Eduard 1/48 SSW D.III

The S.S.W. (Siemens-Schuckert Werke) D.III was a tubby WW1 German fighter which first entered service in early 1918. The story of the D.III began in June 1916 when the Idflieg distributed a requirement amongst German aircraft manufacturers for a mew fighter with the same or better performance than the Nieuport 11. SSW was one of the companies involved in the initial development and rather than starting with a blank canvas the company designed a machine simply called the D.I which was a virtual copy of the Nieuport 11. Overall performance of the D.I was poor and apart from its rate of climb, the machine was no better than any other fighter already available. The D.I was fitted with a Siemens-Halske Sh.I engine but when the uprated Sh.III unit was made available, this engine was installed in three D.II prototypes. One of these, a D.IIb reached 7,000m in 35mins 30 Secs to set a new world climb record. Further prototypes were ordered, now designated the D.III, the first of them flying on November 15, 1917. Just six days later the German Air Force ordered 20 pre-production D.III and after a number of trials it was clear that to get the best out of this fighter, an experienced pilot was needed. Performance was further enhanced by redesigning the wing and as such the D.IV was born. In the end, only 30 production D.IIIs were ordered on March 1, a further 50 on March 23 and 50 D.IV on April 8, 1918.

  Operational trials of the D.III and a single D.IV were performed by Jagdgeschwäder III between March and May 1918. After a number of modifications the aircraft were fully operational by July 1918 by which time a further 250 D.IVs were ordered. The fast climbing D.IIIs were allocated to home defence units while the faster D.IVs served on the Western Front.    

  Only received by Military Modelling in 2017, this Eduard kit of the D.III was released in 2014, so we can only presume it has been selling well ever since. A nice unusual subject, the kit is a ProfiPack so expect a nice sheet of PE, extra decals and a few extra parts here and there. The decals in particular draw the eye and the basic sheet feature some limited edition items while a larger, Lozenge pattern sheet shows promise. If you were one of the many who attempted to replicate this complex multi-coloured camouflage by hand, you will appreciate this sheet no end. However, the Lozenge decals are far from perfect from a colour point of view; they look a little washed out and I’m sure the original was considerably more vibrant. Dam shame really, because the decal quality is excellent.

The kit is contained on two packed sprues and generally, is moulded to Eduards usual high standard. Some of the surface detail has been overdone a little but only the purist would grumble. An initial dry fit reveals no problems at all and this scale of First World War fighter will not clutter up the display cabinet very quickly.

There are four decal/painting options in four view layout at the rear of the high quality 16-page, A5-sized instruction booklet; these are; A. SSW D.III, Jasta 4, Ernst Udet, Metz, October 3, 1918; B. SSW D.III 1618/18, Jasta 85 (Kest 5), Ltn. Heinrich Dembowsky, Schaffenhausen, November 13, 1918, C. SSW D.III, Jasta 15, Chery-les-Pouilly, July 1918 and D. SSW D.III 1626/18, Kest 4b, Vzfw. Reimann, September 1918.

  Thanks very much to Eduard for our sample which is available from all major outlets and online model stores. 


Product: Construction kit

Ref: 8256

Scale: 1/48

Parts: Approx 125 + PE Sheet (approx 75 parts)

Price: Approx £22

Manufacturer: Eduard