Thursday, 24 January 2013

Ilmavoimat (Finnish Air Force)

In response to an exchange of comments on the Kit Noob Blog, here are my Finnish Winter War/Continuation War 1/144 scale Finnish aircraft.  All are the work of Wg Cdr Luddite - which is why they look rather better than the guff which usually appears here.  The Finns bought aircraft wherever they could and ended up with an impressively eclectic fleet.  Availability of some of the more esoteric types isn't great in this scale - although I do have another kit on order...  Other suitable models which are available in 1/144 scale include the Gladiator, Ms.406, Hawk75, Buffalo, Ju88.  Various Soviet aircraft were captured and used against their former owners.
 Above is a Hurricane built from the Sweet Models plastic kit. 
 Above an below is a Bf-109 - a True North metal casting with 20mm cannon barrels made from brass rod.

Finally we have a Fokker D.XXI - another True North model.  The appearance of this model saved an Fw-190 from being chopped up to make a Fokker.


David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

Very nice indeed - a credit to the good Wng Cdr. I note the use of white for the canopies - that is a rather good wheeze and one I may try with the Angels 20 1/100th scale models I have on the go.

All the best,


Stephen Beat said...

:) <--- My happy face!

Excellent stuff Tim! Can't wait to start my Eduard 1/144 Finnish Me 109G now. Though I can't promise I will be able to churn mine out to this standard.

Service Ration Distribution (Hobby) said...

They look really good. For air power it's a different slant on what is usually a quite common subject. You don't often see a Hurricane and a 109 on the same team. A flying start and a flying Finnish...sorry couldn't resist.

Archduke Piccolo said...

Very nice models, and I like the livery. In assisting the author of a book on 40 Sqn RAF, I ran across some material in which the Squadron was preparing Blenheims for the Finnish Airforce during the Winter War of 1939-40. Apparently the ground crews looked very sideways at the blue swastikas they had to paint on.

I don't recall that these particular Blenheims made it to the Finns before that war ended, but I'm fairly sure they received some deliveries of the type. Maybe some survived into 1944.

You gotta admire the Finnish Army its fighting qualities, but I find it hard to decide whether its Government was pusillanimous, or very, very, astute.

Nick Grant said...

Very nice work. It's funny to see a Hurricane and a Bf 109 on the same team!

Pete. said...

Lovely collection. Can you get a Lysander in 1/144th? It would make a nice light bomber for the Finns....

is my version- you should be able to look at the pics without logging in.



Wg Cdr Luddite said...

David Crook- the canopies aren't white; they are pale blue with the front and top drybushed white (my attempt to simulate glare).

Nick Grant- you can get Bf 109s and Hurricanes on the same team in Yugoslavia under King Peter.

Paul said...

I bet the Fw 190 was glad about that.

Lovely work WGCMR!

Stephen Beat said...

Pete... I've been trying to find a 1/144 Lysander kit for my Finnish force (Finns used Mk. 1s) but no luck. There is a 1/144 Finnish Mk. 1 die cast model out there (bit pricey though).

Nick... Even funnier is that the Finns Me109s faced Soviet lend lease Hurricanes!

The Finn's war is a fascinating subject.

Tim Gow said...

David Crook
Like the man himself says, it's actually pale blue. Works well though.

Tim Gow said...

Stephen Beat
Now when you buy more toys you can blame me. Everyone else seems to....

Tim Gow said...

Service Ration Distribution
Apart from the Yugoslavs there's these chaps:

Tim Gow said...

Archduke Piccolo
The Finns got their Blenheims in time to use them agains the Sovs.

Tim Gow said...

Nick Grant
See above (Romanians!)

Tim Gow said...

A Lysander in 1/144? I wish!

Tim Gow said...

Wh Cdr Luddite
OK, you can stop glaring now...

Tim Gow said...

It sure was - it had seen my other conversions!

Tim Gow said...

Stephen Beat
I have a Soviet Hurricane, so that's covered!

Lönkka said...

Pretty accurate paint schemes there!
But all sport the yellow eastern front markings used in Continuation War so even the Fokker isn't "accurate" for Winter War (also during that time black wasn't yet used in camo top). Hurri and Me109 weren't available in Winter War -oh boy if we had them at that time...!

Archduke Piccolo,
In 1936 Finns bought 18 Blenheims (last ones were delivered in 1938).

In 1938 a license to build Blenheims in Finland was bought and Series I (15 planes) were ordered, but it wasn't until 1941-42 before they were finished.

During Winter War Finns managed to beg UK to sell first 12 Blenheims in December out of which 10 arrived in January (1 crashed and 1 dissapeared, IIRC to North Sea) followed by another 12 in February.

With the license a Series II of 30 planes was built in 1943 and in 1944 another 10 as Series III.

In 1951 two planes were basically rebuilt more or less from scratch causing the total number of Blenheims in Finnish Air Force to be either 97 or 99 depending how you count them (42 of them having been delivered from UK and 40 making it to Finland)

The plane was very much appreciated by Finns and during Winter War it flew so fast that no Finnish figher escorts could keep up with it and the speed was more or less too much for Russian fighters too (I-15, I-16 & I-153). Blenheims served throughout the Winter War (423 bombing runs) and Continuation War (around 3000 bombing runs) and were still very much in use during the Russian attack phase of 1944.

There is one renovated Blenheim IV in Keski-Suomi Air Museum:

Tim Gow said...

Oh for a Blenheim in 1/144 scale!