Albatros DV.a from AerodromeRC

In January 2009 I started building the 54" (1/6th scale) Albatros DV.a from AerodromeRC. This is a popular airplane so I won't bore you with the construction of the airframe, rather this is a detail on the modifications I did and all the little scale bits. The kit is close to scale, but is sold as more of a "sport" scale for ease of building and accessibility. During the construction I paused a couple times to build the Vagabond, Apogee Sport, and Cumulus so this build got a bit stretched out over 2009.


This DV.a is done in the colors of Walter Böning/Karl Hopf of Jasta76.b Spring 1918. The blue and white diamond pattern was taken from the Bavarian flag and the crest below the cockpit is that of Würzburg where Karl Hopf was from. He took over this machine after Boning was seriously wounded. The tail plane also carries the Staffel markings of blue and white stripes. This is the later DV.a upgrade from the DV which had structural problems resulting in several crashed. The DV.a was structurally stronger and almost indistinguishable from the DV except for the routing of the aileron lines. The DV.a reverted to the DIII routing through the bottom wing and the exiting just before the outboard strut. The DV carried the aileron lines through the top wing. The DV.a was powered by the 180 HP Mercedes D.IIIaü inline six cylinder, over-head-cam liquid cooled engine with the radiator mounted off-set in the wing to the pilot's right. Top speed was 116mph.


Probably the most complicated part of this model is the painting. Starting with the wings, they are covered in the German WWI five color lozenge pattern camo that was also seen extensively on the Fokker DVII. To recreate this, I started with antique color "SolarTex" iron-on covering as a base and cut out four 8"X11" "frisket" paper masks - one for each of the other colors. I then airbrushed a large enough piece of covering to cover the entire top of the wing, moving my mask along down the piece. There are some photos below. Then this was done for the three remaining colors and then the whole process repeated for the bottom of the wing coverings as they are a different set of colors than the top. All in all it was 80 masks of eight different colors! Quite a consuming project. For the fuselage, I sprayed the rear half white for a base and then cut out over 100 diamonds per side out of frisket paper and placed them one by one. I then shot the blue and carefully removed all the diamond masks. It turned out surprisingly well. After that was good and dry and the wings had been covered it was time to paint the insignias. The wings were masked with 6mm Taymia masking tape and the fuselage and fin were masked with a frisket cutout. White, then black. The fine outline on the fuselage was done with a sharpie marker traced around a specially made template so the pen would not bleed underneath. The front of the fuselage has three coats of marine varnish over hand laid panel, screw and nail details of No.2 pencil. The crest just below the cockpit was created in Photoshop and transferred to a water-side decal and then varnished over to protect it.


Additional changes include: scale landing gear "hoops" and bungee suspension, cockpit detail, scale rigging, articulating and suspended tail skid, scale aileron control lines, access panels and vents, scale dummy engine, hand-laid up fiberglass spinner, scale control surface hinges, and pull-pull lines for control surfaces.


This model is powered by an AXI2826-12 outrunner motor and I hope to coax out about 350-400W with the 15.5" propeller. My weight without the battery is about 3.75 pounds. Any questions, just shoot me a line! I have construction log on the web here: Build log on AerodromeRC


Specs are as follows:

Below are some photos (Click on the larger image to see it full size):