Released on 17 November 2014 - 35cm x 27cm - Very simple rigging - 2 high quality Cartograf decal sheets including naval hexagon camouflage and markings for 5 aircraft - 216 high quality injection moulded plastic parts - Optional parts for C2MG 2 gun and C3MG 3 gun aircraft - Early production details include ailerons on the top wings only and short fuselage - Optional standard and wide top wing cutouts - Beaching dollies and trestles for diorama display - Highly detailed 150hp Benz Bz.III engine - 11 photo-etched metal detail parts - Fine in scale rib tape detail. You can find more information on this model at the Wingnut Wings website.
For someone like me who grew up making WWI models, Wingnut Wings is really a dream company. We’re just a bunch of like-minded people who have been lucky enough to take their hobby to another level.
Utilizing design cues and lessons learned from previous aircraft designed for the Austro-Hungarian Army and Navy the Ernst Heinkel designed Hansa-Brandenburg W.12 went on to become one of the most successful sea-plane fighters operated by the German Navy in the First World War. The W.12 was designed to be a long range, highly manoeuvrable two-seat fighter and the extremely sturdy, triangulated, float strut arrangement ensured great strength while almost doing away with the need for any wing rigging.
Three Daimler-Mercedes 160hp D.III powered W.12 prototypes were ordered in October 1916 (numbers 1014 to 1016) and another 3 the following month (numbers 1011 to 1013). The W.12 initially lived up to its promise when prototype 1014 took to the air for the 1st time in late February 1917, which was fortuitous because the Navy had placed a production order for 10 Benz Bz.III 150hp powered W.12 the previous month. Eventually various problems arose which delayed the remaining 5 prototypes and they were not delivered until July 1917, about the same time as the 1st the production aircraft began arriving, and the W.12 was not considered 'fully satisfactory' until the following month. Finally, the German Navy had a seaplane capable of intercepting the fast British flying boats.
The first 6 prototype Hansa-Brandenburg W.12 'Kamel' (Camel) featured a rounded nose cowling, 160hp Daimler-Mercedes D.III engine and a radiator mounted in front of the top wing. The first 10 production aircraft ordered in January 1917 (numbers 1178 to 1187) were powered by the 150hp Benz Bz.III engine with a vertical 'car type' radiator in front of the engine. Most early W.12 were built to C2MG specifications (two-seat C type aircraft fitted with 2 Machine Guns) although photographic evidence confirms that a small number, possibly just 2 or 3, had an additional lMG 08 'Spandau' fixed to the port side of the fuselage effectively making them a C3MG. The remaining 20 early production W.12 were ordered in March 1917 (numbers 1395 to 1414). Photographic evidence indicates that some aircraft stationed at Zeebrugge had their top wing cut outs modified for increased visibility. Late production W.12 featured a lengthened fuselage, redesigned cabane struts, ailerons on the bottom wings and a revised tailplane. These aircraft were powered by both the Daimler-Mercedes D.III and Benz Bz.III engines and built to C2MG, C2MGHFT (C2MG with wireless equipment) and C3MG specifications.
Although the Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 monoplane introduced in mid-1918 was intended to replace the W.12, the 'Kamel' continued to serve until the Armistice. A version built in The Netherlands post war as the Van Berkel WA remained in service until 1933. Any history of this aircraft here is of necessity very brief, therefore we encourage you to seek out the references listed below for a more thorough understanding of this significant aircraft.
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 and, while we have been as meticulous as we could be, I'm sure some will not find our choices to their liking. From January 1916 it was directed that all German seaplane surfaces visible from above such as the tops of the wings, fuselage, floats and tailplane be painted in hexagons of 'grey brown', 'grey blue' and 'grey violet'. Camouflage printed fabric does not appear to have been used on the W.12 or W.29 (despite what some internet experts may say). Contemporary photos confirm that there were different paint mixes used for the hexagon camouflage on the fabric and ply covered areas. The paint colours used on the fabric give an overall pale appearance with "dark spots" while the ply areas usually appear dark with "pale spots". Side surfaces of the fuselage, floats and struts were to be painted 'grey blue' with undersides painted light grey except for fabric wings etc which should remain in their original CDL (Clear Doped Linen). Some long serving W.12 had their floats and struts painted with a black bituminous tar based paint for protection from salt water from mid-1918. Generally, the hexagon painted surfaces were matt, as were the 'grey blue' plywood fuselage side surfaces while the metal engine cowlings and cockpit coaming were gloss. The CDL undersides retained a relatively high gloss finish.
References: Brandenburg W.12 Windsock Datafile 61, P.M Grosz, 1997 - 1914-18 Aviation Heritage Trust - Colin Owers - The Vintage Aviator LTD - Private Collections.