1/48 MPM Avia B.135

KIT #: 4802
PRICE: 8 Euros
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Carmel J. Attard
NOTES: Vacuform with injected parts


The Avia B-135 was designed and built by the Avia Company of
Czechoslovakia during the Second World War. It was a continued development of the Avia B-35/3 single-seat fighter prototype. The B-135 was a cantilever monoplane of mixed construction. The fuselage had steel framework, the front fuselage was covered with electron panels, rest with fabric. The wings had straight leading edge with two spars, wooden ribs and was plywood and aluminium covered. The tail planes had fabric covering. Powered by one Avia (Hispano Suiza) 12Y Vee-engine rated at 890HP, it attained a maximum speed of 332 mph at 13,125 feet and cruising 286 mph at optimum altitude. A new all- metal wing was added to create a new fighter that received the new designation.

The programme of the B-135 began in 1940. The new type aroused the interest of visiting Bulgarian military mission due to its excellent flying characteristics. As part of a long-term programme to upgrade Bulgarian aircraft manufacture, March 1943 saw the delivery of 12 Avia B-135 Lyastovica (Swallow). The order for 12 examples of the B-135 was placed on a lead-in to Bulgarian licensed manufacture of 50 examples of the type as
DAR-11 at Lovech. The 12 fighters were built in the summer of 1942 and entered service with the Bulgarian AF’s fighter pilot school. They also saw some operational service in 1944 and continued to fly for many years.

The B-135 had a service ceiling of 27,890 Ft and a range of 342 miles. Armament consisted of 20 mm fixed forward firing cannon and two 7.92 mm forward firing machine guns. At one time it served with units destined for anti aircraft defence of the city of
Sofia. On 30th March 1944 four of the fighters were to be flown operationally against American B-24 bombers which were returning from an attack on the Ploesti oil fields via Bulgarian air space and one of the bombers was claimed to be shot down by Lt. Jordan Ferdinandov who was flying one of the Avia fighters. The Avia B-135 turned out to be underpowered and went to Dolna Mitropliya Fighter School to be flown mainly by instructors.


This is one of early MPM scale models. It comes in a cardboard box with a box art depicting a dark olive drab B-135 parked at dispersal in a Bulgarian airfield. A vac form kit molded in soft white acetate, soft and good quality having fine recessed panel lines. Smaller parts as undercarriage legs, wheels, propeller, cockpit detail parts all come in injected brown plastic. Cockpit was injected. The only clear part was the cockpit canopy, in my example it was vac form in very clear acetate.


Construction starts with sub assembly of the cockpit office consisting of floor cut from backing sheet, rudder pedals, pilot seat, control pillar, ‘A’-frame behind seat and instrument panel. These were assembled and painted. Fuselage and wing halves were cut from backing sheet and treated in same way as previous vac-form construction manner.

The area around nose intake interior was built up making it in form of an enclosed compartment as indicated in the instruction sheet and the nose exhaust ports drilled open. Undercarriage leg doors were cut and assembled to the oleos. Some cross frame channels added to wheel well interiors and flaps, which were assembled in lowered position, making ref to drawing provided. Practically no problems whatsoever were encountered and in fact this was a straightforward and quick kit built. The 1/48 scale plans provided proved very useful reference source throughout the assembly.

The Bulgarian B-135 serving with the advanced fighter training school was painted in similar standard green upper and light blue undersides just like all other trainers serving alongside like Bu-181, Me-108 and Storch. Some reference of the type shows it in 2-tone green upper in order to give it a fighter like appearance but this was all speculative and so I preferred to stick to the instructions. I painted my model in uniform shade of RLM 71 while the underside was Light blue grey RLM 65. Other items like the water cooler intake front, cockpit interior, pilot seat, A-bracket framework behind seat, and part of wheel oleos were all light grey.  Decal sheet proved to be good quality and gave no trouble in spite of its age.


This was another enjoyable build in spite that it was not to the scale that I favour. Certainly an interesting model to add to anyone’s collection of WWII types.

 Carmel J. Attard

March 2012If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Review Index Page