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fishplanebeer

Kovozavody Prostejov Models?

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I'm probably out of the recent look with latest manufacturers but who are these people and are their kits just re-issues of previous ones issued by others, or are they actually brand new moulds?

 

Based upon a well know web site they are not cheap so hoping they are totally new but I have some doubts, so before parting with my cash can anyone clarify the origin of their kits please?

 

Kind Regards

Colin.

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Kovozavody Prostejov is an established Czech brand. Their kits were first introduced in the '80s and were generally well-regarded at the time, especially their MiG-21 and Spitfire kits. The brand and kits have since been acquired by AZModel.

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Since when AZ have introduced a number of new KP releases which are generally well thought-of.  I suspect that few of their old kits are now available in other than second-hand shops.  They did do a lot of dedicated Czech subjects which are not available elsewhere, although RS do have a small range.

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Posted (edited)

There are others who have their kits who can comment on them much better than I, but I think they are an outgrowth of what used to be the KP kits of old that you probably remember- fairly accurate in shape and dimension, but fairly crude when it came to transparencies, detail parts, and decals. But for a long time, they had the only 1/72 kits for many  Soviet aircraft. The "new" KP, which goes by the full nomenclature you listed in your original post, is light years ahead of the "old" KP; their latest releases have very nice panels lines, transparencies, and detail parts, and for the most part, are very accurate. While they are not of the same finesse and quality as some of the well-known mainstream kitmakers, they are not 'short run' quality, as we know that term. IIRC, they began in the late eighties and look like they are slowly replacing many of the old kits with new-tool versions.

 

I have several of their new releases and they are very nice; not really that expensive, and you live on the right side of the pond to save on shipping! If you have some of their kits in mind, you could list them and if I have one, I can give you a review, if you trust a total stranger for his opinion, or  one of our other modelers can do so, or you could go to Scalemates to see if they have any reviews listed for kits in which you are interested. Hope this has been a little helpful. BTW, welcome to the best modeling website there is!

Mike

Edited by 72modeler
edited text for clarity

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AZ brought the KP brand name only (which was as famous in Eastern Europe as Airfix is in the UK) but did not buy the old 70s-90s moulds. They have since issued a number of brand new moulds under the KP label which have no connection to any other manufacturer. AZ uses the KP brand name for standard, long term, steel moulds.  Their short run items are issued under the AZ label.

 

The OLD KP brand moulds (which AZ does not have) are now issued under labels such as SMER and Mistercraft.

 

 

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I've only fondled the plastic of one of the new KP kits - the newish Piper Pawnee. It's a really nice little kit. The only possible criticism is that you don't get any spray/spreader gear, so it will all have to be sratchbuilt. That doesn't worry me - mine will be a glider tug.

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4 hours ago, Hornet133 said:

 AZ uses the KP brand name for standard, long term, steel moulds.  Their short run items are issued under the AZ label.

Actually, that is not correct.  The BH-9, Sopwith Swallow, and UC-78 are all done on their older short run technology.  I have had all three (the BH-9 ended up in the trash as for me it was a total piece of garbage) and Jan Polc of AZ/KP confirmed to me on the Manufacturer's News portion of Britmodeller, that the Sopwith Swallow was indeed done as a short run technology kit.  It is still a rather nice kit and I am not having nearly the problems with it that I did with the BH-9.  Any problems I am having with the Swallow are mostly of my own making, except for one small detail because the instructions had a mistake.  Looking over the parts for the UC-78 it was easy to see that it also is short run technology because it shares many factors of the BH-9 and Sopwith Swallow, such as some of the sprue gates, if that is the right term, go onto the kit part.  The details are a little soft compared to their Hi-tech Steel molded kits, the Spitfire Mk IXs as an example of the Steel molded kits.  All in all, the AZ/KP kits are generally very good and definitely nothing like the KP kits of old.

Later,

Dave

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Have a bunch of them here, nothing wrong with 'em. 

 

Now, seeing that you posted this in WWII, I'd have to guess you have questions about certain WWII kits.

What struck your fancy, and what kit do you want to know about?

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Hornet133 said:

AZ brought the KP brand name only (which was as famous in Eastern Europe as Airfix is in the UK) but did not buy the old 70s-90s moulds. They have since issued a number of brand new moulds under the KP label which have no connection to any other manufacturer. AZ uses the KP brand name for standard, long term, steel moulds.  Their short run items are issued under the AZ label.

Worth noting, that not of all their "new tool" moulds are actually "new" and "their". Case in point is the Mig-21MF, which is basically a rebox of an existing RV model.

 

Also not all KP's "steel moulds" are actually standard steel moulds. At least some are what AZ/KP call "HQT moulds" (High Quality Tooling IIRC). Which are in reality metallized resin moulds.

Edited by ptarmigan
typo

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I have their Ju52 here. It’s prominently branded on the box as "Heller plastic", so I expect a few other kits in the range will also hail from that heritage.

 

I have to say it isn’t clear if KP actually have the Heller moulds, or if Heller are making the plastic and letting KP box it.

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The Heller moulds have got around - as far as I know no other Heller kit has been used in the KP/AZ range.  But plenty of other companies release kits not of their own tooling, not least Airfix and Revell.  Like all these things, it's a matter of knowing your subject - and the Heller Ju.52 kit has been said to be the best of the bunch anyway.  Not had it myself, only the old Airfix and the decent Italeri.  I gather it's a bit of a toss of the coin whether Heller or Italeri are better, both are of the same vintage.

 

There may be close resemblances between the AZ early model Spitfires and the KP equivalents, not to mention their Sword "originals".  But I gather they are not identical - anyone got both (or all three) to compare? - except perhaps for the slightly short wingspan which Czech Spitfires seem to be prone to.  (Not the old KP Spitfire, the best Mk.IX in its time.)   

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2 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

The Heller moulds have got around - as far as I know no other Heller kit has been used in the KP/AZ range.  But plenty of other companies release kits not of their own tooling, not least Airfix and Revell.  Like all these things, it's a matter of knowing your subject - and the Heller Ju.52 kit has been said to be the best of the bunch anyway.  Not had it myself, only the old Airfix and the decent Italeri.  I gather it's a bit of a toss of the coin whether Heller or Italeri are better, both are of the same vintage.

 

There may be close resemblances between the AZ early model Spitfires and the KP equivalents, not to mention their Sword "originals".  But I gather they are not identical - anyone got both (or all three) to compare? - except perhaps for the slightly short wingspan which Czech Spitfires seem to be prone to.  (Not the old KP Spitfire, the best Mk.IX in its time.)   

AZ/KP Fiseler Storch is also an Heller kit. About their Spitfire their "new" Spit V are from steel mold and not the short run AZ Mk V how are from "soft metal" molds and than short run kits. Nothing to compare with Sword kits how is a completely other company.

 

Alain

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Too lazy to dig the kit out, but AZ/KP reboxed the Heller Potez 540 a couple of years ago too.

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Hello

Alain, Heller Storch may have been re-issued by the AZ, but I am not sure about the KP. However, many Heller kits like I-153, Hurricane IIc, Yak-3, Spitfire VI (Heller Spitfire Vb with resin conversion parts), Tempest V, M.B.210 Verdun, Potez 540 etc. had been repacked by Smer, Fi 156 Storch (built one, have another one in my stash) among them. Cheers

Jure

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2 hours ago, MACALAIN said:

AZ/KP Fiseler Storch is also an Heller kit. About their Spitfire their "new" Spit V are from steel mold and not the short run AZ Mk V how are from "soft metal" molds and than short run kits. Nothing to compare with Sword kits how is a completely other company.

 

Alain

I am aware of Sword being a different company, but their business approach is to sell on their moulds after a fairly short run, and AZ are included among the buyers..  However in this case I was thinking of their resemblance, in particular the short wing which is a bit of a give-away.  Not having the KP Spitfire I can't say how it resembles the AZ one, but the choice of moulding material need not imply any greater accuracy, number of parts, or even fineness of detail - just the number of kits that can be run off.  Of course they may well have improved the accuracy, number of parts and fineness of detail, but this is not a given.  If you have both perhaps you could compare the wings?

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Many thanks for all the inputs, greatly appreciated.

 

My interest is primarily in the Spitfire 1b (KPM7255) and IIb (KPM7256) which are described as 'new moulds' but I have my doubts as I previously bought a 1b (can't recall the brand but suspect this is the same kit as nobody else has ever done this version) and it was awful with rubbish canopy and very heavy handed moulding. Poor even when I compared it with my vintage Frog and Revell Spitfire kits from the 60's!

 

I'm also interested in their Vb's (7274 and 7258) but at almost £13 a pop from a well known retailer I'm loath to end up with a bin filler when the Airfix Vc is due out later this year (but any ideas as to when as Airfix have not replied to my recent enquiry). This will be at a much lower price with presumably pretty good moulds, accurate outline and well defined detail, albeit probably with deep panel lines.

 

Kind Regards

Colin.

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I have the KP Mk.Ib, and it is a very nice kit, and a new mould, so you've no need to worry (except for a slightly short span.  I think that the nose is slightly shorter than the new Airfix one (haven't checked) but then so is everybody's else's, including previous Airfix.  I believe that the KP Mk.IIb is the same but without the dedicated part of the early "cannon-armed Mk.I" and with a bulge for a Coffman starter, plus maybe a Rotol prop and spinner?  Much the same for their Mk.Vs.  I can't think of any previous kit of the Mk.Ib and I'm sure I'd have had one.  Certainly not by the original KP, but if it was worse than the Frog or Revell '60s issues then it must have been pretty awful.  The closest I can think of would be the PM/Pioneer Mk.Vb which was effectively a modified not-quite copy of the Frog kit, but even it wasn't actually worse.  Except in the context of the dates of release.  Did any of the Russian Frogspawn release a modified tooling as a Mk.Ib?

 

Airfix announced two new Mk.Vc kits for later this year, one mainstream and one beginner's.   But a Mk.Vc isn't a Mk.Vb...

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Nice thread.   I am enjoying all the historical moulding talk.  My 2 cents?

 

I'm a big fan of all the KP/AZ kits.  Moderately priced, decently made, no real building issues for me...

An interesting and diverse selection of markings.

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I really like the AZ/KP kits, they build up really nicely.  I've built their recent KP Vc which is the same kit as the KP Vb, with extra wings so you end up with Vb spare mainplanes.  I have the KP 1b and the plastic is the same as the IIb and the Vb, so you end up with lots of spare wing bulges and props.  The only difference in the kits  is the early and late Vbs get a different canopy moulding, as the armoured windscreen changed from external (as also on marks 1 and II) to the internal type used also on the Vc and all the subsequent marks (apart from the Seafire Mk.47).

Airfix Vc may be cheaper when it turns up, but the AZ/KP kits give a more refined result compared to the other Airfix marks recently done.  Once built the AZ/KP can stand next to the Eduard types without shame.

Hope this helps your choice.

Cheers

Will

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7 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

anyone got both (or all three) to compare?

I have but it's too hot to venture into the loft to check so you'll have rely on my memory.

 

AZ cannon-armed Spitfires are nice enough but not as easily made as the 'new' KP ones. I would council against buying a recent boxing - they did a Joypack (three kits without stickers) - because the moulds are well-worn.

 

The KP cannon-armed Spitfires (Ib/ IIb/ Vb) all have identical plastic in the box. The Vc adds, as Will mentions in his above post, a new wing, the appropriate cannon, cannon stubs, a big slipper tank and, a choice of filters. I seem to recall some discussion about the canopy being wrong for the Vc.

 

The AZ/ KP Spitfires might have been inspired by the Sword one but the sprue layout is different so it can't be the same molds.

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3 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

I am aware of Sword being a different company, but their business approach is to sell on their moulds after a fairly short run, and AZ are included among the buyers..  However in this case I was thinking of their resemblance, in particular the short wing which is a bit of a give-away.  Not having the KP Spitfire I can't say how it resembles the AZ one, but the choice of moulding material need not imply any greater accuracy, number of parts, or even fineness of detail - just the number of kits that can be run off.  Of course they may well have improved the accuracy, number of parts and fineness of detail, but this is not a given.  If you have both perhaps you could compare the wings?

The Spitfire from Sword is a Mk Vc and not Vb. And is a pretty good kit not to complicate to build for short run kits, I have already build more than 100 mostly for my Malta  and Australian ones. I have buy them directly from Sword, without box, instruction and decals for very resonable price. AZ ones are Spit Vb short run kit, with short run difficulties to build, KP are not short run, but I don't like the canopy with a part of fuselage, source of little problems to fit well. But also more than 50 made.

Now I am waiting the Airfix Vc, and a realy good Vb (perhaps Arma Hobby will produce one in the future. I like very much the kits of this company)

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5 hours ago, Jure Miljevic said:

Hello

Alain, Heller Storch may have been re-issued by the AZ, but I am not sure about the KP. However, many Heller kits like I-153, Hurricane IIc, Yak-3, Spitfire VI (Heller Spitfire Vb with resin conversion parts), Tempest V, M.B.210 Verdun, Potez 540 etc. had been repacked by Smer, Fi 156 Storch (built one, have another one in my stash) among them. Cheers

Jure

AZ and KP is the same factory. I suppose, it is a question of tax. Like MPM, Special Hobby, Azur, Condor, all these kits are made in the same factory in Prague

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2 hours ago, fishplanebeer said:

Airfix Vc is due out later this year [.....] This will be at a much lower price 

£9.99 preliminary.

Still 15-20% more than the other single-engined 1/72 kits.

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All I know is that I bought a Spit 1b a while ago in a box from a non-UK or German/American maker and it was very poor in my IMHO,  and as I really can't see a big appeal for this version it must be the same one. Luckily I managed to sell it as a job lot as it was well beyond my skills, especially given the very poor canopy and crude moulding, so I'm still of the opinion that the KP version is the same one.

 

My modelling skills are very modest and I prefer to build 'out of the box' if at all possible but also happy to invest if the basic details are there, such as the Special Hobby Kittyhawk Mk.1A (my current project) which is well worth the effort and quite superb. However this 'unknown' Spitfire 1b' was well beyond my level of skill when I bought it and I seriously doubt it has been radically improved given its niche appeal so my interest is now at an end.

 

Just think, how many decent Spit Mk1a's are out there at the moment (a big seller)? Not that many given that the Tamiya kit has a major long standing issue with the canopy and the Airfix kit has over sized panel lines, and let's not even mention the recent Revell Mk2a which is/was a major disappointment.

 

So logically new up to date Spit 1b  and 2b moulds seem rather unlikely given their very niche appeal and limited sales volume/revenue, especially for folks like me who expect a reasonable level of accuracy for £13 quid, so I will keep my wallet closed for the time being. Of course KP/AZ/Airfix etc..etc.. could always issue a nice MkXII as well, long over due and just as significant.

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