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Erich Goldbach
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Hobby Craft 1/48th Avia S-199

August 24, 2013 · in Aviation · · 9 · 2.5K

The Avia S-199 was the offspring of the famous 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.

Happy Modeling,


Reader reactions:
5  Awesome

4 additional images. Click to enlarge.

9 responses

  1. Always like to see the different IAF aircraft used. Nice job. The engine compartment especially looks good to me.

  2. One observation: the sliding canopy was only used on the later-production S.199s used in Czechoslovakia. The Israeli airplanes used the "Galland" hood, folding over traditionally to the right.

    Nice work on the resin engine.

    • Tom, thanks for pointing that out-I didn't know that. Even though the real thing was truly a Pig, I like the look of it and after seeing your post here, I am seriously thinking about spending the $ to buy the 1/32nd scale UMI conversion set and doing a Czech version of the S-199.

  3. Erich,
    Absolutely beautiful.

  4. Erich , let me start by saying what a terrific job you have made of this kit, I have to agree with Tom about the canopy though, it should hinge at the side on the IAF Avia's and be flat sided the same as a 109 ,the best example to look at is at the IAF museum. If you were an accuracy buff you could easily correct that with a 109 canopy from another kit, now for the interesting bit about the colour, based on the example in the IAF museum your build is correct of that there is no doubt so this is not a criticism (hopefully the start of a debate) ,during my build I came across a built kit somewhere on the net ,I forget where ,by a very good builder who had finished his build in the same grey that I used , his information was that the Avias arrived disassembled in Israel in factory applied primer and were quickly given IAF markings and pushed into action with there first test fight also being there first mission !, I did some research of my own and this would seem to be true. There are many pictures of them in full camo from later on but it would seem that the biscuity colour of the preserved one in Israel is the result of a slightly ham fisted restoration by well meaning volunteers. Again if you were to visit the museum in Israel you would find your build is correct in the present day .

    Does anyone else have any information on this ?


    • P.S. I forget to mention you can see my rendition in my gallery on this site for comparison.

    • Hi Neil, Interesting information on the S-199 thanks for sharing it and I enjoyed looking at your S-199 build-nicely done. This project was initially started by me to be a Czech version of the type and then some time during the build, I decided to make it an Israeli version. Problem was that I didn't do my home work and figured easily done, just change the decals...its the little things that bite you in the butt. I'm not sure about the true color of these AC...seems to be as hotly debated as the Luftwaffe color "RLM 84" is. Next time I do one of these, it will be either a Czech version or the Israeli two tone camo version with the correct Galland Hube.

      • Hi Erich, Like I said if you want to model the static example at the IAF museum then your colour is O.K. and as for the canopy that is simple to correct , but whatever you do it's still a really nice build .

  5. Erich, I'm not qualified to comment on the accuracy, or otherwise of your model, but building wise it looks pretty good. I like the the base, and the photographs, and the background information you've supplied for this somewhat unusual model.

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