ILLUSTRATION 1:  The Finished Halberstadt CL.IV Model




This 1:48 scale model of the Halberstadt CL.IV is one of two variants produced by Karaya of Poland.  The variant built in this article is the Halberstadt-built "short fuselage" version.  The other kit is the LFG Roland-built "long fuselage" version.  These two variants will be covered in more detail below.  The only significant difference between the two kits is the box art and the decal sets.  There is one plastic injected sprue (cut in two to fit into the box) which contains the plastic parts to build either version including both the "short fuselage" and "long fuselage" halves.  To complete the parts, the kit relies on a small bag of resin components and a bag of two photo-etched sheets, one of which has 26 part numbers and a smaller one to build the two machine guns (supplemented by resin parts).  The decal sheet will build either a Schlasta 5 or 21 aircraft and in both cases the schemes cleverly avoid the factory finish of the fuselage which I will discuss at some length below.  The kit DOES NOT include decal sheets for German 5-color printed camouflage fabric with which all of the flying surfaces should be covered.  The alternative after-market sheets I used are from Mirage, 5-Color Day Pattern for both the upper and under surfaces plus camouflage rib tapes in both narrow and wide versions. 

The instruction sheet is bare minimum and can be difficult to follow because there are no placement marks in the fuselage halves, for example, as to where exactly parts go.  Not supplied in the kit and augmented or replaced are following after-market accessories:

    Eduard EU9194 World War I Instruments (PE color)
    Eduard EU4406 Wire Stretchers (turnbuckles) and Control Horns (PE)
    Griffon Models Brass Tube products
    K & S Engineering Brass Rod products
    Mirage Hobby MRD003 5-Color Day Pattern Printed Camouflage Fabric, Upper and Under
    .005 monofilament thread for rigging wires

ILLUSTRATION 2:  Halberstadt CL.IV Three-View Drawing

This three-view drawing was prepared by L. E. Bradford and appeared in Gray & Thetford's German Aircraft of the First World War.1


In my earlier article describing the Halberstadt CL.II in HM Journal 14, I recounted the expectations of the new CL-Type class and how it was developed to provide a highly maneuverable two-seater that could easily provide escort for German Army co-op aircraft that were performing dangerous artillery spotting, reconnaissance, or photographic work.  The purpose of the escort was to engage enemy aircraft while the "working" aircraft got away or was able to join up and offer mutual defense on their way back to friendly lines.  The first CL-Type in service, the Halberstadt CL.II, paved they way for the refinement of another aviation use that developed into tactical ground attack that, in turn, became a strategic weapon for the Luftstreitkräfte (German Air Force).  This strategic role was carried out by relieving the Schutzstaffeln, or six-plane escort units, of their escort duties and reserving them exclusively for ground attack; and they were renamed as Schlachtstaffeln or six-plane attack units to reflect their new mission in late March 1918.  More importantly, they were organized into Schlachtgruppen consisting of two or more Staffeln that could be moved from sector to sector in grand tactical or strategic situations.  The composition of the many Gruppen changed weekly with Staffeln dropping into or out of a Gruppen to fit the situation.  The best accounting of these units can be found in Schlacht-Flieger! by Duiven and Abbott.

As ground attack tactics evolved, so did the aircraft and three prominent models were the mainstay of this type of mission: Halberstadt CL.II, its upgrade the Halberstadt CL.IV, and the Hannover CL.II/III/IIIa series.  One note about the Hannover.  In late 1917 when it was decided to create the Schlachtstaffel units by withdrawing the individual Schutzstaffeln from their escort duties, the Army co-op units (Flieger-Abteilung and Flieger (Artillerie)-Abteilungen) would be left without escorts.  To solve this problem, those FA and FA(A) units that were assigned directly to frontline infantry divisions were increased (verstärkt) in airplane establishment (Sollbestand) from six to nine aircraft and required to maintain one or two CL-Types on establishment to provide the necessary escort and be capable of performing regular Army co-op duties.  The preferred aircraft for this duty was the Hannover CL.IIIa which was far more rugged and larger in size than the Halberstadt CL.II/IV and could carry additional equipment for Army co-op missions.  So, by far, the most prominent aircraft used in the Schlachtstaffeln were the Halberstadt CL-Types.


ILLUSTRATION 3:  Halberstadt CL.II and CL.IV Side-by-side View

This image was created to show the difference in the two Halberstadt CL models.  They were taken from three-view drawings prepared by L. E. Bradford in Gray & Thetford's German Aircraft of the First World War.2



In illustration 3 above, the side-by-side view shows a general similarity of the two Halberstadt CL-Types.  The CL.IV was developed as soon as critical combat performance data on the CL.II had been accumulated.  The major purpose of the CL.IV design development was to reduce weight in order to achieve even more combat maneuverability, especially elevation changes, at higher speed in the low altitude combat environment of the ground attack mission.  To this end, a new wing section, overall weight reduction, fuselage shortening, and tail modifications, plus the use of the Mercedes D.IIIa improved engine rated at 180 hp (the CL.II used the D.III rated at 160 hp), all combined to make an improved CL-Type.3

Construction of the Halberstadt CL.IV was similar to its predecessor the CL.II.  The fuselage was built up from formers and longerons over which was nailed and glued 3-ply sheets of wood paneling.  Over this was doped a layer of fabric.  The single cockpit housed both the pilot (forward) and the gunner (rear).  Most inside storage for the gunner was devoted to ammunition and projectiles.  Additional projectiles were hung over the side in unit-built racks of all manner and size.  The aircraft was designed to carry two forward firing Spandau machine guns but, in practice, only the left or right was actually carried depending on pilot preference.  The engine compartment was covered in sheet metal and there were a number of sheet metal access panels cut into the plywood around the engine area for maintenance access.  The nose of the CL.IV was blunted and the spinner eliminated.

The wings and fixed tail structures were wood frame and fabric covered.  The one exception was the welded steel tube center section of the top wing and the leading edges of the wings which were plywood covered.  Moveable flying surfaces (ailerons, elevators, and the rudder) were of welded steel tube construction covered with fabric.  All of the struts were steel tube covered in aerodynamic wood fairings.  The tail structure was significantly modified from the CL.II and was coordinated to work with the shortened fuselage.  This combination greatly improved maneuverability but resulted in some in-flight instability.  4    

Halberstadt was concurrently developing its advanced C.V high-altitude, long-range photo reconnaissance two-seater to supplement the Rumpler C.IV/VII series and it received high priority.  Halberstadt could not produce both the CL.IV and the C.V.  It was decided that Halberstadt should concentrate on the C.V and the CL.IV was licensed to LFG Roland to continue the line.  Combat reports from the frontline revealed the in-flight instability problem and it was decided that the fuselage would be lengthened by three feet and this corrected the problem.  This is reason for the two versions: the "short" fuselage version produced by Halberstadt which came to a halt when LFG Roland under license produced the "long" fuselage version.  In all other respects, the two versions were identical.



Table 1: Halberstadt CL.IV Specifications Compared to the CL.II 5

Engine Data (6-cylinder, in-line, water-cooled): Halberstadt CL Model CL.IV (short) CL.IV (long) CL.II
Engine Manufacturer Mercedes Mercedes Mercedes
Engine Model and HP D.IIIa 180hp D.IIIa 180hp D.III 160hp
Maximum Speed 165Km (103mph) 165Km (103mph) 165Km (103mph)
Climb to 1000 meters 4.3 minutes 4.3 minutes 5 minutes
Duration 3 to 3-1/2 hours 3 to 3-1/2 hours 3 hours
Measurements: Wing Span, Upper 10.70 meters 10.70 meters 10.77 meters
Wing Span, Lower 9.98 meters 9.98 meters 10.6540 meters
Wing Chord, Upper 1.60 meters 1.60 meters 1.60 meters
Wing Chord, Lower 1.30 meters 1.30 meters 1.30 meters
Total Wing Area 26.66 meters2 26.66 meters2 27.50 meters2
Length 6.5m (short) 6.89m (long) 7.30 meters
Weights Empty 700 Kg (short) 720 Kg (long) 773 Kg
Fully Loaded 1040 Kg (short) 1060 Kg (long) 1133 Kg
Useful Load 340 Kg 420 Kg 360 Kg




Table 2: Halberstadt CL.IV Production Orders and Serial Numbers 6

Order Date Quantity Type Serial Range Notes (Manufacturer) a
May 1918 150 CL.IV (Halb) 4600 -4749/18 1st Halb "short" fuselage batch
June 1918 200 CL.IV (Halb) 5779 - 5969/18 2nd Halb "short" Fuselage batch
July 1918 150 CL.IV (Rol) 8050 - 8199/18 1st Rol "long" fuselage batch
August 1918 200 CL.IV (Halb) [6439 - 6589/18] 3rd Halb "short" fuselage batch b
August 1918 200 CL.IV (Rol) [9400 - 9599/18] 2nd Rol "long" fuselage batch b
November 1918 (300) c CL.IV (Rol) unknown 3rd Rol "long" fuselage batch (Cancelled)
November 1918 (100) c CL.IV (?) unknown (Cancelled)
Total CL.IV 900 - - Total CL.IV Production less November 1918

a Halb = Halberstädter Flugzeugwerke; Rol = Luftfährzeug Gesellschaft (LFG Roland)

b Grosz has brackets around this serial range but does not explain why although he probably means "estimated"

c These orders cancelled as of the Armistice and not counted in the total production number



Table 3: Front Line Inventory of CL-Types 1917-1918 7







Aug Oct Dec




Aug Oct Dec

Halberstadt CL.II




0 0 170




175 ? -

Halberstadt CL.IV




0 0 0



0 *

136 ? -

Hannover CL.II




0 0 162




31 ? -

Hannover CL.III




0 0 0




233 ? -

Hannover C.IIIa




0 0 0




29 ? -

Total of CL-Types




0 0 332




604 ? -

 * some early CL.IV production machines from Halberstadt reached the front in June 1918 but were not counted



The evolution of the Schutzstaffeln from escorts to ground attack aircraft in the Fall of 1917, moved into the formalization stage into the new year.  There are substantial periods in the combat record of all of these units being withdrawn from combat at one time or another in order to re-equip with CL-Type aircraft if not already so equipped and begin intensive ground attack training and exercises for the upcoming March 1918 "Kaiserschlacht".  None of the units were away from the Front to substantially alter aerial activity so the coming offensive would be a complete surprise to the Allies.  Their old escort duties were, by now, in the hands of the units they had previously escorted.  This was made possible by the "verstärkt" program explained above.  It is possible to assume that many of the aircraft turned over by the Schutzstaffeln remained in the hands of the FA and FA(A) units so the re-location of a few Schustas at a time did not reveal the impending assault or their preparation for it.

 One major reason why the German Army was able to launch the massive "Kaiserschlacht" Offensive was knocking Russia out of the war which was finalized in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk signed on 15 December 1917.  Immediately, the anticipated drawing down of German forces on the Eastern Front began.  As a result a number of FA and FA(A) units on that front over and above and "observation" force were excess to requirements elsewhere.  These units were all converted to Schustas Some units 

 In keeping with their role as battlefield ground attack units, the Schustas, on 27 March 1918, were all renamed to Schlachtstaffel or Schlastas for short. Ground attack at the grand tactical level proved itself over and over again.  The basic ground attack theory proved itself and was employed by both sides right up to the end of the war in November 1918.  Table 4 below shows the origin and transition of all 38 of these units.

Table 4: Evolution of the Schlachtstaffeln (Schlastas) January 1917 to End of War 8
 (note that all Schustas were renamed as Schlastas on 27 March 1918, keeping their same unit numbers)
Created From Create Date Schusta/Schlasta
Kasta 13 1 Jan 1917 1
Kasta 14 1 Jan 1917 2
Kasta 15 1 Jan 1917 3
Kasta 16 1 Jan 1917 4
Kasta 17 1 Jan 1917 5
Kasta 18 1 Jan 1917 6
Kasta 25 1 Jan 1917 7
Kasta 26 1 Jan 1917 8
Kasta 27 1 Jan 1917 9
Kasta 28 1 Jan 1917 10
Kasta 29 1 Jan 1917 11
Kasta 30 1 Jan 1917 12
Kasta 37 1 Jan 1917 13
Kasta 38 1 Jan 1917 14
Kasta 39 1 Jan 1917 15
Kasta 40 1 Jan 1917 16
Kasta 41 1 Jan 1917 17
Kasta 42 1 Jan 1917 18
Kampfstaffel S.2 c 1 Jan 1917 19
Kampfstaffel S.1 c 1 Jan 1917 20
Kampfstaffel S.3 c 1 Jan 1917 21
Kasta 31b 1 Jan 1917 22b
Kasta 32b 1 Jan 1917 23b
Kasta 33b 1 Jan 1917 24b
Kasta 34b 1 Jan 1917 25b
Kasta 35b 1 Jan 1917 26b
Kasta 36b 1 Jan 1917 27b
FEA 1b a 15 Feb 1917 28b
FEA 1b a 22 Feb 1917 29b
FEA 1b a 15 Mar 1917 30b
FA 47b b 18 Feb 1917 31b
FA 4 b 26 Jan 1918 32
FA 15 b 26 Jan 1918 33
FA 21 b 26 Jan 1918 34
FA 11 b 26 Jan 1918 35
FA 25 b 16 Jan 1918 36
FA(A) 220 b 26 Jan 1918 37
FA 24s b 26 Jan 1918 38s

a FEA 1b is Flieger Ersatz Abteilung 1 Bavaria; so these units were created directly from a major training installation

b All of these units were transferred from the Eastern Front

The "S" stood for "Sonderstaffel" or special Staffel operating independently of the Kastas which were organized into Kagohls


Ground attack tactics are best summarized as infantry support in both defensive and offensive situations.  Attacks were conducted against the immediate front line or immediate rear area of the enemy.  Targets could be artillery, dumps, trenches, lines of communication including heavy rail, light rail, roads, tracks, or troops in the open.  Attacks usually took place in Staffel-strength formation of at least four aircraft abreast for dispersed targets or in line for concentrated targets at altitude well under 100 meters, often 20 meters or less.  The attack could involve a a larger formation of two or more Staffeln or an entire Schlachtgruppe of three or more Staffeln. 

Operations against targets generally involved complicated air routes designed to approach a target from the desired direction, offer the quickest route to safety when completed, and create confusion as to the intended route or target.  It was not unusual for an attacking group to cross the lines in smaller packets, maneuver to an area, re-combine, continue with evasive action all the while positioning for their attack.  Top cover would be provided by one or more Jagdstaffeln (fighter flights) and include diversionary bombardments.  All of this required superior combat aviation control at which the Germans were better than good. 9 

One further note concerning the Schlasta formations.  Except for the commanding officer and the adjutant, all pilots and gunners were enlisted men.  As a pilot, the rank at the time a flight certificate is awarded is Flieger (equivalent to private) and the title is "Flugzeugführer" (aircraft driver).  Pilots were considered chauffeurs with command of the aircraft given to the observer/gunner.  As time and survival advanced, so did the pilot's and gunner's rank: first to corporal (Unteroffizier or Uffz), then to sergeant (Vizefeldwebel or Vzfw), and then to senior sergeant (Feldwebel or Fw).

Schlachtstaffel 13 was renamed on 27 March 1918 from Schutzstaffel 13 itself created from Kampfstaffel 37 of Kampfgeschwader 7 a long standing six-plane Staffel part of the 1915-1916 attempt by German military aviation leadership to create a large reserve of two-seater combat aircraft that could deploy from one sector to another to reinforce that sector's existing air arm.  The two-seaters were early versions not capable of air fighting as were the, by now, well developed single-seat fighters of Britain, France, and Germany.  Their high water mark was the dreadful Verdun debacle from February to June 1916.  It became apparent that their best application for the time was to provide escort for integral units of a German korps or armee which they did through the remainder of 1916.  On occasion, there were the isolated attempts at ground attack but German Air Force leaders insisted on their escort role.  Eventually, as of 1 January 1917, most of the individual Kastas were renamed as a Schutzstaffel, which means literally a shooting or protection (escort) flight.

From 1 January 1917, Schusta 13 provided escort for FA(A) 234, FA(A) 266, and FA(A) 287b in the 2.Armee sector flying from Ham and then Grand Priel near St. Verquier northwest of San Quentin.  It was re-assigned to 6.Armee on 22 March 1917.  It flew from Pont à Marcq escorting FA 8 and FA(A) 240.  At the end of April or the beginning of May 1917, Schusta 13 moved again to Corbeheim flying escort for FA(A) 256, still with 6.Armee.

On 3 June 1917, Schusta 13 moved again, not uncommon, to 4.Armee on the far right flank of the Western Front.  Its new base was Beveren flying escort for FA(A) 213.  Both units moved to nearby Beveren-Roulers on 26 June 1917 and operated from there until 10 December 1917.  It was the period between 10 December 1917 and the beginning of March 1918 that Schusta 13 more or less "disappears" from escort duty without an explanation in the record; incidentally, almost every Schusta at some time during this period has gaps in their wartime diaries with regard to air operations.  I could be reading the record incorrectly but I believe these units were going through ground attack training and re-equipment while the "verstärkt" FA and FA(A) units they used to escort were providing that service for themselves.

On or about 1 March 1918, Schusta 13 is at the airfield of Roeulx "escorting" FA(A) 231 in 17.Armee, one of the major units about to participate in Kaiserschlacht.  I surmise that around this time, most of the Schusta have acquired the training and tools necessary to support the upcoming offensive and have actively re-entered the lines for preparation.  On 19 March 1918, Schusta 13 is formally assigned to Schlachtgruppe A along with Schusta 27b.  The gruppe moves to Neuville and on 21 March 1918, the offensive opens.  On 27 March 1918, Schusta 13 is renamed Schlasta 13.

On 24 April 1918, Schlasta 13 becomes a member of Schlachtgruppe C consisting of Schlastas 3, 13, 19, and 29b based at Ingelmünster in the 4.Armee sector.  On 17 May 1918, Schlachtgruppe C is renamed as Schlachtgruppe 2 with the same units.  On 4 June 1918, the gruppe is moved to Bonneuil-Ferme in the 18.Armee sector as Schlachtgruppe 3.  It moves again on 10 July 1918 to Mont Notre Dame in the 7.Armee sector and renamed Schlachtgruppe B.  On 29 July 1918 it is renamed Schlachtgruppe 2 based at Liéramont in the 6.Armee sector and, from 10 to 12 August to Nurlu, 2.Armee sector.  Additionally, Schlastas 3 and 29b are transferred and Schlastas 11 and 27b are added.  To get to our historical period, the gruppe moves to Longavesnes on 12 August and remains there until 26 August.  Schlasta 3 returns to the gruppe but Schlasta 11 and 27b are transferred out.  The purpose of this exercise is to show the incredible movement and reconstitution of the Schlachtgruppen during the period 21 March to 26 August 1918. 10


The great Allied Amiens offensive which lasted from 8 August to 11 August 1918, overwhelmed the greater part of two German armies defending the area attacked: 2.Armee and 18.Armee.  From this point on, the initiative passed to the Allies and a series of new offensives all along the Western Front began the process of applying unrelenting pressure on the German armies up and down the line.  The date for the historical setting is 23 August 1918.  The action takes place in the area of Chipilly on the Somme about 14 miles directly east of Amiens.  It is not known if Schlasta 13 was operating alone or with the 2.Schlachtgruppe on this day. 

ILLUSTRATION 4:  Map of the Chipilly Area on the Somme

This image was taken from the War Office Map No. 17 Amiens, 1:100,000 scale, printed in October 1915 by the Geographical Section, General Staff.  Chipilly is located in the center just above the lowest loop of the Somme.  The area between the two rivers was heavily defended by the Germans who were able to enfilade the advancing Allied line on 8 August 1918.  The advance was from left to right.   

The crew of Halberstadt CL.IV 4675/18 were Flieger Amzehnhoff (P) and Unteroffizier Ackenhausen (G).  They were forced to land behind Australian lines and were captured.  I first became interested in their aircraft when I saw a photo of it surrounded by Australian troops on page 7, of Windsock Datafile 43.  I found Dan-San Abbott's color profile of this aircraft in his and Duiven's book, Schlacht-Flieger!, on page 188.  By now I had all of the ingredients to finish the model: serial number, crew, unit, date, and circumstances.  Or so I thought.  I have the CD-ROM version of the early Cross & Cockade International volume 10, issue 2, and on the front cover is the same photo with the following caption,

"FRONT COVER: Halberstadt CL.IV in Australian hands.  This has been claimed to be CL.IV 4675/18 (G/5 Bde/22) but as this was captured after shooting off its own propeller this is doubtful.  The machine shown probably had an all white fin and rudder, in common with most CL.IVs".  This information came from the Australian War Memorial E3046 via P. L. Gray, photo below. 


ILLUSTRATION 5:  Halberstadt CL.IV 4675/18 Photo

This image was taken from Windsock Datafile 43, page 7, photo #16 because it was the most clear of the images I have.   At the tip of the propeller, as it "disappears" into the background sky, on magnification, it appears to me that the there is a noticeable notch adjacent to the top wing's leading edge and the line of the propeller takes an acute angle unnatural to its expected profile.  I believe that this is 4675/18. 13


The photo appears in many sources none of which provide any more information or do not mention the propeller incident at all.  I read over and over the Ministry of Munitions report for additional clues but none were forthcoming except that the tail unit was "not salved" for the Ministry's evaluation.  No mention was made of the cause of the forced landing or was the propeller noted.  Further, at the end of the report, the author stated that photos taken for the evaluation were available in the file.  I contacted Paul Leaman of CCI and emailed back and forth with questions and he eventually revealed that most "G" files do not have their original photos including 4675/18.  This led me to re-examine the photo and I concluded that if the pilot had accidentally shot off his propeller, more than likely, the two ends would have been shot to pieces.  In the photo, the propeller is in a vertical position.  The bottom appears to be intact but the top half seems to have a large slice mission.  This could be interpreted as the effect of the blade against a clear sky but what if  the tip is missing.  It is possible that ground fire could have struck the one propeller tip forcing the pilot to kill the engine and glide and make an immediate forced landing.

As prisoners of war, one or both of them might have said, in German, something about the propeller being shot off and could have been interpreted as "I shot off my propeller".  Or the story was the result of guesswork or just made up.  Then, we have the photo of 4675/18 which seems to show an intact propeller; therefore, this aircraft cannot be 4675/18 if someone said the propeller was shot off.  With photos missing and missing POW interrogation reports, there is no way to positively identify the aircraft in the photo.  My conclusion is that the photo represents 4675/18.  One other point that convinced is that there are no other POW Schlasta crews listed for 23 August 1918 in Casualties of the German Air Service 1914-1920. 12


The model will represent Halberstadt CL.IV 4675/18, a Halberstadt short fuselage version flown by Flieger Amzehnhoff  (P) and Unteroffizier Ackenhausen (G) of Schlachtstaffel 13 (Schlasta 13), Schlastagruppe 2 commanded by Oberleutnant der Reserve (Oblt d R) Jaspers (who also  commanded of Schlasta 3.  As with all aircraft I build, I maintain a "construction" page for each one in my "World War I Aircraft in 1:48 Scale" section.  Click on the link below for the Halberstadt CL.IV or review the index for other World War 1 aircraft models I have built.

Halberstadt CL.IV Photo Construction Review

Index to German World War I Aircraft in 1:48 Scale
Index to All World War I Aircraft in 1:48 Scale



Factory-applied 4- or 5-color pre-printed camouflage fabric was mandatory for frontline combat aircraft.  The upper surfaces were printed in a darker shade and the under surfaces were printed in a lighter shade.  Additionally, all fabric flying surfaces had ribs plus leading and trailing edges treated with strips of fabric to reinforce stitching to prevent the fabric from detaching and to seal against water leakage.  The wings and horizontal flying surfaces on the  Halberstadt CL.IV were treated this way.  The vertical fin and rudder were painted white, a late war German recognition feature.   The kit does not include pre-printed camouflage fabric decals so I used Mirage Hobby MRD003 5-Color Day Pattern Printed Camouflage Fabric, Upper and Under Surfaces.  To me, these were excellent in my perception of the colors, the overall effect, and the inclusion of camouflage rib tapes in wide and narrow format.

The Mirage decal packet includes a detailed two schematic showing how the fabric was applied to each individual flying surface component for upper and under surfaces: lower left wing, lower right wing, upper wing, left and right horizontal stabilizer, fin, rudder, elevators.  All of these surfaces had the fabric applied at a 45degree angle - not spanwise or chordwise.  The wings were difficult enough but the tail surfaces were daunting.  To ease these difficulties, I printed one of the 1:48 scale 3-view pages of the CL.IV from Windsock Datafile 43 that included all of the components.  I cut each one out as a template, applied the template to the decal sheet in the correct direction and cut it out.  I did not do a set for the fin and rudder as this was to be painted white.  Once all of the decals were cut out, application was straight forward.  The decals were light but resistant to tear and were easily positioned.  Once blotted, the decals adhered quite well. 

Decals for rib and edging tapes are a time consuming matter.  To start with, I never do decal edging which is difficult and often suffers from mis-handling or just fall off because of the curved nature of wings.  I'll explain how I paint the edging in the next paragraph.  As for rib tapes, I trim each length with scissors right to the edge so you end up with many, many thin strips of rib tape about four inches long.  I measure the width (chord) of the wing and cut pieces to length, each with about 1/4 inch extra.  I apply four at a time starting at one end of the wing.  What else can I say - it's tedious!

Edging the flying surfaces involves hand-painting.  Before you can begin, you have to determine from your stash of paints, which colors best match the decals.  I do not find this difficult to do so here are the five colors I used to match the decals for the upper surface only (the Germans used the upper surface 5-color pattern only).  I started by painting a narrow strip of dark green on the edges of the wings and horizontal tail plane.  That makes one of the five colors.  The next color was light green but it was only applied to five starting points: the two forward wing root edge of the lower wings, the two forward edges of the top wing that abut the wing center section, and port leading edge of the horizontal tailplane.  Why?  All five of these edges terminate at the opposite end of their respective flying surfaces.  In other words I did not want to come to the end with an odd-sized patch.  The hand painting proceeds along these five edges in a repeat of the colors with which I started, e.g., dark green would not appear again until I progressed through each of the four remaining colors.  At the end of the nearly tiresome process, I added a thin black line to separate the colors.  Table 5 below shows the different colors I used but the color swatches are approximate and are not the exact shades I used but only shown for comparison.


Table 5: Upper Surface 5-Color Camouflage Colors Used for Hand-Painted Flying Surface Edging Tape

Dark Green

  Andrea ANAC01 - this is the "old" Andrea acrylic line

Light Green

Vallejo VC0857 Golden Olive plus VC0870 Medium Sea Gray


Vallejo VC0959 Purple, VC0900 Mirage Blue, and VC0870 Medium Sea Gray


Vallejo VC0859 Purple (3/4) and VC0900 Mirage Blue (1/4)


Vallejo VC0856 Ochre Brown


ILLUSTRATION 6:  CL.IV Upper and Under Surfaces with Decals and Edging Applied



The upper surface of the wings is at top, the under surface at bottom.  The hand-painted edging was not applied at the time these photos were taken.

The upper surface of the tail unit at the top best shows the hand-painted edging tape which did not overlap the underside by much.



Now we come to the great finishing puzzle for this aircraft.  When I first started researching for this project, my first source of information was my copy of  Schlacht-Flieger! by Duiven and Abbott (hereafter SF!).  This reference is rather monumental for all of the Schustas/Schlastas 1917-1918.  Naturally I was looking for data, illustrations, and photos for 4675/18 and Schlasta 13.  Dan-San Abbott is famous for his full-color profiles of German WW1 aircraft and the book has 19 plates most with seven profiles per page and eight pages with multi-views of a single aircraft.  I found a port side profile of 4675/18 on page 188 with the notation "Halb. CL.IV 4675/18, Schlasta 13, Longavesnes Airfield, August 1918".  The fuselage is covered in large irregular patches similar to the style of factory-applied hand-painted patches on the earlier Halberstadt CL.II with the exception that Abbott does not apply the "scumble" splatter pattern.  Illustration 6, below, shows one each of his Halberstadt profiles.


ILLUSTRATION 7:  Dan-San Abbott's Halberstadt CL.II and  CL.IV

This image was taken from Schlacht-Flieger! by Duiven and Abbott. plate 4, page 188, and shows the CL.II factory finish (below) compared to Abbott's interpretation of the CL.IV 4675/18. 14


As I compared Abbott's image of 4675/18 with the photo it became apparent to me that the patch-work scheme on the fuselage in the photo was not evident.  I checked every photo of the Halberstadt CL.IV short fuselage version over and over and I could not detect any patch-work fuselage camouflage.  At about the time the CL.IV was under-going tests, Halberstadt was producing their fine two-seater army co-op C.V which had a similar profile to the CL.IV but with larger wings.  I studied those photos with the idea that I could detect the then-current factory applied finish believing that the CL.IV and C.V would be going through much the same manufacturing and finishing process.  It seems to me that after Halberstadt completed the CL.II program, they adopted single color finish for the plywood and fabric-covered fuselage.  What was the fuselage color?

I checked Windsock Datafile 43 for the answer which was, "with a few exceptions, (the Halberstadt-built CL.IV) did not generally appear to have the speckled multi-color application universally applied to the fuselage of the CL.II (see Windsock Datafile No. 27).  Rather the CL.IV fuselages appear either clear varnished or stained a dark reddish brown prior to varnishing." 15  

 I do not know how doped CDL over varnished plywood looks and, just what was the purpose of the doped CDL?  Was it to bind the plywood structure? Was it to facilitate over-painting?  Going back in time to 1916 for a moment, many German aircraft manufacturers covered the fuselage of their aircraft in plywood made up of three thin layers.  In most cases, the finish of the plywood was simply several coats of varnish resulting in a finish that was anywhere from pale yellow to orange-ochre.  Later, some of these manufacturers, concerned about camouflage, had to apply a layer of ordinary clear doped linen fabric (CDL) over the plywood and the fuselage could now be hand-painted or sprayed without the paint coming off the slick varnished surface.  This was the practice employed by Halberstadt. 

The quoted passage above would imply that Halberstadt-built CL.IV aircraft had a brownish tone.  However, going back to the Halberstadt C.V, here is what was said about the C.V's fuselage finish.  "Of the C.V's built by Halberstadt, what is certain is that the majority had dark fuselages, possibly the result of dark red/brown staining and/or yellow varnish with dark paint (green?) on metal panels, cowlings, and struts.  Other possibilities are a single dark colour overall or a two-tone 'violet and drab khaki-green' mottle as recorded by John Garwood when studying the Brussels machine in 1963."  Further on, in  describing the color possibilities of licensed C.V manufacturers, quotes a contemporary British "G" report for Halberstadt C.V 4185/18, "fuselage slate colour to dull green near tail."  At this stage in my research it became clear that no one had the answer and that all of the guesses were brown, green, or some sort of two-tone mix. 16

I experimented with brown and discarded the shade because it just didn't blend well with the upper surface camouflage.  I decided to go with dark green since it seemed natural.  It is entirely possible that the apparent solid color on Halberstadt-built CL.IV fuselages does not at all agree with LFG Roland-built Halberstadt CL.IV fuselages which are roughly equal vertical bands of four or five different colors.  At any rate, the solid green is my guess added to the pile of the unknown nature of Halberstadt fuselage finishes.  I used Misterkit MKGC05 Albatros Dark Green.



The communal cockpit interior is painted in three shades of brown representing different woods used in its construction.  Overall, I brushed in a thin wash of dark brown to give it age and darken shadows.  The cockpit interior was decorated with the usual gauges, dials, boxes, ammunition drums, conduit, wires, all of which were among one of these sources: kit parts, spare parts, and scratch-built parts.  Although most of these items won't be in clear view to the casual observer, they are immensely fun to do.  It is surprising just how much "stuff" is crammed into these machines.

Since I did not build the two versions for which decals were provided, I had to improvise for 4675/18.  In the photo and on Abbott's color image is the white-outlined Roman numeral "V" just under the pilot's position outside the cockpit.  With little in the way of solid proof, a Roman numeral "I to VI" was used by Schlasta 13 as their identity marking.  I found photos of two other aircraft with Roman numeral markings in Schlacht-Flieger!.  On page 252 is a photo of a downed Halberstadt CL.II marked all-white Roman numeral "II" which is attributed by the authors to Schlasta 13 because of the use of Roman numerals (note also the two white chord-wise recognition stripes on the upper surface of the top wing).  The other aircraft is found on pages 391 and shows a Halberstadt CL.II marked red or black outlined-white "III" which was captured intact.  This particular machine was officially attributed to Schlasta 13.  The general conclusion is that Schlasta 13 used Roman numerals.  Thus, 4675/18 marked red or black outlined-white is from Schlasta 13.  As to the color of the "V", Abbott has given it to be red outlined-white and, artistically, that's fine with me.

Besides the white fin and/or rudder that became a standard recognition feature for all German aircraft by 1918, most Schustas/Schlastas applied white chord-wise stripes to the top wing so as not to be attacked by their own aircraft from above while in vulnerable ground attack mode at low altitude.  The previous Halberstadt CL.II I built for Journal Issue 14 had six stripes, one opposite each top wing Balkenkreuz and two more at each end of the mid-wing section.  The photo of 4675/18 does not show the top wing's upper surface so it would be conjecture to add these stripes.  However, it seems highly likely that the practice of adding these stripes occurred sometime during the one of the great German offensives beginning with Kaiserschlacht (late March 1918) or perhaps later with Operations Michael (late March 1918), Georgette (mid April 1918), Blücher (late May 1918), or Gneisenau-Yorck (mid-June 1918).  I conclude that the practice was certainly widespread by June 1918 when the Halberstadt CL.IV began to arrive at the front.  Consequently, I added the six stripes.

German national insignia changed in 1918 from the Eisernes Kreuz (Maltese Cross) to the Balkenkreuz (straight-sided cross).  At first, the old style cross was painted over with straight lines resulting in rather ugly and fat renditions of the new cross (however, this became an excellent way for dating photographs not otherwise known).  By Summer, the crosses were re-painted to narrower versions and proportions at least twice until, by August 1918, they were quite trim.  On 4675/18 they were applied to the usual eight positions: top wing (upper), bottom wing (under), fuselage sides, and rudder.  Other marking details include the weight table near the pilot's cockpit on the port side, and miscellaneous handling marks.  The presence of a serial number is unknown since the photo does not show the portion of the fuselage where it should appear but I added one just aft of the fuselage Balkenkreuz in its expected position.


Table 6 shows approximate color chips of paints I used to finish this model not including the camouflage colors already shown in Table 5, above.  The color samples in Table 6 are examples of the colors I used for the model for different applications and shades will vary on your computer.  On the underside of the fuselage, near the tail, is my small-font personal marking "G. Grasse - Halberstadt CL.IV - No. 6862".

 Table 6: More Paint Color Chips for the Halberstadt CL.IV 4675/18 of Schlasta 13

Misterkit MKGC10 German Clear Doped Linen

Applied as a base color on all 5-color camouflage surfaces

Misterkit MKAH06 Phönix Dark Green

Applied to the fuselage including engine covers; all struts including the landing gear; top wing mid section.

Vallejo VC0941 Burnt Umber

Thinned with water and applied as a wash to cockpit interior components

Vallejo VC0913 Yellow Ochre

Used on various wood components mainly to differentiate one from another.

Vallejo VC0824 German Camouflage Orange Ochre

Vallejo VC0981 Orange Brown




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


1 Gray, Peter & Owen Thetford, German Aircraft of the First World War, drawing by L. E. Bradford, page 142.

2 Ibid, pages 138 and 142.

3 Grosz, Peter M.  Halberstadt CL.IV Windsock Datafile 43, page 1.

4 Gray & Thetford, pages140-142.  Other technical and construction data also in Windsock Data File 43 cited above.

5 Grosz, Peter M. Halberstadt CL.IV Windsock Datafile 43, page 32, and Halberstadt CL.II Windsock Datafile 27, page 19, and Gray & Thetford, pages 138 and 142.  However, note from these sources some differences in data and some suspicion as to their validity, especially speed, climb, and endurance.  Also, according to Grosz, the CL.IV (Rol) long fuselage version was stressed for a more useful load, reported to be increased from 346 kg to 420 kg to accommodate more ground attack ordnance (ammunition and grenades).

 6 Grosz, Peter M. Halberstadt CL.IV Windsock Datafile 43, page 4.

 7 Grosz, Peter M. Archiv: Frontbestand. This date was taken from The Journal of the Early Aeroplane "WWI Aero", issue 107, Dec 1985.

 8 Duiven, Rick and Dan-San Abbott.  Schlacht-Flieger!  This table was compiled from the individual unit listings in this book.  See also the internet website Frontflieger, that displays the entire Fliegertruppe/Luftstreitkräfte in summary form:

 9 Duiven, Rick and Dan-San Abbott.  Schlacht-Flieger!  For more information on tactics, see Chapter 4, Infantry Support, pages 22-33.

10 Duiven, Rick and Dan-San Abbott.  Schlacht-Flieger!, page 251.

11 Cross & Cockade International Volume 10, Number 3, front cover photo.

12  Franks, Norman et al, Casualties of the German Air Service 1914-1920, pages 299-300 for KIA data and page 374 for non-KIA data. 

13 Grosz, Peter M. Halberstadt CL.IV Windsock Datafile 43, page 7, photo #16.

14 Duiven, Rick and Dan-San Abbott.  Schlacht-Flieger!, Plate 4, page 188.  I am sure that the color image of 4675/18 was derived from the photo I show in Illustration 4.  Note the interpretation of the all-white vertical tail unit, a common feature of all German aircraft during the late-war period.  Note also the white-outlined red "V", interpreted as a Roman numeral. 

15 Grosz, Peter M. Halberstadt CL.IV Windsock Datafile 43, page 28, Colours and Markings section written by R. L. Rimell.

16  Grosz, Peter M. Halberstadt C.V Windsock Datafile 69, page 27, Colours and Markings section written by R. L. Rimell.



Duiven, Rick and Dan-San Abbott.  Schlacht-Flieger!.  Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History, 2006.

Gray, Peter and Owen Thetford.  German Aircraft of the First World War.  London: Putnam & Company, 1962.

Grosz, Peter M. Archiv: Frontbestand.  The Journal of the Early Aeroplane "WWI Aero", issues 107 (Dec 1985) and 108 (Feb 1986).

Grosz, Peter. M. Halberstadt CL.II Windsock Datafile 27.  Berkhamsted, UK: Albatros Productions, Ltd, 1999, revised second edition.

Grosz, Peter. M. Halberstadt CL.IV Windsock Datafile 43.  Berkhamsted, UK: Albatros Productions, Ltd, 1994.

Grosz, Peter. M. Halberstadt C.V Windsock Datafile 69.  Berkhamsted, UK: Albatros Productions, Ltd, 1998.

Sumner, Ian.  German Air Forces 1914-18, Osprey Elite Series No. 135.  Botley, Oxford (UK): Osprey Publishing Ltd, 2005.


    Eduard 1:48 Scale German Pilot with Walking Cane






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