Poland: Land of Fighter Pilots

I’m building a model of a PZL P.11a. Revell made a kit in 1/72 and I never built it when I was a kid. Old Lew Glaser tried to teach me something but I was too stubborn and stupid to get it.

The fight between Germany and Poland was a grudge match. Poland has been hostile to its neighors for centuries, and so it was logical that the big war should start there. Poland has always been a country that “should not have existed” according to neighbors who were openly hostile. Eventually, somebody had to die.

But the campaign in Poland wasn’t what I wanted to remember when I was little. Too “short.” Not enough “action.” Not enough heroic pilots fighting the evil-doers by throwing flaming furniture at them as the log house burned down around their ears.

Years of inhuman struggle, to be decided by a final, last-ditch effort spearheaded by the elite team of hardened veterans, with blood and guts ground into the paint of “Slutty Betsy” or “My Mom” or whatever.

Did I miss any cliches??

Reality is different. Polish pilots went on to kill a lot of Germans, working for the RAF and the USAAF, or both. A Polish-American became one of the highest “scoring” pilots in two wars (Gabreski).

I have a couple of copies of the Revell kit now. And some decals from Techmod. We’ll see what I can do.

…oh, and some little dudes to choose from for the all-important pilot.

9 Replies to “Poland: Land of Fighter Pilots”

  1. I was the opposite when I was young; I loved collecting and building an ‘oddball’ Airforce. However, back then the ugly ducklings were hard to get.

    I never got a PZL/11, nor did I get an Arsenal VG33, a CR42, IAR80, Polikarpov I-16, Finnish Buffalo/Fokker/insert heap.

    I did however get a Bloch mb152, Breguet 691, Caudron 714, Dewoitine 520, MS406, Boomerang, Macchi 202, Wellesley, Henschel 123 and various other misfits and oddbods.

    They are MUCH easier to find now….for a price. The big boys seem to be steering clear of them which is a pity.

  2. Oh yeah, thats the other funny thing; when they first hit the scene, these Eastern Euro models were cheap as chips. These days they seem to have become ’boutique’ options and are priced accordingly. What the hell happened there?

  3. The Polish pilots in the RAF shot more Germans than any other squadrons. Their methods were simple, fearless hot blooded murder.
    Gotta love the Poles, they make the best pickles, it’s a religious event. Poles fly from the US every season to be with family, make and eat pickles.

  4. And oh yes … I’m acquiring as many WW2 biplanes in 1/72 as I can. There were a lot of them, I include the era of Japan, China and Russia in China and Manchuria, the Spanish civil war. The Brits employed Bipes of the best and weirdest old designs in all theatres. The desperate Germans used bipes one never heard of for anti-partisan duties and night harassment. We used the Seagull and Duck till end of the war..

    1. I’m going to write a blog entry about rigging one of these days. Soon. (Picture fat sheriff playing cards with deputies while hero tries to get him to raise a posse). “Soon!”

  5. All good Dan. I have a load of Biplane kits that have stared at me for many moons, but since becoming a ‘serious’ modeller, I haven’t had the heart to make them because my eyes glaze at the thought of trying to rig them…

    I used to talk myself into not bothering to rig 1/72 scale biplanes because ‘at that scale, it wouldn’t be noticeable. Yeah, nah.

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