Tekno KZ.4 aircraft

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Tekno KZ.4 aircraft

Postby admin » Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:50 pm

Wonderful castings of the Kramme & Zeuthan KZ.4 by Tekno of Denmark just after WWII.
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Re: Tekno KZ.4 aircraft

Postby grwebster » Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:21 pm

In exchanging info with a Tekno specialist in Denmark, I was surprised to learn that the KZ.4 'Ambulance Plane' was issued from 1939-1949. But, be careful about what 'experts' claim. Only one problem with my Danish experts remarks: some quick research showed that the KZ.4 first flew in 1944! Only two aircraft were built. The white toy in the photo above is finished exactly as the preserved aircraft in a danish aviation museum and it carries the same registration OY-DIZ and 'ZONEN' on the nose.
Incidentally, the white cross in a red circle does not represent the International Committee of Red Cross. It is a national symbol for Denmark. The red flag with the white cross on the tail of many KZ.4 toys is the Danish flag. OY is the registration code for Denmark, DDL is for Danish Airlines.
The Tekno B-17, Blenheim, and the Douglas Dauntless SBD Divebomber were, according to this source, also issued in 1939. I find this also wrong due to the fact that Denmark was occupied in 1940 by Germany. Neighboring Norway, Finland and Sweden did not have any B-17s, or Dauntless SBDs of its own.
One might wonder why Tekno picked these aircraft to model in toys, but surely they are post WW II production. {Blenheims were used by Finland in 1940 in their short war against Russia.}
By 1944 several battle damaged B-17s landed in Sweden and they were allowed to keep some for conversion as transports. The glassed noses were sheeted over in aluminum and lengthened for cargo storage and the turrets and machine gunners positions were eliminated.. These were, of course, the later versions, most likely the F and G versions of the B-17, and not the early B-17 B,C,or D version that Tekno modeled. Two of these planes were later used by Danish Airlines, registered OY-DFE and OY-DFA. Several Tekno B-17 toys have the same fictitious registration as used on the KZ.4 'Ambulance Plane', OY - DDL.

There many versions of Tekno B-17s, and many nations were represented, even the civilian transports which were issued in bright colors. All the camouflage ones were hand painted identically. A white B-17 with red cross markings was also issued.

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The other models also were issued in many versions. I wonder if the Dauntless with the white cross in a red roundel was a mistake. Or was it representing the Danish red roundels with a white center? It does carry the Danish flag on the tail.The normal Red Cross markings would have a red cross in a white roundel as seen on the Blenheim. In any case most all the Tekno planes had all white finishes with red or white cross variants.

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Re: Tekno KZ.4 aircraft

Postby grwebster » Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:40 am

While I was editing the above post, renouncing my Danish Tekno 'expert', I found these photos of the civilian marked and brightly painted Tekno B-17
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Re: Tekno KZ.4 aircraft

Postby tekno » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:06 pm

My first post here! I am more a diecast car guy, not aircraft, but I do collect anything related to Tekno Denmark. So I found your 3 or 4 posts related to Tekno and had to subscribe... Some great information and great pictures have been posted here.

I do not collect color or decal variations so I only have one or two of each of the Tekno airplanes. Here are two examples each of the three WW-II era planes:
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I am interested in Tekno history and believe that those were indeed made in Denmark during the war. Denmark was occupied in 1940 by Nazi Germany and run as a protectorate until '43. A crackdown occured and rationing affected alot of Danish manufacturing that had continued through the occupation.

Tekno was a toy company that made tinplate fire trucks, one windup car, and one airplane. In 1943, all tinplate was directed to the war effort by the Gemans, so Tekno switched to wood toys. However, their metal trucks were so popular that the owner found he could obtain enough zinc alloy to make metal toys again. So he did these 3 airplanes starting in 1943. The Germans eventually saw that the 'enemy' airplanes were being sold as toys and had Tekno's owner thrown in jail for 16 days. Luckily he was released - perhaps because he had put German markings (German cross and swa...) on them as well (but for some reason they did not sell as well as the Danish planes). :) So all different bright colors, different flags, and roundels would not be unexpected for a toy.

Sources:
Tekno Samlerkatalog, Samler Borsen, Johansen and Hedegard, 2007.
http://tekno-vilmer.dk , downloaded Apr 2011.
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Re: Tekno KZ.4 aircraft

Postby grwebster » Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:07 pm

Welcome to our forum. Glad to have you with us.
I enjoyed reading your summary of Tekno history. I have never seen a Tekno with Nazi marking so if you could post one, it would be interesting.
I also wonder about he choice of the Dauntless dive bomber and the Blenheim. They were not used in the region so it was an unusual choice, no?
I know B-17s were interned during the war and afterwards were converted to transports and cargo ships so that choice make sense, but the others?
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Re: Tekno KZ.4 aircraft

Postby tekno » Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:19 am

The Tekno Bible from 2007 has small color pictures of the Flying Fortress and the Dauntless dive bomber (a silver one and two in dark grey or black) with German markings. I assume the Blenheim was that way as well. Never seen one for sale on epay and I know some sites do not allow it. If they did not sell well in DK during the war, then they must be very rare indeed.

I have no idea why these 3 were chosen. The Blenheim was in Finland as well so perhaps they saw it in the paper or newsreals. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Blenheim). Perhaps Tekno was poking fun at the Nazi occupation and looked for the new Allied planes to model as toys (pure conjecture).

Post-war Tekno worked with the actual manufacturers to design their molds, but I doubt they did that at this time. The hint is that they inscribed the bottoms with BB-1 and DSB-1 [sic?], so they probably copied the designs without talking with the manufacturers. Their tinplate trucks, car, and airplane were all generic at point as well.

What does SBD mean, as in Douglas Dauntless SBD? Scout Bomber Douglas? Maybe in Danish it translates to DSB? :?:

My other hypothesis is that Tekno's owner was released from jail and decided to be less inflammatory and make a Danish plane - the KZ IV ambulance plane. See http://www.flickr.com/photos/davepeacoc ... otostream/ for the restored 1:1 one.
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Re: Tekno KZ.4 aircraft

Postby grwebster » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:37 am

All very interesting, so thanks
I would have thought the KZ IV would have been made before the miiltary panes. I have two example of the same plane made in tin by Tekno {and some fire trucks too in tin, they are superb} so the transition to die cast using the same aircraft would have been logical.
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Re: Tekno KZ.4 aircraft

Postby tekno » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:37 am

Is this the tinplate Tekno you refered to? it does not seem very similar to the diecast KZ IV?
Image

Also Tekno typically followed a sequential numbering scheme, so this is my guess on the order released.

380 tinplate airplane - 1935+
401 Flying Fortress - 1943
402 Bristol Blenheim (BB-1) - 1943
403 Douglas Dauntless SBD Divebomber (DSB-1) - 1943
488 KZ IV - 1944

Closed configuration:
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Re: Tekno KZ.4 aircraft

Postby fliegerii » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:04 pm

I picked up this Tekno KZ IV in full blue with red flaps. All paint looks original to me.

Does anybody have this version as well!?
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Re: Tekno KZ.4 aircraft

Postby tekno » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:34 am

OY-DDL seems to be the non-Ambulance plane version, in different color combinations. Never seen one with flaps picked out and the 4 Tekno books I have do not mention it. Doesn't mean that is is not original, though! Great colors for a 70 year old! :D
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