Avia B.534 I. Serie
Eduard, 1/72 scale
u m m a r y
|Catalogue Number and Price:
Eduard Kit No. 7446 – Avia B.534 I. Serie Weekend Edition
US $14.95 plus shipping available online from the Eduard website and specialist hobby retailers worldwide
|Contents and Media:
||See descripton below
||Finely moulded plastic parts; sound kit engineering; interesting marking options; comprehensive instructions.
||This is a welcome addition to Eduard’s series of 1/72 B.534 kits.
Reviewed by Brad Fallen
Eduard's 1/72 scale Fw 190 A-5/A-8 Grunherz Limited Edition Dual Combo
is available online from Squadron.com
Next up in Eduard’s B.534 Weekend Edition family is the B.534 I. serie. As its name suggests this was the first B.534 production block, consisting of just under 70 aircraft ordered in mid-1934 and delivered to the Czechoslovak Air Force from late 1935.
These machines had open cockpits and were initially armed with four 7.9mm vz. 28 machine guns – two in the fuselage and two in gondolas on top of the lower wing.
The wing gun set-up proved problematic, however, and wasn’t installed on all I. serie aircraft. The problem was solved in the following II. serie by fairing an extra gun into either side of the fuselage.
This kit has much in common with the B.534 Weekend Edition that I recently reviewed. They were released at the same time and their item numbers are sequential. The I. serie kit comes in the same distinctive blue box illustrated with profiles of the marking options (this time one Czech and one German). As a Weekend Edition it contains plastic parts, instructions and decals, but not the etched parts, masks and multiple marking choices of a Profipack boxing.
The kit shares three of the four sprues with the Bk.534 kit – engineering that allows Eduard to produce numerous subtypes of the same airframe with minimal resort to inserts or other compromises. Eduard achieves this in the following ways.
- Sprue K, which contains most of the smaller parts, is identical in both kits (and I suspect for all B.534 kits). Eduard has loaded this sprue with most of the optional parts required for different variants – for example wheels, propellers and armament. Whatever version you are building, a large number of these parts will end up in the spares box (19 out of 52 for the I. serie, and 28 out of 52 for the Bk-534).
- The same goes for the clear sprue, which contains all the parts for the later enclosed canopy variants but which for this kit you will need only one small windshield.
- The wing sprue, J, is at first glance identical to the equivalent sprue M in the Bk-534 kit. However a closer inspection reveals subtle differences between the two upper wings – the Bk-534 wing has a metal centre section, with associated panels and rivets, while the equivalent part of the I. serie wing is fabric and wood.
- Finally, a variant-specific sprue (H for the I. serie and L for the Bk-534). This is dominated by the two fuselage halves but also includes parts like the Bk-534’s carrier landing tail hook, and the wing gun pods and coaming for the I. serie’s open cockpit. The coaming runs for more than half the length of the airframe, and is attached at the end of the fuselage/cockpit assembly process. There is a risk with this approach that the coaming won’t fit well and that you will be left with some difficult joins to clean up. However a quick test-fit shows this isn’t the case here. The fit is very precise, with all joins falling along panel lines – impressive engineering from Eduard.
All of the parts are very well moulded. Otherwise there’s not much I can add to what I said in the Bk-534 review about this. The fabric texture on the wings and rear fuselage is particularly nice.
As before, there is a little flash on some of the smaller parts like the propellers and seat, but this will be easy to remove.
The instruction booklet is well produced, and construction looks straightforward. I am pleased to see Eduard has included a guide for setting the correct lower wing dihedral, which isn’t engineered into the kit and has to judged by the modeller. Getting this right is critical to accurately fitting the top wing and hence the look of the finished model, but the good news is this doesn’t look difficult to achieve.
The decals have been produced by Eduard and look good on their backing sheet. The tricolour Czech and black-and-white German insignia are well done with crisp, thin borders and no misregistration or bleeding. There are a surprising number of stencils for such a small model, and the final page of the instructions has clear greyscale illustrations showing you were to place them. Instrument dials and seat harnesses are also included on the decal sheet.
Markings are provided for the following two I. serie aircraft, both camouflaged in khaki over silver:
B.534.81 of the 44th Fighter Squadron, Air Regiment 1, Czechoslovak Air Force, Uzhorod (currently in Ukraine but part of Czechoslovakia between 1919 and 1938), June 1936. The national insignia and unit markings make this option a colourful choice, the drab underlying colours notwithstanding. While Eduard would have you fit the lower wing gun pods to this aircraft, its serial number suggest it was produced late in the I. serie production run – by which time, according to some sources, these guns might not have been fitted. I couldn’t find any photographic evidence for this one way or the other, so the choice is up to you.
B.534 (serial number unknown), Jagdfliegerschule 4, Luftwaffe, Furth, Germany, 1940. One of the many B.534s pressed into German service after Czechoslovakia’s absorption into the Reich, this is a more subdued scheme than option A although Eduard does give you a choice of colours for the aircraft identification number.
A four-view full colour painting and marking guide is included for each option, with colours called out in Gunze Sangyo colours as usual.
This is another neat little 1/72 B.534 kit from Eduard. The type is well suited to the Weekend Edition format, and I’m looking forward to examining the next release in the family, a serie. II kit, in the near future.
Thanks to Eduard for the sample
Review Text Copyright © 2019 by Brad Fallen
Page Created 30 January, 2019
30 January, 2019
Back to HyperScale Main Page
Back to Reviews Page Woo!