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Built Review
Fokker D.VIII
Stropping a Razor II
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by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]

History of the original

The Fokker E.V was the last production fighter of the German Air Service in 1918. It had a troubled start with the problem being traced to poor workmanship in the wing manufacturing shops of the Fokker subsidiary. When gussets and webs were installed correctly the plywood covered wing of the E.V met and exceeded required specifications. Redesignated as the D.VIII,( some examples still labeled as E.V) soldiered on even after the end of World War One. It was fleshing out infant air forces in other countries, outwardly they were indistinguishable except by their stenciled serial numbers. Nicknamed the ‘Razor’, due to its head-on profile, but in 1918 it was the cutting edge.

History of the kit type

The popularity of the E.V / D.VIII as a model subject can be traced directly to the fact that it has so little rigging. The Aurora / K&B plastic is one and the same and is not accurate. Now depending on your favorite method of building either vacuform or injection molding, each of the last four examples is a multimedia kit and will have something for every builder. The only concern for the Koster kit is that the strut lengths are about 1/8 inch too short, check your references. The plastic in the Eduard kit is a little thick and the sockets for the struts must be enlarged. But the photoetched brass and decals are killer! The Flashback kit has the Eduard plastic, but the locations of the cockpit instrumentations (in the resin tub) are laid out in reverse. There are fewer brass items as the resin is meant to combine some of these. The DML / Dragon kit has good plastic and metal parts. I use gel type super glue to give the struts a better airfoil cross-section. Also, the precut flourescent kit decals should only be used in making patterns from better grade aftermarket Lozenge decals. I recommend the Microsculpt examples.

Kit Contents

44 plastic parts
04 resin in the kit #5909 only
33 PE & metal parts
01 aircraft decal profile per issue.
Instructions 11 step exploded views.

The Build

Wash the plastic in a mild antibacterial soap. Pre-drill all rigging holes.

Step 1. Someone at DML / Dragon must have be been uninformed or inebriated. Don’t begin by routing the aileron (MA 10)cables back as though they were rudder cables. The metal "V" is for the aierlons. The control column extention (MA 11)Can be added later when the fuselage is closed up. The Flooring is too long but they cheated it this way to avoid having to add any fuselage tubing structure behind the seat (A 17).

Step 2. I took the "kit plastic" and completed them per their recommended placement. But beware the soft plastic of the seat supports (A 12 &13) must be cut with a "sharp" blade or they will simply tear and distort. The nickel covered lap (MA6 X 2) and shoulder (MA 8) harness straps need to be annealed (heated) to work as needed. The control column (A 19) hand controls are too small & should be rebuilt or replaced. Toms Modelworks has some nice German cockpit brass that I have used to good avantage with these early (1990's)WWI kits.

Step 3. The rudder bar assembly (MA 9 X 2 & A 21)must have the tabs facing to the rear to hold the rudder cables. The tread plates on the flooring (A 10)can be dry brushed for a good metal appearance. Beware the soft plastic of the side structures (C 3 X 2) must be cut with a "sharp" blade or they will simply tear and distort. Note there is no compass, tachometer, flexible drive cables for synchronizing the machine guns. The need to be scratch built. The fine fuel adjustment and air mixture control (MA 5) goes on the pilot's left.

Step 4. Next add the ammo box (A 14)facade and rear gun mounts (A 20).

The instrument gauges I made from the ejector pin tabs on the kit motor. It appears that during the war most of Fokker’s rotary equipped aircraft that the instruments (tachometer, oil pulsator and in some cases an altimeter) were attached directly to the airframe, in the same manner as the Fokker Dr.I.

If the instrument panels were installed, it may have been due to the post war sales requirements of purchasing countries. To finish, you will need to scratchbuild and install a starter magneto at the pilot’s left on the upper longeron inside the cockpit like small one found in the Fokker Dr.I types.

Step 5. Installing the resulting cockpit into and closing the DML / Dragon Fuselage is a snap. To make the skeletal framework more in scale you could use brass rod & wire cut and glued in place.

Note: The inner surfaces of the fuselage halves (A 1 & 2) should have the reverse pattern of the lozenge camouflage you have chosen. The triangle shaped cheek/ fuselage former’s seen on the inner surfaces as well will be a clear or tint varnished plywood with wood edge and centerline rods, that were apart of the original aircraft’s framework, paint these first. Next lay down your lozenge decal and when dry unite the fuselage halves.

Next cover the joined Fuselage with the lozenge camouflage decals that you have chosen. Allow to thoroughly dry. This type of camouflage was applied in 5 sections. One piece each for the top and sides. The bottom was applied in two pieces. Note, none of the lozenge placement on their mating edges (for the underside center line) matched the fabric that it was adjacent to.

Step 6. Don’t add the footstep or hand grab bars (MB4 X1 & MB5 X 2) yet. The upper forward deck (A A 5)is sufficiently detailed. Next the Spandau machine gun assemblies (MA 4 & 14 X2, PP C 2, D 2 X2 & A 22 & 23)include PE that also needs to be annealed to roll into shape. If you want to include some aftermarket flip up rear sights find a set of 1/72 item’s. They are closer to scale.

Next the cowling and engine (A 4 - 5 & B 2 - 5 & MA 1) and the tail surfaces (A3, 7 & 15.) Add a small piece of plastic rod vertically to the apex of the lower longerons at the stern post. It is meant to appear like the lower end of the tube/post on which the rudder swivels. Wait until the last step to add any small parts that extend away from the model surface. For the tail skid (A 16), foot step (MB4) or grab handles (MB 5 x2). The aircraft govt identity plate (MA 12)goes on the pilots right side not left as shown in the instructions. The inverted Vee PE cabane struts (MA 7 X 2) lock into place.

Step 7. Assemble the parasol wing (A 8 & 9). (The ailerons are molded to the wing entirely. If you are going to reset them do it before uniting the halves.) Now erase the union seam that runs spanwise across the under surface and the leading edge. If you are going to reset the attitude of the elevators (A 3) or the rudder & stabilizer fin(7 & 15) do it here.

Step 8. Save the saw horse support for a diorama and use two of them to make a temporary table by laying a square wafer of balsa wood across them. Lay out some tools and some engine parts.

Step 9. Bring it all together. I use a temporary jig made from children’s Lego blocks. After passing them over some sanding film add the cabane struts (MB 7 X 2) and use the gel type Super Glue again to thicken their profiles.

When completely dry you can replace the stabilizer struts (MB 3 X2) sections of blackened brass rod. Also add the small parts from step 6 that were discussed. The last cabane struts (MB 1 & 2 X 2)go on here. Ensure that the landing gear legs (MB 6 X2) seat fully in the Axle Wing (A 6.) I replaced the plastic axle ends with brass rod. The Rigging is very straight-forward. You can use the fine wire provided by DML / Dragon , In some cases I prefer smoke grey coloured monofilament.

Step 10. Tail unit rigging adds the control horns (MA 3 & 9 X 2.)

Step 11. Adds the control horns (MA 2 X 2) and the Propeller (B 1).


In #5907 we find a mislabed profile. In this era of study most of us come to know quickly that, when you see a man standing, sitting in or flying an aircraft you can not assume that it was their assigned aircraft. Oblt. Erich Loewenhardt commander of Jasta 10, went to the Jasta 6 airfield and borrowed a Fokker E.V to test fly and familiarize himself with the type. The profile that DML chose is labeled wrong. The position of the stripes on the Horizontal Tail surfaces is wrong. The black is where the white should be and the white is where the black should be. As will be discussed further the Lozenge Camouflage is way off in its colours. The personal markings on my sheet are translucent and the waving line is wrong in its design layout.

In #5909 Vizeflugmeister Hans Goerth (Görth) flew with Marine Feld Jasta Nr. III and aside from the psychedelic lozenge colours the colour profile is close to being correct for Fok. E.V 144/18.


In recent years there has been a good deal of focus placed on the photographic evidence concerning markings and the camouflage of these types. We know that mostly, four colour Lozenge was used and that in a few cases five colour type camouflage was used. The only existing portion of a production Fokker E.V is the vertical tail unit of 149/18 ( it is in 5 colour Lozenge.) The Top wing was thought to be a solid dark green is now known to also have been streaked like the Fok.Dr.I but in several colours. (Two on top two on the undersurface).

Fokker’s Exodus:

The myth that Fokker smuggled train-loads of aircraft out of Germany, has reached epic proportions. While we know that this was true to some extent we must try to understand what was happening. First, we know that Germany was out of the aircraft purchasing market after November 11,1918. It is known that of 335 that were ordered, 289 Fokker E.V/D.VIII had been delivered by 8 Oct.1918. Pending contracts could not be paid for, so the post war German government was more than willing to let Fokker leave with his rolling stock of D.VII, D.VIII and C.I types (some of these having been accepted by the German government were among those spirited away.) Herr Anthony Fokker was not a war criminal so why would the allies pursue him? The allied commission was busy destroying aircraft in the field. New aircraft at air parks ready for disbursement went to the allied countries as war reparations (mostly Fokker D.VII and Roland D.VIb types.) At least twenty incomplete Fokker D.VIII type airframes were destroyed at the Fokker factory in Schwerin. At the exodus a further twenty ( 29 ? ) complete Fokker E.V/ D.VIII types went to Holland and were sold off by the Fokker company there. Recipients were the Dutch Luchtvaart Afdeling , Polish Air Service and The United States of America.(Purchased 165/18 and 169/18.)

Fokker E.V / D.VIII, known serial numbers (/18) and the possible (?) works numbers (w/n) allocations:
100/18 - 226/18 —w/n 2741 - 2867
227/18 ------------ (w/n 2868 ?)
228/18 - 231/18 —w/n 2869 - 2872
232/18 ------------ (w/n 2873 ?)
233/18 - 236/18 —w/n 2874 - 2877
237/18 ------------ (w/n 2878 ?)
238/18 - 241/18 —w/n 2879 - 2882
242/18 ------------ (w/n 2883 ?)
243/18 ------------ (w/n 2884 ?)
244/18 --------------w/n 2885
245/18 ------------ (w/n 2886 ?)
246/18 --------------w/n 2887
247/18 ------------ (w/n 2888 ?)
248/18 --------------w/n 2889
249/18 - 251/18 --(w/n 2890 - 2892 ?)
252/18 --------------w/n 2893
253/18 - 307/18 --(w/n 2894 - 2948 ?)
308/18 - 309/18 ---w/n 2949 - 2950
500/18 - 564/18 ---w/n 3255 - 3319
670/18 - 729/18 —--w/n 2672 - 2731 *
-------------------------------------- Total = 335 aircraft ordered
* The reason last series of work numbers is out of sequence is that they were originally assigned to the Fokker D.VI contract orders. When the balance of the D.VI was canceled, the remaining work numbers were transferred to the E.V/D.VIII production series.


Aerodrome Modeller, Vol.3, #3, P.125.
Eindeckers of World War I by D. Pardee, Cross & Cockade USA Vol.22, #4, Pp.331-343,1981.
Fokker D.VIII by J.M.Bruce, Profile Pub. #67, 1966.
Fokker D.VIII by P.M.Grosz, Windsock Datafile #25, Albatros Pub. Ltd. 1991.
Fokker D.VIII by P.M.Grosz, World War One Aero #86, September 1980.
Fokker E.V./ D.VIII by R. Rimell, Warpaint #5 Scale Models May 1979.
Fokker Fighters of WWI by A. Imrie, Osprey, Vintage Warbirds #6, Pp.53-55, 58-59, 1986.
Fokker’s D.VIII ...Reluctant Razor by P. Grosz, Air Enthusiast 17 Pp.61-73, 1980.
Fokker D.VIII Wing and Airfoils by C. Cash et al, World War One Aero #79, May 1980.
German Army Air Service in WWI, Osprey, Vintage Warbirds #2,Pp.26-27, 1985.
Info from Dan-San Abbott, unpublished.
Pictorial History of the German Army Air Service by A. Imrie, Ian Allen Pub. 1971.
Report on the Fokker Monoplane Type E.V, Report I.M.1015 Air Ministry June, 1920.
Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel Nr.36 by S.T.Lawson, Cross & Cockade Int. Vol.20, #1, 1989.
Scale Model Aircraft in Plastic Card by H.Woodman, Model & Allied Pub., 1975.
Serendipity at Aerdrome 92' by P.M.Grosz, World War One Aero, Pp.64-66, 1993.
U.S. Air Service’s Fokker D.VIII Monoplanes by B.Flanagan, Cross & Cockade USA, Vol.16, #1, Pp.83-92, 1975. (Fokker E.V 165/18 and 169/18 were tested at McCook Field 1920-22.)
World War One in Plastic by Brad Hansen, Great Auk Pub. Pp.25,52 1979 & update 3/79.
World War One in the Air by R. Rimell, Osprey Pub. Vintage Warbirds #9, p.35,1988.

When contacting manufacturers, sellers and publishers please mention you saw this review at AEROSCALE
Highs: Sharp crisp details in most of the plastic. Good overall profile.
Lows: Cockpit plastic structures can be damaged on the trees from shipping. While strong the struts need a thicker crossection. The lozenge is a write off. Go with a better aftermarket set. Large seams on the wing need to be erased.
Verdict: Good Basic kit that could have been better.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 5907/5909
  Suggested Retail: $22.95 OOP
  Related Link: The Bitter End
  PUBLISHED: Aug 18, 2012

About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)

I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Just to add some realism here.
AUG 25, 2012 - 01:19 AM

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