Review: Fokker DR-1 Triplane from Classic Paper Planes

Discussion in 'Aircraft & Aviation' started by ekuth, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. ekuth

    ekuth Active Member

    Having had the Classic Paper Planes book gathering dust on my bookshelf for quite awhile, and having a few cardmodels under my belt now, I decided to crack open the book and have a go at the Fokker DR-1.

    I've always loved this particular plane, so it seemed a likely candidate out of the planes given.

    As an experienced cardmodel builder, I do have a few issues with the model(s):

    1. Poor texture alignment when printed. Whether this is a fault of the printer who did the books or the design, I can't tell. More than likely the printer, though, as the planes in this book are die-cut. I suspect that the machine was out of alignment for the cutting process.

    2. Die-cut parts. This could be an advantage to some modelers, but I found myself frustrated by the issues presented in #1 that could have been avoided had I been able to cut the parts on my own. Plus, you end up trimming everything anyway to remove the die tabs.

    3. Poor directions. Each plane is presented with an exhaustive history, but you are only given a bare minimum diagram to assemble the plane by. No indication is given as to the placement of interior or exterior parts, and often the placement of smaller parts is extremely vauge. I found myself constantly referring to the one color photo of the model on the front cover of the book to attempt to puzzle things out. A general "how to build" section is presented in the beginning of the book, but no specifics. This includes what parts should be laminated to cardstock, or what appropriate weight of paper to use.

    4. Lack of complete texturing. Admittedly, these models were designed to be flown rather than displayed, but this also means that the underside of wing sufaces were not completed, or suffer greatly from the 'box-spar' technique used to give the surfaces an airfoil shape. Additional parts to complete the skins on the underside of the control surfaces would have been greatly desired here.

    In all, these look fairly impressive out of the gate, it's only when you start the actual assembly process that the "gotcha' gremlins begin to rear their ugly heads. Many new builders, which this book seems to be aimed toward, would simply give up in frustration by the issues quoted above. Bulkhead assembly, for instance, requires much shaping and fitting of misprinted parts.

    Okay, now that I'm through with my constructive ranting, I will say that the finished product actually looks fairly decent. Definately not up to the par of the model's I've seen built here, but not too shabby for what the kits are.

    Also, this was my first foray into the world of plane building, so no doubt my technique (or lack thereof) attributed to the building snafus.

    I built this model as much AS IS as I could, to give an accurate representation of how the model was intended to be built. I did do minor modifications for proper fit (necessary to build) and some very very minor edgecoloring.

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words, though, so:

    Side shot of the Fokker. Forgive the shadows in the pictures, it was cloudly today.

    View attachment 8356

    Back shot:

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    Closeup of the very sparse cockpit. All you can see is the control stick here. The instrument panel is mounted so far up you can barely see it at all. The seat is minimal and tough to photograph.

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    Closer view of the twin guns and engine cowling assembly. I'm not at all happy with the technique used on the cowling itself. While it does produce the necessary curve, it's ugly as sin. The plate in back of the propellor I had to completely remake, as the one provided had textures so out of alignment it was ridiculous.

    View attachment 8359

    Front view of above. You can see the simplistic engine cylinders here- including the oversized cylinder heads. I left them that way intentionally, because I was building the kit as provided, and that's the size they printed the part at. Actually, slightly larger than shown, if you can believe it.

    The prop, which I thought would be a nightmare to get correct, actually didn't turn out half bad. Wood grain texture added by yours truly, courtesy of a brown Sharpie.

    You can see what I mean about the lack of texture skinning for the underside of the wings here. YUCK!

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    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2014
  2. ekuth

    ekuth Active Member

    Just to empasize what I mean, here's the bird flipped on it's back.

    View attachment 8361

    One last shot with a 2 litre soda bottle for size comparison. Not a bad size!

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    As I said, it knocks together into a fairly decent looking bird, if not especially pretty. With some judicious alteration and careful building, you guys could probably do better than I at it. I'm definately no Golden Bear! :-D

    Attached Files:

  3. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    I think it turned out quite well! Nice job and thanks for the review.
  4. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    Looks like a pretty decent basic plane, when you get down to it despite the misprint and underside textures. Not really differant than the "full monty" detailed kits, good job on building her up!
  5. rlwhitt

    rlwhitt Active Member

    I think it's quite spiffy for a die cut deal.

    I know what you mean by prefering to cut. My only experience with die cut parts was on one of Flying Pig's models, and I'd really rather not do that again.

    Nice job ekuth!

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