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tonyot

Mistercraft Kits- Polish Company- Whose Moulds Do They Use?

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Hiya Folks

I came across a range of kits by a Polish company called Mistercraft and they had a decent range with good box art, some of which looked very `Hasegawa-ish' but without being able to look inside the box I resisted as I had a feeling that there might be a really old duffer of a kit inside despite the bright new packaging.

There were a number of P-51B/C Mustang`s, Hurricane`s etc and thought that some may be ex Heller kits, especially the French subjects. I would love to know the provenance of some of these kits,,...can anybody please help?

,

Cheers

Tony

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Tony, don't touch it. These are old models dated back to 80s and even 70s. I once bought a Spitfire Mk.VIII which was old KP model. Only box arts are decent.

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Tony

Agree with Dominik, here is a link to a mustang, detail is soft and duboius, decals are thin and not opaque. Fit is poor and plastic very soft with a rough texture (I built one about 3 years ago)

http://www.model-making.eu/products/item_name-280246.html

The only good thing is they are often cheap

Cheers Rich

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Tony, you're probably thinking of Masterctaft. Their kits are mainly clones or other companies kits reboxed. There's a bit of everything in their range so better check each kit.

The ones I know are:

Bf-109: A clone of the Hasegawa kit. As often happens, these are rougher than the original, I have their 109 and it's not going to be a good fitting one..

Spitfire: IIRC it's a copy of the kp kit

Mustang: I believe it's another Hasegawa clone

FW-190: Clones of the old tool Hasegawa kits with all the shape errors

Mig-21: Clones of kp kit

F-16: Clones of the italeri kit

In general they are all quite crude, with large panel lines, rough plastic and soft detail

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They are so cheap that the decals alone are worth it.

They were below 4 € here last time I bought one but that was years ago.

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MisterCraft is just the new brand name (new owner for the tax reasons) of the past Mastercraft. Kits are crude and no one is their own design.

They re-box kits of various Czech makers (not only KP) as well as the reverse-engineered old Hasegawa and Heller moulds.

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In contrast to what most people have generally been saying about Mastercraft / Mistercraft kits and their quality, I personally like their models, and their decals as mentioned are well printed and often cover a lot of nationalities and schemes in each boxing.

I've built Mastercraft's 1/72nd P 51C Mustang, Mig 21MF and Sukhoi SU 22UM-3K kits in the past and had no problems assembling them from memory.

I would recommend checking for a review of the kit online first though before buying, as although the majority of Mastercraft's kits look fairly good on sprue (in my opinion), there are some models to watch out for such as their PZL P 23 (not the Heller kit unfortunately) and Mig 15 (not KP):

PZL P 23 - http://www.mojehobby.pl/zdjecia/8/8/9/2954_1_mscB29_2.jpg

Mig 15 - http://www.mojehobby.pl/zdjecia/4/9/9/2954_1_mscB49_2.jpg

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as there are some models to watch out for such as their PZL P 23 (not the Heller kit unfortunately) and Mig 15 (not KP):

PZL P 23 - http://www.mojehobby.pl/zdjecia/8/8/9/2954_1_mscB29_2.jpg

Mig 15 - http://www.mojehobby.pl/zdjecia/4/9/9/2954_1_mscB49_2.jpg

The mentioned PZL-23 appeared for the first time in the early 1960s under ZTS Plastyk label, while MiG-15 was a reverse-engineered old Airfix kit from the 1950s. ZTS Plastyk used several other old Airfix moulds, to list just the 1:72 S-55 helicopter and 1:144 Caravelle, while their TS-11 Iskra, PZL-P11c and the PZL-23 mentioned earlier were their own - very crude indeed - designs. Other Airfix kits copied by various Polish manufacturers were Aichi D3A Val and SARO SR-53.

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Thanks a lot for the warnings folks,.......ouch! I had a feeling that they would be pretty rough and ropey but wondered if the decal sheets were at least worth it! However if these are opaque when applied then they don`t really have much going for them do they.

Cheers

Tony

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The mentioned PZL-23 appeared for the first time in the early 1960s under ZTS Plastyk label, while MiG-15 was a reverse-engineered old Airfix kit from the 1950s. ZTS Plastyk used several other old Airfix moulds, to list just the 1:72 S-55 helicopter and 1:144 Caravelle, while their TS-11 Iskra, PZL-P11c and the PZL-23 mentioned earlier were their own - very crude indeed - designs. Other Airfix kits copied by various Polish manufacturers were Aichi D3A Val and SARO SR-53.

The ZTS Plastyk D3A1 'Val' is a poor quality clone of the Fujimi kit:-

http://www.aviationofjapan.com/2008/12/d3a1-kits-172nd-scale.html

If you look carefully at the box art the 'Val' is identical to the Fujimi art but reversed, re-positioned and modified to depict the aircraft in combat.

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Tony,

I too have the same dilemma. Ive done a little research on scalemates and some are Bilek, Pantera, KP, Heller moulds. The SU rage is what im after along with the PZL aircraft. Ill probably go ahead and [purchase one of each as ive been after the PZL twin bomber for a while and seeing that the SU-17/20 is Pantera, they don't turn out to be that bad of a model with our experience. So why not take the plunge!

Edited by Hardtarget

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Tony,

I too have the same dilemma. Ive done a little research on scalemates and some are Bilek, Pantera, KP, Heller moulds. The SU rage is what im after along with the PZL aircraft. Ill probably go ahead and [purchase one of each as ive been after the PZL twin bomber for a while and seeing that the SU-17/20 is Pantera, they don't turn out to be that bad of a model with our experience. So why not take the plunge!

I have the Mastercraft Su-17 and while it is indeed the Pantera mould, it's quite crude. The plastic is quite bad and pebbly and I believe the original Pantera panel lines were better. Think of it as a basic shape onto which a lot of detail have to be added.

What I found quite weird is that the instructions show parts that are quite different from what is included in the box. The ejection seat for example is depicted as very detailed in the instruction sheet but unfortunately the parts are very plain. Same for other parts

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On 28.01.2015 at 2:01 PM, Giorgio N said:

What I found quite weird is that the instructions show parts that are quite different from what is included in the box. The ejection seat for example is depicted as very detailed in the instruction sheet but unfortunately the parts are very plain. Same for other parts

You may also find decals for variants different than shown in the instructions. Or even if the variants are OK, the decals may be incomplete. Plastic parts, especially transparent ones, are usually of bad quality. The solution is simple: avoid MasterCrap/MisterCrap kits.

Edited by rav

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I bought the F-16 a while back because I needed a replacement decal sheet for the stencils. At less than 5 quid a better deal than getting an aftermarket set.

The kit itself is a very crude copy of the Italeri, which itself isn't anywhere near as good as the Hasegawa and Revell toolings.

Great box art though.

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The mentioned PZL-23 appeared for the first time in the early 1960s under ZTS Plastyk label, while MiG-15 was a reverse-engineered old Airfix kit from the 1950s. ZTS Plastyk used several other old Airfix moulds, to list just the 1:72 S-55 helicopter and 1:144 Caravelle, while their TS-11 Iskra, PZL-P11c and the PZL-23 mentioned earlier were their own - very crude indeed - designs. Other Airfix kits copied by various Polish manufacturers were Aichi D3A Val and SARO SR-53.

Sure about ZTS in that respect ? I only ever have seen (old) boxes proclaiming "Ruch", and something similar to ZTS (PZW), but not ZTS itself. ZTS had a nominal 1/144 Karas, though.

Edited by tempestfan

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You may also find decals for variants different than shown in the instructions. Or even if the variants are OK, the decals may be incomplete. Plastic parts, especially transparent ones, are usually of bad quality. The solution is simple: avoid MisterCrap/MisterCrap kits.

Yes, found this too and was puzzled at the beginning. Then I realised that they just don't seem to care much, guess that the instructions for the colour schemes are generic among many boxes.

I bought the F-16 a while back because I needed a replacement decal sheet for the stencils. At less than 5 quid a better deal than getting an aftermarket set.

The kit itself is a very crude copy of the Italeri, which itself isn't anywhere near as good as the Hasegawa and Revell toolings.

Great box art though.

You've been luckier than I've been: I bought the Venezuelan F-16 box for this same reason (£4 is not a bad price afterall) but the decals I found inside were awful and didn't even cover all that was needed for the aircraft on the box art.

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Sure about ZTS in that respect ? I only ever have seen (old) boxes proclaiming "Ruch", and something similar to ZTS (PZW), but not ZTS itself. ZTS had a nominal 1/144 Karas, though.

You're right - in the 60s RUCH (literally "motion") was the name of state-controlled concern, operating the press/book publishers and toy mfrs. PZW (Podlaskie Zaklady Wytworcze, literally Podlasian Manufacturing Establishment) was just the name of small workshop near Warsaw, where the kits were manufactured. After the 1980 turnover RUCH disappeared and PZW became independent ZTS (Zaklady Tworzyw Sztucznych, literally Artificial Material Establishment). My use of ZTS was just a "shortcut" applying to the current name of the same manufacturer :)

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You've been luckier than I've been: I bought the Venezuelan F-16 box for this same reason (£4 is not a bad price afterall) but the decals I found inside were awful and didn't even cover all that was needed for the aircraft on the box art.

I'm a compulsive box opener, the bane of LHS owners all across the world ;) I knew their reputation so made sure to check before I bought...

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I have in stash a two seater version of Me 109, the G-12 by Mastercraft - it looks like old Hasegawa G-6 with conversion parts added (by Intech). I have not done it yet but that one seems to me interesting in box - however, the added parts have short run quality. You may see it here:

http://www.modellboard.net/index.php?topic=1917.60

Cheers

J-W

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There are also some ship kits, 1/600 and 1/500. The former look like Airfix Cossack and Daring reboxed.

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3 minutes ago, avro683 said:

There are also some ship kits, 1/600 and 1/500. The former look like Airfix Cossack and Daring reboxed.

I think they are Frog moulds which ended up in Russia and have been used by a few companies

 

https://www.scalemates.com/kits/204134-mastercraft-b-98-hms-harvester

 

See the link for the history of this one

 

I think Mister Craft and master Craft are the same companies

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I bought a 1/72 SR 53 years ago, sometime mid eighties when Airfix went bust. I was told at the time that the mould had been bought from Airfix by an outfit called Ursus (or something similar, I haven't seen it for decades, but it's up there somewhere)

So, now it seems it was just a copy! No big deal, it wasn't one of Airfix's best was it? Missile fins like planks ISTR.   

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The Tribal should be one of the Airfix copies the Poles loved so much in the 60s (MiG-15, Rotodyne, S.55, Caravelle), the 500ers are the ex-Frog moulds, as has been mentioned (probably also available from Ark/Russia).

Correct, the SR.53 came from an Outfit called Ursus - at least all the older boxings I am Aware of, but it was sold under more names in more recent years -, and if anything is just that bit more crude than the Airfix original...

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Airfix released a boxing of their old WW2 destroyer kits about 10 years ago as a set , you got about 4 or 5 kits in the set including HMS Cossack and a Narvik class destroyer.

I should know more as I built the whole set but have forgotten.

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I bought their Bf 109G-14 during the GPW group build just for the Croat markings. The kit actually seems quite nice. No idea of the provenance, but it reminds me of Heller in terms of both moulding and plastic. Came with three decal sheets too, the proper one, and what look to be two Fw 190 ones. 

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