Author Topic: The Avia B-355 - Czech out this Tale in 1/72 Scale  (Read 486 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

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The Avia B-355 - Czech out this Tale in 1/72 Scale
« on: August 15, 2018, 04:08:37 AM »


The Avia B-35 is one of the few notable pre-war Czechoslovak aircraft.



Barely even recorded is an aircraft it inspired, the Avia B-355.



While the Czechoslovak Air Ministry was pleased with the promising B-35, they saw the need of a far more heavily-armed fighter to protect key targets from enemy bombing.



The Avia firm engaged a crack design team to tackle the project. While the team's partners were extremely eccentric, their brilliance in aerodynamic engineering, especially with regard to undercarriages, could not be denied.



Very soon those two wild and crazy guys had designed a real bruiser that was very heavily armed with four wing guns, two which were high-caliber 35.5 mm cannon and two more of smaller 25.5 mm.



The new fighter featured an equally high-powered engine as well as some of the most intimidating, streamlined landing gear yet seen in Czechoslovak skies.



The fighter was topped off with an amazingly sleek canopy which offered good visibility even if it was quite costly to produce.



The Czechoslovak Air Ministry was impressed with the prototype which Avia called the B-355. However, it quickly became apparent there was no way mass-production would happen due to that incredibly expensive canopy. Those two wild and crazy guys were sent back to the drawing board.



The prototype was deployed as a point-defense fighter to protect vital Czechoslovak food processing plants from a feared sneak, night attack.



The sole Avia B-355 would never face an enemy in anger due to the Munich agreement and the subsequent German take-over of Czechoslovakia.



But it did fly one terribly important top-secret mission.



The night before the Germans took over the last plant responsible for making the Czechoslovak national snack food, that Avia B-355 took off and spirited samples of it along with all the vital recipes and data out of the country.



While the Avia B-355 would never fly again, the snacks would make an enormously delicious post-war impact. After becoming the top-selling snack of Munchie, Indiana, Czech Mix would go on to world-wide popularity.



This bit of snack-food history and the Avia B-355 have been completely over-looked and "serious" "experts" all write the whole thing off as something with so little documentary evidence that it's not worth Czech-ing out.



Brian da Basher

« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 04:56:19 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: The Avia B-355 - Czech out this Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2018, 04:37:33 AM »
This all began with a classic Airfix blister pack 1/72 Hawker Typhoon a good friend sent me (thanks a million, hamsterman!).



You've got to admit, the art on that header card really captures the essence of this iconic aircraft. I felt a little guilty building such a great styrene time capsule. That card is pretty sweet and includes a nice paint guide on the back which I customarily ignored.



When you fold the card out, Airfix has very cleverly and thoughtfully provided instructions which were also customarily ignored.



A kit like this almost makes me feel sorry for those youngsters that can't appreciate a model of this vintage. While there aren't a lot of bells and whistles, it sure looks like a Typhoon when built and one would be hard pressed to find a Typhoon with simpler assembly.

Of course, mine was going to be a little bit different.







While this kit is pretty basic, I didn't see a lot of room to move given the way it's engineered unless I wanted to perform a lot of surgery and invite the Putty Monster to spend the weekend with me. However, I soon discovered a spare drop-tank half fit so well as a replacement canopy it'd be almost a crime not to use it.





I swapped out the kit prop for a more pointy one from a P-40K and added that incredibly intimidating, streamlined landing gear which was made by wrapping card around the bomb shackle fairings and sticking a wheel in the bottom.



That sounded far racier than I meant it to.



I also replaced the kit wing cannon which will be hoarded for future use. Landing gear struts and sprue nibs were used instead.



In a rare fit of conscientiousness, I puttied over the landing gear door seams.



Here's how it all looked before paint.



Speaking of paint, the old hairy stick made yet another appearance, loaded down with a lot of Model Masters Flat Black acrylic.



The canopy was painted Model Masters Jet Exhaust. I used a dab of cheap, craft-store metallic on the intake and the guns & exhausts were done with custom mixes.



Decals were easy and all came from a sheet for an actual Avia but I can't remember if it's the B-35 or B-534. Before I forget, here's a couple of "money shots" (U.S. currency for scale).





The model took me about a week or so to put together and it all went very smoothly. I'd like to thank Bill for his generosity in sending me the kit. I couldn't have done it without you!



I hope you enjoyed the Avia B-355 and reading a little more forgotten aircraft history even if some of it may not seem to Czech out.



Brian da Basher



« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 04:43:11 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Frank3k

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Re: The Avia B-355 - Czech out this Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2018, 04:47:21 AM »
It looks great in black, and more of a lover racer than a fighter!

Offline Camthalion

  • The man has done a pink tank...need we say more?!
Re: The Avia B-355 - Czech out this Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2018, 05:49:16 AM »
another great model and entertaining story.  Top work

Offline apophenia

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Re: The Avia B-355 - Czech out this Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2018, 06:20:12 AM »
More BdB brilliance! I love how you created the undercarriage trousers  :smiley:
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline pigflyer

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Re: The Avia B-355 - Czech out this Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2018, 06:33:15 PM »
As normal, a beauty, both aircraft and history.  Some of the very best undercart work ever seen.   You are the Master!

Ian
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: The Avia B-355 - Czech out this Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2018, 12:45:22 PM »
As normal, a beauty, both aircraft and history.  Some of the very best undercart work ever seen.   You are the Master!
+1  Gorgeous work and imaginative backstory.

Offline deathjester

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Re: The Avia B-355 - Czech out this Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2018, 06:03:57 PM »
That is so pretty, and yet menacing!  Another blast of genius from BdB!! :smiley:

Offline kitnut617

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Re: The Avia B-355 - Czech out this Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2018, 08:26:22 PM »
Another corker !!!!  Love it  :-*

Offline b29r

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Re: The Avia B-355 - Czech out this Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2018, 10:50:36 PM »
Great stuff, Brian!  Love the story and the build, both are very entertaining.  Please keep them coming, this one made my day!  :smiley:
Best, Kem

Offline upnorth

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Re: The Avia B-355 - Czech out this Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2018, 02:47:23 PM »
It's a lovely build, but I must correct you on one very important detail:

There never was an Avia B.355, that was some intentional misinformation to cover the aircraft's true origin and designation.

The aircraft was designed and built by Benes-Mraz and designated the Be-300.

You can see by the spat design the Be-300 shares with the Be-50 where the aircraft's true lineage is. :-D


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Offline finsrin

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Re: The Avia B-355 - Czech out this Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2018, 04:40:33 AM »
So thatz history on them snacks being with us today.
Truly intimidating spats, kind that own the sky.