by: Stephen T. Lawson [ ]
Roden has given us a great all-plastic basic kit at a fine price. No brass photoetch, but most average modelers need a basic all plastic kit with little rigging like this to have as a premier build. Prof. Hugo Junkers literally went through his own private hell climbing over the mountain of nay-sayers that would tell him. That to ". . .get to the place where you can build a successful all metal aircraft , well you can't get there from here. . ."
Beginning with the Junkers J.1 started on the 8 June 1915 and finally finding some success in the J.9 at its roll out at the end of April 1918. There were never more than 12 machines at the front until the end of the war. It was post war that production literally took off and the main production of Junkers "Tin Donkeys" really went into high gear.
Roden's product development people had a simlar challenge when it came to reproducing a scale model of the Junker's first production line fighter. The surfaces are all compound curves. Their own development took about as long to get the surfaces right. While previously other companies have tried their hand at the project in 1/72 & 1/48 it was the new generation of software that gave Roden the edge. This all plastic kit fills a hole in the ranks of types that deserve to be represented. While starting this preview I began to clean up the sprues. Doing the basics it took about an hour and fifteen minutes. Then I spent a good deal of time appreciating the detail that has been molded into all of the surfaces.
Some comments have been made about the kit provided turtledeck. Here is my preliminary research on the subject. The early Junker D.I (Jco) - parent company, had a two part turtledeck where the corrugations travel from the vertical side panels, they taper into the center seam. On the production Junker D.Is (Jfa) - Fokker built, the turtledeck was one piece and the corrugations were parallel to the line of flight. The CL.I (Jfa) two seaters were that way too.
Some parts are so close to scale it is impressive. If they fit as good as they look this kit will literally fall together. The surface details are not overscaled to the point of distraction but will make a very pleasing contrast to its wood and linen cousins in your displays. Now for the build. Lets see if I can get this tin donkey to fly.