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Conversion of S-Model's 1/72 resin PZL P-24G
PZL P-24B "Jastreb”

by Piotr Dmitruk



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PZL P-24 was the peak of development of gull wing fighters, designed by engineer Zygmunt Puławski, and one of the biggest export successes for the pre-war Polish aircraft industry.

Designed in early thirties, it was one of the best fighters of its time. It was distinguished by all metal construction, cannon armament, speed and maneuverability. Over 140 airplanes were produced (also on licence in Turkey and Romania), which went to four countries: Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece and Romania. Two latter countries used them in combat during WWII, but they never were used in Poland.

On April 9, 1936 Bulgaria ordered 12 examples of PZL P-24B. This airplane, equipped with French Gnome - Rhone 14Kfs engine with 3-bladed propeller of the same firm, armed with 4 7,92 mm caliber Colt- Browning MG 40 machine guns, received name "Jastreb” (“Hawk”) in Bulgarian Air Force.

The first aircraft, painted olive green on upper surfaces, light blue on undersurfaces, with additional light-blue accents on fuselage and wheel fairings, was flown for the first time in October 1936. But soon, wheel fairing failure caused it to crash, and combined with transportation difficulties, delivery was delayed.

The first six airplanes were assembled on Bozhurishte airfield in Sofia in spring of 1937. In addition to their camouflage painting they received red engine cowling, a red narrow stripe on the fuselage, and also red decorative elements on wheel fairings. The rudder was painted in the national colours of white, green and red. On June 28, 1937, the day of birth of throne successor - Tzarevitch Simeon (today after many turns of history wheel, president of Bulgaria) , airplane No. 1 received inscription: "Simeon Prince Tyrnovski” on fuselage and was presented on parade on Sofia- Bozhurishte airfield, in presence of Tzar Boris III, his brother Prince Kiryl and Air Force commander Maj. Gen.. Vasil Bojdev.


Only one P-24B piloted by captain Vasil Benczev crashed because of engine breakdown. Airplanes initially were flown without armament, in 1939 underwent modification of exhaust outlet arrangement, and often were used without wheel fairings and cockpit canopy.

These airplanes served initially in 2. Fighter Regiment (Istrebitelen Orliak) in Karlovo (they created one flight), and in July 1940 were transferred to 3. Training Squadron (Jato) of the Flight Training Regiment in Bozhurishte. In 1942 they were transferred again to 2. Fighter Regiment on Marno-Pole airstrip near Karlovo, where the majority were destroyed in 1944 during an American air raid.





This is the best model of this airplane in 1/72 scale. The previous offerings are two resin kits, one Polish (distributed by Encore), second Czech from Artur Resin, and one vacuum formed kit from Modelland. This S-Model kit was based on the latter pattern.

This model is very close accurate. Only the wheel fairings are incorrect, but they are easy to improve, looking from the top. One could exchange also the tail skid and remove unnecessary radiator on the bottom of wing. Surface detail is very well imitated - engraved panel lines, and prominent where metal sheets are riveted to ribs . Only corrugated skin was not imitated, but in this scale it would be unrealistic anyway. There are only few bubbles in moulds, mainly in prominent lines. The canopy is vac formed, satisfactorily transparent and fits well. W

The kit requires only minimum quantities of filler.

It is possible to build Greek F and G variants, but I wanted to make Bulgarian version, which could be distinguished by the engine type, propeller, exhaust pipes, carburettor air intake and radiator location. Fortunately for me I found Northrop Gamma kit from Williams Bros, with two types of engines with cowlings and propellers- one type of cowling suited ideally for me, and I could use propeller after changing its shape and turning direction. After long searching, I decided to use resin copy of Breda 65 engine from Azur, somewhat simplified, but sufficient for me. I made engine crank case fairing from hemispherical element found in my scrap yard . In this element I bored radial holes and I inserted thin Plastruct rods imitating cowling fixing rods. The engine was painted with Gun Metal Metalizer and dry brushed it silver. I painted the engine cowling aluminium from the inside, Humbrol gloss red from the outside, then added the carburettor air intake made from metal sheet and whole engine was put aside for later installation.



The interior of the cockpit sidewalls have ribbing cast in place, and also fuselage truss mould was added, but according to photos in Kagero and Ace Publication books, I found it was incorrect. Therefore I ground off this relief and I made ribs myself with plastic strips.



I did not consider thinning the fuselage walls (and they are thick!), and that caused me pain, when it come to inserting of photoetched elements. I used "etch” from Part, designed to PZL P-11c, from which I used floor, pilots seat, part of truss, instrument panel, some kind of sticks and bits, and outside of cockpit oil radiators, imitation of fuel tank and kind of steps and aerial brackets.

After painting the cockpit interior silver I made the pilot's cushion and I added pre-painted Eduard belts.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

I glued both fuselage halves and then I could made carburettor air intake on fuselages undersurface just behind the engine, as well as new, made from thin injection needles tail skid. I made aerial post on the fin and lacking line of riveted metal sheets on rudder, using fishing line. Rudder was painted white, but I used Pactra acrylic paint, which despite gentle masking, unfortunately went away in whole slices. Because the F/G version had two radiators on the port side of fuselage, and version B on both sides, I ground off one radiator. This one on the starboard side I made from above-mentioned Part set and after painting I left to glue it on after varnishing of model. I cut out cockpit canopy, and because it was used with removed side panes, I cut them out too. I masked holes from inside with Tamiya tape and I glued the canopy on the spot . After masking of the glazing I painted it with the interior colour.

Now was time for the undercarriage. Because I like weighted tyres in my models, I gave up the possibility of wheel turning. After painting wheels black, I glued them into fairings. Then I could polish fairings to proper shape and paint them red. Repeatedly I tried to made masks for decorative painting of this part, but effects were lousy and I painted it at last with paintbrush. I cut longitudinally undercarriage legs, inserted inside the steel wire, so it stood from closer end. I bored openings in suitable places of fuselage, getting by this way amplification of legs, and the leg- fuselage joint ( indispensable this seems- model is heavy, gentle undercarriage, just and resin distorts with time). Brake levers and lines were glued onto external ends of the legs.

Because the wing struts are in the same colour as the wing undersurface- light-blue, and fuselage in this place is green, I glued them to wings, so I was able to slip them suitably onto fuselage. Wings to fuselage fit is almost ideal, so I could made this after gluing on of all gizmos. And it is a lot to made: aileron tabs and push-rods, crane hooks on upper surface, streamlined shell ejector for central machine guns, Pitot tube, as well as aileron hinges on bottom surface- they were scratchbuilt, but I used antenna mounts and bomb racks from Part's “photoetch”.


Painting, Markings and Finishing Touches


So I got several almost finished components, which I painted separately (experienced with rudder painting, I used Humbrol enamels). Some panels were painted with somewhat brighter tint. Then unusually, I set decals and sealed them with Future. The decals are from Kagero, included with their “PZL P-24 A-G” book, and as national markings I used decals from Czech firm HiPM from their Fw-56 "Stösser” kit. Both settled superbly on kits surface, reacting well to Agama setting liquids. Decal with inscription in Cyrillic alphabet was very thin and I destroyed it in some places at the transfer, but I was able to repair without trace.

In between I altered exhaust outlet arrangement. I cut off original exhaust pipe from engine cowling. The outlet was well made for the Greek version, even with the opening at the end, but the pipe was too flat. I glued rods imitating pipes running to individual cylinders, and added “3D” to the flat pipe with epoxy glue. I glued suitably shapen gill to exhaust outlet. The whole pipe was painted Burnt Metal metalizer and treated with dry brush in rust colour.


Then I glued together all model basic elements: fuselage, wings, horizontal stabilizer, undercarriage and engine, I added a sublte wash using Tamiya Smoke thinned with Future and gentle dry-brushing of protruding elements with a brighter tint of camouflage paint. I varnished then, to get equal degree of gloss. You can see clearly on the pictures, that airplanes were gloss painted, therefore such is my model. I took off masking from external and internal side of cockpit canopy and I glued remaining parts: propeller, exhaust pipes, oil radiator on the starboard side of the fuselage, gun barrels made from injection needles, undercarriage braces, cockpit canopy handle, photoetched gunsight, Holt flare launcher on starboard strut, and also I made position lights.





For years I wondered how to make a model of "Pezetel” with its inscription in the Cyrillic alphabet, and finally the Kagero book with included decal made this possible.

I can sincerely recommend this kit to modellers with some experience in building resin kits, both in the Greek version, and as a conversion into the Bulgarian variant.



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2005 by Piotr Dmitruk
Page Created 09 September, 2005
Last Updated 09 September, 2005

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