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A visit to Eduard

Eduard company history
Eduard Model Accessories was formed in 1989 in the basement of co-owner Citrad Kuraks house in Most, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic). Two years before, Mr Kurak and Vladimir Sulc had started making photo etch for themselves and had decided that it was possible to sell them to shops, so in 1990 the first photo etch, a 1/48th scale Su 25K, was produced for sale. In that year many more sets were made and sales were so good that they moved into a proper office and opened up a production line in 1991. There was a great demand for other scales as well and so 1/72nd and 1/35th were added and a few years later, ships as well.

In 1993 the first two models came out, a Sopwith Schneider and a Sopwith Baby, both in 1/72nd scale. The production of plastic models necessitated another move into a larger office and more staff. 1994 turned out to be a very good year with the first 1/48th scale kit, a Fokker E III, selling very well and an award in Nuremberg for the photo etch line. By the end of 1995 Eduard had 10 kits on the market and lots of photo etch and had also set up a co-operation with Jules Bringuier of Classic Airframes to produce his models. In 1996 a new building was purchased in the town of Obrnice which allowed the use of new technologies for moulding models. Since then the company has continued to improve and is now using full metal moulds which allow to produce tens of thousands of kits from a mould, making Eduard no longer a short run manufacturer.

The company has come a long way in the last years and produces models and photo etch for other companies. Eduard has continued to evolve and is always looking for new ideas and technologies to improve its line of products. In 2010 the company has launched a new line of product called Brassin, a combination of highly detailed resin and photo etched parts. The Czech manufacturer is now celebrating it's 20th anniversary!
Introduction
During the last Nürnberg Toy Fair, I met M. Jan Zdiarsky for the second time at the Eduard booth. During our talk, he agreed upon a visit of their manufacturing plant in the Czech Republic. I don't know if he thought I was serious at that time but for me it was an opportunity not to miss so I sent him a few e-mails in May when I realized I would have a couple of days of vacations soon. We decided to arrange a meeting in Obrnice for June 1st, so I headed to Ettlingen the day before to pick up Steffen Arndt from IPMS Germany who wanted to accompany me. On the early morning of the next day we started our journey which would last for three days and which would carry us across the south of Germany and the west of the Czech Republic on a 2000 km trip.
Meeting at the Eduard office
We arrived at destination at about 2.00 PM which was a little later as planned, but fortunately Mr. Wladimir Šulc (co-founder of Eduard) found some time to devote to us nevertheless, despite having a full program on that day. One of the first thing he did was to present to us the first test shots and the first built model of the forthcoming Albatros D.III Oeffag 253 in 1:48 scale. M. Šulc has assembled the model himself and I can already say that the WWI enthusiasts will have a lot of fun with it. Quality wise, Eduard seem to have moved one step further thanks to the use of even newer technologies. Indeed, the Albatros D.III Oeffag 253 is the first kit by the manufacturer to have been designed entirely with computers and without any intermediate test shots to test fit the parts. From the computer screen directly to the injection machine so to speak!

The next really new kit that will be produced by Eduard will be the MiG-21 although there will be a change in the original plan to release the Czech-Slovak version first. Indeed, the kit will be available at the end of the year as a Profipack boxing with "international" markings instead. The delay may be the consequence of the incident which happened to the Fw190 D-11 and Hellcat molds. Both have been damaged during the plastic injection process (a sprue was still in the form when fresh plastic was injected for the next one) and they had to be replaced, which is not something which can be done in a couple of days. The new Albatros is also delayed, albeit slightly, from June to july.

Many aircraft parts, equipment and masters were laying around in the meeting room. Amongst them was a big F-4 Phantom, so Steffen asked if this project was still worked on. Unfortunatley for all Phantom lovers, the 1:48 scale F-4 is not a priority for Eduard anymore, so the model has been put on standby. What we can expect in the future, probably in 2011, are the 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IX which was already announced and an expanding range of Messerschmitt 109s in 1:32 (F and G) and 1:48 scale (E). It seems Eduard will focus more and more on subjects which can be re-issued in Limited Editions. Aircraft like the Rumanian I.A.R. 80, which is a favorite of mine, have not enough potential for the Czech manufacturer. Jan Zdiarsky is a big fan of the B-17 though and would love to do a 1:48 scale model of it but economic factors have to be taken into account so this will probably remain wishfull thinking.
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About Jean-Luc Formery (TedMamere)
FROM: MOSELLE, FRANCE

I'm mainly interested in WW2 aircraft and I build them in 1/48 scale.