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Avia S-199 Mezek [Premium Edition]

Scale: 1/72nd
Manufacturer: Kovozavody Prostejov
Ref No: KPM0019
Material: IM, PE, BR, Ma
UK Distributor: Hannants
UK Price: £10.80

Avia S-199 Mezek [Premium Edition]
Avia S-199 Mezek [Premium Edition] Avia S-199 Mezek [Premium Edition] Avia S-199 Mezek [Premium Edition] Avia S-199 Mezek [Premium Edition]
by Libor Jekl

Following the release of the first two S-199 kits Kovozavody Prostejov have now released this upgraded reboxing under their ‘Premium’ label. As well as the already familiar three plastic sprues, which are moulded in a mid grey-coloured plastic, the kit includes a small etched fret for the instrument panel and seat belts, and fine metal tubing for the 20mm cannon barrels. It is also good to see that the majority of the factual mistakes in the instructions seen in the first releases have been corrected, so the build should be a lot easier as a result. This version features three interesting camouflage schemes: two Czechoslovak Air Force machines in the early light grey-green and later dark green scheme and a machine of Czechoslovak Police Air Patrol with its attractive red markings. However, it is necessary to say this latter scheme seems to be spurious, but more on this later.
During my first build of this kit I faced an interesting feature regarding the fit of the main parts, and this prevailed with this example too. Trial fitting of the fuselage and wing at the beginning of the build showed almost perfect fit; however, once the cockpit parts have been glued inside the fuselage and the wing radiators into wing, this somehow changes the proportions thus influencing the alignment of the fuselage and wing. Therefore I recommend you check the fit twice to avoid any ‘forced’ joints, especially around the fuselage bulkhead assembly. The etched fret may look rather poor, but it offers the parts that are usually simplified or omitted in this scale and honestly, not much more is usually required. Combined with the otherwise well detailed plastic parts you can made a really nice interior, only leaving you regretting that the canopy is moulded as single piece (a vacformed replacement is already produced by AP Modely). Once the cockpit has been properly painted and assembled I could join the fuselage halves. Here I commenced from the rear, cementing the halves only to the cockpit. The front part was left unglued until I had aligned the upper gun decking and then all parts could be fixed with extra thin Mr Cement S. Now I added the wing and despite careful trial fitting I had to use some filler on the left side at the landing flap even though the bottom all perfectly matched? Some extra sanding was necessary at the fin assembly, since this part is moulded separately and the join lines needed a few passes of a sanding stick to level the hinge line. I played with the bulges covering the fuselage gun breeches a little and they were eventually cemented to the fuselage with thin cyanoacrylate, which also filled any small imperfections. In the cockpit I attached the gunsight and the head armour, then I could fix the canopy in place. The instructions suggest you now assemble the drop tank, but it was rarely seen on post-war Czechoslovak machines, nor was the rack, so these items should be left out. The machine I was building did not carry the wing cannons either, so after cleaning the kit's surface with a toothbrush and polishing it with Gunze-Sangyo Mr Grinding Cloth I could start the painting.

I decided on Police Air Patrol machine, however on studying the references and an email exchange with experts on post-war Czechoslovak Air Force this highlighted that the machine coded B-7542 most probably never existed; this code is given in period documents only as an example of the new coding system that was introduced in March 1950. Anyway, the instructions suggest this scheme is the reconstruction of its possible appearance, which at least shows that the manufacturer is being honest. Therefore I went for the well-documented machine with othe lder marking (OK-BYE) that are included on the AML decal sheet (#72044 Avia S-199 ‘Mezek’). This plane originally wore military camouflage consisting of a light green-grey with a red nose, wing leading edges and tailplanes. Unlike the Israeli AF machine I built previously these machines did not suffer from tropical weather conditions and heavy operational wear, therefore I chose a more intense camouflage colour that mixed from RLM 02 (CSI Creos H70) and a light green (H422) in ratio of 90:10. The red colour (H327) was sprayed onto a white undercoat for better coverage and then the surface was fixed with gloss varnish (GSI Creos GX100). Working with AML decals is not that comfortable in comparison with other Czech brands as they seems to be rather tough and do not respond to the majority of decal solutions, but they finally bedded down nicely with the help of Agama Hypersol.

Final Assembly
This was straightforward, I only replaced the thick fuselage guns for items from my spare box and scratchbuilt a new Pitot using Albion Alloys aluminium tubing. At the end I added the DF loop made from coiled thin copper wire and the radio aerial.

The Kovozavody Prostejov's S-199 is the best choice for this type in 1/72nd scale and despite various small imperfections it can be recommended without reservation. This ‘Premium’ package further expands the choice of markings and offers a good deal for those accustomed with working with etched parts because the price difference in comparison with the standard kit is marginal.

Paints used;
Gunze-Sangyo (CSI Creos) Mr Aqueous Hobby Color
H11 Flat White
H12 Flat Black
H65 RLM 70 Black Green
H70 RLM 02 Grey
H77 Tyre Black
H327 Red
H337 Greyish-Blue
H422 RLM 82 Light Green

Gunze-Sangyo (CSI Creos) Mr Color
GX100 Super Clear Gloss III
187 Super Clear UV Cut Flat

Vallejo Model Color
990 Light Grey
70950 Black
70953 Flat Yellow
70957 Flat Red

MIG Production
Neutral Wash

Accessoires etc. available for this kit

Eduard 1/72nd Avia S-199 canopy and wheel masks (CX404) - UK Price: £4.50
H-Model Decals 1/72nd Avia S-199 'The Mule' in CzAF and IAF, Part 1 (#72063) - UK Price £5.80
H-Model Decals 1/72nd Avia S-199 'The Mule' in CzAF and IAF, Part 2 (#72064) - UK Price £5.80
Peewit 1/72nd Avia S-199 canopy masks (#72010) - UK Price £1.99
All of these items are available in the UK from Hannants (www.hannants.co.uk)