HOW I MET
I met Zdeněk Sekyrka through the advertisement. It happened
on March 11, 1986. I realised that my kit collection has overgrown and I will never build so many models-as if it were the
point in scale modeling, right? I judged that I need to reduce it
and somehow focus on a certain theme. I decided to concentrate on the WWII aircraft and right at the beginning of 1986
published and ad in Letectví a kosmonautika magazine that
I trade kits of the post war era for the models of the WWII aircraft. On that day, when the advertisement was published, on
afore mentioned March 11, my life was changed significantly and forever, even though I was not aware of it yet at that
moment. Since the morning my home phone kept ringing, but
it was manageable. In the evening, after seven, the doorbell
rang. A shorter guy with moustache was standing in front of
the door, he was smiling, a rolled copy of Letectví in one hand,
a bag with models in the other and announced that he is responding to the ad. I invited him inside and no sooner did I make
coffee for him the doorbell rang the second time. There was
a guy in front of the door who resembled Alice Cooper without
make-up, looked angry, a rolled copy of Letectví in one hand,
a bag with models in another a said he was responding to an
ad. Before got him a bat (infamous event at A. Cooper’s concert)
and made coffee for him both gentlemen were already engaged
in a friendly chat which did not finish late until after midnight.
Well, gentlemen left for home but in fact we never parted and
our fates have been connected for the next 35 years, and still
are nowadays. The first visitor was Zdeněk Sekyrka and the
second one’s name was Zdeněk Flégl.
It all started pretty innocently. We used to meet in my kitchen
or in Flégl’s kitchen, discussed the kits, how to obtain them,
when can be sourced what because at that time more then buying the kits we had to „obtain“ them. In Flégl’s kitchen I saw the
photoetched parts for the first time. Both Zdeněks talked about
them with great deal of knowledge, as if they had used them for
years. Truth is that one of them bought the Airwaves photoched
set at Hannant’s. It can be said that this was the initial impulse,
technological beginning of the future Eduard. The next impulse
came couple of months later. It turned out, that Zdeněk, besides
the classical scale modeling and collecting the kits and literature, also makes resin models. So called „epoxids“. He had had
INFO Eduard - July 2021
a disagreement with his businnes partner and came up with
the offer one cannot refuse. Neither did I and started to make
„epoxids“ with Zdeněk. Soon I realized that he had worked out
the technological details of the molds making long time ago.
Unlike other groups who made similar models, and there were
quite a number of those in Czechoslovakia, Zdeněk poured models into the hard epoxide molds. So, not like nowadays, when
the resin kits and detailed sets are cast from polyurethane,
cure within tens of seconds and the productivity in comparison with the „old times“ is exponential. Everything was much
slower then, one set of castings, which was basically one complete kit, would take 24 hours to make. That was the time during which the mixture of the epoxide resin ChS Epoxy 1200
hardened and could be removed from the molds. Zdeněk was
an expert in this. I had no clue, I was a beginner that had a lot
to learn. I started with making a master. Nigel Hannant, who
in 80s was engaged in lively barter business with Czech and
other Eastern European modelers, asked for resin kits of the
WWI aircraft in 1/72 scale and paid 6 pounds per piece. That
was a large sum of money for a small model! So I duly made
a masters for Fokker D.VIII in 1/72 scale. I was so excited by this
achievement that before leaving to meet Zdeněk I put the box
with the masters on the roof of my Škoda 105L and just took off.
Only when I parked the car in front of Zdeněk’s house I found
out that the box is missing.
I rushed back home and my suspicion was unfortunately confirmed. The box was lying in the middle of the street, the parts
scattered all around it because the garbage truck had just run
over it. To my big surprise the damage was not serious and in a
couple of days I was able to repair the masters. Zdeněk made
the molds, brought it over to my place and trained me in casting.
How to mix the resin, how to get rid of the bubbles, how to treat
the molds so as the castings would not get stuck to them, how
to apply resin with brush into the molds, how to close them,
apply clamps... and wait. Next day he came to show me how
to open the molds, pull our the castings, clean them and apply
resin again. Then I performed this daily. Pour, close, open next
day, pull out, clean, treat the surfaces, pour the resin, close...
again and again, like a robot. In the meantime I made another
masters, Fokker D.VI. Zdeněk was micro-managing me so as
my masters were better, taught me the right procedures and I,
to pay something back, came up with the proposal that the real
model had to have the assembly instructions and a box.
To my surprise Zdeněk agreed. So as you can understand better, the Czech „epoxids“ have never featured anything like that.
They were packaged in poly bags without a box or instructions.
A skilled modeler can help himself, right? Zdeněk came up with