Legendary Polish PZL P.11c Fighter. ‘Kresy’ Polish Eastern Borderlands interwar to 1939. 1:72 scale Arma Hobby Kit.

A very detailed kit for 1:72 scale and this is just the basic version! You can just about see tiny markings on the tyres. These were actual decals, something I have never encountered before in a kit! With a magnifying glass it is even possible to read them. The top one says ‘Stomil’ and the bottom one is a string of numbers and all clearly printed. Now that’s what I call attention to detail. Amazing!

Cześć! Greetings to everyone. I had to say it in Polish as the theme of this post is very Polish!

This tiny model is made by Polish manufacturer Arma Hobby and they make several versions of the famous PZL aircraft, PZL standing for ‘Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze (State Aviation Works)’.

Arma Hobby have not been in existence long and I have not made one of their models before. However, I have to say I was very impressed with the overall quality and level of detail and am now tempted by other models in their relatively limited range.

This version caught my eye because it was operated by the K.O.P (Korpus Ochrony Pogranicza-Border Defence Corps) in the Kresy Wschodnie or simply Kresy, Eastern Borderlands or Borderlands, the eastern part of the Second Polish Republic during the interwar period (1918-39).

The K.O.P. was the Police Force which my Father remembered well:

‘A special police force, the K.O.P (Korpus Ochrony Pogranicza-Border Guard Corps), which operated only in the kresy wschodnie or eastern borderlands, was also sent to Galicia. These police wore a greenish uniform similar to the Army’s and they arrived on horseback or in vans. Their sirens wailed as they approached and the villagers would run into the forests to hide’. Page 42 from ‘God Save Me From My Friends, memoir of a Ukrainian exile’. Kindle Version.

There is an interesting article about the Kresy on Wikipedia:


As for the aircraft history, it’s all here again on Wiki:


My Father recalled seeing a Polish plane crash near his village:

‘A small Polish plane of just wood and canvas crashed in a field near our village, breaking its undercarriage. It was loaded on top of a big farm-cart drawn by a pair of horses and hauled to a yard that would later become part of the collective farm. The pilot, wearing a fur coat and felt boots, wasn’t hurt and I heard him describing to a policeman how he had been forced to land because of a bushing that had overheated and started to smoke. However, instead of trying to land parallel to the fields, he had cut across them and hit a mezha or boundary-strip used in our district for partitioning the land. The people were very excited and curious, never having seen a plane at close quarters. The children crawled all over it and I clambered into the open cockpit and played with the lever controls, making the flaps and rudder turn. I don’t recall seeing a machine mounted on the fuselage and so perhaps it fired through its propeller.’

page 44 Kindle ed.

This incident took place at the start of the German invasion in 1939. I haven’t been able to work out what type of plane it was, or if it flew with the K.O.P. but it may well have been a PZL P.11.

Anyway, this was the version I had to go for! It was quite fiddly and a bit of a challenge but I am quite pleased with the final result. The radio antennae are made from stretched sprue apart from the straight piece on the fin which is fine wire. They are a little out of scale but will have to do!

Showing the parasol wing to good effect. This PZL always reminds me of a sleek bird of prey-just a pity it was quite obsolete by the time Poland was invaded in 1939!
Just forward of the cockpit are the gunsights made from photo-etch. I inevitably lost one (front) and had to carve a substitute from plastic! Tiny holes had to be drilled to fit them. Just visible on the propeller are microscopic decals! This model required a lot of care and attention but in the end you are rewarded with a very detailed and accurate representation of the real thing.
Sorry its a bit blurred but this photo shows the tiny size of the cockpit ‘tub’, not much bigger than my thumbnail. There are photo etch seatbelts.
The model was given a bit of a wash and some highlighting to bring out all the tiny details, especially the square pattern you can see on top of the wing.
The red and white chequer markings are the national insignia from the colours of the Polish flag.
The PZL could carry bombs but this version didn’t. I made the undercarriage cross supports from stretched sprue. Note the machine guns on the leading edge of the wings. There are also machine guns on either side of the fuselage but not visible here.
The starboard side showing the turkey emblem. There appears to be some doubt as to the colour of this badge as photo references only show it in black and white! Another version is included in the kit in black and grey but I went for the more colourful bird!
Sadly, this is how most PZLs ended up.
Some of the marking options. I chose the one on the left of 161 Fighter Squadron from Lvov, Spring 1939, pilot Ltn Jan Dzwonek. Aeroplane with unofficial new squadron emblem design (turkey), painted on starboard fuselage side. The emblem was painted by the pilot during duty in the K.O.P. outpost in Sarny (Volhynia), Spring, 1939.
Box art with turkey badge clearly visible. Well it is coming up to Christmas!
Showing side machine gun and tyre detail

Polish Aviation Museum

And for a fitting finale!