Hobby Craft 1/48th Avia S-199
The Avia S-199 was the offspring of the famous Bf 109 and played a pivotal role in the Jewish War of Independence that resulted in the new state of Israel in the late 1940’s. This model represents an Avia S-199 from the No. 101 Sqdrn. that fought in that War.
A Very Brief History:
Following WWII, the Czechs gained control of former German aircraft factories that had been used to build Messerschmitt aircraft, mainly the Bf109G variants. Avia was one factory that retained an ample supply of Bf109G airframes, but the Daimler-Benz motors that powered these AC were in short supply because their assembly plant was destroyed by an allied air raid. There was, however, a good supply of Jumo 211F engines which were specifically designed for bombers. While possessing adequate power for a fighter, they were heavy and they developed a lot of torque at low R.P.M. The later made for added control problems during takeoff, landing and low speed handling to an airframe notorious for being difficult to handle in its normally designed configuration. Regardless of these problems, the Czechs proceeded to mate the G airframes with the Jumo engine. The result was the ill conceived Avia S-199, one of the most distained and worst 109 variant ever produced. The Czechs called the Avia “Mezek” or Mule because of its stubborn handling characteristics. The Israelis gave the Avia the official name of Sakeen (“knife” in Hebrew).
I built this model more about 15 years ago and it was my first real attempt at using a comprehensive resin up grade set on a model. For this is used an Aries set that included the cowling, engine and interior detail. I didn’t like the look of the HC spinner or props so I pinched some from a DML FW 190 D kit. The canopy is a vac-u-form from Squadron, the wheels are from a HAS 109G-6 kit and the decals were from AeroMaster. I painted the model RLM 02 toned down a little with white. Following applying the decals and a gloss coat, the model was given a light coat of Poly Scale flat and Dust to dull down the paint scheme. As for how the build experience went-the interior up grade was really fun to build up and paint as was the engine. However, no matter how hard I tried (swore, threatened, coerced), I couldn’t get the resin cowling pieces to fit properly on my model so I displayed them in the “Off for Maintenance” look. In the end, the project came out looking ok and overall it was an enjoyable build for me.