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Finnish Air Force Part 1


Mike Grant Decals, 1/48 scale


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Scale: 1/48 - 48041
Contents and Media: Two decal sheet; full colour instructions
Price: USD$8.00 including shipping worldwide available online from Mike Grant Decals' website
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Attractive markings; perfect register; excellent colour definition; thin carrier film; high quality instructions
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Reviewed by
Peter Gilding

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One of Mike Grant Decals latest releases is sheet 48-041 "Finnish Air Force". This sheet covers two aircraft types - the Junkers JU88-A4 and the B-239 Export Brewster Buffalo.

There are enough markings for all four subjects subjects, two of each type.



The most famous aircraft offered on the sheet is that of Brewster B-239 BW-364 "Orange 4", flown by Finland's top ace of World War 2, Eino IImari "IIIu" Juutilainen. He got 28 kills in this aircraft and it was his favourite. Other pilots flying BW-364 got an additional 8 kills against the VVS, bringing this airframes score up to 36. Juutilainen himself finished the war with 94 kills, his other victories against the VVS and later the Luftwaffe, were scored with his trusty Me109G-2.

Finnish Brewsterís had the highest kill ratio of any aircraft in World War 2, scoring 496 kills against the loss of just 19 Brewsterís. Thatís 26:1....and in early 1941 when the VVS first met the FAF Brewster's in combat, the ratio after just a few months was 67:1.

The decals also include markings for Brewster BW-387, in overall aluminium dope, depicting how Brewster's were finished for the first few months in FAF service. The Brewster markings are intended for the Tamiya kit, recently re-released with the original B-339 (RAF export version) parts. Some of these parts are pertinent to the B-239, such as the tailcone and rollover pylon. It should be noted that the Finnish F2A-1 Buffalo had the 950HP Cyclone R-1820-G5 engine. The Tamiya kit of the RAF B-339 and US Navy F2A-2 had the later 1200HP version of this engine, which was heavier and had to be mounted closer to the firewall to maintain CG. This means the cowling on the Tamiya kit is slightly shorter than what the B-239 sported. The spinner was smaller and exhaust was routed slightly lower as well on the B-239 as well. Aeromaster offered a cowling conversion to convert the Tamiya kit, it shows available on their website, but I am unsure if it is current. I myself intend just on building the Tamiya kit as is. I'll raid the parts box for a spinner and a Revi reflector sight and will have (hopefully) a nice Brewster to put on the contest table next spring.

The colours of Juutilainen's BW-364 are quite striking and sure to grab a judge's weary eye..(Again hopefully). Mike Grantís decal instructions include all FS numbers to complete the Brewsterís and also advise colour callouts for the Ju-88's as both RLM 70/71 on the upper surfaces and 65 underneath. The Ju-88 decals are intended for the popular Dragon/Pro-Modeller kit.

The decals themselves are screen-printed and the colour and register are, to my eye, perfect.

I had the chance to compare the national marking colour a few days ago, while attending a business meeting. I noticed the Finnish Consulate (with flags) was on the same floor as my meeting. Having by chance the decals in in my briefcase, I compared the blue to the Finnish Cross-blue on the flags in and around the Consulate office and the match was perfect. I then had to explain to the consular staff what I was doing and the sight of the decals, accompanied by the colourful instructions brought a tear to the eye of the older Finnish gentleman behind the desk.

The accomplishments of the FAF in World War 2 certainly have not been forgotten in that office or anywhere else were people from Finland find themselves.

I have used Mike Grant Decals many times; they are thin and respond perfectly to Micro-Sol/ Micro Set. Thanks to Mike Grant for sending me this set for review. Scale 1/48, Highly Recommended, Cost 8.00 USD and that includes shipping worldwide. Limited Edition.

Highly Recommended.

Mike Grant Decals are available online from their website

Review Copyright © 2004 by Peter Gilding
Page Created 26 November, 2004
Last updated 26 November, 2004

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