Hobby Boss 1/72 Zlin Z-42M

KIT #: 80231
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Richard F.


Before you can fly a glamorous fast jet, you need to learn how to fly. How to take off, cruise around, find your way back to the airport and land. Later, you need to learn how to do aerobatic manouvers. It's a long way to Mach 2 with your pants on fire.

The cute little Zlin-42M was designed to give pilots that grounding in the fundamentals. It was stressed to +6 and -4 G so it was quite happy to be thrown around the sky. With inverted-capable fuel systems pilots could cruise along upside down for a while if they wanted.

Including the later developments of the airframe, no fewer than ten air forces have used these planes for pilot training.


This is a member of the Hobby Boss easy kit family but don't let that put you off. It is a very nice little kit, beautifully moulded and with a nice clear canopy. Indeed, almost the whole plane is moulded in clear plastic, for no obvious reason.

Our editor previewed this kit right here on MM.

It has a very small parts count, and decals for the instrument panel as well as the smaller stripes on the fuselage and wings.


The first thing you need to do is get a ton of ballast. I used fishing weights held in place with blu-tac. Because the airframe itself is only two parts, you can test the weight. It needs literally every milligram you can squeeze in there.

That done, I did the cockpit, adding the nice instrument panel decal and making some seatbelts out of yellow Tamiya tape. The window is clear and it's big, so a little bit of work here is worth it. There are a pair of control sticks, one for each crew member.

There is only one point to really note about building this plane. The undercarriage. I trimmed a bit off the nose wheel leg, so the overall attitude of the plane was more horizontal. Then, after testing a few times, I used superglue to add the two main wheel legs, and held them hard against the outside of the tiny socket they slot into.

In this way, the legs, which retain a little flexibility, are nonetheless as stiff as possible because they are strongly fixed to a vertical surface inside the wing.

This, combined with the massive weight up front, keeps my plane sitting on its wheels properly. The slightest bump knocks it onto its tail, but it does stand there on its own otherwise.


I used Tamiya X-2 gloss white, brush painted, and Gunze Mr Color bright blue. I used Mr Mark Softer to get the decals to melt into the corrugations on the tail and on the right side of the engine. I really like Hobby Boss decals and these behaved impeccably.

There is only one version provided in the kit, OM-JLV which is a Slovakian aircraft, I think.

Hobby Boss have another variant of this, a Zlin-142, which comes in a Czech air force scheme of blue-on-blue camouflage.


An excellent little kit. Why don't we see more light aircraft and trainers in mainstream kits? They are cool and there should be more of them.



Richard F.

June 2012

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