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
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
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
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
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.
selection of pictures and color profiles in this book may be seen on the Kari
Stenman Publishing web site at
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
Back to HyperScale
Back to Reviews