Released on 7 April 2014 – 32cm x 24cm - Relatively simple rigging - High quality Cartograf decal sheet for 5 German aircraft – 330 high quality injection moulded plastic parts – Optional engine cooling louvers, 12.5kg PuW bomb rack, exhausts, gun rings, final production fin, rudder, tailplane struts and diorama accessories – Highly detailed 48 part Daimler-Mercedes D.III engine – 9 photo-etched metal detail parts including lMG 08 Spandau and LMG 14 Parabellum machine gun cooling jackets – Fine in scale rib tape detail – Full rigging diagrams
LFG (Luftfahrzeug-Gesellschaft), who later changed their name to Roland to avoid confusion with LVG (Luft-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft), were responsible for some of the most aerodynamic and innovative aircraft designs of the Great War primarily the highly advanced (for 1915) Roland C.II ‘Walfisch’ (whale) two-seater. Without a successful design of their own available at the outbreak war, Roland initially built Albatros two-seater aircraft under license before designing their innovative Roland C.II. Great effort was put into making the ‘Walfisch’ as aerodynamic as possible which resulted in a smooth fuselage featuring many compound curves and mounting the top wings to the fuselage to avoid drag from cabane struts. The smooth aerodynamic fuselage was created in halves from 2 layers of thin plywood strips, each layer applied at an opposing angle of around 60 degrees formed over a buck. Once completed each half of the fuselage was glued and tacked onto the internal framework, the centerline seams were taped and then the whole fuselage was finally covered with doped on fabric.
The prototype Roland C.II took to the air in October 1915, proving to be 30kph faster than other comparable aircraft and faster than most single seat fighters. Its smooth aerodynamic fuselage, 160hp Daimler-Mercedes engine and small size enabled the Walfisch to go about its intended tasks of reconnaissance and artillery spotting safe in the knowledge that it could outrun almost any enemy fighters it encountered. Unfortunately the deep fuselage hindered airflow over the tailplane adversely affecting maneuverability and the wings severely restricted the pilot’s downward visibility which resulted in many landing accidents.
50 Roland C.II were ordered in December 1915 and featured a rounded rollover hoop, steering wheel control column, aileron control cables routed through the bottom wings and a Parabellum LMG 14 machine gun for the observer. The 2nd production order for 25 aircraft placed in March 1916 featured numerous improvements including strengthened wings, the ability to install a PuW bomb rack between the rear undercarriage legs and the addition of a fixed forward firing lMG 08 ‘Spandau’ machine gun under an angled roll over hoop. These aircraft were to become what we now call the Roland C.IIa and about 90 of these early C.IIa were manufactured. Later production C.IIa manufactured by both Roland and Linke-Hofmann Werke featured a stick type control column with aileron control rods and tubes routed through the top wings (a feature common on subsequent Roland designs). Nearly 130 of these late production C.IIa were built, including a Roland manufactured batch of 40 aircraft which finally featured an enlarged fin for improved maneuverability. By the time late production Roland C.IIa started arriving at the front the initial performance advantage had been lost so most were employed in the escort or infantry support/ground attack roles. Most Roland C.II/C.IIa had been retired from front line service by mid 1917 although many soldiered on as trainers. Any history of this important aircraft here is of necessity very brief, therefore we encourage you to seek out any, or all, of the reference books mentioned below for a more thorough understanding.
WW1 colour schemes are contentious at the best of times and we have done our best to provide what we consider to be accurate painting information for this model. The interior of the Roland C.IIa fuselage was sealed with a paint which was most likely bluish-grey, or possibly grey-green, with metal brackets and fittings finished in grey-green, black or overpainted with the interior colour. Unlike the Roland C.II and early production C.IIa, the late production C.IIa entered service when the application of camouflage had been somewhat standardized. Late production Roland C.IIa appear to have all been finished in the following fashion; pale blue undersides with upper surfaces finished in 2 or 3 spray painted camouflage colours, thought to be pale green, dark green and dark red/brown. It is possible that some late production Linke-Hofmann built C.IIa ordered in September 1916 were completed following a directive dated 29 October 1916 replacing the camouflage colour ‘red/brown’ with ‘Lilac’ (to avoid confusion with enemy aircraft). The various camouflage schemes and personal markings applied to German aircraft of the Great War have attracted more than their fair share of debate over the years and, while we have been as meticulous as we could be, I’m sure some will not find our choices to their liking and impassioned debate will continue to rage on amongst modellers.
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