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Book Review
Fokker D.VII The lethal weapon
Legend of Aviation in 3D: Fokker D.VII - The lethal weapon
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by: Mecenas [ MECENAS ]

Originally published on:

Authors: Tomasz Kowalski, Marek Ryś
Format A4
Size: 210 × 297 mm
Pages: 168
Photos: 114
3D renders: 175


Fokker D.VII was one of the latest German designs of fighter plane which saw action in World War One. After incorporating and refining many innovations of designing modern fighter planes like lack of rigging, fuselage made of welded steel tubes, durable airframe, efficient wing design or liquid cooled engine of high power Anthony Fokker was able to develop and produce very effective weapon which outmatched all of its adversaries. D.VII was designed and produced for combat with the aim of winning the air dogfights. Although the plane was being introduced in the front line units in late April 1918 it quickly managed to gain a reputation of a dreadful enemy, especially in the hands of experienced kanone. With the collapse of German and Austro-Hungarian Armie in October and November of 1918 many already build planes were captured by the armed forces of new countries. The Versailles Treaty forbade the Germany to posses naval and air force but was signed almost 15 months after the armistice, thus giving Germans a lot of time to simply sell the remaining machines with spares and also Fokker to relocate factory to the Netherlands and continue commercial activity of his company. Therefore Fokker D.VII saw action not only in the Luftstreitkräfte on the fronts of the Great War but also in the air forces of many other countries, like Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Hungary, Soviet Hungary, Netherland, Denmark, Belgium or even France, Great Britain or USA.

book content

This book is a second issue of the Legends of aviation in 3D series. Its content can be partitioned into two separate parts. First part is the historical background of D.VII providing a lot of archive photographs and stories about design, construction problems, Idflieg competitions for new fighters and its service in the front line Jastas. The story does not end at the Armistice in 1918 but expands to the early post-war years describing use of the construction in other countries like Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungary, soviet Hungary and Russia, Lithuania, Finland or test flights in the USA, France and Great Britain. This part is supported by 114 good quality and interesting photographs, showing the plane not only in general perspectives but also pointing out on some very particular and uncommon attributes, like ventilation louvers, propellers, radiators etc. First part ends with technical description of the airframe, painting schemes used on D.VII (including description of lozenge printed fabric), after which goes bibliography, end notes and appendices (short biographies of Anthony Fokker and Reinhold Platz, colours and schemes distinguishing particular Jastas and two tables with most successful German aces flying Fokker D.VII and their opposites – Entente pilots who scored 10 or more D.VIIs.) . Very last section are four pages of 1:72 scale plans and drawings of Fokkers: general side views, wings, different engine cowlings.

Second part of the publication consists of 175 3D drawings. On the pictures we will find many technical details of the airframe. We have here general views of the whole plane stripped of the fabric skin. Next we have close-ups for particular details like engine, tail section, fuselage airframe, landing gear, of course both wings or details of pilots office. Authors have also provided detailed drawings of particular equipment: Mercedes D.III engine, carburetor, compass, “artillery” and ammunition boxes with feeders , throttle lever, control column, rudder pedals, different hinges and fittings and many many more usually unseen important devices and installations.

On the last pages of book authors have presented 3D painting schemes and close-ups of four machines, as follows:
  • Fokker D.VII (OAW) 4523/18 of Jasta 35b flown by Ltn. d R Rudolf Stark
  • Albatros built Fokker D.VII probably of Jasta 46
  • Fokker D.VII (OAW) of Jasta 50, flown by Uffz. Niemczyk (Nimszyk??) in 1918
  • Polish Fokker D.VII “Memento Mori”, CWL.22.05 of the 13 Eskadra Myśliwska

That's more-less content of the book. Of course there are much more details shown inside but if I would list them all this review would be deadly boring.


With this publication Kagero have kept a very high standard of the series started with a look at another Fokker figher – the Dr.I (you can find it reviewed here). Legends of Aviation in 3D series is dedicated for both modelers and non-modeling enthusiasts of winged history as both these groups will easily find a lot of interesting stuff inside. It is very difficult for me to find any serious errors or omissions in this book, however one came to my mind almost instantly: the engine details. All valves are shown on the drawing in the perfectly same position what is just impossible to happen on the real working six cylinders in-line power unit. And that's all...
Generally I find this book very useful, it really helps to answer most of the question of how it worked when building a scale replica of the plane.

related reviews

Here is a line-up of D.VII kits and conversions reviews published on Aeroscale. Surprisingly all refers to 1:48 scale sets.
AML Fokker D.VII In Finnish Service Decals & Resin upgrade review by Stephen Lawson.
Dragon Fokker D.VII kit review by Stephen Lawson.
Eduard Fokker D.VII (Alb.) kit review by Stephen Lawson.
Eduard Fokker D.VII (OAW) kit review by Stephen Lawson.
Eduard Fokker D.VII „Sieben Schwaben” kit review by Rowan Baylis.
Eduard Fokker D.VII MÁG „Weekend edition” kit review by Entoni Seperic.
Eduard Fokker D.VII MÁG kit review by Stephen Lawson.
Hasegawa Fokker D.VII kit review by Stephen Lawson.
Roden Fokker D.VII (Fokker build, early) kit review by Rowan Baylis.
Highs: Good archive photographs, great 3D pictures and close-ups of many details, lot of graphics at all.
Lows: None of important note.
Verdict: Useful for every enthusiast of the Great War German fighters, especially those who like to make detailed model kits.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other Scal
  Mfg. ID: ISBN: 978-83-62878-33-8
  Suggested Retail: 10.08GBP, 16.8$, 12.6EUR
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 12, 2012

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About Mecenas

Copyright ©2021 text by Mecenas [ MECENAS ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


Another cool reference to pick up! Thanks for the excellent review Michal!
AUG 12, 2012 - 11:30 AM

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