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Brewster Model 239

Part 1


by Kalevi Keskinen & Kari Stenman



S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: SUOMEN ILMAVOIMIEN HISTORIA (FINNISH AIR FORCE HISTORY) No. 1A - Brewster Model 239 Part 1
by Kalevi Keskinen & Kari Stenman
ISBN: 952-99432-3-7
Media and Contents: Soft cover; B5 Format (7 x 10 inches); 96 pages plus covers
Price: 27 Euros from Kari Stenman Publishing
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: Excellent photographs with English text and subtitles.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended


Reviewed by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman

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I have been assured that there was not a conspiracy between Classic Airframes and Keri Stenman publishing to give us a model of and a monograph about the Finnish Brewster Model 239 “Buffalo” virtually at the same time.  Rather, this is a case of pure serendipity.  As a result, modelers and aviation enthusiast have benefited immensely. 

This volume is the first part of a two part reissue of the out of print monographs on the Brewster Model 239 in Finnish service.  This first part begins with the purchase of the Model 239 in 1940 and describes its service with Lentolaivue 22 and 24 (Llv 22 and 24) up to the second half of 1942.  Part two will cover from mid-1942 through the end of 1944, and will include the color profiles. 

What makes this reissue so welcomed is that the text is in both Finnish and English in parallel columns.  No longer will the discussion of camouflage be a secret known only to those who read Finnish.


The text begins with the development and purchase of the Brewster Model 239.  It then goes on to describe the specification for the aircraft and the experimental use of captured Russian engines and retractable landing skis. There is an overview of the painting of the aircraft including the camouflage and markings.  The authors provide the dates when groups of aircraft received their DN color (equivalent to RLM 65) underside. The serial numbers of the aircraft in each group are listed.


The final section of the text covers the combat service of the Model 239 with Llv 22, for a short period of time, and then with Llv 24.  The text is a basic chronological description of events.


Of course, as is the case with other books in the series, the photographs are the heart of this monograph.  It is amazing how so many high quality pictures of the Model 239, from its delivery through 1942 (for this volume), were taken and survived.


There are numerous photos of the aircraft after their assembly by SAAB at Trollhättan, Sweden.  The aircraft, in aluminum lacquer, are shown with their Swedish style serial numbers and merely a white disc where the Finnish hakaristin would be applied upon arrival in Finland.  It appears that the Model 239 remained in its aluminum lacquer during its limited service with Llv.22. 


The photographs cover the transition to the “warpaint” of green and black topsides and the transition from Swedish style serial numbers to Finnish style.  The most obvious example of the serial change is in the number “3”.  The Swedish style has the “3” with a horizontal line forming the top of the number, whereas the Finnish style has it as a curved hook.


The photographs will be invaluable to modelers who want to model a specific aircraft.  For example, when the Swedish style serial was retained, one can see the spray around the number, which was still on the aluminum, and it appears that the canopy frame was left in aluminum.  Also, serial numbers were often partially over painted.


Not only do the pictures provide information, they will also be a source of continued debate on the markings and camouflage of the Model 239 in Finnish service.


Did all the aluminum aircraft have the serial numbers under the wings?  Pictures seem to show otherwise.  Did they all have aluminum undersides until sent in for application of DN?   Some pictures appear to show something sprayed that looks darker.


Then there is the seemingly over painted hakaristin on the underside of the right wing of an overturned aircraft.


Finally, two pictures that will cause a great deal of discussion: two views of the cockpit of a Model 239. Are the sidewalls of the cockpit, where the pilot is seated, a dark color or are they just in shadow?







I am sure that all modelers interested in the FAF have already ordered their copy.  But, if you are interested in the Brewster “Buffalo” in all of its incarnations, then this book is also a must have. If modeling the Brewster 239 in Finnish service is something you have considered, I don’t believe it is too early to put in your Christmas or Hanukah wish list for the Classic Airframes kit and this excellent volume from Kari Stenman Publishing. 

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/sih01a.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 © 2005 by Steven "Modeldad" Eisenman
Page Created 22 August, 2005
Last updated 22 August, 2005

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