Review Mirage Hobby 1/72 PZL.37B Los
The PZL.37 was designed in the mid-1930s and first flew on 13 December 1936. The second prototype PZL.37/II, with twin vertical stabilizers and other improvements, was accepted for production. The first 10 serial aircraft were produced in 1938 as the PZL.37A variant with a single vertical stabilizer, however. The next 19 interim aircraft were built as PZL.37A bis, with a twin tail. They all were powered by Bristol Pegasus XII B radial engines produced in Poland under licence. The main production variant, the PZL.37B (or: Łoś II), was fitted with the twin tail and newer Pegasus XX engines. By the outbreak of World War II, about 92 PZL.37s had been produced and given to the Air Force, and a further 31 were in different phases of production.
Before the war, the PZL.37B Łoś was one of the world’s most advanced bombers. It was able to carry a heavier bombload than similar aircraft, for example the Vickers Wellington, though the size of the bombs was limited. Smaller than most contemporary medium bombers, it was relatively fast and easy to handle. Thanks to a landing gear with double wheels it could operate from rough fields or meadows. Typically for the late 1930s, its defensive armament consisted of only three machine guns, which proved too weak against enemy fighters.
Starting with a presentation at a salon in Belgrade in June 1938 and in Paris in November, the PZL.37 met with a huge interest and several export orders were secured. However, none were delivered due to the war.
The kit comes in a standard top opening box. All the parts are mounted on 4 sprues which are sealed inside a single bag. Attached to the front of the instructions is a resealable bag containing a clear sprue, a small decal sheet and two small photo etch frets. The instructions are printed on semi glossy full size pages.
The box contains:
- 69 plastic parts on 4 sprues
- 6 clear parts on 1 sprue
- 1 decal sheet
- instructions booklet
Firstly, after some research and digging around I’m pretty certain this is a re-boxing of an older kit. The raised panel lines and levels of detail are just not up to modern kits. I found a set of instructions for an old ZTS Plastyk kit of this same aircraft and the build instructions and parts breakdown are almost identical. The ZTS Plastyk kit first came out in 1983.
The sprue attachment points are reasonable and most ejector pin marks are either out of the way or on the sprue and not a concern. There’s a couple in the cockpit interior you might have to address. I noticed a tiny amount of flash on a couple of the parts but nothing to worry about. The level of detail on the parts of the kit is fairly good with subtle raised panel lines and raised an recessed detail where appropriate. This kit however is not for beginners. You will need to clean up several parts and dry fit everything. There’s scope for adding extra detail yourself.
The instructions are very clear and are shown on large black and white diagrams. The kit is built in 9 steps displayed over 2 pages. Colours and extra notes are indicated throughout the instructions. The actions for each step are described below:
- starts with the pilots seat and controls
- Then that seat area is added to the main floor of the interior of the aircraft
- Next the nose gunners position is assembled
- Now we trap the previous parts from steps 1 and 2 between the 2 fuselage halves, along with the ventral gun, instrument panel and a couple of other interior details.
- Next we slide the nose gunners position into the open nose of the fuselage
- We add the 2 part horizontal tail and 2 rudders along with the cockpit and nose canopies.
- Step 7 simply adds a nose landing light in either the retracted or extended position.
- This steps adds the wings and the main undercarriage bays are sandwiched between the wings.
- Step 9 is all about the main undercarriage. The bay doors are also added
- Step 190 puts the propellers into the engine cowlings
- This step adds the rear of the cowlings to the engines and the exhausts.
- Step 12 puts the completed engines onto the wings and finishes the kit.
The colours are called out for some parts and sub assemblies, but for some parts you will have to do some research. The pilot’s seat and controls are marked as colour ‘F’, however, there’s no colour ‘F’ mentioned anywhere. I suspect it’s meant to be colour ‘D’, which is black. For example, the interior colour of the fuselage is not mentioned. On the decal instructions the colours are indicated by name and Vallejo reference numbers.
There’s one decal option and you get some extra numbers in 2 sizes on the sheet. There’s a large ‘N’ and ‘205’ on the sheet that look like they should be used, but they don’t appear on the decals instruction sheets. However, on the painting guide you can see there’s a large ‘N’ under the port wing, so I’m assuming there’s large ‘205’ under the other wing. My guess is those decals are supposed to be used.
Overall this is a nicely detailed model of an aircraft that no one else has produced in this scale for about 20 years, although a couple more are on their way from IBG and Fly. The kit will need a few skills to make everything align properly and cutting the tail off the aircraft and adding a new one is not for the fainthearted. That being said if you have a few kits under your belt this would be a good first step into building some more complicated kits. The excellent instructions and hints should put you on the right path.
I found this kit available at Mirage Hobby for $34.20 plus shipping.
Many thanks to Mirage Hobby for the review sample.