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Brewster Buffalo 239 (Finnish) - Special Hobby 1/32 + some AM


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While waiting on parts to dry on my Walrus for the group build or otherwise just needing a break from it, I started the Buffalo 239 Finnish version from Special Hobby in 1/32.  Yay, my first LSM for this board!  Anyway, since I just finished their 1/48 Buffalo kit, I figured I might as well tackle this one given I know what to look out for.

Unlike the 1/48 kit I just finished, this one I will be building mostly out of the box with considerably less aftermarket.

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The kit is like the 1/48 kit (and probably most SH kits) in that in addition to the plastic, you get resin and PE details in the box.  It's been interesting comparing this to the Airfix Walrus that I'm working on.  The Airfix kit has great fit but a lot of flash and injector marks and other cleanup that you need to do.  This Special Hobby kit needs much less cleanup, but the fit is not the greatest.  I can tell already that I'll have a big gap closing up the fuselage forward of the cockpit 🤬  But, so far this has been an enjoyable build over the last week or so.

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With the fit issues on getting the fuselage closed up, I thought it would be better to add as much of the interior as possible to one of the fuselage halves, rather than trying to install what are three or four separate assemblies into the fuselage halves and then trying to get it closed up.  Taking this approach allows me to position the sub-assemblies on one half of the fuselage, and while the glue is drying, test the fit and get the final location by dry fitting the other fuselage half over it.  Takes quite a bit of time, but I think it will be less painful in the long run.

Instructions are ok I suppose - generally there are no locating marks, pins, etc., so you have to sorta guess where the instruction arrows point you.  Thankfully there are other builds out there on the web to doublecheck yourself.

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IMG_6779.thumb.JPG.7ce77d0715502e48f6095b1178afa7d6.JPG

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Here's where I am today.  Managed to get painted the interior of the fuselage halves and remaining interior items to install.  

IMG_6786.thumb.JPG.cd81db9eff75809c95b22fc803f83ccd.JPG

 

IMG_6787.thumb.JPG.a0f2fb7cb7351cad024e52819fbc13bc.JPG

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I'm pretty happy with how things are looking.  I went ahead and used Vallejo's Metal Color Duraluminum.  It sprays very well.  After using mostly Mr. Color paints on my 1/48 Buffalo, it's been nice to go back to acrylics for ease of preparing the airbrush and cleaning.  I'll still use Mr. Surfacer for the exterior primer and either Mr. Color or Tamiya for some of the harder to paint colors like the yellow on the cowl and wing tips, but I might go back to using acrylic elsewhere.

Thanks for looking in!

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  • Landlubber Mike changed the title to Brewster Buffalo 239 - Special Hobby 1/32 + some AM
  • Landlubber Mike changed the title to Brewster Buffalo 239 (Finnish) - Special Hobby 1/32 + some AM
1 hour ago, KevinM said:

Looking Good Mike you should know the interior colors like the back of your hand;)

Thanks Kevin!  This one is kinda easy with everything in aluminum.  There's some black and other colors thrown in, but fairly easy scheme.  That being said, the SH instructions suggested that some of the bulkheads and other parts be interior green.  Seemed a bit odd to me, so I wasn't sure if it was a mistake.  I checked other builds and they seem to generally paint everything aluminum, so I went with that approach which made assembly and painting much easier.  It's not like anyone is going to be able to see much of the interior anyway.

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Really looking good Mike.:) I wish there was a 1/32 F2A-3 kit available as I'd like to build one of those to go with the 1/48 Tamiya one I modified YEARS ago. I suppose if I REALLY wanted a -3 bad enough I could modify this kit. Not too difficult I suppose as all that's needed is to lengthen the fuselage in front of the wind screen. Something to think about! LOL 🙄

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Thanks John!

I think you're right that the -3 (and the 339-23 I did in 1/48 scale) had the longer nose.  There might be some other changes you'd need to make as well, like the panel lines, exhaust location, etc.  This SH kit included two sets of fuselage halves - obviously you only use one, so now I have a good sized paint mule.  The one for the 239 had a different set of panel lines, and the exhausts come out of the bottom of the cowl, and not the side as with the other set that was included in the box.  Certainly not insurmountable.

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1 hour ago, Landlubber Mike said:

Thanks John!

I think you're right that the -3 (and the 339-23 I did in 1/48 scale) had the longer nose.  There might be some other changes you'd need to make as well, like the panel lines, exhaust location, etc.  This SH kit included two sets of fuselage halves - obviously you only use one, so now I have a good sized paint mule.  The one for the 239 had a different set of panel lines, and the exhausts come out of the bottom of the cowl, and not the side as with the other set that was included in the box.  Certainly not insurmountable.

Sounds like a workable project Mike. :)

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looking good and really good timing as I pulled my RAF version out at the weekend and started it.  You are a tad ahead of me so it's nice to have yours as a reference - I'm finding it a really enjoyable build and not having a green or grey interior is a nice change.  I'm also worried about the fuselage fit, I figured I would need to do it in stages and work my way along but I can see it will be a fight, especially with all of the interior sections. I'm adopting your approach so thanks for posting.

thanks

neil  

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The interior looks fantastic Mike and hopefully the huge canopy will leave a lot of it visible. I hope there are no serious fit issues looming, but your approach should limit the risk a bit.

Cheers Rob

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Mike

Terrific progress and the interior is looking fantastic.

I keep tossing back and forth between MRP & Real Color lacquers and acrylics" Mig and Model Air. Eventually, I'll wind up most likely working in acrylics as there are lot of health issues with solvent based paints. Unfortunately, they are a dream to air brush as compared to acrylics. One thing I have been very careful with when shooting Model Ai, is to use only their thinner and air brush cleaner as lacquer based thinners and cleaners tends to turn the Model Air paint into a gooey mess. But no smell and water does work well.

 

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The only SH kit I’ve done was their Tempest. It was a nightmare to fit the cockpit assembly in the fuselage and button up. In the end I didn’t fix the cage inside just ground it down to fit and let friction and the fuselage hold in place. 
Very doubtful if I’ll build another SH……..

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15 hours ago, Bomber_County said:

Great start Mike, following with interest……….

Thanks B-C!  Glad to have you along!

7 hours ago, PanzerWomble said:

Suomi forever !!!!! 

Indeed!

4 hours ago, DocRob said:

The interior looks fantastic Mike and hopefully the huge canopy will leave a lot of it visible. I hope there are no serious fit issues looming, but your approach should limit the risk a bit.

Cheers Rob

That's what I'm hoping Rob.  There are a few little nubs here and there to help locate things like the bulkheads and firewalls, but nothing to really lock things in place.  So, I would glue a sub-assembly and then add the other fuselage half to help the sub-assembly get into what I assumed to be the proper place as the glue dried.  In all honesty, to this point it hasn't been that bad especially since I sorta knew what to plan for after the 1/48 SH Buffalo.  For modellers that expect Tamiya-type fit though, Special Hobby is probably not for them.

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On 3/15/2023 at 6:27 AM, npb748r said:

looking good and really good timing as I pulled my RAF version out at the weekend and started it.  You are a tad ahead of me so it's nice to have yours as a reference - I'm finding it a really enjoyable build and not having a green or grey interior is a nice change.  I'm also worried about the fuselage fit, I figured I would need to do it in stages and work my way along but I can see it will be a fight, especially with all of the interior sections. I'm adopting your approach so thanks for posting.

thanks

neil  

Hey Neil, hope the little I've posted has been of some help.  Let me know if you have any questions as you move along - feel free to post them here or via PM.  I've actually enjoyed working on it as well, and really enjoyed working on the SH 1/48 kit.  A bit more challenging than shake and bake kits, but not too bad if you take your time.

For fuselage fit, the back half seems to fit completely fine.  Forward of the canopy, the bottom of the fuselage halves look to fit ok, but I think the top halves are a touch short.  I ran into very similar issues with the 1/48 kit as you can see below.  I forget how I ended up closing that gap, but I think the 1/32 kit will be proportionately bigger.  I probably will need to run a strip of plastic between the halves to close it.  

image.thumb.png.03c224ffef6eede38e42c69e6f6eb8d0.png

One other potential issue I should note.  On my 1/48 build, looking at the right fuselage half, the area between the end of the cockpit and the tail fin had a flatter profile than the left half.  I don't think it was that my kit part was warped, I think it's just how the mold was as I believe I found another 1/48 log that mentioned the same issue.  I ended up building that area back up by using Tamiya 2-part epoxy putty which surprisingly worked really well given it was my first time using it.  Unfortunately, I came across a 1/32 log that suggested the same issue.  So, just wanted to pass that along as something to look out for.

 

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2 hours ago, Bomber_County said:

The only SH kit I’ve done was their Tempest. It was a nightmare to fit the cockpit assembly in the fuselage and button up. In the end I didn’t fix the cage inside just ground it down to fit and let friction and the fuselage hold in place. 
Very doubtful if I’ll build another SH……..

I'm a little more used to those kind of fit issues after trying to shoehorn the Aires detail set into my Tamiya Wildcat build.  That probably added 40 extra hours to the build (if not more), though probably would take a lot less time now that I've been through that exercise.  

I know what you mean though.  It is a bit frustrating when things just don't fit and it's not from user error.  You have to wonder if kits are test built before release.  Maybe it's just my personality, but I wouldn't release anything that seemed to have clear fit issues.  It's too bad though, as Special Hobby kits some really cool subjects.  After this one, I have their Siebel 204D and Lloyd C.V ser. 46 kits, so maybe I have some masochistic tendencies.

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3 hours ago, Peterpools said:

Mike

Terrific progress and the interior is looking fantastic.

I keep tossing back and forth between MRP & Real Color lacquers and acrylics" Mig and Model Air. Eventually, I'll wind up most likely working in acrylics as there are lot of health issues with solvent based paints. Unfortunately, they are a dream to air brush as compared to acrylics. One thing I have been very careful with when shooting Model Ai, is to use only their thinner and air brush cleaner as lacquer based thinners and cleaners tends to turn the Model Air paint into a gooey mess. But no smell and water does work well.

 

Thanks Peter, appreciate the kind words!

I'm still fairly new to plastic modeling and am still feeling my way around.  I did a couple of car models and used Tamiya rattle cans and Vallejo Model Air paints.  Those were fine, but Tamiya's line of colors is a bit limiting so I decided to branch out.  A lot of car guys swear by Zero Paints and their 2K gloss coats, but those you definitely want to be wearing a respirator for.  I tried them out on my Morgan 3-wheeler (old kit from Entex).  Really nice coverage, but the solvents you recommended to clean out the airbrush afterwards are pretty harsh.  I left a small bristle brush sitting in the solvent trying to clean out my nozzle and the bristles actually started melting.  😳  Not sure if I posted this before, but the British green paint job came out pretty nice (for the chrome parts, I used Vallejo Metal Color):

IMG_3694.thumb.JPG.409fe10d9112e06f3c5d840bf3399715.JPG

On the plane side, I started with Tamiya and Vallejo.  I quickly found Mr. Surfacer to be my absolute favorite primer though for everything - cars, planes, ships, etc.  So, I tried using Mr. Color paints on my 1/48 Buffalo build and really liked them.  I also have Alclad paints on the shelf that I tried once and liked.  I need to figure out what to use for clears.  I've liked Mr. Color (rattle can and airbrush) but I almost had a disaster with them on my Wildcat (likely sprayed too heavy).  

So I don't know what I want to do.  It's been really nice like using Vallejo so far on the Walrus and Buffalo.  For interiors, I'll stick with Vallejo as there  is little need to tape usually.  For exteriors, I'll probably stick with Mr. Surfacer primer and generally use a mix of Mr. Color and Vallejo for colors.  I am going to try using Vallejo for the exterior on my Walrus.  Of course, just after the paints arrived, I o saw a build log online where someone similarly used Vallejo which came up in sheets off the model - had to strip it down and re-paint 😳  Hopefully I have a better experience!  For this build, I think I'm going to use Tamiya or Mr. Color for the yellow wing tips and fuselage band - those will go on first, and then I can tape and not really worry about the tape lifting (and the opacity and coverage is better than what I can get from Vallejo I think).  Rest of the colors will probably be a combination of Mr. Color and Vallejo.

For me, acrylics is mostly about the ease of use and cleanups.  I am less concerned about the toxicity, but probably should be.  I use a spray booth in my basement that vents to a half window - unfortunately I can't open the screen, so just have the vent pipe up against the screen and I leave the window open for an hour or more.  Given the amount I spray, I think I should generally be ok with the filter, venting, etc., but probably should still try to switch over to acrylics as much as possible.

Sorry for the long treatise!

 

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Since I'm on a roll, I wanted to share some B-239 pics I found online.  I wasn't planning on putting this model in a diorama, but I think it would be pretty cool to diorama the first or third pictures below.  Unfortunately I'm not having luck with finding appropriate figures and numbering could be tricky.

BW-378 (March 17, 1942) - looks to have more white in camo scheme, likely because of winter camo due to date, similar to Camo A in kit:

image.thumb.jpeg.5a4ff5eaf5b73bb4ca187e8c40d381e4.jpeg

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Another of the BW-378 (same plane as Camo C in kit which is dated late 1941):

image.jpeg.824a3d3772e57cde9a512544b06d548e.jpeg

 

image.png.3957b7c9dc693fdd137dc7f561fd17a3.png

 

BW-383 (March 17, 1942):

image.thumb.jpeg.8e2c5c425b6a657134e37e2b1dc46ab1.jpeg

image.thumb.jpeg.be6dcac142d63ee666ff544ba43fdd03.jpeg

image.thumb.jpeg.1606d80b0637457cc179b485e81f1b8c.jpeg

 

Interesting camo scheme:

image.jpeg.9667402cc020b5861f6aa64509665afe.jpeg

The famous Lt. Hans Wind (302 combat sorties, 75 confirmed kills, ranked second on Finnish aces list):

image.thumb.png.380d72fa796913b3740d6346c932ff66.png

 

Of course, if the model ends up looking like a piece of crap, I could go for BW-372 which was pulled from a Russian lake in 1998:

https://www.warbirdforum.com/bw372.htm

 

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image.png.304dc0bf147b23d56925847b60bf5850.png

 

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thanks for the interesting pictures Mike, I'm sure you'll avoid the need for a BW-372 diorama !

Just got all of my interior stuff fitted so ready to join the 2 halves - couple of test fits and it didn't look too bad so I'm ever hopeful.  I am pondering the best way to fit the wings though given there is no tabs and slots - have you had any thoughts ??  I'm with you on SH kits, this is my 4th in 1/32 - they are fantastic subjects but need a different mindset and a touch of creativity/bodging to get a decent build. Value for money wise they are spot on, relatively cheap and complete with PE and resin so no aftermarket needed. So far I'd say the Buffalo has been the most enjoyable and so far easiest to build.   

thanks

neil

 

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1 hour ago, Landlubber Mike said:

Thanks Peter, appreciate the kind words!

I'm still fairly new to plastic modeling and am still feeling my way around.  I did a couple of car models and used Tamiya rattle cans and Vallejo Model Air paints.  Those were fine, but Tamiya's line of colors is a bit limiting so I decided to branch out.  A lot of car guys swear by Zero Paints and their 2K gloss coats, but those you definitely want to be wearing a respirator for.  I tried them out on my Morgan 3-wheeler (old kit from Entex).  Really nice coverage, but the solvents you recommended to clean out the airbrush afterwards are pretty harsh.  I left a small bristle brush sitting in the solvent trying to clean out my nozzle and the bristles actually started melting.  😳  Not sure if I posted this before, but the British green paint job came out pretty nice (for the chrome parts, I used Vallejo Metal Color):

IMG_3694.thumb.JPG.409fe10d9112e06f3c5d840bf3399715.JPG

On the plane side, I started with Tamiya and Vallejo.  I quickly found Mr. Surfacer to be my absolute favorite primer though for everything - cars, planes, ships, etc.  So, I tried using Mr. Color paints on my 1/48 Buffalo build and really liked them.  I also have Alclad paints on the shelf that I tried once and liked.  I need to figure out what to use for clears.  I've liked Mr. Color (rattle can and airbrush) but I almost had a disaster with them on my Wildcat (likely sprayed too heavy).  

So I don't know what I want to do.  It's been really nice like using Vallejo so far on the Walrus and Buffalo.  For interiors, I'll stick with Vallejo as there  is little need to tape usually.  For exteriors, I'll probably stick with Mr. Surfacer primer and generally use a mix of Mr. Color and Vallejo for colors.  I am going to try using Vallejo for the exterior on my Walrus.  Of course, just after the paints arrived, I o saw a build log online where someone similarly used Vallejo which came up in sheets off the model - had to strip it down and re-paint 😳  Hopefully I have a better experience!  For this build, I think I'm going to use Tamiya or Mr. Color for the yellow wing tips and fuselage band - those will go on first, and then I can tape and not really worry about the tape lifting (and the opacity and coverage is better than what I can get from Vallejo I think).  Rest of the colors will probably be a combination of Mr. Color and Vallejo.

For me, acrylics is mostly about the ease of use and cleanups.  I am less concerned about the toxicity, but probably should be.  I use a spray booth in my basement that vents to a half window - unfortunately I can't open the screen, so just have the vent pipe up against the screen and I leave the window open for an hour or more.  Given the amount I spray, I think I should generally be ok with the filter, venting, etc., but probably should still try to switch over to acrylics as much as possible.

Sorry for the long treatise!

 

Mike

From your 48th scale builds, I would swear you're a pro and been at plastic modeling for many years.

I pretty much stick with just one primer these days: MRP Lt Gray or Black. In a pinch if I'm out of MRP primer, I'll jump on Mr Surfacer 1500.

Every once in a while I'll do a car and last year I built the Meng 1/24 Ford GT40 LeMans Winner (I never agreed with the race results.) Paints of choice: MRP Primer and Gravity Lacquers. Clear coat is the same I use for my aircraft: 

Mr Color Clear Gloss

Tamiya lacquer Clear Gloss.

For aircraft: Alclad Semi Gloss or Semi Flat as the final topcoat.  I'm not big on pure flat finishes.

I do wear a respirator whenever airbrushing and always paint inside by spray booth (extractor) these days since being a cancer patient three years ago. Wish I used both years ago but few did back in the day - who knew how harmful solvent based paints were. I'm still trying to switch to acrylics for health reasons and it isn't easy.

NPmW6Q.jpg

 

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Thanks Peter for sharing your techniques and consumables.  I'll have to look into trying those.  Really appreciate it!

And really sweet Ford!!  Love it!  As an FYI, I saw that some people go with MCW Finishes for paints - they have lots that match specific car colors.  I think they may be lacquers and enamels.

https://mcwfinishes.com/

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1 hour ago, npb748r said:

thanks for the interesting pictures Mike, I'm sure you'll avoid the need for a BW-372 diorama !

Just got all of my interior stuff fitted so ready to join the 2 halves - couple of test fits and it didn't look too bad so I'm ever hopeful.  I am pondering the best way to fit the wings though given there is no tabs and slots - have you had any thoughts ??  I'm with you on SH kits, this is my 4th in 1/32 - they are fantastic subjects but need a different mindset and a touch of creativity/bodging to get a decent build. Value for money wise they are spot on, relatively cheap and complete with PE and resin so no aftermarket needed. So far I'd say the Buffalo has been the most enjoyable and so far easiest to build.   

thanks

neil

 

Hey Neil, I hadn't looked at the wings until I saw your post.  Arghhh!!!  🤬  Why would they do the wings that way??  In the minute I've had to think about it, I'll probably epoxy brass rod to help give a little more stability to the bond.  I tend to be a lap modeler, and drop or bang into things all the time.  I'd be really concerned with just gluing with cement or CA.  Ugh, ruined my afternoon, thanks!  😆

Oh, one thing while I'm thinking about the wings.  On the 1/48 kit, they had a divot on the underside of each wing for lights.  In the 339-23 that I built in 1/48, only one wing should have had a light so I filled the other in.  I believe that my current instructions say to fill one of them, but in case yours doesn't, you might want to look into it if you're into accuracy.

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