Smer Kits-a history

Mike Franklin (
Mon, 27 Nov 1995 23:28:06 -0800

Most of you probably know this, but for those who don't, here's a
potted history of the Smer WW-1 airplane kits.

In the rather late 50's the Merit Company of Great Britain made some
good knock-off copies of the Aurora WW-1 airplane kits. These included

Albatros D.III
Fokker D.VII
Fokker Dr.1
Nieuport II
Sopwith Camel

These copies were in almost every detail an exact replica of the Aurora
kit. Except that in the Aurora certain parts, the wheels, guns, motors,
and propellers, were molded on their own sprue in black, no matter
what color the rest of the aeroplane. In the Merit kits, these parts were
added to the other sprues and the whole kit was the same color plastic.
Merit also did not include the ground base and crew member the Aurora
kit had. Merit also included a small bladder of cement.

Merit had some success with these knock-offs and they decided to issue
two kits of an origional subject in the WW-1 arena.

Avro 504K
DeHavilland DH-2

There were other non first world war subjects both copies of Aurora and
origional molds.

In the mid 60's the Merit Company folded and sold all their molds to
Artiplast of Italy who released the WW-1 kits virtually unchanged.
Artiplast added one WW-1 aeroplane to the line.

Ansaldo SVA

They also added a few non Great War subjects.

Some time later the Artiplast and ex Merit molds were sold to Smer of
then Czechoslovakia who still make kits of them to this day. Smer has added
a couple of non WW-1 subjects to the line.

So, these Smer planes are, with the noted exceptions, copies of the
Aurora kits complete with embosed markings et al.

Over 'n Out, Mike

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