After our participation in the show at Lingen,
our May release centerpiece, the 1:72 scale
Avia S-199, was shown off at Prostějov over
Easter. After that, last weekend we were
pleased to be at Moson again, in Hungary.
It was refreshing to be able to do so after two
years of isolation and home office, and to be
able to catch up with so many friends, colleagues and customers in one location. It felt
like a return to the good ol’ days of pre-Covid.
But it’s not quite like that. The good ol’ days
ended with the epidemic, inflation and war,
and won’t be back. A new world is emerging.
The Russian war against Ukraine and the
free world is into its third month, and I am
pleased that our nation is on the right side.
We are supplying weapons. We may not be
providing as many weapons as larger countries can, or as modern as larger countries
can, if they were willing, but we are providing them quickly and without a lot of talking.
When I was in the army, I was with a howitzer
unit, and it pleases me that the Ukrainians
are receiving Czech self-propelled howitzers
and salvo rocket launchers. It appeared as
though these pieces were destined to end up
rotting in some storage depot or in museums, but now we are hoping that they serve
well in Ukraine and help push back the Russian occupiers. Being on the right side isn’t a
sure thing here. This wasn’t always the case,
but just like today, we stood on the right side
eighty years ago. Our field guns and infantry
protected North African Tobruk against the
Germans and Italians, our pilots flew in the
ranks of the RAF over Western Europe and
the 1st Czechoslovak Infantry Battalion was
formed in Buzuluk, preparing for its Baptism
of Fire against the Wehrmacht at Sokolov.
Back home, in a country under Nazi occupation, there was resistance. On May 22, 1942,
our British based agents who parachuted
into the homeland and with the support of
the local resistance, assassinated the head
of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
SS Obergruppenführer and Chief of Police
Reinhard Heydrich. He succumbed to his injuries that resulted in the attack and as such,
became the highest ranking Nazi official to
be assassinated during the Second World
War by anti-Nazi forces. The Czech nation
paid a massive price for this honorable act
of defiance, the reprisal for which included
the outright murder of thousands of innocents, the climax of which was the elimination of the towns of Lidice and Ležáky from the
face of the earth. The democratic, pro-West
resistance was targeted so effectively after
that, that there were not enough effective
resources available after the war to deter
the newly evolving threat of another dictatorship, this time from the communists, and
it ruled Czechoslovakia for forty long years.
Halfway through that reign, we thought we
could believe in the Russian talk of freedom
and the right to self-government, but their
tanks quickly bailed us out of that mistake.
Our right to belong to the free world was an
expensive one, and so today, we stand firmly
behind Ukraine, because Ukraine is deciding
on the future of our free world.
By 1948, we were still precariously on the right side, although the communists had just
come to power. Czechoslovakia nevertheless supported the newly independent state
of Israel in the first Arab-Israeli war. How
the history of this war mimics the current
situation in Ukraine! Supplies sent to Israel
back then included aircraft, namely Spitfires
Mk.IXe and Avia S-199s. The Avia S-199 is being introduced in today’s issue of the newsletter, despite being premiered in the second
half of April in Prostějov and Moson. And
it should be added that it was a successful
premiere, indeed. The kit has been well received, and that pleases me, because to be
honest, neither we, nor anyone else, is capable of doing anything substantially better.
Of course, they wouldn’t be modellers if
they didn’t point out some flaws. As soon as
Moson, we were notified of some things that
were missing, keeping our S-199 from perfection, and what it was we need to work on
to get there. We decline, respectfully. We don’t
produce models as much as we produce kits,
and a kit is still something in need of completion. The model, from the kit, is made by
the modeller, and if there is an item that the
modeler deems as missing, he or she needs
to add said items. As Mr. Zatloukal, the head
of then Kovozávody Prostějov company and
one of the fathers of Czechoslovak plastic
modelling, put it: “A skillful modeller creates
by himself”. This rule applied then, applies
now, and will continue to apply in the future.
Those that are not fully satisfied with a kit, be
a modeller and take it to that level of completion you want. In some cases, we can aid you
in this endeavor with photoetched, resin or
other accessory items, but your involvement
is also necessary.
The S-199 entitled MEZEK, or “Mule” in English, comes on the market as a Limited Edition Dual Combo kit with two complete sets
of plastic. These sets are not identical. One
is for an aircraft with the Erla cockpit canopy, and the other for the later series sliding
bubble canopy. There are twelve marking
options, mostly covering Czechoslovak machines of both Military as well as Police Air
Force, three marking options cover Israeli
aircraft from 1948 as the basis of the Israeli Air Force. After the Limited Edition kit, the
ProfiPacks will follow, the first of which will
appear in June with the two-seat CS-199.
The 48th scale S-199 will in all likelihood see
the light of day after the New Year, instead
of before it as originally planned. I initially
promised this kit for E-day, but I doubt that
will happen. Yeah, yeah… The wolf made promises, too!
Along with the S-199, we are releasing a 48th
scale Z-126 Trenér for May in the ProfiPack
line, plus two Weekend kits, the 1:72 scale Spitfire F Mk.IX and 1:48 scale Bf 109G-10
WNF/Diana. Three 48th scale ProfiPacks are
also making a welcome return to the market as re-editions: the quickly sold-out A6M2
Zero Model 21, the Spitfire HF Mk.VIII and the
F6F-3 Hellcat. The last mentioned is not a
straight re-edition, but in this case includes
a modification to the marking options and the
boxart. I don’t see this as much of an issue,