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Let L-13 Blanik

Planet Models, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

#220 Planet Models Let L-13 Blanik



Contents & Media

25 x cream resin airframe parts, 2 x vac-form acetate canopies & decals for 2 subjects


Available online from CMKEShop for €62.50, Hannants for £46.95, Modelimex for €46.64 and Squadron for US$78.75

Review Type:

First Look


Simple to build with very well cast parts.


Lacking in interior detail for the scale and price, 


A nice kit of an interesting and attractive subject that is let down by lack of detail for the scale and price.

Reviewed by Mark Davies

Planet Models' 1/48 scale L-13 Blanik is available online from Squadron.com




The L-13 Blaník is a two-seat trainer glider produced by Let Konovice. It went into production in Czechoslovakia in 1958, proving to be easy to fly, rugged and inexpensive. It is the most numerous and widely used glider in the world, with 2,650 examples being produced, or 3,000 if variants are included. It is still flown in many countries today.





Sport glider kits probably have a fairly limited market, especially in 1/32 scale. Yet mainstream injected kit manufacturers like Revell have offered 1/32 gliders before, so the potential may be greater than might be assumed.

Personally I like sports glider kits as they add some sleek and colourful shapes to what, for me at least, would otherwise be a predominantly military display of finished models. Moreover, they are usually simple to build and so can be a good remedy to "modeller’s block", or simply serve as a respite after a demanding modelling project.

Planet Models are the resin aircraft kit arm of the MPM Group of companies. They produce good quality resin kits of often unusual and interesting subjects, as well as some more mainstream ones to 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 scale. This is the first 1/32 scale Planet kit I have seen. On opening the sturdy top-opening box my first impression was of a kit consistent with Planet’s typically high standards of production.

The kit contents consist of simple but very clear to follow A-4 size instructions on one side, with a photograph-style parts map and aircraft history in English on the other. A further colour A-4 page provides the painting and markings guide with all decal locations clearly indicated.



There are surprisingly few resin parts for a model with a wingspan over just over 500 mm. These are all cleanly cast with no obvious pinholes. Construction should prove simple to complete, and the instructions provide guidance concerning wing and tailplane dihedral angles. A choice of wingtip styles is provided for. I think that the wings could be attached successfully without reinforcement, but many builders may opt for some form of internal metal rod spars at the wing roots.  If so these will be easy to install.

The kit is very lacking in interior detail given the scale, which after all is often chosen to showcase high levels of detail. The cockpit sides have some simple panels moulded in, the seats are lacking any seat belts and no rudder pedals are provided. So there is definitely scope for the builder to do some scratch building, although gliders by nature have far less cockpit clutter than powered aircraft. The instrument panels are resin with a simple photo-negative backing for the instrument dials. Frankly for the price and scale, I think far more could have been provided, in particular a photo-etch fret of suitable interior details could have enhanced things considerably.

Two vac-form canopies allow for an element of insurance when cutting out. These are large and well moulded, and will make the absence of seatbelts and other cockpit detail all the more sorely felt.



Decals enable two schemes to be modelled for US and Czech machines. The latter has some very interesting and attractive Japanese graphics. Both schemes are mainly red over aluminium with some white panels on the Czech example. Decals appear very well printed with good registration. Again I feel for the kit's price, and the popularity of the Blanik, that more could have been offered in terms of markings. After all there will hardly be after-market decal manufacturers rushing to offer decal options for this kit.





All in all this kit is well cast, nicely packaged and simple to build kit. However for the scale and price it has an almost unforgivable lack of interior detail. Both of the 1/72 kits of Blaniks I have had have offered far more for a fraction of the price. Added to this only two decal options are offered, so I cannot in good conscience recommend this kit as value for money. However from a constructional point of view it should be fine, and will benefit from at least some scratch-built seatbelts. If 1/32 gliders are your thing, and you have plenty in your wallet, then this could be the kit for you.

Thanks to MPM / Special Hobby for the review sample

Review Text Copyright © 2009 by Mark Davies
Page Created 25 August, 2009
Last updated 25 August, 2009

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