ning Constructions‘ cubicle. I created the line drawings on the
plotting machine and the areas had to be filled with ink. For this
task I again hired already experienced coworkers who used to
cast resin models before. I have to mention that quite a number
of these people still work for Eduard.
In 1992 two things happened. First it turned out that „epoxids“
will not be such a profitable business as initially anticipated
and second PE surprisingly caught up and were selling like
hot cakes. And in the meantime I met Jiří Šilhánek and offered
him PE for MPM kits. To my surprise Jiří agreed to meet me and
listened to my proposal even though he has long been the big
business star, MPM owner, driving BMW and wearing the brand
name clothing. I was a weird guy from a region in the north
who was driving Škoda 105 and wearing cheesy sweaters. Jiří
got interested in PE, he did want them for his models, however
he sought a barter instead of monetary compensation. We met
several times, MPM bought some PE, the first set was for 1/48
scale Bücker 181. However, in order for business to continue
Jiří wanted to ballance the accounts. I got an idea that he could
make molds and produce models for us. We met in Prostějov
at an modeling contest, sat somewhere on the lawn or playground and “Jerry” Špaček was flying Mi-24 overhead. When he
flew away a little we could talk, negotiate and finally agreed
that Eduard will supply MPM with PE for their kits and MPM will
manufacture for Eduard short run molds and produce models
from them. Coincidentally, Mining Constructions were going up
the belly so Zdeněk agreed to join Eduard to make masters. He
brought Zdeněk Flégl along and together they formed the first
design duo at Eduard. They settled in the basement, where we
initially had PE etching line, and begun to create despite the
fact that mice destroyed their design drawings.
Zdeněk Sekyrka created the first masters using the old „epoxide“ based on our original design, seventy second scale Sopwith Baby. The second masters was a quarter scale Fokker
E.III designed by Zdeněk Flégl. From the start both PE and models were not an easy products to sell. In summer 1992, Chuck
Harransky and Jerry Campbell, owners and managers of the
famous Squadron Signal/MMD company, paid us a visit. It was
a great event and we proudly presented them with our new
product, a model. We expected the praise and excitement but
received a cold shower instead. Jerry told us that making the
models is waste of time. There is enough companies making
models out there, the market is saturated with models and no
one wants more of them. And if we insist on making models
why in the world some stupid biplanes? No one else is doing it!
When we objected that this is exactly the reason why we want
to make them we were rewarded with an amused smile. Both
INFO Eduard - July 2021
these gentlemen were big personalities of our industry, Squadron Signal founders, and I liked them, Chuck especially. He was
really a nice guy while Jerry was a tough businessman. They
both conducted business within their roles and understood the
market in depth, no doubt about it. However in regards to our
models they were wrong, thanks God!
We introduced our Sopwith Baby at Model Hobby 1992 show
in Hybern‘s Palace. We were offered a space at Víťa Klímek’s
booth. Víťa was the owner and director of the famous Propagteam, and an old gun from Slušovice Agricultural Cooperative.
We had Fokker E.III ready sometime in the fall and I remember
the sprues were available for the first time at the scale model
gathering in Křivonoska Camp at Hluboká nad Vltavou.
The cooperation with MPM in model making lasted approximately three years and then started to slow down. At the
same time Vandělík father and son appeared on the industry
scene, both highly trained tool makers and real experts. Pavel Vandělík improved the short run molds technology and
I dare to say he brought it to perfection. In the second half of
90s Zdeněk Flégl left Eduard and was replaced by Jindra Balon
in the designers‘ duet. He got along with Zdeněk Sekyrka just
perfectly, they understood each other and once they aligned
with Mr. Vandělík miracles happened. It was a nice example of
congeniality, talents supplementing each other and a synergy.
The models created by this collaboration significantly improved quality of our production and our market share. It came at
some cost. When the strong personalities get together there is
a tension and all of them were strong personalities with strong
opinions indeed. In addition they were joined by Jiří Menzel,
originally a professor at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics. He introduced the galvanic molds technology to Eduard.
He was the strong personality as well and to make things even
more challenging Ota Janečka assumed the leadership of our
newly emerging tool making shop. Ota started his career at
the Academy of Sciences, he participated in the development of
Magion artificial satellite and later worked for the ill-fated Poseidon/Bismarck model company. When it went up the belly he
went to Tespon Kolin where he designed ship models and then
he joined Eduard. Ota was a strong personality too. So I had
four strong personalities in one department and Mr. Vandělík in
addition and believe me, this star constellation had incredible
potential but a dark side too. From time to time a hell on earth
broke loose. But once it blew over the results were worthwhile.
Zdeněk and Jindra were experts. Their masters were excellent
and the models that followed are competitive even today, after
almost a quarter of century. If you want the proof of their skills
look at their designs such as Yak-3, Bell X-1, Airacobra, Albatros D.V and the whole family of Albatroses: D.II, D.III, D.V in 1/48
scale, D.V in 1/72 scale, Fokker Dr.I and E.III in 1/72 scale, Pfalz
D.IIIa, Roland C.II, DH-2, basically all our WWI aircraft models.
As I indicated earlier they were not easy to work with. Also there was a trouble that they smoked. At that time smoking was
allowed at the workplace and they retained that privilege even
after smoking was forbidden throughout the company.
I never dared to forbid them to smoke even though situation
was really horrible. They puffed all the time, Jindra lit one cigarette after another and sometimes he had two lit at the same
time. You could not see the other side of their office, and it was
mere six meters. Talking to them nicely did not work and I did
not dare to take some disciplinary measures neither. I did not
want any conflict with them.
There were plenty of those regardless. Both designers were
perfectionists, able to go great lengths to improve the model
details and in the process they did not mind the time. For me