By Frederick Boucher with kit history by Alan Bussie Google+ profile
Released in 1956 the
In order, the 5 predecessors (using
In 1955 Aurora began actively planning and cutting molds for a constant scale World War I aircraft series. The prototype of kit #101, the Nieuport II (and possibly others) were produced that year and Jim Cox made sketches and final box art for a 1955 release under the old Aurora Line logo. For some reason, the kits were not released until 1956.
Jim Cox did the box artwork and instructions for the DR-I. The kit sold so well that Aurora did not change the artwork until the 700 series, which used photos of built up models. The known variations of boxes for the DR-I are shown below in order of issue. Click on any thumbnail to enlarge the photo.
The original issue was molded in the beautiful, deep gloss maroon plastic (that Fred notes below) and black. The kit continued to be molded in this color through the 1950s. In the mid 1960s the plastic was changed to a medium red (without the high gloss) and black. Through all these issues, the decals remained the same as did the instructions except for minor changes such as the Aurora logo. In the 1970s most of the WWI line was improved, as was the DR-1 for the 1976 issue. This final issue is normally found molded in all medium low-gloss red with revised instructions and decals.
In The Box
This review is of the 1956 original vividly decorated ‘long box’ model.
Inside are instructions, decals, and 33 parts injection molded in two colors, black and a peculiar metallic burgundy color. One oddity is a streamlined ‘air scoop’ shown to attach between the machine guns. One black piece is an identification button imprinted with “FOKKER DRI
Parts Overview (click photo to enlarge)
None of the parts are attached to a sprue in my sample.
Part detail (click on any image to enlarge)
The cowl is wrong as the lower cut out is too shallow. Part thickness is out of scale for struts yet impressively thin for trailing edges, the horizontal stabilizer and the rudder. Certainly not what I expected! Test fitting reveals good fit. A pass of sandpaper along the fuselage should allow your glue to seal the slight gaps. Where the cabanes and interstruts mate into wing surfaces would require filler.
As was the fashion of the era, all insignia and data is molded onto the airframe. Removing it is a horrible exercise at best even on flat surfaces!
DR-1 Part Detail (click any image to enlarge)
Not much! The Oberursel is a suggestion at best, with undersized cylinders and valve rocker shafts molded to the front of each cylinder. It lacks the prominent valve rockers, valve rocker shafts and pins.
Each 7.92mm Spandau LMG 08/15 machine gun would be unrecognizable if you didn’t know what they were supposed to be.
The cockpit is token: floor, seat, stick, instrument panel. Fortunately the pilot blocks seeing any of it.
Surface detail includes some raised lines representing access hatches, control horns, and control wire ports.
DR-1 Part Detail (click any image to enlarge)
Decals include eight Balkenkreuz and the fuselage serial “FDRI.2009/17” with “DR” and “/17” smaller than the rest of the printing. Like the identical raised markings on the fuselage, this data is incorrectly produced from the correct “Fok.Dr.I 425/17.”
Instructions (front), decals and instructions (rear) (click any image to enlarge)
Another great trip down memory taxilane! Even today this kit is sought for building and collecting. Some collectors enjoy building the kit as they did in the 1960s – straight from the box. Those who wish to build it to current standards will find it ripe for detailing and in need of serious surface sanding. One could by several accurate modern kits for the price of one of these. No doubt you can make a respectable model with it, as evidenced by the many examples online. However, I would only buy and build one for nostalgia.
As such it will look striking in your display case. That ‘electric cardinal’ burgundy is beautiful!
*Highs*: Clean molding. Impressively molded. Vignette display base and ground crewman.
*Lows*: Much of the detail is soft and simplified, ejector marks and some seam lines abound, and there are those unfortunate raised areas for the inaccurate decals. Only basic interior detail occupies the small cockpit, the machine guns are toy-like.
*Verdict*: I would only buy and build one for nostalgia. As such it will look striking in your display case. That ‘electric cardinal’ burgundy is beautiful!
“HISTORY OF THE FOKKER DR-1 TRIPLANE”
(Using Aurora punctuation and spelling.)
“When the FOKKER TRIPLANE was first introduced it was regarded with skepticism on three counts; the fact that it was a triplane as opposed to the standard biplane; its peculiar cantilever wing spar construction without the usual wire bracing; and its thick “anti-high” speed airfoil section. However, in September, 1917, the German ace, Baron von Richthoffen, who had been wounded several months before, returned to his squadron, Jagdstaffel II, bringing with him the
“The FOKKER DR-1 was an attempt of the master fighter designer, Anthony Fokker, to produce a ship that would be invincible in the five or ten minutes of dogfighting that determined the outcome of a W.W.I air battle. He theorized that it did not matter how long it took a plane to get to a fight or to get back home; what it could do in battle was the important thing, so that the DR-1 was small, light, highly maneuverable and with an intentionally short range. With a 110 h.p. Oberursel rotary engine the Tripe was credited with a top speed of only 115 mph, but its outstanding rate of climb, 16,500 ft. in 14 minutes, was one of its greatest assets. Its ability to literally turn on a dime and to maintain its extreme maneuverability at high altitudes made it a favorite with German pilots and a respected adversary of Allied airmen. The armament consisted of twin
“The DR-1 was primarily an excellent defensive aircraft and its use as an offensive weapon was the mistake that cost the German Air Service the lives of several of their most out¬standing aces. On September 23rd, Lt. Werner Voss was shot down after he had put on what is considered the greatest Fokker DR-1 fight on record. Flying alone, he ran into three flights of British planes;