HISTORICAL MINIATURES BY GEORGE GRASSE
WORLD WAR 1 AIRCRAFT IN 1:48 SCALE

 

RUMPLER C.IV C.7963/17 of FA 303, PALESTINE 1918

by George Grasse

PLANET MODELS 1:48 SCALE RESIN KIT PM0167

 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #1
20 July 2010
FUSELAGE INTERIOR: The only parts in the photo above that were supplied in the kit and used in the cockpit area are the fuel tank/pilot's seat, floorboard, rudder bar, and observer's stool.  Scratch-built items include the bomb stowage rack (pale gray/green against the far wall), camera, wireless set, map case, auxiliary fuel tank, seat belts, control column and wheel, various gauges (either side of pilot's cockpit), and various wires and cables.  The Parabellum spare magazine drum came from spare parts.
 
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #2
20 July 2010
FUSELAGE INTERIOR CLOSE-UP: This view shows more detail including the scratch-built instrument panel, camera, wireless set, and steering column.  Steering wheel and seatbelts came from the Extra Tech ET4050 PE sheet of WW1 details.  The instrument panel was built up with Eduard EU 4149 Instruments.  Some instruments were highlighted with Aeroclub's ACV242 PE Beveled Instrument Faces.
 
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTOS #3 & #4
22 July 2010
FUSELAGE  AND TAIL UNIT: This view shows the two fuselage halves glued together and the tail unit and tailskid are also glued in place. 
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTOS #5a & #5b
7 September 2010
LEFT AND RIGHT REAR VIEWS:  Major progress since the July photos.  A significant feature of this aircraft are the twin Parabellum machine guns representing the actual experimental model developed by the armaments section of FA 303 led by Ltn d R Hans-Joachim Seidel who flew as observer in this aircraft March-April 1918.  More about this in the next set of photos below.  The basic camouflage scheme has been applied and consists of modified versions of Misterkit Albatros Mauve and Albatros Dark Green lightened substantially with Misterkit German CDL.  Edges between the colors were maintained in a wet state while blended with a brush.  Decals for the serial number and weight table were made using "blue" clear decal paper printed on an HP laser jet.  All struts are Albatros Pale Blue.  The Eiserne Kreuzen, manufacturer's ID plate at the nose, and the rigging diagram packet at the wing root are decals directly from the kit.  The flare pistol and flare rack were scratch-built as shown in the right-hand photo.  The wing "trestle" assembly is one half from the kit and one-half from a brass scratch-built unit for extra strength.

 

 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTOS #6a & #6b
7 September 2010
THE SEIDEL TWIN PARABELLUM MACHINE GUN ARRANGEMENT: Ltn d R Hans-Joachim Seidel is credited with the design to improve the rate of fire by the observer in defense against Allied aircraft and against ground targets in strafing attacks.  The arrangement consisted of one Parabellum lMG 14 (Karaya kit) and one lMG 14/17 (from my spares box).  The guns proved somewhat heavy to manipulate in combat and was not adopted as standard issue.  A later version had two light-weight Parabellum lMG 14/17 guns.   The "stem" on the right-hand Parabellum's gun stock is a cradle to secure the weapons during take-off, landing, or bad weather to prevent the gun(s) from swinging freely and injuring the observer.

 

 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #7
7 September 2010
LEFT SIDE VIEW: This view shows the pleasing profile of the Rumpler C.IV powered by the large 260 hp Mercedes D.IVa in-line engine.  This aircraft could operate at exceptional altitudes for the period and was usually immune from Allied fighter interception; it made for an excellent long-range photo reconnaissance aircraft - probably the best such type in the war.  When fitted with a mosaic strip camera, it could photograph a 100-mile deep section of Allied-held territory thus providing strategic intelligence.  Few of these aircraft, however, were available to the Central Powers on the Palestine, Macedonian, or Russian fronts.
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #8
7 September 2010
ELEVATED FUSELAGE RIGHT VIEW: This view shows all of the detail added to this kit, i.e., not supplied by the kit manufacturer.  On the right lower wing is the compass protected by a hood or cover but visible to both the pilot and observer.  The detail of the scratch-built flare pistol and flare cartridge rack are mounted on the outside of the observer's cockpit for easy reach.  Looking into the observer's cockpit, can be seen the scratch-built wireless transmitter used on artillery spotting missions.  The two large dark "dots" between the cockpits are a filler cap and breather cap for the internal between-cockpits auxiliary fuel tank (the pilot sits on the main fuel tank).  At the front upper right of the pilot's cockpit is the Spandau forward firing machine gun cocking handle.  The length of the big Mercedes engine and configuration of its mounting caused the Spandau to be moved forward out-of-reach to the pilot.  So, a cocking lever was made to load/clear jams.  The last item at the nose is the Spandau machine gun in a blast trough.  Note the holes in the wing for struts and rigging wires.

 

 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #9
18 October 2010
LEFT REAR SIDE VIEW:  Several steps have been completed since Photo #8 taken in September 2010.  Here is the sequence: 1) rigging and strut holes in the top wing were drilled but not all the way through which would mar the surface even though it could be filled and sanded; 2) PE turnbuckles were glued into pre-drilled holes on either side of the front and rear positions where the trestle strut assembly is to be glued to the upper wing; 3) monofilament thread was glued into the holes on the underside of the top wing; 4) monofilament thread was tied and glued to the four turnbuckles; 5) the radiator was glued to the front of the upper wing; 6) the upper wing was carefully glued to the top of the trestle strut assembly and held in place; 7) pre-fabricated flattened brass tube wing struts with projecting pins were glued to the upper and lower wings starting from the inside front, one on each side (as each pair of struts was added, wing alignment was "eyeballed").
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #10
21 October 2010
LEFT FRONT VIEW:  This view shows the completion of the rigging process.  Each thread was passed though its rigging hole in the lower wing, super glued, then clamped and allowed to dry with the aid of gravity to maintain a taut line.  Landing gear rigging was done after the wings.  Some initial "blackening" has started on the radiator honey comb structure to which Vallejo "natural steel" will be applied to the raised surfaces.
 
 
FINISHED PHOTO SECTION

-----------------------------------  FINIS -----------------------------------

This aircraft model is based on several photos appearing in a privately published biography of Ltn d R Hans-Joachim Seidel prepared by Dr. Michael Seidel, his son.  Photographs of other Rumpler C.IV aircraft appearing in Rumpler C.IV Windsock Datafile 35 (WDF035) and written descriptions of construction in German Aircraft of the First World War, were quite helpful during the construction stages.

 Photo Credit: Hans-Joachim Seidel Photo Album

This Rumpler C.IV C.7963/17 was flown by Ltn d R Metzky (P) and Ltn d R Hans-Joachim Seidel of FA 303 in March and April 1918.  Most of  these reconnaissance missions were flown in support of the Turkish VII Armee and, in most cases, involved photography and visual spotting of enemy troop positions, camps, and movements.  On 23 April while returning from the testing of wireless equipment for artillery direction, his AEG C.IV flown by Uffz Borchert crashed on landing destroying the aircraft and causing serious multiple injuries to Seidel.  His flight log book notes that this was his 86th and last mission.

After-Market Additions:

    

ACV242 Beveled Instrument Faces
  ET4050 WW1 Aircraft Details
  EU4149 WW1 Instruments

References:

Gray, Peter and Owen Thetford.  German Aircraft of the First World War, scale drawings by George Haddow, published by Putnam & Company Limited, London, 1962.

Grosz, Peter M.  Rumpler C.IV, Windsock Datafile 35, color profiles and "Colours & Markings" section by Ray Rimmel, scale drawings by Ian R. Stair, published by Albatros Publications Ltd, Berkhamsted, UK, 1992.

Seidel, Michael, Dr. Biography of Ltn d R Hans-Joachim Seidel, Observer in FA(A) 226 on the Western Front and observer in FA 300 on the Palestinian Front, privately published.

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Copyright by George Grasse