1/48 Mirage Hobby PZL.23B Karaś

Gallery Article by Artur Osikowski on Oct 25 2012



Greetings from Poland! I would like to present my first model on ARC. This is the Polish PZL.23B Karaś reconnaissance bomber of the 55th Independent Bomber Flight of the Bomber Brigade, taking part in September Campaign (1939). This particular machine was damaged and abandoned on the Lwów Airfield.

PZL.23 Karaś (in english: The Crucian carp) was a light bomber/reconnaissance aircraft developed in mid-30’s in Poland. The crew consisted of three persons: pilot, bombardier and rear gunner. The plane was equipped with a camera for reconnaissance purposes. Maximum bomb load (mounted externally under the center-wing) was 700 kg (1,543 lb). Maximum speed 319 km/h (198 mph), service ceiling 7,300 m (23,950 ft). The plane was powered by PZL (Bristol) Pegasus VIII engine. 


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Karaś was a main type of plane in Polish bomber and reconnaissance units during the German invasion in September 1939. In fact, this plane was obsolete even at the time of introduction into service, and in 1939 units flying on PZL.23 suffered heavy loses, also as a consequence of misusing them for low-attitude attacks on German motorized troops. Sadly, although more than 280 PZL.23’s were produced, none of them survived to the present days. In my opinion, a lot of external details, visible cockpit and uncommon overall appearance makes this plane especially attractive for modellers. 

Mirage Hobby offers few versions of PZL.23 in 1:48 scale. I have chosen the kit number 481305 (late edition, with resin parts replaced by plastic ones). Kit also contains photo-etched parts, but I additionally used nice PE “Karaś exterior kit” set by Part (S48 141; there is also big, nice and expensive interior PE set available) and Montex painting masks. The kit is very good, offering a lot of details (e.g. almost full interior) and giving good shape of this nice airplane. Besides of Part PE I added some scratchbuild details, mainly in the interior, but also some external (e.g. new headlamps on the landing gear, oil inlets and fuel gauge in front of the windscreen). Parts generally fit well and the instruction is clear, decals by Techmod are accurate and reacts nicely to MicroSet and Sol. My only doubt was about the shade of red on Polish national markings, which was faded too much IMO. 

Some extended filling and sanding was needed only in the connection of the fuselage with the centerwing. The surface of some large parts needs sanding due to “goose skin” effect. 

Model was painted mainly with Pactra acrylics (Polish khaki I and II, Polish blue I). I used preshading technique and oil paint wash to differentiate the surface of the miniature. I hope you enjoy my work!

Kopański T.J. 2004. “PZL.23 Karaś”. Stratus. 

Artur Osikowski

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Photos and text © by Artur Osikowski