The Avia S-199, is it a
Messerschmitt or a mess of s__t? Well
when you are a fledgling air force such as the Israeli Air Force was in 1949 you
take whatever there is available. The
Czech air industry after World War II still had many of the facilities that they
used to license build Luftwaffe aircraft. So
they did what any country would do, continue to build aircraft. For a while they were able to continue to build Bf-109G-14s,
renamed S-99, but after a fire at the factory that built the engines they had
some hard decisions to make. They
had plenty of airframes but no engines to go with them. They still had plenty of Jumo engines that were used for the
He-111s, so the decision was made to mate the two German products and produce
the S-199. What could go wrong?
Well for one the Jumo was heavier, it rotated in the other direction and
had a lot of low end torque, especially after it was attached to the big paddle
blade props. The resulting aircraft
was a beast to fly. The fragile landing gear of the 109 and the torque of the
engine created an aircraft that was very difficult to fly and even more
difficult to land. The Czechs were
more than happy to sell the aircraft to the Israelis.
If they are desperate enough to want it why not gouge them on the price
too. Israel was using clandestine
methods to acquire the aircraft because of an arms embargo.
The first flight of an S-199 in
Israel ended in a ground loop and it didnít get much better after that.
Despite the terrible handling characteristics the Israelis did use the
S-199 to great advantage until better aircraft such as the Spitfire and Mustang
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The Kiwi Resin conversion
allows you to build one of the two types of S-199, there were actually three
versions, from the Hasegawa G-10 or K-4 kits.
You can build either a mid production, Type 2, or a late production Type
3. You get two fuselage halves, rudder, both types of spinners,
back plate for the spinner, Jumo exhaust, cockpit tub and sidewalls, various
other small resin parts and two types of canopies.
The resin is molded in light cream color. My exampleís fuselage halves were severely warped and the
molds had shifted noticeably on the bottom.
Some of the small parts did have some bubbles, but nothing too bad.
It sounds bad but it really wasnít.
The instructions consist of two
A4 sheets of type written inventory and hints.
Decals are provided for one Israeli aircraft.
Before I could deal with the
cockpit I had to fix the fuselage halves or it would all be for naught.
I taped the fuselage to a piece of cardboard and then used my wifeís
embossing gun from Stampin Up. I
lightly heated the fuselage and let them dry.
The heat allowed the resin to reset itself so that it was straight.
Thank goodness it worked and the fuselage was straight.
Now I removed the canopy slide rails as no Israeli machine carried them. Iíll do that version later.
Now to see if I could fix the
misaligned mold, luckily it was on the bottom of the fuselage.
Because of this it was just a matter of sanding and a little bit of
filler. Some primer and I was ready
to start building.
The cockpit consists of a tub
and sidewalls. The details are
unique for an S-199 and are nicely represented.
I painted the cockpit Model Master RLM 66, then added a lamp black artist
oil wash, followed up by dry brushing it with RLM 02.
Some chips with a silver pencil were added to the floor and seat back
plate. I did use some parts from
the Eduard set designed for the Hobbycraft kit.
This added some nice detail where it would benefit the model.
Construction was pretty
straight forward from here on out. Utilizing
some parts from the Hasegawa kit, mostly the wings, tails, and landing gear the
construction was rapid.
The wings were easy enough to
build but I wanted to add some detail from the Eduard set.
The photo etch roof for the wheel wells fit really well.
One feature that I wanted to add that I never had was the zipper lining.
Eduard also offers the liner made of some material that is more pliable
than their normal stuff. They fit
absolutely perfectly and bent easily.
The underwing gondolas are
different from the German ones, so I used the Verlinden ones and flattened out
the bottom and carved the different ejector ports.
Since the Israeli aircraft were a single color I decided to have one
gondola opened for some visual interest. The
underwing gondolas fit perfectly. I
opened up the end and added two pieces of tubing to represent the guns.
To mount the horizontal
stabilizers I had to create some mounting holes in the fuselage and they were
mounted with superglue like most of the kit was.
Washing the model in Dawn dish
detergent prepares the resin and plastic for paint.
I also wipe the model with Resin Prep and Plastic Prep to remove any
remaining oils. A coat of Alclad
Grey Primer to check for errors and then the subsequent touch up.
Once I was happy I with the way the whole thing looked it was time to
decide the proper color to use. The
latest research shows that the color is slightly lighter than RLM 02 with a
slight green tint to it, (RAL 6013) Reed Green. I couldnít find the exact color so I made up my own
starting with Model Master Enamel RLM 02, with some Model Master Field Green and
white added to the mixture. This
gave a decidedly green flavor to the RLM 02, very much like the weathered paint
would look after some time in the desert, well at least that is my story and
Iím sticking to it.
Now that I had a color that I
liked I painted the whole model Tamiya Flat Black.
What? Yes the whole model Tamiya Flat Black.
Then I painted the white fuselage band and rudder.
I masked off the white areas and then sprayed the select areas Tamiya
Flat Blue for the band and Tamiya Flat Red for the tail.
While I had the Flat Red out I painted the spinner.
Again I masked off the rudder and bands and it was time to paint the
fuselage color. Utilizing a tight
squiggle random pattern the modified 02 was laid down in such a way as to allow
some of the black to show through. Once
I was happy with the results I added some flat white to the color and thinned it
more and reapplied. This layer
develops a depth to the single color finish.
While leaving the paint in the paint cup I added some additional white
and masked off the ailerons and elevators.
This thinned color was first sprayed on the raised portion of the control
surface and then a light misting to the whole aileron and elevators.
This blends them all in and gives you an additional lightened shade to
the control surfaces. Once this was
done a coat of RLM 02 a few drops of flat black was airbrushed on freehand to
the area where the old markings, fuselage number and an old fuselage band, had
been painted out. A coat of Alclad
Gloss Base was applied prior to applying the decals.
While I had a gloss coat on I
thought I would try an additional layer of weathering, filters.
I used a Dark Green Sin Filters for the aircraft and an ochre filter to
the prop blades. It was amazing to
me the difference that these filters added to the finish.
I was really happy now. The
Dark Green brought out even more of the Reed Green color.
Tally-Ho decals (sheet 48029)
were used to make the Israeli aircraft I selected, D-123.
I also used the Avia stencils (sheet S4818) for this aircraft. The Tally-Ho decals performed well. I did not lay down a good coat of gloss but they still
performed well with multiple coats of Solvaset.
The decals that did silver were allowed to dry and then they were sliced
with a new #11 Xacto blade and Solvaset reapplied as necessary.
Another coat of Gloss was added
and a coat of Testorís Dullcoat prepared the model for further weathering.
To start the weathering I
looked over the photos of the real thing which was well used.
The panel lines were given a wash of Burnt Umber artist oils. This alone made the model look like the real thing.
I then added some dots of the
burnt umber to the control surfaces and aft of the engine cowling and used a
clean brush I ďpulledĒ the dots with the airflow and with the direction of
Now it was time to add the
prominent paint chips to the forward cowlings and the walk way.
This was done with silver paint and a silver Prismacolor pencil.
The next step in weathering was
the application of some very thin Tamiya Dark Earth and Flat Black, first to the
exhausts and the gun ports.
A similar step was used to add
some depth by using Tamiya Red Brown and Flat Black.
This was concentrated in the shadows and along the areas prone to dirt
and grime. You would think I would
be done by now, but there is another step to be added.
I used a very thinned Burnt
Umber artist oils and dabbed some dots along the uppersurface for oil stains.
Still not happy with the
results I thinned out some Tamiya Buff and streaked this color from front to
back on the wings and top to bottom on the wings.
This does a couple of things. It
adds another layer of weathering but more importantly it tones down the decals.
I add more of this color on the top of the wings and the top of the
fuselage spine to represent sun bleaching.
Iíve also fallen in love with
the MiG powders. I used some dust
for the wheels and for the wing root area.
Finally the weathering was done and I was quite happy with the results. I did not see a monochromatic model in front of me but a well
Adding the canopy with armor
plate, antenna mast, various antennas and the small parts brought everything
together. Even though Kiwi Resin
provides exhausts I elected to use Quickboost exhausts (QB 48 151), which are
designed for the Hobbycraft kit. I
just cut them to fit to the opening. I
also used True Details wheels (stock# 46023) as they were better than the kits.
The final step was to add the prop to the front and the model was done.
Compared to the Hobbycraft
offering this conversion is leaps and bounds above that.
Sure the warped fuselage and the small bubbles were a distraction but
they were nothing too serious and were easy enough to deal with.
Iíve since bought a CS-199 which is the trainer version from Kiwi Resin
and there is no issue with the fuselage or bubbles. I will buy another Kiwi Resin S-199 to do a late Czech
version so it couldnít have been that bad.
I think this is a very good limited run kit and looks every bit the Mule.
Thanks to my wallet for the
review copy. You can get your copy
Black Robin Resins
24 Horton St
Pleasant Point, New Zealand
03 614 8988†
S-199 in Israeli Air Force Service,
Alex Yofe and Lawrence Nyveen, White Crow Publications (2007), ISBN
S-199 and CS-199 in detail,
Franti Koran and Michal Ovcacik, WWP Publications, ISBN 80-802677-2-6
Floyd S. Werner, Jr.
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