The Avia B.534 was developed in 1934 as an extension of the B.34 fighter. This version was produced in small numbers for the Czechoslovak Air Force with several engine/airframe modifications. The aircraft was used in various roles by the Czech in WW2 and the Germans found them formidable enough that they kept production going into 1941. But rapid advancements in aircraft design meant that the Avia B.534 was obsolete by 1942. The Bulgarians used the Avia B.534 in combat against the B24 Liberators operations against Ploesti.
The kit is produced by Eduard, a well-known model company who bring us high quality model kits and accessories. The box artwork shows an Avia B.534 in flight in a quarter view.
The kit consists of 57 parts and comes on three gray sprues, and one clear sprue. Also included is a set of The Super Fabric Seat Belts but no photo etch. The parts are nicely molded and there is no amount of flash. This is to be expected keeping in mind the quality of the Eduard molds. All panel lines are recessed and all the sprues have small gates. The 12 page instruction sheet shows the suggested assembly through 6 steps starting with the cockpit / interior assembly, and progressing through the fuselage, wing, landing gear, and cowl assembly. Also included is a rigging diagram. The clear sprue part for the wind screen fit with no problems.
This kit fits together very nicely and no filler was required to fill any seams. I had no problems with gluing together any of the sub-assemblies. None of pieces required any cleaning up of flash. I built this model as Czechoslovakian Air Force aircraft. The German Luftwaffe used these aircraft for a short duration of WW2 in fighter roles. Crew figures are not included. There are also a large number of unused parts hinting that these sprues have parts for later versions. Decals are provided for all cockpit instruments and lay down with no problems. I used the Eduard super fabric seatbelt set included with the kit. The seat belts are self-adhesive and look great in a cockpit compared to photo etch or tape seat belts. For the rigging I used fine EZ-line. It will attach very nicely using superglue, you don’t have to worry about slack rigging, and it accepts paint easily.
The paint call outs provided in the instructions are for Mr. Color paints. I painted the interior and exterior of the aircraft using the equivalent Tamiya paint. I did not paint the bottom of the aircraft the silver as suggested by the instructions for the Czeh aircraft. I looked at numerous photos on google and there appeared to be many Czechoslovakian Air Force Avia B.534s with a solid olive drab paint scheme on both top and bottom of the wings and fuselauge.
There are two decal options for this Avia B.534:
- Option 1 is: Avia B.534 169, 40. Letka, Ceskoslovenske letectvo, Hradec Kralove, srpen 1937
- Option 2 is: Avia B.534III. serie, FFS A/B 24, Olomouc, Protektorat Cechy a Morava, zari 1941
The decals are thin but printed within register and lay down with no silvering. Again the quality we have all come to expect from Eduard.
Overall the kit is a joy to build and builds into a handsome Avia B.534!
My thanks to Eduard and IPMS USA for the opportunity to build this great kit. I look forward to building more Eduard kits in the future.