This article originally appeared in the May 1999 issue of Internet Modeler.

Thulin D
Converting the Eduard M-S L to the first aircraft of the Finnish Air Force

By Philippe Spriesterbach
Member F015 of IPMS Belgium
Secretary of Brussels IPMS chapter

Hi all, I live in Belgium, I'm 43 years old and I've been making models for 30 years. Here is my way to build a not too bad model ;-). A bit of history to begin. The Thulin D (in fact, a slightly modified Morane Parasol L built under license in Sweden) was the first aircraft of the Finnish Air Force. On March 6 1918, count Von Rosen (a Swede) donated this aircraft to Finland.

The good luck personal emblem of Von Rosen, a blue swastika (in Finnish, the Hakaristi) on a white background, was painted on the undersurface of the wing. It became the insignia of Finnish Armed Forces up to 1945. Finland received two Thulin D, coded firstly F1 and F4, later coded A 71/18. This aircraft is depicted here as it was on its arrival at Vaasa.


Before building this kit, I rounded up my documentation: Thulinista Hornetiin by Trimo Heinonen – ISBN 951-95688-2-4, Suomen Ilmavoimien Lentokonnet 1918-1993 by Kalevi KESKINEN and Kari STENMAN – ISBN 951-95821-2-6, Finnish Air Force Camouflage and markings by Kalevi KESKINEN, Kari STENMAN and Klaus NISKA – ISBN 952-5026-05-1. A Finnish friend, Ilkka SAARILAHTI, took photos for me at the Finnish Air Force Museum in Tikkakoski.


This model is based on the Eduard Morane Parasol L slightly modified. Firstly, I made the cockpit interior with the photoetched parts provided in the kit, minus the machine gun. It's not an easy task because it's composed of very small parts to be bent and glued together. If you have never made this, be careful during this stage.

Next, I glue the two parts of the fuselage together, I fill and sand the joints flush. Then, I glue the cowling on the fuselage, and I scratchbuild the cowling sides from .005 thou plasticard. The panels on these pieces were made with fine Evergreen strips, scraps of sprue and aluminium foil. The exhausts were made with fine rods with ends drilled.


The wing is slightly warped, so I soaked it in hot water and twisted it as straight as possible. The rib tapes are badly figured. So, I sanded the wing until I obtained a flat, perfectly smooth, surface. Then, I lightly rescribed each rib tape on the uppersurfaces with a very sharp needle. On the undersurfaces, I did the same thing for rib tapes and spars.

The rudder and tailplane are just refined from the kit parts


The undercarriage is build SOB. Skis are made from .010 thou plasticard. I glued some scraps of Evergreen strip to represent the small fastenings on the skis and drilled them slightly with a small micro-cutters. Then, I built the ski structures and tailskid from the smallest sized Strutz. (Strutz is also used for the cabane struts). The tailskid springs are made from fine copper wire formed around a needle.


The wing structure (spars and rib tapes) is airbrushed with mid brown colour. The structure is then masked with small strips of Tamiya masking tape and the whole wing is airbrushed with clear doped linen colour (sail colour from Gunze Sangyo). The masks are taken off and the whole wing is lightly resprayed with clear doped linen colour. The contrast of the wing structure is now too harsh due to the scribing and masking process. In order to blend it in the wing, I use different tones of yellow ochre pastel chalks. Eventually, I brush a darker tone of the same colour between the ribs to give more depth.

Fuselage, rudder and tailplane are painted in the same way.

The markings were masked with frisket and airbrushed because I didn't find decals big enough.


For representing wood, first, I paint a coat of Gunze sail or sand colour. Then, I drybrush the wooden areas of the model with burnt sienna oil colour from Winsor & Newton. To finish, I put on a wash of brown madder alizarin diluted with a mix of one part turpentine and one part white spirit applied to recessed lines with a very fine brush (#000).


The cowling, cabane struts, undercarriage , tailskid and ski structures are painted with the “green grey” colour from Vallejo (see March 1999 FSM issue).

Then, the model is entirely sprayed with Future (here in Belgium, it's called Johnson Kleer). I sprayed a light coat on the clear doped linen areas to give a semi-matt finish and multiple coats on the wood areas and metallic parts to give a shiny finish.

Finally, the model is entirely rigged with polyamide monofilament sewing thread. I used fine copper wire for the rigging of the skis.

Photos of the model are copyrighted to Philippe SPRIESTERBACH and can used only for personal use of the readers.