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Paul A H

Letov Š.328v “Czechoslovak Floatplane” - 1:72 Special Hobby

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Paul A H    2,107

Letov Š.328v “Czechoslovak Floatplane”

1:72 Special Hobby

 

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Letov was one of the most important manfacturers of aircraft in pre-war Czechoslovakia. The Š.328 was a development of the Š.28, a multi-role biplane which entered service in 1935. Until the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939, the type was primarily assigned to reconnaissance and light bomber units. Despite its obvious obsolescence, the type remained in service after the outbreak of the Second World War. It was used in a variety of roles including reconnaisance, bombing and anti-partisan activities. Four Letov Š.328 were used as target tugs operating in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. These aircraft were fitted with a metal floats, but could be converted back to standard undercarriage for use in the winter months. 

 

Special Hobby's Š.328 is one of the Prague-based firms more recent offerings, having first seen the light of day in 2015. This, the third iteration of the kit, comes with extra plastic parts for the floats, as well as resin and photo etched parts for the target winch system and float rudders. The other three sprues of grey plastic parts are the same as those supplied with earlier versions of the kit. Construction starts with the winch system and engine before moving on to the cockpit. The interior part of the target winch is cast as a single piece of resin, while the exterior part is a mixture of resin and photo etch. The cockpit comprises the tubular framework of the sidewalls, as well as the usual control column, seats and instrument panels. The small observation windows on either side of the fuselage do not need to be fixed in place before the cockpit parts as they are thankfully fitted from the outside. 

 

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Once the fuselage halves have been joined together, the flying surfaces can be added. The vertical tail is moulded as part of the fuselage, but the rudder is a seperate part. The elevators are moulded in place with the horizontal tail, with a pair of extra support braces on either side. Both wings are moulded as solid parts. The lower wing fits into the underside of the fuselage, while the upper wing relies on eight struts for its strength. I don't imagine it will be a particularly easy job to align everything correctly, but those practiced in the dark arts of biplane assembly shouldn't find it too challenging. The floats fit onto the fuselage by virtue of four struts. As with the wings, care and patience will be needed in order to ensure everything lines up nicely. interestingly, Special Hobby have included a note explaining that all of the aircraft featured on the decal sheet can be fitted with the standard wheeled undercarriage if desired, as the four floatplanes were converted back to conventional use during the winter months. A couple of rigging diagrams are included. Although the target tugs were unarmed. twin machine guns are included as one aircraft had these fitted specifically for the 1937 national aviation exhibition in Prague.

 

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The decal sheet provides for four aircraft, all practically identical apart from serial numbers and minor differences between the pennants. They are Š.328v 18, 19, 20 and 21, all of the Czechoslovak Air Detachment, Kumbor, Bay of Kotor, Kindom of Yugoslavia (modern day Montenegro), 1936. The decals themselves are nicely printed, with bold colours. 

 

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Conclusion

 

Special Hobby's Š.328v is an interesting kit of an elegant interwar biplane. In floatplane guise, it looks very similar to a Fairey Swordfish, albeit slightly more slender in the fuselage. I can just picture them cruising lazily around the sin-kissed Adriatic coastline in the years before the outbreak of war. Highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of 


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