable standard. The 'egg' is one of those novelty chocolates that are often available as treats for children, the Furuta Choco Egg series. These were purchased on eBay.

Some war gamers don't like assembling aircraft and some WW1 aircraft are indeed tricky to build, with multiple wings, struts, and supports. Sometimes they are even harder to paint: however, this 1/92 "egg scale" model and others from the same collection can solve the problem.


Each aircraft is composed by 17 parts and a 2 part stand and the whole can be snapped in place, but glue is more than welcome to give a good solid fit. I'm aware of two versions of the Fokker Dr I, one in red and another in blue. The parts are identical, but the "blue" version is painted in several colors while the "red" has a few black details such as crosses, machine guns and wheels. Both, however, have a nicely detailed tan colored propeller.

While these are made to be just assembled, the can and should be painted if the purpose is to have something more than a toy. The hard plastic takes any glue and standard enamel or acrylic paints and is easy to trim if needed.

 

The whole assembly is very straight forward, as you'd hope any model made for kids would be, but the instructions are so small that reading them becomes a difficult task. Still, the kit is very well engineered and parts can only fit if correctly placed, so its just a matter of adding them to the fuselage.

There are no tricks, but the sequence should be assembling the fuselage with tail and lower wing first, then adding the middle wing and supports, checking carefully for the alignment. Then its just a matter of placing the upper wing, glued in the four contact points, the undercarriage, and finally the cowling and propeller.

 

The stands need to be glued to a larger base to give enough support to the plane. I've chosen a plastic base with 1.25" with a little more depth just because these were available from the German Dragoons I painted a while ago, but any other similar size is good enough.

Painting a German WW1 aircraft is almost a matter of pure imagination or, for a more realistic approach, look at a few pictures or drawings taken from the Internet. I've chosen the obvious "Red Baron" because that was easier to paint as one of the Dr Is available in overall red, and a second variation with green upper wings and fuselage and lower surfaces painted in grey. Then, I decided to take advantage of the blue color from another model and search the Internet for a mostly blue Dr I. Finally I decided to paint the last kit with the colors of Fritz Kempf's aircraft.

 

These are very small models and painting them is easy, but the details and decals are tricky. The Fokker "blue" version has the crosses over a white square and these can be used, but the "red" aircraft just has a black print that needs to be replaced by something better. I found a few crosses available from other kits and painted the remaining details, as the white background or the hand-written letters in the Kempf aircraft. The "Kempf" written in the upper wing is, however, on hold until I find a suitable dry decal sheet from Decadry or Mechanorm.

Each aircraft should take a couple hours to finish, excluding the time for paint or glue to dry, and it's an easy task that doesn't require too much attention except when placing decals or the wires between the undercarriage struts and between the central supports.

The collection includes the Sopwith Camel and Triplane and the Fokker D VII, but these being larger aircraft than the Fokker Dr I, the models are made in a smaller scale to keep them inside a standard egg packaging.

I hope you enjoy the 5 dollar Jasta :)

 

This 'Tiger Fokker' is based on a photo Nuno saw on the web.. as he said, 'no idea whether or not it actually existed, but it looks great'.

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