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Paul Bšumer and his Fokker

n By Tomasz Gronczewski

As a complement to my profile article this month, here is a Fokker Dr.I flown by another famous German ace Paul Bšumer.

Paul BaŁmer was 9th highest scoring German fighter pilot of the World War I. He destroyed 40 aircraft and 3 balloons. His other claim to fame was that he was a top scorer of the famous Jasta Boelcke (formerly Jasta 2). After he had flamed three balloons with Jasta 5, he moved to this elite unit to score remaining kills. In September 1918 he saved his life by successful parachute jump.

After the Great War he became a dentist but as many former aces he couldn't withstand without flying. On July 15th 1927 he was killed in flying accident.

During his service with Jasta 5 BaŁmer flew famous Albatros D.V marked with huge Edelweiss flower design. After transition to Jasta Boelcke he continued to fly Albatros scouts and finally had scored 18 victories with them. In March 1918 BaŁmer flew this very flamboyant Fokker Dr. I and downed four E/A with it. In May he switched to new Pfalz D.VIII, but was wounded in a crash, and returned to Jasta Boelcke no earlier than in September 1918. Then he switched to Fokker D.VIIs and downed remaining 21 aircraft.

The model

And the model? It is a Dragon/DML kit built straight out of the box.

The Dragon/DML Fokker Dr.I Triplane was released some years ago as one in a range of four WW1 aircraft kits in 1/48 scale. Fokkers D.VII and D.VIII together with a SPAD 13 and a Sopwith Camel completed the series. When arrived, these kits conformed to the highest standards, and are still going strong.

Dragon had often the courage to initiate new trends rather than follow them, and they should be commended for that. With the above series of kits, they were the first among mainstream kit manufacturers to revive the interest in quarter-scale WWI aircraft since the time of Aurora. A giant leap indeed.

Sadly, the availability of Dragon kits varied a lot, following the company's  turbulent development.

The kit has no major faults to speak of and went together pretty easily. Decals for the Bšumer's machine came from the Aeromaster sheet.


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