Wingnut Wings 1/32 Roland D.VIb

By Paul Dunham

I thought that the paper propeller that I scratchbuilt back in May looked a little bare, so I built a plane to stick onto the back of it. This is the Wingnut Wings Roland D.VIb. I wired the engine, installed steel wire pushrods, and insulated the intake manifold with tape. I used Gaspatch guns (very nice and easier than rolling the brass cooling jackets provided in the kit). Rigging is a mix of fishing line, E-Z Line elastic thread, Gaspatch turnbuckles and Bob’s Buckles. Rolands had a variety of fabrics and rib tapes applied to the wings so Wingnuts provides these as individual strips of decal. It’s nice to have all the options but this way you have to trim and apply about 120 decals to finish the wings! I was mostly done before I found out that Aviattic makes decals with all the options custom fit to the kit.

I may be the first to say this about a Wingnuts kit but I can’t recommend this one. When Wingnuts released the D.VIb they used their D.VIa kit and provided a different engine sprue and a sprue for engine panels and interior bulkheads. The fuselage sides are the same as in the D.VIa kit. The D.VIa had four small vents per side, the D.VIb had one small and one large vent. The D.VIb instructions have you shave off six of the eight small vents. This is not much fun because you have to be careful to avoid damaging the clinker-built effect molded into the fuselage. I noticed after my fuselage was already painted and decaled that the remaining small vents are actually in the wrong place for a D.VIb. They should be lower and further back. So, to make it really accurate you would need to make a mold of a smaller vent and then remove all eight. The D.VIa and D.VIb look nearly identical so unless you really must have one of the marking options in the D.VIb kit (or you are a masochist) build the D.VIa instead. If you have the D.VIa kit you can build an accurate model right out of the box without all the extra fuss. If I had known in May what I know now I would have built the D.VIa and put the D.VIb on eBay.

© Paul Dunham 2017

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This article was published on Wednesday, September 06 2017; Last modified on Wednesday, September 06 2017