The B-239 Finnish Brewster Buffalo was an export version of the F2A-1 U.S. Navy Buffalo that was de-navalized by removing the tailhook, life-raft containers, cockpit armor and not having self-sealing fuel tanks. They were then equipped with a lower horsepower engine. All of these changes made for a lot lighter and maneuverable aircraft.
This kit is a re-release of their earlier kit and is the 2nd set from the original Finnish Aces combo, designated as Part 2. This time it includes 2 kits like Part 1 and a new set of decals with 3 different paint schemes from Aces of the Finnish Air Force. There are 8 sprues of parts with 12 extra parts that would be used for different versions; these are perfect for adding to the spares box. The decal options in this kit are:
- LeLv 24, Pilot Major Eino Luukkanen, Nov.1942
- LeLv 24, pilot W. O. Eino llmari Juutilainen, March 1942
- LeLv 24, Pilot Lt. Hans Wind, January 1943
The Hasegawa instruction sheet is very organized. It is divided into 5 sections front and back and folded to open out into 4 pages. The first section is the cover sheet that has the aircraft picture and information on the aircraft. The second section shows the sprues part layout and the parts that aren’t needed are shaded. Under the picture, it has a color chart with the colors that will be needed. The colors are listed for GSI CREOS Aqueous Hobby Color and MR Color, some of the colors also have FSM numbers. Section three is the Build instructions and a key at the top that shows what different symbols meanwhile you are building. This kit is built using 8 steps.
The fourth section is the markings and painting section showing all the views for the 3 options that you get. On the last section, it has the decal steps and warnings. One thing that I never really paid attention to, until now, was the 2 small scan boxes. I used my cell phones QR reader app and it takes you to the Hasegawa web page and the one in the decal section went to the “how to decal” part of website that has a small movie on decaling. This was a nice addition to the instructions.
For this review, I chose option 1. I wasn’t feeling too confident on painting the white camouflage but option one was more to my liking only using the green and black upper and gray undersides. I used Testers Model Master paints except for the wheels where I used Tru Color grimy black. The aircraft also has yellow theater markings like the Germans used for the Russian front.
The build was very enjoyable with no fit issues and barely any filler is needed. The only problem I can note is that part A3 and A4 are a little high causing the canopy not to go down flush but its nothing that a little sanding couldn’t fix. The decals worked very well with the Micro Sol/Set system. They do include blue crosses if you don’t want to use the blue swastikas.
I highly recommend this kit. It’s well made and is probably one of the best representatives of the Brewster Buffalo out there. Thanks to Hasegawa and Hobbico for providing this kit, and to IPMS USA for the opportunity to review it.