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Finnish Air Force Camouflage and Markings:
1939 - 1945


by Kalevi Keskinen & Kari Stenman



S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: SUOMEN ILMAVOIMIEN HISTORIA - Finnish Air Force Camouflage and Markings: 1939 - 1945
ISBN: 951-98751-6-6
Media and Contents: Soft cover; 7 x 10 inches; 96 pages plus covers
Price: 27 Euros from Kari Stenman Publishing
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: Extensive photographs (approx. 180), profiles (approx. 70) and FS and model paint chart.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended


Reviewed by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com 




I must admit that I come to this book with a particular bias: I enjoy modeling and reading about the Finnish Air Force during WW-2. May be it is because not long after I seriously got back into the hobby, Aeromaster came out with their second set of decals that were for Finnish Aces, and I came across a copy of the Airco-Aircam Finnish Air Force 1918 – 1968. Or, maybe it was because the Finnish Trade Consul in New York would leave a bottle of Finlandia Vodka in the back of my car as payment for driving him into the City with me during a subway strike. What ever the reason, I was hooked - on the Finnish Air Force, and Finlandia vodka.

First, let me say that the Finnish title, according to the authors, translates into English as warpaint, not camouflage. The authors use the term warpaint through out in referring to the camouflage schemes. This monograph, in both Finnish and English, presents a concise description of the markings and camouflage of the Finnish Air Force during the War. While the English translation is a little rough, it is quite understandable. Unlike the authors’ monograph on the Finnish Air Force published by Squadron/Signal, this volume does not deal with the history of the period. It does, however, cover many of the specific camouflage and marking issues, which their other book does not. For example, the authors explain why some aircraft appear to have a dark yellow fuselage band and a bright yellow cowling, as used in the Eastern Front / Continuation War marking.

The book is not without humor also. There is a quote from an air force directive regarding the painting of aircraft. The directive indicates that aircraft were to be painted according to the attached sketch. The authors note that the sketch is not included in the book, because the sketch was not followed!

But the heart and soul of this book are the photographs. It seems that every Finn carried around a camera, and knew how to use it. The first picture in the book is absolutely amazing. It is a picture taken on 2 March, 1918 of a person painting the hakaristi (broken cross / swastika) on the wing of the first aircraft of the Finnish Army, a Thulin type D,. The aircraft was a gift of Count von Rosen of Sweden, whose family crest included the swastika, which can be seen on a delivery crate.

The pictures are of excellent quality, and some I have not seen before. There are a few pictures of aircraft taken from directly overhead, which show off the warpaint. All the pictures have well written English captions.

The color profiles are quite comprehensive. One profile came as a complete shock to me. I knew the Finns had one Beechcraft C-17 used as a liaison aircraft, but I have seen neither a picture nor profile. It is one colorful aircraft, and I would love to do it in 1/48.

This monograph concludes with a chart listing the colors used by not only the Finns, but other countries as well. The chart sets out the FS approximation, and the Humbrol, Xtracolor and Gunze paints recommended.



For those modelers, like myself, who enjoy modeling the smaller air forces of WW-2 or the Finnish Air Force in particular, this book is an absolute must have. For the rest of you it is highly recommended, especially if you would like to venture into the less familiar. It could even seduce you into modeling Finnish aircraft.

A selection of pictures and color profiles in this book may be seen on the Kari Stenman Publishing web site at http://www.kolumbus.fi/kari.stenman/sih23.html

Thanks to Kari Stenman for the sample.

All Keri Stenman Publishing books are available direct from the publishers,
who now accept credit cards (Visa, Mastercard).

Review Copyright © 2004 by Steven Eisenman
Page Created 16 April, 2004
Last updated 16 April, 2004

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