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Eduard interview

Though many people were disappointed not to see a full box of the new MiG-21 ready for the Toy Fair (though some sprues were presented), there was still a lot to see at the Eduard booth. Jan Zdiarsky tells us what we can expect in 2011 and beyond.

Aeroscale: "How is the pre-order selling of the MiG-21 going?"
Jan Zdiarsky: "It is going well and all the team at Eduard is working very hard to get everything ready when the kit will be available for shipping." (you can take a look at the Facebook page of the manufacturer for the latest info's about this release - note of the redactor)

A: "What has delayed the release of the kit so much?"
J.Z.: "The process of designing the kit was very difficult because of the aircraft's particular design. We have also had some problems with the measuring of real MiG-21's as M. Šulc already wrote in our Newsletter. So despite Eduard having new and better tooling machines than before we are indeed late with the kit's release. But it is also to get the best possible product on the market. The MiG-21 kit will be composed of nine frames which is a lot. It is probably one of the most ambitious kit Eduard has produced and certainly the one which required the most work!"

A: "I see the parts have been prepared for the "lightened" version…"
J.Z.: "Yes, the parts have been designed to accommodate all the necessary equipment for fiber optic strands. Sadly, the person with whom we wanted to work on this project has passed away recently and right now we are not working on this special edition anymore. Maybe later but not in the near future."

A: "What will be the next big release from Eduard? The 1:48 scale Bf109-E?"
J.Z.: "Yes, and we expect it to be released this year."

A: "What do you say to the people who say "No, not another Messerschmitt!" when they know a new Bf 109 will be released?"
J.Z.: "Well, I would say "why not!" I think it's like cars, people should have the possibility to choose what model they like most. In the future, we plan to do the whole range of Bf109s from the E to the G in both 1:48 and 1:32 scale. During WWII I think Mustang Aces didn't complained about too many Messerschmitts, so modelers shouldn't complain neither…"

A: "Will The 1:48 scale kit be based on the design of the 1:32 scale kit?"
J.Z.: "Yes, the data will be shared. However there are limitations in the tooling and in the injection process which will require some modifications. There are some limits with the thickness of the wing's trailing edge for example and this will have an impact on the wing root and the fuselage. So it won't be just a matter of downscaling the 1:32 scale kit. The biggest difference between the kits is that the smaller one won't include a plastic engine like it's bigger brother. We will allow the inclusion of a Brassin engine though."

A: "The 1:32 scale Bf-109 Brassin engine looks great, what will come next?"
J.Z.: "As you can see here in Nürnberg, Bf 109 upper fuselage machine guns are shown in renders. They are in an advanced phase. But Brassin DB 601 engine and wheels are here fully build. A very famous Czech modeler (Zdenek Sebesta) has already built one kit which includes them and I think it looks great (It does! Note of the redactor). We are also preparing some parts for the forthcoming MiG-21 of course."

A: "There is no news of the 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IX, is it delayed or cancelled?"
J.Z.: "It is not cancelled. In fact works continues on it. But it is indeed not in this year's program."

A: "You seem to expand your range of 1:72 scale models this year. Was this a demand by the modelers?"
J.Z.: "From experience we know we can't rely on every modeler's wishes. So this is more an internal decision from Eduard than anything else. But we think our 1:72 scale range will do well."

A: "I've read that Photo Etch still represents 50% of the Eduard sales…"
J.Z.: "Yes, this is definitely true."

A: "More and more, other manufacturers include PE sets in their kits. Are you happy to have set a trend or are you worried about it."
J.Z.: "Well, this is a difficult question to answer. But let me tell you one thing: the 1:32 scale Tamiya Spitfire has brought to us some of the best photo etched set sales in the past year! In fact, the better the kit is, the better the PE sets will sell afterwards!"

A: "You have new printing machines for your PE set. Are they now fully functional?"
J.Z.: "Yes, they are and they offer greater possibilities than before. Let me show you something (M. Zdiarsky shows me one of their plastic aircraft carrier deck… pre-painted!). Here we have tried to paint our display bases like we do our photo etched parts and see… it worked! We are in an earlier design stage but people can expect to see these display bases coming already pre-painted and ready to use in the near future. We have other products in preparation, like pre-painted vegetation. The possibilities are endless!"

A: "You've told me that you've returned to modeling lately. Knowing you a little now, why have you decided to build a Yak-3 and not a Fw 190?"
J.Z.: "I wanted to start with an easier kit so I chose the Yak. But to be honest, it isn't the first kit I've started. In fact the 1:4 scale Bf 110 Dashboard on display at the Eduard booth is my first kit in twenty years and I enjoyed it very much."

A: "And it looks indeed great!"
J.Z.: "Thank you!"

Note: IPMS Deutschland have kindly allowed us to use some of their images to fill the gaps of this report. Thanks a lot to them!
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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.