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DFS Kranich

Building Czech Master Resin 1/72 kit

n by Mark Davies


The prototype Kranich was designed at DFS by Hans Jacobs in 1935, and was an enlarged and developed version of his record breaking single seat Rhönsperber. The Kranich was produced from 1935 until the late 1950's. It set world and various national two-seater records over a 20 period.

Before WW2 the NAZI Government decided that gliding should be one of the main methods of training military pilots. The Kranich was chosen to be the standard high performance training two-seater; enabling dual instruction could be given in almost every aspect of flying, including blind flying and the use of oxygen and radio. Many hundreds of Kranichs were built in Germany before 1939, and during the war they continued to be made in Germany, Sweden, Spain and Czechoslovakia. After 1945 they were made in Poland, Yugoslavia and Spain.

The Czech Master Resin (CMR) kit is was my fourth resin kit and proved to be extremely simple to build. The cockpit interior includes seats with harnesses, control columns, instrument panels and the roll-over structure between the seats and this is plenty for the model’s size. The canopy is deceptively small, but fortunately like all CMR kits you get two enabling you to practice fit with one before using the second if required. The kit provides a choice of pitots, landing skids and also a set of wheels used by the original for take-off.

I thought fitting the wings would be troublesome, but this was not the case at all. In fact I think my use of some metal rod in the wing roots was probably unnecessary. The model has proved to be very strong, and holding it by the wing-tips carries no risks at all for such a long and slender wing. The trickiest part was fitting the clear resin sections that represent the instructors viewing panels in the wings, and this wasn’t all that challenging anyway.

Decals for a choice of NS Fliegerkorps machines are provided, and they proved to be excellent; needing no set or solvent solutions. There is a wide choice of schemes available because the Kranich has been so widely used. There are some very colourful civilian schemes that are easy to find on the internet. I used the kit markings because it represented the early use of this very successful design.

As it happens my first flight ever as 10-year old in the 60’s was with my uncle in a tandem glider. I don’t know what type it was, but I recall it was red and very similar to the Kranich in appearance. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed building this kit, and am pleased to have an unusual subject in my modelling cabinet. I will definitely be building some more of CMR’s range of glider subjects, and highly recommend this as a first kit for people new to resin building.

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