Illustrators: Ronny Bar and Juanita Franzi
Series: WWI Scale Model Anthology Series
Albatros Productions Ltd. offers the World's largest range of World War One aeroplane and airship books / journals aimed at dedicated scale modelers and aero-enthusiasts. Whether you're a big fan of WWI aircraft camouflage and markings, squadron histories, technical data, rare archive photos, unique scale drawings, the very best 'Great War' aeroplane and airship monographs,or just passionate about modelling WWI aeroplanes. Ray Rimell’s (Raymond Laurence Rimell) latest replaces the “Building the Wingnut Wings” series with a new series called “WWI Scale Model Anthology Series”. Obvious with the success of the prior series and the demise on Wingnut Wings, this makes sense.
The front cover is Ray Rimell’s completed 1/32 Meng Fokker Dr.I in Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen tangling with a SE.5a. Jerry Boucher created the digital composite background and effects to go with the Ray Rimell’s color photograph. I counted 53 period black and white photographs and 234 color pictures on glossy pages. Ronny Bar contributes eleven all new color profiles and Juanita Franzi provides the front inner cover color three view with eleven scrap views.
Similar to the Albatros Building the Wingnut Wings series, you will be treated to a very detailed, step-by-step builds of the Meng 1/32 Fokker F.I/Dr.I triplane and a rebuild of a Roden 1/32 Fokker Dr.I. Be aware that this is no “Plain-Jane” out-of-the-box build. Ray Rimell brings his lifetime of modeling expertise to bear for this super-detailed build where each component becomes a model unto itself. A feature that Ray Rimell favors is noting the detailed color photographs of the build with reference codes that are addressed in the text. The first build is one of the two Fokker V.4s that were evaluated for combat. One of these you can build out of the Meng 1/32 Fokker triplane box, is Fokker F.I 103/17, that was flown by a 20 year old Werner Voss. The second build is of a Roden 1/32 Fokker Dr.I diorama. This build represents one of four brand new Fokker Dr.I fighters to the front line for Jasta Boelcke pilots: DR.I 204/17. The last build feature is of the Red Baron’s famous red Fokker Dr.I 425/17 as it appeared in March 1918.
There are two features from Richard Alexander with the first being a discussion of Fokker F.I/Dr.I paint colors, complete with a Model Paint conversion chart. The second feature discusses the development of the Wingnut Wings, and now Meng Fokker F.I/Dr.I with notes on what could have been improved and what was done well. The centerpiece is a nice color photo-essay of Mikael Carlson’ airworthy replica of a genuine 1917 LeRhone rotary powered Fokker Dr.I. This Swedish based machine, SE-XXZ is part of Carlson’s larger collection that also includes a Fokker D.VII and a Pfalz D.VIII. Next up is a series of eleven Ronny Barr 1/32 color side profiles accompanied with detailed captioned period black and white photographs of the subject airframe.
The Chapters include:
- Foreword by Richard Alexander
- Author’s Introduction…
- The Large Scale Dreidecker
- 1/32 Kits [Page 03]
- 1/24 Kits
- Steaking to the Finish Line by Richard Alexander
- F.I/Dr.I Model Paint Conversion Chart [Table]
- F.I Pre-Production Folio
- Fokker F.I 103/17, August 1917 Meng 1/32 Build Review [Page 18]
- Recreating a Legend – Richard Alexander Interview
- Under the Skin [Page 37]
- ‘Dreidecor’ Nr.1 [Page 46]
- Roden Revisited! Fokker Dr.I 127/18, March, 1918
- Fokker Dr.I 204/17, January 1918
- Fokker Dr.I 427/17, March 1918 [Page 58]
- Fokker Dr.I Folios
- Appendix I: Fokker Dr.I Production Changes
- Appendix II: Recommended Reading
- Appendix III: After-Market Products & Sources
- Author’s Note
Ray Rimell has a very readable style (no doubt polished over his long career) that is supplemented with period black and white photographs, color illustrations from Ronny Barr, and a detailed color 3-view illustration from Juanita Franzi of Werner Voss’ Fokker F.I 103/17. I really enjoyed the insights from Richard Alexander, especially in the Fokker F.I/Dr.I feature, “Streaking to the Finish Line”. It is quite possible the questions of color will never be fully answered, but it’s fascinating to see the attempts at clarification of history from only some 100 years ago. I would also note that Appendix I tracks the production changes to the Fokker Dr.I by serial number order (Thanks to Richard Alexander). Given the many options the Meng kit provides, Appendix I is quite valuable.
Although this book is targeted at the 1/32 Meng kit, I would consider this edition essential as an aide to your build in your favorite scale. I was able to read this tome easily over a few nights. If you own any of the previous releases in the Building the Wingnut Wings series, you know what you are getting. If this is your initial entry into this series, you will be quite pleased. Myself, I can’t wait for Volume 2 in Albatros’ new WWI Scale Model Anthology Series. My guess it will cover the Meng 1/24 Fokker Dr.I which is a truly gorgeous kit.
My thanks to Ray Rimell, Albatros Productions, Ltd., and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.