Well, the evil owner of Skyway Models did it again: strategically placed a new model where he knew I’d run smack dab into it—his shop. This is a nice kit of a very esoteric airplane and I simply had to give it a home. You know how it is……….
The PZL.42 was a derivative of PZL.23 Karas’ that lacked the latters bombardier’s gondola but was modified by the addition of a twin-tail. The modifications failed to improve performance as only one was produced and tested by PZL.
The primary design, the PZL.23 Karas’, was developed by the PZL firm under the guidance of Chief Designer, Stanisław Prauss. The design culminated in the P.23/III, which was accepted for production in 1935 under the name PZL.23A Karas’ (Crucian Carp).
The first production series PZL.23A was fitted with a Bristol Pegasus IIM2 radial produced in Poland under license. This engine proved unreliable and subsequent PZL.23A’s were fitted with the newer Pegasus VIII engine.
The crew of three consisted of a pilot, bombardier, and rear gunner. The bombardier’s station, situated in a gondola underneath the hull, permitted him to operate an underbelly machine gun. The deletion of the bombardiers’ position and the ventral gondola was a primary modification of the PZL.42 prototype.
The final version, the PZL.23B Karas’ II was equipped with the Gnome-Rhone engine and had a respectable speed of 365 km/h and over-all better performance than the smaller-engined PZL.23A Karas’ I. Regardless of the engine utilized, the aircraft always retained a two-blade propeller.
A total of 40 PZL.23A’s were produced in 1936. By 1937, an additional 210 PZL.23B’s were delivered to the Polish Air Force. The twin tailed version of the PZL.23, the PZL.42 was produced and tested during this period but was not adopted for production. Thus the Karas’ with a conventional tail and sporting a gondola was Poland’s primary light bomber and reconnaissance aircraft when Germany invaded Poland on 1st September 1939.
(Edited from Wikipedia)
First impressions are overwhelmingly positive, as they were when opening the related PZL.23 Karas’ by IBG. Both are just beautiful models begging to be built.
The sprues are separately bagged as are the decals and PE fret. The plastic parts are beautifully molded with no flash. And, as with the PZL.23, the plastic seems a bit brittle so caution should be exercised when removing parts from the sprues.
All the inscribed details are very finely rendered and care will be required to not obliterate them with a heavy coat of primer and/or paint. The inscribed wing details replicating the novel spar-less construction method are particularly well done.
The cockpit floorboard, side panels are nicely detailed. The canopy is crystal clear with scale-appropriate framing.
The propeller blades are thin and to scale. Similarly, the trailing edges of the wings as well as the twin elevators and rudders, are appropriately thin.
Construction is conventional starting with the pilot’s office thence the fuselage and wing. No surprises here. Just like it’s sister kit, the PZL.23, this looks to be a very straightforward build, with no apparent vices or nasty surprises.
The decals are printed by Techmod and show excellent registration with tight crisp details including the instrument panel.
Markings for two schemes worn by the prototype are provided:
1) “Painting scheme from 1937 tests”
2) “Prototype at Deblin, 1939”
Both utilize the well-known scheme of Polish Khaki uppers with Light Blue-Grey lowers but differ in the use of Polish checkerboard national markings (with and without a white).
Just as it’s sister kit the PZL.23 Karas, there’s certainly a lot to like in this box. The detail is abundant, restrained, and to scale. Construction is straightforward and simple. It’s refreshing to see a quality, well-engineered model of a lesser-known pre WWII prototype: highly recommended.
No go paint something!