by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
Plastic PartsSpecial Hobby's D.XII is moulded in medium grey plastic, with additional details supplied in resin and etched metal. The kit is typical of the new generation of "semi-limited run" models. Low pressure injection moulding is used, so the parts are a little soft compared with mainstream manufacturers - and that includes recent Eduard kits.
The plastic parts are spread over two sprues with commendably small attachment points and feature some nice surface detail. The is a little flash evident and most parts will benefit from cleaning up. It will also be a good idea to wash the parts thoroughly in mild detergent to remove any vestiges of release agent. The only moulding flaws on my example were on the wheels, which show slight shrinkage and another small blemish.
The wings are one-piece mouldings, with pretty thin trailing edges and no sign of warping. Both the ailerons and elevators are separate parts but, strangely, the rudder is moulded attached to the fin. Wing and tail ribs are neatly depicted; maybe a little heavy, but they should look fine after a light sanding and a coat of paint.
There is some detail moulded inside the fuselage, along with some prominent ejector pin marks. Two of these look as though they may interfere with the fit of the cockpit details. The Mercedes engine is very similar to the one supplied in Eduard kits. It actually has a little more detail in places, but is generally more softly moulded.
Resin & Etched PartsA small set of good quality resin parts is provided to build a well detailed cockpit along with a gun-deck and a very nice radiator. Six small parts are supplied which aren't shown in the instructions; two appear to be ammunition feeds and two more are aileron actuators. As for the remaining pair? Answers on a postcard please.
A neat littte etched fret supplies seat harness, gun-cocking levers and sights, blast-troughs, control cable attachments and a windscreen frame with a film insert.
Instructions & DecalsThe instructions are well drawn and clearly laid out. Apart from the missing parts noted above, they should be simple to follow. Colours are given in English and Czech, but no paint references are given. A rigging diagram is included.
Decals are provided for two aircraft along with some stencilling and cockpit instruments. Both schemes feature lozenge fabric on the wing upper surfaces. Special Hobby supply the lozenge decal on a separate sheet. The colours are rather bright compared with samples shown on Pegasus Models' website and are depicted applied chord-wise, but no rib-tapes are supplied. The registration is slightly off on both decal sheets and the red stripes for one of the schemes are slightly ragged on my example.
The various paint shades for the fuselage are shown as cross hatching on the painting diagram, which is a little hard on the eyes. Again, no colour references are given.
ConclusionAll in all, Special Hobby have done a fine job with the D.XII. All the basics are here for a very attractive model. The good quality resin and etched parts make it a sound choice for anyone with a bit of experience looking for a something a little different from the ubiquitous Fokkers and Sopwiths.