Letov S-20.57 1/72 KP

In 1926, the Czechoslovakian Army was conducting a series of complex military manoeuvres, which included a joint training with Czechoslovakian Air Force.During the training, two opposite groups of aircrafts were created – the “Blues” belonging to LP2 located in Olomouc and “Reds” of LP1 located in Prague.

The plane I decided to build belonged to the Blues, which were equipped with Š-20s (designed by Ing. Antonín Šmolík), specifically Š-20.57 with registration number E1 from 33rd squadron of LP2. During the training, this plane was operated by a private first class (svobodník) Rudolf Škuta. However, on 26.8.1929, the plane crushed after a take-off from a field airport Mankovice in a fog on a hill Dušná. It is due to this incident, that we have a photo documentation of this plane, which shows us the used camouflage for the Blues.

On the photos we can recognize a number 1, which was located on the wings in white colour on dark background and served as a recognition number during the manoeuvres. After a discussion with others on Modelforum, it seems likely that the Blues had white numbers on black background, while Reds had black numbers on white background. The plane also had a fuselage and upper surfaces in lighter khaki, while the bottom was in silver bronze. The previously mentioned recognition numbers were located on top and bottom of wings.

The model kit was manufactured by Kovozávody Prostějov (KP), with instructions and decals exactly for this joint manoeuvres.

They chose a plane of recognition number 21, unfortunately they made several mistakes:

  • On the upper wing, the khaki camouflage extends only until the end of recognition number, while the rest of the wing is coloured in blue.
  • On the bottom, the number is in black and put directly on the silver camouflage.

I also changed few other parts, so they would be better representing of the original:

  • Bottom wing was extended by 8 mm and ailerons were made bigger.
  • I had to fix the number of ribs on horizontal and vertical stabilizers.
  • On tailplane, I added a rod for manual manipulation on airfields and covers for control.
  • The upper footrest is made new from wire and extends above the surface.
  • The cockpit was made completely new, using only a pilot seat from the original kit.

Unfortunately, the decals of the national emblems are also very bad – they have a bad press and are 1 mm larger than they should be.

This model added to my collection of Šmolík Š-20 planes a new model with extended stabilizers.

One thought on “Letov S-20.57 1/72 KP

  • 13. 4. 2024 at 9:01

    A beautiful and rarely seen aircraft ! … Mr. Vrazel example is made even more impressive with the numerous corrections and fabrications used.


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