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Heller and Sweden

Heller issued the Draken and Viggen in 1977 followed by the Tunnan 1978. In 1978 the Swedish distributer Berico added Swedish decals to some kits. Tor Netterby who is "responsible" for these decals wrote this on the IPMS Stockholm site:

"At the magazine Hemmets Journal we had a dark room with a repro camera. I used it frequently to make large-scale copies of numbers and markings from books, photos and such. Everything to get the look of the markings. I then redraw everything in a double scale and then scaled down to the right size. When Heller issued the Draken, they had drawn the number on the tail. It was J 35F number "55" from F 10. If you look at a decal sheet from this set, you can see that the number five are completely wrong. I tried in vain and frenetic for several years to get Heller to correct it. I do not think it was ever corrected. Nevertheless, after all, it became quite good with my decals. I still have an old issue of the magazine Allt om Hobby that had a large article about Heller's Swedish airplanes. I also remember that I got a "bashing" by Freddy Stenbom from Allt om Hobby, at a phone call when this magazine came out. It was a German dressing mark for Ju 52, which I had completely missed. The mark, a tri-clover, was shown in the magazine. I then had quite close contact with Freddy Stenbom. He was very interested in Swedish airplanes in plastic and I got tips on markings that could be made.

An example of the instructions.

The distributor Berico and I agreed that those who bought Heller's Swedish models needed some form of instruction manual. Therefore, I made a label sheet with a few aircraft types on each sheet for each model, which unfortunately could not be unpacked in the boxes. I do not know why. It might be too expensive to send them to France? Instead, you could get this label magazine for free in the hobby shops when you bought your model. I also know that the IPMS magazine Scala published some of my labelling drawings. These label sheets were no advanced, but the aircraft profiles were drawn on A3 paper with thin pencil, then scaled down to A4 format. The drawings I made were exclusively on foreign aircraft that could be made Swedish. The pure Swedish models, 29 Tunnan, J 35 Draken, AJ 37 Viggen e t c, were made directly in France at Heller. I often had questions about markings from Berico, which were passed on to Heller. I once heard that at Heller I was called Monsieur Tor ..."

These kits came in the ordinary Heller boxes A note that said "With Swedish decals" was put under the shrink wrap on the top of the box and the decal sheet at the bottom. Later on, Heller issued these with Swedish boxes that had pictures of the planes and with the instructions changed. The original decals weren’t any longer included. At the time I had no interest for the civilian versions but now 40 years later I have started to collect and build them.

- Arado Ar-96
- Arado Ar-196
- de Havilland DH89 Dragon Rapide
- North American T-6G Texan
- Messerschmitt Bf-108 Taifun
- Caudron Renault Simoun

Stockholm January 08, 2018 Updated May 30, 2018
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