In-Box Review
Spandau detail set
The teeth of the Luftstreitkräfte
  • move

by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]


A lightened air-cooled version, the lMG 08, was developed by the Spandau arsenal as a rigidly mounted aircraft machine gun and went into production in 1915, in single-gun mounts, for use on the E.I through the E.III production versions of the Fokker Eindecker. A lower case letter "L" beginning the prefix meant luftgekühlt (air-cooled) rather than Luft (air)[1]. The lMG 08s were later used in pairs by the time of the introduction of the Fokker D.III and Albatros D.I biplane fighters in 1916, as fixed and synchronized cowling guns firing through the propeller. . . The initial model of the air-cooled "Spandau" lMG 08 front-firing cowling machine guns had lost the stocks, grips and bipods of the infantry MG08s, but the 103 mm diameter cylindrical sheet metal water jacket was initially over-lightened with cooling slots, and because the cooling jacket on the MG 08 series of guns was an important structural support for the barrel, the excessive slotting of the initial air-cooled lMG 08 rendered the gun as too fragile to the point of making it impossible to fit the muzzle booster that the water cooled infantry MG08 guns could be fitted with.

The later model of lMG 08 air-cooled machine gun had the slotting omitted at the extreme ends of the cooling jacket's cylindrical member, with a 13 cm wide area of solid sheet metal at the breech end, and a 5 cm wide solid area at the muzzle end, giving the resultant gun much more rigidity. It retained unchanged the rectangular rear receiver and breech assembly of the water cooled MG 08 infantry weapon, which would be "stepped down" at its upper rear and lower forward corners as the more developed and lighter weight LMG 08/15 version, always used for forward-aimed synchronized firing in dual mounts on German single-seat fighter aircraft, and singly on German armed two seat observation aircraft.[clarification needed] The LMG 08/15 version was created basing on lightened, water-cooled MG 08/15 version for infantry use, and soon found its way into aircraft with a slightly smaller 92 mm diameter slotted cooling jacket as standard synchronized armament on all German single-seat fighters. A round counter fitted to the rear of the late model LMG 08/15 guns at the backplate, told the pilot how much ammunition was left to fire. Later on a significant upgrade to the gun's aerial usability was the fitting of the Klingstrom device on the right side of the receiver, which allowed the gun to be cocked and loaded with one hand from the cockpit.

More than 23,000 examples of the LMG 08/15 and an unknown number of the lMG 08 were produced during World War I

Kit Contents

Set of two barrels for German 7,92 mm IMG 08/15 "Spandau" WWI aircraft machine gun in 1:32. This set and its instructions will help you build most of the Spandau factory aviation standard Maxim machine guns from 1915-18.

1. Two @ gun barrels.
2. Two @ fretted gun jackets.
3. Two @ flash surpressors.
4. Thirty-one @ detail items for the outer surface facades..
5. One small sheet of exploded views for instructions.


Spandau Machine Gun by David Watts,1998 WWI Aero.

When contacting manufacturers and publishers please mention you saw this review at AEROSCALE

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Nicely detailed PE, The fretted jacket is milled form a solid tube so no rolling a flat PE item into a cylinder.
Lows: Forward gun sights are fragile and you have to roll them. Minor error in the instructions. See review images.
Verdict: They build up nicely over-all and seem to be a great value.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:32
  Mfg. ID: #A32 040
  Suggested Retail: $21.91
  Related Link: Spandau upgrade on WNW Alb
  PUBLISHED: Mar 23, 2011

Our Thanks to Aber!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

View This Item  |  View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

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.


OOH can't access the review...was I too quick?
MAR 23, 2011 - 04:38 AM
My fault Keith I forgot to click a button. Should be good now. I am working on a few build ups and two will include the Aber Spandaus.
MAR 23, 2011 - 08:02 AM
Yes Stephen works just fine now. One question, just out of curiosity. Does the jacket length match the WNW jackets as they are longer than Roden's? I know some might see it as a pointless question seeing as you get barrels to match but I was wondering as to how they would look on a Roden kit too (hopefully not too long. Nice simple review though. I like the extra's you get with this set, though some does look incredibly fiddly for my sausage fingers to handle
MAR 23, 2011 - 09:35 AM
All your questions are being answered while I apply the Aber #32 040 set to the WNW Roland D.VIa guns.
MAR 23, 2011 - 01:30 PM
Head's up if you do use the Aber Spandau set, the instructions have an error.
MAR 23, 2011 - 02:22 PM
The instructions ask yo to make two 1:32 tension springs from wrapped brass. Now thats dedication at about 1/8 inch long.
MAR 24, 2011 - 08:11 AM
Stephen, Thanks for the review on these beautiful Spandau PE sets! Do you know who carries them in the U.S.A? Thanks, Dave
MAR 25, 2011 - 06:18 AM
If you go to the seller links on their website it gives you a whole list. http://aber.net.pl/sell/ Pacific Coast Models Inc is one. And an advertizer here. http://www.pacmodels.com/
MAR 25, 2011 - 07:17 AM
Thanks for the information about Aber in the US Stephan. I have contacted them and ordered a couple of sets. I hope to get them soon. Thanks again, Dave
MAR 26, 2011 - 04:38 AM

Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move