Fokker D.VIII – kick off

The first project documented on this blog is going to be a Fokker D.VIII from Eduard in 1/48th scale ( https://www.scalemates.com/kits/eduard-8085-fokker-dviii–1132582 )

Boxart Fokker D.VIII 8085 Eduard

The kit is a rebox of the 2006 issue. While it is a bit dated, the kit looks promising, with crisp details, little flash and clear instructions. The build will certainly be … interesting due to the amount of decals involved; also, most of the sub-assemblies will have to be painted before putting them together. Another challenge is the upper wing painting – I am not yet sure how to achieve the hand-painted stripes effect:

A detailed review of the kit can be found http://www.aeroscale.co.uk/modules.php?op=modload&name=Reviews&file=index&req=showcontent&id=1620 or https://www.kfs-miniatures.com/1-48-fokker-d-viii-eduard/ (in Polish).

I will build the kit directly from the box, with no aftermarket parts. I will use the markings that represent the machine flown by Cpt. Stefan Bastyr, who scored at least one victory during the Polish – Bolshevik war.

The D.VIII was a single-seater, parasol monoplane fighter build by Fokker-Flugzeugwerke in 1918. The initial designation was Fokker E.V., and it was changed after the first in-production testing resulted in some redesign.

The main body was welded from steel profiles and covered in fabric. The parasol and tail wings were made of wood. An 110 hp Oberursel Ur II engine allowed the aircraft to reach a maximum speed of 185 kmh. While the engine was already obsolete, the combination of low drag and light weight made the plane quite nimble and as such, one of the most successful planes of the time. Numerous issues – many of them resulting in fatal accidents- were related to shoddy and rushed construction. Nevertheless, a total of 381 machines were produced.

Seventeen aircraft were captured by the Polish Air Force, and they were successfully used during the war of 1919-1920. In particular, the first Polish air victory ever was scored on a Fokker D.VIII flown by Cpt. Stefan Stec, who downed a Soviet Nieuport 11 Bébé fighter on 29 April 1919. Also, the iconic white-red checkerboard marking of the Polish Air Force was actually introduced by the said Stefan Stec on his D.VIII – thus the machine has an important place in the history of Polish warfare.

Cpt. Stefan Stec’s D.VIII – number 001
Crashed Cpt. Stefan Bastyr D.VIII – number 002

There is quite a number of Fokker D.VIII in flying conditions, but those are all modern-built replicas.

CF15 Fokker D.VIII ZK-FES 050415 02.jpg
Oren Rozen [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

The Museo dell’Aeronautica Gianni Caproni in Trento sports a stripped down survivor specimen that gives a very good view into the rudimentary cockpit.

Fokker D.VIII cockpit, Museo dell'Aeronautica Gianni Caproni
MLWatts [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]
Fokker D.VIII top view, Museo dell'Aeronautica Gianni Caproni
MLWatts [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

That’s all for the fist post here – next up, inbox and first assemblies.

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