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In-Box Review
Pfalz D.III
Pfalz D.III
  • Roden_Pfalz_DIII_Boxtop

by: Carl Althaus [ CAPTAINA ]

Originally published on:

What you get
There are seven sprues of that Roden Beige Plastic. The seven sprues hold a total of 82 pieces. You may notice in my scans, there are eight sprues. The sprue containing the fuselage was too large for the scanner, so I had to cut it down. This promises to be a nice large build.

The styrene Roden uses is kind of waxy and soft. In my experience, it cuts well, and it sands well, it holds glue and paint quite well. I think it is one of the better styrene formulas on the market. There is no flash at all. There are six ejector pin marks along the inside of the fuselage. Only one of those is in an area that will be partially visible when the fuselage is joined up. No ejector pin marks will be visible on any of the other parts when the model is completed. The mold parting lines are almost invisible, and can be removed easily with a number 11 blade. In the past, Roden kits have lost a lot of detail on small parts because of the mold alignment being off. In this kit, the molds are correctly aligned resulting in parts that are crisp and clean.

This is a well-engineered kit. The sprue containing the engine parts is the same sprue contained in the Albatross D.III kit. When I built that kit, the engine went together well and resulted in a fine representation of the Mercedes Engine. In the past, Roden has provided Spandau machine guns with and without cooling jackets molded-on. Only the molded-on jackets are provided in this kit, which shouldn’t make a big difference since they will be completely covered up anyway. The detail inside the fuselage kits is great, although marred by ejector pins. The wings are both one piece, and have subtle details that are fantastic. The ribs are well represented and not overdone. The tip of the upper wing in my kit was damaged in shipping. I straightened it out, and the damage should be almost invisible when painted. The rudder is provided as a separate part. All the other control surfaces are molded in place, but delicately attached. This means they can be positioned without any cutting or gluing. Great engineering on that Roden!

The decals are in perfect register. The colors are crisp and correct. The fine writing is full and complete and correct in style. In the past, Roden’s decals have been thick, lacked proper opacity, and were hard to use. These decals appear to be thin and the colors appear to have the correct opacity. They should sit down quite well with a little decal solution. These decals are a big improvement over those provided in past kits. The instructions provide a clear reference for the decal placement. The decals in the kit will allow you to make six different aircraft flown in 1917.

I. A purple and green camouflaged aircraft flown by Leutnant Aloys Heldmann.
II. A light gray aircraft, with a yellow cowling and tail, flown by Leutnant Hans Klein.
III. A light gray aircraft with a purple fuselage band flown by Leutnant Rudolf Stark
IV. A light gray aircraft with a black snake wrapped around the fuselage.
V. A light gray aircraft with a black tail plane and red heart on the fuselage belonging to Jasta 16B.
VI. A blue aircraft with a red nose flown by Leutnant Kleffel.

Some of the pilots assigned to the aircraft may be wrong. I have not researched them yet.
Highs: The Pfalz D.III. is a subject not currently available from any other manufacturer in this scale. Six very colorful options available. Good detail and a well engineered molding. High quality decals
Lows: Cost
Verdict: Promises to be a great build. Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:32
  Mfg. ID: RO613
  Suggested Retail: $52.00
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jun 21, 2007

About Carl Althaus (CaptainA)

I enjoy modeling. It doesn't really matter what. I am just as happy making a tank as I am making an exotic car. I love the challenge of getting that top wing to stay straight on a WWI airplane, and I am determined to get the eyes correct on a 1/35 figure. Since I am now retired I am able to spen...

Copyright ©2018 text by Carl Althaus [ CAPTAINA ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


Looks good. I am looking forward to building one of these. RAGIII
JUN 23, 2007 - 03:24 PM
Just a bit of "heads up" advice here. A couple fellows on another site are saying that their kits are arriving with bent and battered wing tips and aileron trailing edges. The culprit is the sprue does not completely surround the parts. As I said only a couple people. The bright spot is Roden's excellent customer service in the past.
JUN 25, 2007 - 08:05 AM
I'd like to echo the comment about Roden's excellent customer service. I just got their 1/32 SE 5a and found the decals out of register. I emailed them and they sent a completely new set - properly in register - within a week.
JUN 25, 2007 - 08:22 AM
My Pfalz arrived last week and like the others the wing tips were bent. Nothing that cant be fixed. Mine also had a little bit of flash here and there but over all looks like it will be a great kit. Roy
JUN 27, 2007 - 09:24 AM
Yeah, me to. I pointed that out in my review, but figured it was an isolated incident. I was able to straighten mine out. Also, I must add that there are some mistakes in the instructions and some minor fit problems. As I build, I am also finding some flash that is well disguised. I still think it is a decent kit, but I am not as happy with it as I was when I first reviewed it.
JUN 28, 2007 - 01:30 PM
I agree, the more I look at mine the less happy I am that I spent nearly 60.00 for it after shipping. It is a 35.00 kit tops. I am still happy that there is a decent 1/32 scale Pfalz just not at the price for what you get. Looking at the sprue lay out though I am thinking that a D.IIIa isn't far off. Roy
JUN 28, 2007 - 06:57 PM
After working on this kit I would only consider getting the D.IIIa if it comes with good lozenge decals for the wings, and a considerable price drop. It is not worth the aggravation as it stands now.
JUL 01, 2007 - 03:49 PM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
What's Your Opinion?

Click image to enlarge
  • Roden_Pfalz_DIII_Parts_1
  • Roden_Pfalz_DIII_Parts_2
  • Roden_Pfalz_DIII_Parts_3
  • Roden_Pfalz_DIII_Interior
  • Roden_Pfalz_DIII_Instructions
  • Roden_Pfalz_DIII_Decals
  • Roden_Pfalz_DIII_Colours