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Fokker DR I micro fighter

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Fokker DR I

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Short historic note:

Fokker DR I triplane was a German WWI fighter plane. Despite its fame (acclaimed mainly thanks to the exploits of the best fighter pilot ace during the Great War) it had quite a short war career – since October 1917 till June 1918, with over 300 built planes all together. It was exchanged for a far more efficient Fokker VII biplane.

The plane itself, thanks to the airframe and rotary engine, was very nimble and had unbeaten climb rate. On the other side, a novice enemy pilot could flee due to Fokker’s low speed. Also, the fuel capacity was only to provide a hour and half in the air. The first planes had also defect, which proved fatal to some during wartime operations – due to weak materials and workmanship, many planes had low quality struts between the wings and ended up in tailspin to the ground.

As mentioned earlier, the plane gained fame due to Manfred v. Richtofen, aka Red Baron, who ended his career having 80 confirmed victories. Well, he ended his career also in a specially painted red Fokker DR I, shot down most probably from ground fire. Behind the stick of Fokker DR I, he scored his last 19 enemy planes.

The model:

As this micro model was being built for the BrickLink MOC Design Contest (see: link) a set with sufficient bricks has been chosen – 31024-1 Roaring Power.

It contained enough red materiel for the fuselage and airframe, especially the plates for the wings.

Personally, I do not own this set, so parts had to be scavenged around my collection, and it was very close that entire project would end up only on paper sketch – it was long before I found the proper part for the propeller in black…

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Micro DR I consists of 106 elements (less than 30% of the original set’s stock), with one element added from the given by Lego reserve parts.

All in all, three versions emerged. The first was purely prototype, with no color scheme in mind, just to check the feasibility of the construction. The first version had shorter lower wing, and after refereeing to the original fighter blueprints and photos, this was amended. The top wing has extended over the wing outline ailerons (not movable of course). The lower and middle airframe are mounted to the fuselage, while the top wing sits solely on four struts – that is why it rests upside down. The airframe, despite the look of being fragile, is sturdy enough so the model can perform “loops” and “roll-ups”.

The model is armed with two micro air cooled Spandau machine guns. There is also the pilot, but within this scale, some imagination is needed to see him with a white air scarf within the scope of two dots…

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Below is the photo of the blown-up plane.

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What I am content about the build? The airframe is recreated faithfully, up to the micro scale of course, with the unique tri wings. Also, the model has a fully rotary engine with the prop, within the housing.

What could be done better? The color scheme, should have some modifications – the rudder ought to be white with black markings, white not black markings on the top wing and red bar between the wheels. All of these come from the restrictions of the parts list of set 31024. Also, the elevator should be placed one stud towards the front of the fuselage.

Finally, having some spare tan plates from the original set, I was able to build an airfield tent within the scale. A small touch to begin a WWI micro mock-up.

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Apart from the photos of the fighter itself, in the photo archive of WWI i found a pic of the airbattle, where DR I gives beating for mini Sopwith Camels (set no. 40049)…

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…and a proof that anyone can become pilot :) – the notorious baron Olav von Snowman.

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Full gallery, with the prototype and the first version of the model, is on Flickr.

Don’t forget to vote in the contest, hope this Fokker DR I beats the “shot” record of its predecessor.

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