by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
Originally published on:
Welcome to another “oldie but goody” review. Airfix currently lists this Hannover CL.IIIa in their 2012 catalog so you might ask why I consider it an oldie? The photograph of the tooling date of 1967 inside the fuselage answers that! So for those of you who are interested in the Airfix 1/72 Hannover CL.IIIa and wonder if it is worth the time and effort, I hope this review will answer your questions.
Hannover CL.IIIa Hannoversche Waggonfabrik built 617 of the improved CL.IIIa ground attack aircraft. It entered service in 1917. It was powered by the 180 hp Argus As.III engine and featured redesigned ailerons which improved maneuverability compared to the CL.II and CL.III. The Hannover also sported a biplane empennage, usually only found on larger aircraft; this allowed the read gunner a better field of fire. Hannovers began as escort aircraft and were incorporated into ground attack Schlachtstaffeln (battle squadrons). The two crewmen fought with two or three 7.92 mm (0.323 in) LMG 08/15 machine guns (one or two ring-mounted in observer's cockpit, one fixed forward) and grenades.
The modelI bought and started this model over a decade ago B.A> (Before Aeroscale) so I apologize if my model does not completely reflect the Airfix Hannover CL.IIIa of today; I don’t think this model is one that Airfix has reworked the tooling for. There are WW I aircraft modelers on this site who can comment upon the accuracy and authenticity of the model (please do), so I will not try to fake it.
Airfix packed this model in an end-opening box. The model is built with 31 light gray parts. Decals for a single aircraft are provided, protected by wax paper over the printing.
The parts are molded well but have all the bugaboos of the day – flash, seam lines, ejector circles, and sink holes. They are not severe and can be cleaned up without too much effort. The trailing edges are too thick although the cabanes and struts are relatively too-scale. Airfix molded just the portion of the Argus As.III that extended outside of the fuselage. However, Airfix did supply grenades that were attached to the exterior of the fuselage.
As was the fashion of the day the fabric of the flying surfaces show textile and structural texture. Although the fuselage was wood covered with fabric, no fabric texture is simulated. Nor is wood grain.
The model is basic. There is no interior detail except for the pilot seat and crew. The LMG 08/15 machine guns are pretty well just pieces of styrene. Airfix tried to detail the figures; considering the state of injection molding of the day, they turned out pretty well (except for the fistula in the observer/gunner’s abdomen).
Camouflage and markingsI do not know which Schlachtstaffeln these marking are to represent. Airfix references only Humbrol paints. Lozenge camouflage fabric for the Hannover CL.IIIa consisted of a five-color dark pattern on the upper surfaces of the wings, upper tailplane, and lower elevators. The under surface of the wings, upper tailplane and lower elevators were covered with the light lower pattern five color fabric.† Large lozenges matching the dark lozenge colors were painted on the fuselage and vertical stabilizer. I used Super Scale upper and lower day lozenge decals on wings and stabilizers. Airfix lists the Humbrol paint colors for this model on their website.
ConclusionThere you have it. This model is fairly simple and assembles quickly. It is over 40 years old and not up to the quality of modern kits. It is affordable and should be able to build into a nice Hannover.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here – on AEROSCALE.
† Hannover CL.III: unit, colors, crew. The Aerodrome. Multiple contributors. http://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/camouflage-markings/36305-hannover-cl-iii-unit-colors-crew.html