Lieutenant Hans "Hasse" Wind|
Finnish Air Force, 1943
by Mike Good
Hans "Hasse" Wind
"Hasse" Wind was Finland's second ranking fighter ace with 75 victories.
The tiny Finnish Air Force wreaked havoc on the Soviet Air Force during the Second
World War. The superior training, tactics, leadership and resolve of the Finns kept the
massive Red Air Force at bay for far longer than their obsolete equipment should have. As
an example, Wind was the leading exponent of the Brewster 239 (Buffalo), with 39 of his
total kills obtained while flying Brewsters. With Brewsters, the Finnish pilots obtained a
kill ratio of 38 Russian aircraft shot down for the loss of each Brewster! For those who
might think that such kill ratios were obtained against bombers and other "easy"
targets, it is interesting to note that nearly all of Wind's kills were against fighter
aircraft. These included Hawker Hurricanes, the superb Lavochkin La-5 and even a pair of
Spitfires, all shot down with the Brewster Buffalo!
Wind was twice awarded Finland's highest medal, the Mannerheim Cross. He, along with
Finland's ace of aces, Ilmari Juutilainen, was one of only four people in the entire
Finnish Army to be given this award twice.
This large scale
(1/9, 200mm) figure was not sculpted entirely by me, but rather began life as a Cossack
figure that is currently available from Jaguar Models. I needed to do a conversion for a
book on figures that I am working on, and after seeing the lovely Cossack figure created
by talented Korean sculptor, Ky Gap Park, I decided that this would be an excellent basis
for a conversion! The next step was deciding what to convert him into. When doing a
conversion, it is important to pick a subject that lends itself easily to the original
model. The boots, waist and cross belts were fairly similar to those worn by the Finns.
With my heavy interest in the exploits of the Finnish Air Force, this was a natural
First on the agenda was to sculpt a new head. I decided to do a portrait of Hans Wind.
His photo appears on the front cover of the "Finnish Fighter Aces"
(Havttaja-Assat) published by Tietoteos in Finland. The head was sculpted from Sculpey
modeling clay. All other conversion work was done with Magic Sculpt epoxy putty, with
selected fine details done in Kneadatite epoxy putty.
Then the hard work began! The baggy Cossack pants had to go. I attacked these vigorously
with a sanding drum on my Dremel tool. It was important to stop when I thought I got down
to his legs, as this was to be the basis for rebuilding the pants into riding breeches.
His boots were too long in the calf and had to be shortened as well. This meant extending
his legs by chopping off the top of his boots, gluing the top boot portion to his legs and
grinding down and rebuilding the entire area to resemble the close fitting lower portion
of his pants. I managed to save some of the excellent folds sculpted into the pant legs by
Park but a lot of sculpting, blending and sanding was necessary to make the new folds
homogenous with the old.
Next was the figure's tunic. The front opening, pockets, shoulder straps and collar were
all new items added by myself. The baggy Cossack sleeves were totally inappropriate and it
was easier to simply replace the arms with newly sculpted items, which I did. Stitching to
match that sculpted onto the original figure was impressed into the soft putty with
(appropriately) a needle point. The Lahti pistol holster was sculpted over a
"buck" made from heavy sheet plastic. The medals and insignia were made from
Kneadatite epoxy putty, bits of sheet plastic and fine wire and stretched evergreen
plastic strip. The flight helmet was one of the trickiest bits of sculpting on the whole
figure. I first started with a basic shape made from two pieces of rolled out epoxy putty
"sheet". The folds, seam and stitching details were sculpted into subsequent
layers of putty, with buckles (made from wire) and straps added later.
The extensive remodeling of this figure consumed over two months of full time work. I
could have sculpted the entire figure from scratch in that time! The finished figure was
painted with Humbrol and Testors enamels. The head was entirely hand painted, while most
of the uniform painting was accomplished with an airbrush, followed by bright highlights
and deep shadows painted in by hand. No flat or semi-gloss overcoats were used. Instead I
relied on the known surface finish qualities of the selected paints to portray dull cloth
and eggshell finish leather.
This model was, without doubt, a labor of love. I owe a debt of gratitude to my Finnish
friends, Pekka Nieminen and, especially, Tuomo Maenpaa for providing me with crucial
reference materials to ensure that all details were as authentic as I could make them.
Kiitoksia paljon, to both of them!
Model, Text and Photographs Copyright © 1999 by Mike Good
Page Created 21 April, 1999
Last Updated 26 July, 2007
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