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Mistercraft Kits.


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Hi folks,just noticed one of my local LMS,s have a good stock of masterkit models in including a few P-11 Polish fighter versions

which I would love to have in my collection,am I right in assuming these are Heller re-pop,s as the whole range seems to be

similar to Hellers original releases and for a fiver seem reasonable,am I in for a shock if I purchase? The p70 bomber looks

interesting any feedback on this one?

Edited by stevej60
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Whether all Mastercraft/Mistercraft kits are Heller-reboxings I don't know. As for that shock, you may want to brace yourself. I have their Su22 which requires a vast amount of work to make it anywhere near presentable. I agree with The Wooksta: ask to check them out before buying.

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This brand was discussed here a while ago

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234975483-mistercraft-kits-polish-company-whose-moulds-do-they-use/?hl=mastercraft#entry1875389

Can't comment on the P-11s, but most of their kits I have are quite crude. The others are very crude...

Edited by Giorgio N
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Thanks folks found a few reviews online and it seems from sprue shots the P11 is a heller copy with engraved lines and with only a couple of very old

Revell and Heller kits on my go to pre-owned site at twice the price with the decal issues I can imagine that will come with them I might take a punt,I

found a review on a polish site of the P70 and it seems no worse than most east European releases MPM etc.

http://airfixtributeforum.myfastforum.org/Mistercraft_1_72_PZL_P11c_B_07_Build_review_about40930.html

http://www.mojehobby.pl/products/PZL-P-37B-Los-II.html

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As the Los looks like being the ZTS kit, I suspect the P.11 May also be by them originally, along similar lines as their copy of the Fujimi Val.

Edited by tempestfan
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As the Los looks like being the ZTS kit,

It is. I remember first getting one of these in the early 1980s and being quite excited. It appeared to be so nicely moulded, with decent levels of detail for it's time.

Building it was horrific though, nothing fitted without huge gaps in some areas and massive amounts of trimming needed elsewhere,

Cheers,

Bill..

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MisterCraft (previously known as MasterCraft) is a Polish company who offers reboxed kits from various manufacturers. They just add their own decals, instructions and box. The instructions sometimes do not match plastic details (e.g. "Polish F-16C" kit does not contain elements for Polish F-16C Block 52+, but just generic F-16A/C). The decals sometimes do not cover all markings shown in instructions. The same box issued in different timeframes may contain different items inside. You have been warned. Surprises should be expected after opening the box.

A short list of original manufacturers of some Ma/isterCraft kits:

PZL P.11c = PZW (Polish kit produced from late 1980s, not Heller), gallery here

PZL P.7a, RWD-8 = PZW

PZL-37 Los, RWD-5, Il-2, Yak-1, RWD-14 Czapla = ZTS Plastyk, RWD-5 (with much rework) here

PZL-23 Karas = a very ugly Polish kit of 1970s or even older, not Heller

F-16 = Hobbycraft (also known as Intech or Smer), poor copy of Italeri with wings moved forward to "fix" Italeri error with misplaced tailplanes, gallery here

Bf 109, Fw 190, P-51B/C = a poor copy of old Hasegawa (?), galleries: Bf 109 F, Bf 109 G-6, Bf 109 G-12

MiG-15, Su-7, Su-25, Spitfire Mk.VIII/IX = KP, galleries: Lim-2, Su-25K

MiG-17PF, MiG-19S, MiG-21 = ZTS Plastyk's copy of KP with rescribed lines, all details very ugly, better get original KP with raised lines

Hurricane, Breguet Br.693 = Heller

Caudron CR.714 = a Polish copy of Heller (i don't remember the Polish company name)

Mi-2 = Intech

P-40E/K = Kovozavody Semily, later Smer (note: no tail for P-40E in the kit!), gallery here

Su-20, Su-22 = Pantera

Caravelle (1/144), Sikorsky S-55 = poor copies of Airfix, produced in Poland in 1970s

D3A Val = ZTS Plastyk, copy of Airfix

In the early years of Mastercraft (late 1990s, I think) they offered KP Avia S-199 as Bf 109 F/G. I also heard of a kit (F-84 maybe?) with canopy taken from something totally different.

Buy them at your own risk. Or better don't buy them.

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The Karas and S.55 would then be the ancient Ruch kits. I know the Caudron, it may well be from the original Heller mould via Smer, but I have never compared them. Nick Millman says the Val is a copy of Fujimi.

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Thank,s guys and Rav thats a cracking Pll which is the kit I woud like to build the rest I would give a miss but the old Heller Hurricane is not bad and there

are four options on the pretty decent decal sheet.

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They also reboxed the Frog/Novo Wyvern. Picked one up at a show in the late 90s for the princely sum of £1.50!

The Bf109s are reboxed Intech kits, which are indeed poor copies of the Hasegawa kits.

Edited by The wooksta V2.0
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The Karas and S.55 would then be the ancient Ruch kits.

That's correct. Ruch also produced first PZL P.11c kit. Made by little skilled modeller and painted with some stuff available in Poland 30 years ago it could look like this:

IMG_2296.jpg

Some years later an improved version of the above kit was issued by PZW and is still offered by MisterCraft:

IMG_2312.jpg

I know the Caudron, it may well be from the original Heller mould via Smer, but I have never compared them.

MisterCraft:

1726_1_mscB06_2.jpg

Heller:

rev-caudron714-2.jpg

Nick Millman says the Val is a copy of Fujimi.

I was wrong about the Airfix. Mistercraft seems to be copy of Fujimi with different parts layout (and I doubt if they kept the quality of original parts).

MisterCraft (ZTS Plastyk):

1584_1_PLK028_1.jpg

Fujimi:

1157_1_fjm25008_2.jpg

Airfix:

2350_1_afx02014_2.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the comparison shots. I was sure I had an incarnation of the Polish C.714 from around 25 years ago, but I haven't managed to trace it on my list, and I fail to remember who its manufacturer was. Not Ursus, who copied the AIrfix SR.53, but then Ursus may only be a later name of some combine who was responsible for more than one of the copies of western kits.

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Presumably the P-40E is the Heller one, as sold on to SMER?

From memory the Bf109G is a poor copy of the later Hasegawa kit not the old (=original) one. Which still made it better than most Gustavs available at the original time of issue, though not now.

For the Mustang Mk.III, check the leading edge fillet which on the Hasegawa was the right size for the D, and the depth of the wheel wells.

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Presumably the P-40E is the Heller one, as sold on to SMER?

From memory the Bf109G is a poor copy of the later Hasegawa kit not the old (=original) one. Which still made it better than most Gustavs available at the original time of issue, though not now.

For the Mustang Mk.III, check the leading edge fillet which on the Hasegawa was the right size for the D, and the depth of the wheel wells.

I have no idea of their lineage, but they do look as though they are from different manufacturers. I wouldn't say the P-40 looks like a Heller kit, but having not seen the Heller P-40 I could be wrong.

I have spent nearly 20 quid plus postage before on a Azur kit that was a absolutely appalling copy of an old Heller kit. This dreadful piece of rubbish was far worse than the original Heller kit I later picked up for £7 at a exhibition. This Azure kit was about the most inaccurate kit I have ever built, didn't fit together and was full of rubbish parts that needed replacing. Basically I am happy with putting in a bit of hard work in for a fiver but not for twenty, so I won't feel cheated if I have my work cut out putting these two kits together.

The reason I was attracted to the Mustang was that it comes with the right set of decals to be built as an escort for the new Airfix Coastal Command Beaufighter when it comes out!

Edited by old thumper
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Interesting - which Azur kit was that? It doesn't sound anything like my experience of this range, which has generally been positive. They initially covered French subjects which were previously available, so by definition that wouldn't clash with Heller.

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Basically I am happy with putting in a bit of hard work in for a fiver but not for twenty, so I won't feel cheated if I have my work cut out putting these two kits together.

My thoughts exactly.

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I was wrong about the Airfix. Mistercraft seems to be copy of Fujimi with different parts layout (and I doubt if they kept the quality of original parts).

The Fujimi parts you have shown are for their D3A2 kit not the D3A1. They are different variants. MisterCraft (ZTS Plastyk) cloned the D3A1.

Nick

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Whats that you say? Cheap nasty kits? Awful raised details? Decrepid old mouldings?

Ding dong! I'm in!

Not exactly as on at least the two kits I have the panel lines are recessed. I wouldn't say these kits look quite as good as new Airfix, Revell or Italeri kits but that is all down to personal taste.

Importantly I have not actually assembled either of these two kits yet, which is something I really should do before buying anymore of them.

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Interesting - which Azur kit was that? It doesn't sound anything like my experience of this range, which has generally been positive. They initially covered French subjects which were previously available, so by definition that wouldn't clash with Heller.

The Potez 633 AB2 was the kit that left me feeling the most cheated, I also built the PZL Greek defender which was a borderline bad kit and I have yet to build their Ro 37. I am thinking the Ro 37 might be better than the other two, but only by building it will I find out.

The problem I have with these short run kits is that they are just not good value for money. I am confused as to why people are quick to find faults with new Airfix and Revell products but yet are happy to pay twice the price for short run kits that have many more problems. To put it in a nutshell if Airfix would never get away with selling an Azur standard kit for Azur prices, then why should Azur be allowed to?

If you look through the build threads on here they are full of examples of expensive short run kits that cost 2 or 3 times the price of say Airfix but fit together worse than a cat and a horse.

I know short run manufacturers are the only source of kit for certain types of model which is why on rare occasions I buy them.

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The Potez 633 AB2 was the kit that left me feeling the most cheated, I also built the PZL Greek defender which was a borderline bad kit and I have yet to build their Ro 37. I am thinking the Ro 37 might be better than the other two, but only by building it will I find out.

Noted. I was going to get the PZL 24 for my Greek fighter collection. I'm not sure if there are other options, but at least I'll be forewarned.

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Thanks for that. The Heller Potez has grossly deep nose, with an Aztec-step canopy, which is why I never bought it at any time. I've been tempted by the P.633 because of its Romanian option, but didn't succumb.

I do have the Azur P-24, and P-11f, but have not yet started them. They look fine in the box - which is easily said, of course. There was an earlier Polish kit of a P-24, available later in the Encore range with a lovely set of transfers, but if you are put off by the Azur kit then you won't like the earlier one at all.

Surely the main reason for seeing more comment on the Airfix kits is simply that so many more people buy them than buy the short-run alternatives. For that reason, more people are likely to be interested in reading about them. Plus, I suspect, a large proportion of those who buy Airfix kits rush to make them, or at least dry-assemble, whereas many of the shorter-run exotics are bought because "I always wanted one of those" but are then put on the shelf for a later day. They are only rarely given the same concentrated attention when new.

Speaking for myself, I buy short run kits at their higher prices because of the subject matter: not the over-familiar subjects repeated time and again but interesting and unusual aircraft. Not that this stops me buying the more familiar subjects too. I have not found Azur/MPM/Special Hobby/RS kits to be anywhere near as difficult or problematical as some make out. Yes, they need more preparation (some more than others), in particular the sanding down of the wing joins, but there are many mass-market injection-tooled kits with trailing edges just as thick.

The two last new Airfix kits I've been working on were the Hurricane and Blenheim, and neither of these were any less work. The Hurricane needed major sanding of the upper wing to match the size of the lower, and the work involved in bringing the Blenheim wings and fuselage halves together with at least an externally neat appearance has been infuriating. Lovely kits both of them, in the box and when finished, but simpler and easier than an AZ kit - not very.

Edited by Graham Boak
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