Official Kogenluft photo taken at Léchelle, France in late March/Early April 1918 records at least 13 Triplanes of Jastas 6 and 11 (JG I) at the height of the great Offensive. Alex Imrie stated, "During the advance which resulted from the Spring Offensive, JG I occupied the British aerodrome at Léchelle on the evening of 26 March. This photo of Jasta 6 Triplanes lined up there was probably taken a few days later, and shows the aircraft undergoing national insignia changes." There are both Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz) and Balkenkreuz markings on view in this image but all the rudders featuring the newly-applied Balkenkreuz are white. Just beyond the fellow with the binoculars, beyond a two-seater DFW C.V hack machine marked with the number '3', can be seen the red-painted top wing of Richthofen's 425/17 partially obscured by another Triplane - in front of the last of the Bessoneau hangars. The Dr. 1 of Jasta 11 ace Hans Weiss Dr. 1 (545/17) is somewhere on this image...Click to view large..
The Eduard Dr. 1 kit is nicely detailed and I used some of the etch from the ProfiPACK box in the stash to enhance the cockpit (compass etc). The plastic control yoke in the kit is nicely done- on the etch sheet you will find some tiny 'L' and 'R' placards for the MGs ( 'left' and 'right' in German is 'links' and 'rechts'). The fuel tank air pressure hand pump for the right side of the cockpit was scratched..The back of the aluminum seat was evidently covered in fabric on the inner face and the seat cushion was the parachute pack. The alu ammunition boxes don't sit very well in the forward fuselage and needed trimming. Everything lines up well though with the Spandaus which really need the etch jackets of course. Eduard's etch includes the Bowden cable arrangement that operated the triggers on the real machine. The fuel gauge on the upper deck cowling has an etch dial face. As noted previously, aligning the wings proved problematic - on my next build I will do more to ensure that the lower wing sits 'square' in the lower fuselage. The underbelly fuselage seam is fixed with an etch stitching strip and the seam under the forward fuselage can be hidden as I did here with an etch plate which helps secure the very fragile front landing gear legs so there is an even placement of the whole undercarriage - something else I found pretty tricky to achieve. One thing I didn't do on my model was 'fix' the clear inspection window in the top wing which needs to be relocated and the raised edges sanded down. Next time... There are two propeller types offered in the kit - Axial and Heine. Painting a 'laminated' propeller is fairly straight forward - I simply gave the item a coat of “buff” or linen and when dry, streaked some burnt umber oil over the part with a stiff brush. You could mask the prop off in strips. I used a similar technique for the wings with '502 Abteilung' Olive green oil paint. Eduard's etch sheet for the Dr.1 includes the "Reich” / government ownership plate located on the starboard side of the cowling. I did some minimal rigging with E-Z Line which I always find difficult to work with as it is so 'elastic'. Thanks to Stephen T. Lawson for help with this build!
The first victory recorded in a Fokker Triplane was achieved by Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen when he brought down an RE 8 on the morning of 1 September 1917 for his 60th victory in his first combat flight in the type. (Kranzhof states 2 September). The crew believed the oncoming machine to be a British Sopwith Triplane. Poor construction and the proximity of the top wing to the propeller wash subsequently caused a number of well-documented failures in-flight. The type was temporarily withdrawn to re-appear in strength in January 1918. The Fokker Triplane equipped most of the Jagdstaffeln of the three Jagdgeschwader of the German Fliegertruppe during the first half of 1918.
Incidentally, the word Jagdgeschwader translates as 'fighter wing' or 'fighter wings' - there is NO plural form of this word in German, unless the sentence construction in the German involves a dative case. There is no 's' and certainly no 'n' at the end of the word in its nominative form! One of my pet 'hates' when reading works by authors who don't really know German - even vanWyngarden does this, although in every other respect I find his work to be exceptional. Shame that Osprey have stated that it doesn't sell well and that apparently there will be no more..