This kit is a re-release of the original B-239 in Finnish Service of some years back, only doubled and with new decals. Each of the two planes comes with 8 sprues and 52 parts, 12 of which are for optional versions.
Assembly is straightforward in 8 steps: cockpit, fuselage, wings, main assembly, landing gear, engine, props, and canopy. I encountered no issues with fit and very little need for filler. The only issue needing fixing was that the anti-roll device stood a little proud of the turtleback and this affected the fit of the canopy. Optional parts are for the propeller style, cuffed or not, and canopy windscreen, as parts are provided for both the telescopic and reflector gun sight versions. You need not pick a color scheme until step 7, and speaking of same, there are decals and schemes for 3 aircraft.
The decal provided for the instrument panels is very nice and quite acceptable at this scale. I chose to model the mounts of Pilot Sgt. Nils Katajahnen and Pilot MSgt. Eero Kinnunen. Paint schemes for Finnish Buffalos consisted of the light green-dark green over grey and the light green-dark green over grey with a partial coat of white distemper – not much variation. Yellow theater markings were applied as with German aircraft on the Russian front. Spinners, when present, were marked with the squadron color. The decal sheet gives both complete and partial swastikas, as well as crosses. Extra serial numbers and squadron markings are given, along with a variety of kill markings.
As for finishing, I used ModelMaster acryl paints, Tamiya masking tape, and Future floor wax for the decal gloss coat. The white distemper, not yet finished, is oil paint as I find it easy to work with, forgiving, and that it gives the best look for distemper. It does take longer to do. Decals were of very high quality as usual and went on without a hitch, responding well to the normal Microset/sol system.
Photos are 1) the box art 2) fuselage halves and cockpit before assembly 3) 4) and 5) assembled and painted Pilot Msg.t Kinnunen a/c, complete with the exception of the yellow fuselage band and serials, and showing the prop with and without spinner, and 6) partially completed Pilot Sgt. Katajahnen a/c with the winter distemper camouflage begun.
This is a quick and very enjoyable build, being of the quality we have come to expect from Hasegawa. Many thanks to Hasegawa and to Hobbico for providing this kit, and to IPMS/USA for providing the review opportunity.
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