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Spitfire addict

Questions about the Finnish Buffalo 239

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Hello Gents

Got some questions for any Finnish Buffalo experts. I was able to aquire the old Aero Master conversion kit to make a Model 239. I have chosen the 239 (number 7) flown by Ensign Vaino Pokela in 1942 However, there is not adaquate info on certain aspects of the build and color scheme. My questions are: Did the Finns spray over the bottom observation perspex (I really hope so because otherwise I will have to borrow the electron microscope from USC in order to see the framework and paint it) and what color stripe was applied to the fuselage? I am assuming yellow was the standard. The color scheme is the black, green, and light blue that was typical of Finnish aircraft, but what paints best represent those colors? Are we talking RAF, Soviet, RLM, or the ever pesky lend-lease equivalents? Lastly folks, any guess as to the interior color? Hopefully someone knows this stuff otherwise I will just have to guess at it.

Cheers

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The lower windows were not painted over on Finnish machines. By late 1942 broken glass panels were sometimes replaced with metal sheeting at unit level.

There is evidence that, on some aircraft, the entire glass panel was replaced with metal sheeting during major overhaul. However many machines retained the original glazing at least until 1944.

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Thanks for the input. I figure it comes down to locating pictures of the actual aircraft to see what to do. Now to figure out how I am going to procure the right color paint.

Cheers

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The Finns used their own paints on these.

Black is black

The green is Olive Green close to Humbrol 117

The blue/grey underneath is close to RLM 76

The yellow fuselage stripe and engine cowling was a dull yellow like Humbrol 24

Interior would have been US Brewster interior chromate green.

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If you google 'Finnish Buffalo interior' , the opinions favour Aluminium cockpit interior.

Lifecolor produces a set for just this purpose.

Edited by dalea

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Hi, going from memory based on my own builds.

Finnish 239s were delivered in an overall aluminium lacquer finish. Cockpits were in a similar colour, although as the Finns progressively overhauled them, you also see cockpits with some if not all areas repainted in a light grey/blue colour.

The Finns also added extra seat armour which is very noticeable, plus there's a small bulge on one side of the cockpit coming to house a new compass. When I get home I'll dig out the pics

My understanding was that the under fuselage clear panels was replaced with aluminium sheeting

Undersurface blue was more like RLM65 as I believe the Finns bought do17 s from Germany painted in this colour and liked it enough to use it themselves , and I'd always thought the identity yellow was pretty much the same colour as the German one

When I'm home I'll pull some stuff from the files and give you more answers

Jonners

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My book on Finnish aircraft colours quotes FS34096 for the green. 117 is too light, my test mix of equal parts 116 & 117 would be nearer. Black is not dead black, Revell 9 is better, otherwise 4 or 5 parts H33 + 1 part H67 looks best.

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My understanding is that the aircraft arrived in overall aluminum paint, to which the black and olive green was applied to the upper surfaces.

The light blue was applied later usually in conjunction with a major overhaul. To further complicate things there may have been a transitional light grey employed on some machines.

BW-366%252520Kapteeni%252520Karhunen2.jp

Luutnantti%252520Hans%252520Wind2.jpg

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Hi guys, the planes were delivered aluminum paint overall. Then black/olive green (34096) and light grey (36440) were applied. Only later during the war the bottom was painted in DN-väri which was RLM 65 as used on Do-17’s (hence the DN in the colour name. Well it’s just from the top of my head and the Finnish friends will probably come with more information.

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Hello all!

As said these planes came in overall silver or aluminium paint. At first camouflage colours (olive green/black) were applied to top surfaces. Note that cockpit frames and under surfaces were left aluminium which faded to a light grey. Note also the original aluminium colour around the registration codes in the rear fuselage. The registration codes were painted in six positions using a Swedish font.

The yellow "Eastern Front" colour was applied around the rear fuselage and under the wing tips. Later the cowling was also painted yellow. During the final months of the war an order was given to paint over the upper part of the cowling with camouflage colours.

Planes that were completely overhauled received new paint work. Olive green and black were again used for the upper surfaces but under surfaces were painted with "DN -väri" (RLM 65 or close equivalent). These planes had the registration codes re-painted using a Finnish font (two positions only).

I saw a Brewster that was salvaged from a lake in Russia and transported back in Finland. The museum staff told me that the colours started to change considerably when the plane was brought inside the museum and started to react with dry air. During those "early days" Humbrol 117 looked a close match for the green. The yellow was more pale than Humbrol 24. Maybe Humbrol 69. Eastern front yellow was either Finnish Dicco Nr. 6 or German(?) Unica which were very close to RLM 04.

By the end of 1942 BW-388, 363, 386, 377, 371, 366, 392, 379, 354, 374 and 365 had received the light blue under surface paint.

During 1943 BW-367, 356, 364, 387, 375, 357, 384, 361 and 353 received DN -väri.

During 1944 BW-368, 373, 384, 361 and 353 received DN -väri. It seems that Väinö Pokela's plane BW-381 had the original aluminium under surfaces.

My grandfather flew Brewsters in Turku when they firstly arrived from Trollhättan (Sweden). At that time the planes didn't have the blue Finnish swastika but a white disc only. It was important that no foreign military aircraft flew over the territory of neutral Sweden. So nationality markings were over painted with removable white paint. Same goes by the way for Hurricanes and Lysanders.

Best Regards,

Antti

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Spitfire Addict,

Looked in my Kari Stenman books for help with your queries. I can echo what Antti stated. I was able to find one photo of Pokela's B-239, White 7, from 2/LeLv24, which was evidently shot down by Soviet Hurricanes June 25, 1942, while being flown by another pilot. BW-381 (BW-38 in black and the 1 in green on the RH side) with a stylized white 7 on the rudder, along with the 'farting elk" insignia of LeLv24 in black on the fin. Standard yellow fuselage band, yellow cowling, and underside of the wingtips. Paint appears to have a semi-matte sheen. In the photo, it does look like it has silver painted undersurfaces,and this seems to be confirmed by the text I found that confirms the Brewsters Antti listed as having been re-painted in the light blue-grey DN paint, which was equivalent to RLM65. BW-381 was lost before it could be repainted with the blue-grey undersides.I could not see any victory markings on the fin or rudder in the photo, but it's not a very good photo.

I also found a photo and text that confirmed that the Finish Brewsters were fitted with Revi 3C or 3D reflector sights built under license from Germany. Cockpits were aluminum paint and the Finns installed an armored seat in all of the aircraft they purchased. I don't know if the Aeromaster conversion set you are using has that. Looks like the wheel bays and landing gear struts were also finished with aluminum paint, as were the wheel covers.

Aeromaster used to make Finnish colors in their enamel range, but they are long OOP; I still have some and they are excellent! The FS equivalents, as listed in the Stenman book on Finnish Fighter Colors are as follows below- somebody out there might know if there are other paint brands that could be used

34096 dark olive green (actual color looks like it falls between 34096 and 34098)

37038 black- not a true black

13655 yellow- a light yellow, not the same as the orange-yellow used for individual tail numbers or spinners

35414 light blue-grey (RLM 65)

I hope this information is useful. I have the same conversion and have always wanted to do the Tamiya kits as a Finnish Brewster- good luck!

Mike

Edited by 72modeler

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Here's a shot of the Finnish instrument panel. It's the same as the F2A panel (roughly) except the compass had to be moved from center top to a little doghouse on the starboard side, to make room for the Revi (copy) gunsight:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v19/jimmaas/239compass1.jpg

As noted above, the interior was aluminium lacquer except that the forward upper sections of the sidewalls on both sides were painted black, as of course was the instrument panel and the coaming over the panel (this applied to the F2A-1, the Finnish 239, and later F2A-2). At some point during major overhaul, the interiors were repainted light gray.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v19/jimmaas/F2A-2left.jpg

As a rule of thumb, if the upper surface paintwork is very tatty, the undersurfaces are likely in the original aluminium lacquer (with the Swedish style serials painted about mid-wing. The poor paintwork was because the aircraft had paint applied in the field, with no primer, and the paint flaked off. If the paintwork is good and the Finnish style serials are present, that probably means the undersurfaces are light gray and later RLM 65 (DN color).

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My understanding is that the aircraft arrived in overall aluminum paint, to which the black and olive green was applied to the upper surfaces.

The light blue was applied later usually in conjunction with a major overhaul. To further complicate things there may have been a transitional light grey employed on some machines.

BW-366%252520Kapteeni%252520Karhunen2.jp

Luutnantti%252520Hans%252520Wind2.jpg

Fleet Air Arm Dark Slate Grey is a reasonable match for the Finnish green

16636868203_1a71c96c33_b.jpg

I posted this a few years ago

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/45593-finnish-air-force-references/

Colours, figure this will be of use.

from a Finnish magazine, i was sent a xerox by the musuem.

Finnishcolourchart.jpg

Note

for WW2

Sotakoneet = basically warplanes

[sota = war, kone = machine, i think, I can't easily reach the dictionary right now, note Finnish does not have prepostions, so words tend to have a variety of endings added to them to change tense and gender. from an English speakers point of view - confusing, as you need to know the root word and be able to spot the added word endings. This is just a warning as to the difficulty of the language. Note that endings get added to names as well, eg Humbrolin, Xtracolorin]

that the Finnish cockpit grey, Harmaa

(on Finnish built planes, reconditioned planes, or planes that have had a major overhaul at the aircraft works at Tampere.)

is matched by RAF Medium Sea Grey

FS 36270

and the Olive Green, Oliivin vihrea, topsurface camo with black, is matched by FAA Dark Slate Grey

34906

http://www.colorserver.net/showcolor.asp?fs=34096+36270+

http://www.simmerspaintshop.com/page-RGB-colors-UK.html

Musta is black, and is just black, not black green. For scale use suggest a very dark grey.

Vaaleen sininen DN-vari

the underside blue was adopted after getting Do17's, they liked the colour, and adopted it, and thus is the same as Luftwaffe RLM 65. Note DN = Dornier

the colour chart list two FS matches, but they are very close.

the insignia blue is Tunnuksen sininen. listed as 35123, Sininen means blue, and is derived from Russian I believe.

http://www.colorserver.net/showcolor.asp?f...270+35123+35414

Merkkivari I assume meaning markings (the Finns like to Finnicise words, so 'Bar' as in pub becomes 'Baari' for example)

Punainen - red

Keltainen - yellow

http://www.colorserver.net/showcolor.asp?f...538+33655+31302

the two letter codes in main use section refer to serials on Finnish aircraft, eg

HC - Hurricane

DN - Dornier

JU - Junkers

MT- Messerschmitt

FA- Fiat

CA - Caudron

MS- Morane Saulnier

BW- Brewster

GL - Gladiator

BL - Blenhiem

LY- Lysander

you get the idea....

terve!

T

HTH

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Hello all!

It is very interesting what Troy said about "kenttävihreä" (olive green) and FAA Dark Slate Grey. I looked at my British Aviation Colours of World War Two book's colour chart and it certainly looks a very good match.

A couple of years ago a DC-2 airliner was restored here in Finland in it's wartime colours (same as in Brewsters). The paints were mixed by using a model airplane as a "colour master". The model was carved from wood at the front line by a veteran fighter pilot during his spare time. He painted his model using real aircraft paints. Insert the words Hanssin Jukka (the name of the DC-2) in Google and have a look at yourself. To my eye this new "kenttävihreä" looks too greyish. The actual samples I have seen are darker and more green in hue.

I have a new book (published in 2014) by Kari Stenman and Karoliina Holda called Finnish Fighter Colours 1939-1945. It has a hole chapter about Brewster. This is the very first study which states that there is no photographic evidence about the the light grey under surface colour. It was specified for Brewster but probably never used as Brewster was an all metal aircraft and the light grey was intended for wooden surfaces.

I also noticed the colour list Troy posted. It looks like it is from an earlier book by Mr. Stenman and Mr. Keskinen called "Sotamaalaus - Warpaint". The book was published in 2003.

Merkkiväri means indeed marking colour. Two different yellows, red and white are mentioned in the book mentioned above. Also orange was used; for example the number 9 on the fin of captain Wind's Brewster was orange (See Troy's posting).

Lifecolor produced together with Finnish Aviation Museum a set of acrylic paints for wartime Finnish planes. I use them as a master when mixing enamels... The set contains yellow, olive green, black, light blue, orange and light grey.

Terveisin,

Antti

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Wow guys, thanks for the avalanche of amazing information! I knew I came to the right place. So, for the cockpit and the deck behind the pilots seat I would go with aluminum? The Aero Master conversion kit supplies me with the Finnish style armor plate behind the seat so that should work. I decided to go with the wheels instead of the skis since they were not widely used. I imagine that the aerodynamics of the aircraft with skis was poor at best. Thanks again guys. If this goes well then a nice Finnish 109 may be in order.

Cheers

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See here on Hyperscale from Jim Maas ( well recognized expert on the Buffalo) http://www.network54.com/Forum/149674/message/1191980677. Have seen a picture on line of the seat in the museum in Finland but have not been able to find it yet. Maybe see if you can find it with Google?

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Wow!

I just found this while looking for detail photos of the armored seat fitted to the Finnish Brewsters. BW-372 was recovered from a freshwater lake and IIRC, is now in the NMNA collection at Pensacola. You can see the armor plate fitted behind the seat as well as the areas above the consoles painted black in the cockpit. The exterior paint has held up very well! Thought you all might enjoy seeing these photos.

http://z15.invisionfree.com/72nd_Aircraft/ar/t355.htm

Mike

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For an interesting perspective on the interior of the Finnish Brewster, nothing can beat a tour of the whole thing - go to

http://virtuaalikuvat.com/jamiflyin/?p=0&t=8 and be gentle moving your mouse!

By the way, looking out to the port wing, you can just make out that the small bump on the wing has a glass window facing the pilot. The small bump (on each wing) was in fact a cover for a round counter for the wing machine gun, three white characters on a black background.

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Great link, jimmaas!

I found this great closeup of BW-372. You can see the laquered aluminum areas under the rear canopy, as well as the original yellow paint on the upper wings showing through the camouflage paint- this being one of the Brewsters given up by the USN to the Finns in exchange for the improved F2A-2's coming down the assembly line; you can also clearly see the silver laquered fuselage where the camouflage paint has been worn away.

Mike

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Finland---Air/Brewster-B-239-Buffalo/1863649/L/&sid=57e6e41e289fed9538c8bce7071ec01a

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Thanks for the confirmation. I also discovered that the Finns added an RDF antenna on the rear deck, so I will have to scratch build something. I find that the tails rings an British bombs make good replicas. It also seems that the paint on the Buffalos (can't speak for the myriad other aircraft in Finnish service) was similar in condition the Japanese aircraft. I assume the harsh winter conditions played a major role in the early demise of aircraft paint. I decided to paint the aircraft in an aluminum finish, so perhaps with a very light coat of paint and the use of a sticky tape or sand paper I may be able to mimic the weathering pattern. It is amazing to me that the Finns used an incomparable variety of aircraft, and I cannot think of a country that can match Finland for the amount of foreign types used. Maybe The Spanish Civil War comes close to use of such varied aircraft types and nationalities in comparison. I have gained a great admiration for the Finns. It will be interesting to see how they will deal with Russia in the future.

Cheers

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Hello all!

As said these planes came in overall silver or aluminium paint. At first camouflage colours (olive green/black) were applied to top surfaces. Note that cockpit frames and under surfaces were left aluminium which faded to a light grey. Note also the original aluminium colour around the registration codes in the rear fuselage. The registration codes were painted in six positions using a Swedish font.

The yellow "Eastern Front" colour was applied around the rear fuselage and under the wing tips. Later the cowling was also painted yellow. During the final months of the war an order was given to paint over the upper part of the cowling with camouflage colours.

Planes that were completely overhauled received new paint work. Olive green and black were again used for the upper surfaces but under surfaces were painted with "DN -väri" (RLM 65 or close equivalent). These planes had the registration codes re-painted using a Finnish font (two positions only).

I saw a Brewster that was salvaged from a lake in Russia and transported back in Finland. The museum staff told me that the colours started to change considerably when the plane was brought inside the museum and started to react with dry air. During those "early days" Humbrol 117 looked a close match for the green. The yellow was more pale than Humbrol 24. Maybe Humbrol 69. Eastern front yellow was either Finnish Dicco Nr. 6 or German(?) Unica which were very close to RLM 04.

By the end of 1942 BW-388, 363, 386, 377, 371, 366, 392, 379, 354, 374 and 365 had received the light blue under surface paint.

During 1943 BW-367, 356, 364, 387, 375, 357, 384, 361 and 353 received DN -väri.

During 1944 BW-368, 373, 384, 361 and 353 received DN -väri. It seems that Väinö Pokela's plane BW-381 had the original aluminium under surfaces.

My grandfather flew Brewsters in Turku when they firstly arrived from Trollhättan (Sweden). At that time the planes didn't have the blue Finnish swastika but a white disc only. It was important that no foreign military aircraft flew over the territory of neutral Sweden. So nationality markings were over painted with removable white paint. Same goes by the way for Hurricanes and Lysanders.

Best Regards,

Antti

Great post! Does this mean that Pokela's aircraft had an aluminum lacquer bottom as opposed to light blue?

Cheers

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Great link, jimmaas!

I found this great closeup of BW-372. You can see the laquered aluminum areas under the rear canopy, as well as the original yellow paint on the upper wings showing through the camouflage paint- this being one of the Brewsters given up by the USN to the Finns in exchange for the improved F2A-2's coming down the assembly line; you can also clearly see the silver laquered fuselage where the camouflage paint has been worn away.

Mike

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Finland---Air/Brewster-B-239-Buffalo/1863649/L/&sid=57e6e41e289fed9538c8bce7071ec01a

Wasn't that the Buffalo that was recovered from a lake? I have read a lot of books with plenty of photos of Finnish aircraft in WW II and I don't think I have seen anything looking that scruffy?

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Wasn't that the Buffalo that was recovered from a lake? I have read a lot of books with plenty of photos of Finnish aircraft in WW II and I don't think I have seen anything looking that scruffy?

Yes, it was. IIRC, the Finns have also preserved the single example that was built with wooden wings and a Russian radial engine.

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Wow!

I just found this while looking for detail photos of the armored seat fitted to the Finnish Brewsters. BW-372 was recovered from a freshwater lake and IIRC, is now in the NMNA collection at Pensacola. You can see the armor plate fitted behind the seat as well as the areas above the consoles painted black in the cockpit. The exterior paint has held up very well! Thought you all might enjoy seeing these photos.

http://z15.invisionfree.com/72nd_Aircraft/ar/t355.htm

Mike

I do have a question, does the smaller seat fit on top of the armor played backing?, or did the pilot sit on the armored seat in lieu of the original factory seat (the one that looks like a 20mm shel hit it?

Cheers

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