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Morko Morane

MPM’s 1/48 Finnish Morko Morane of HLeLv 21 based in Rissala, Summer 1946.
A real oddball this one, & some folks may already be doing a double take at this point, possibly thinking isn’t that a Morane Saulnier MS 406?

Well, yes it is a re-engined MS 406 with a Russian Klimov M-105P inline, that the Germans supplied to the Finns during the Continuation War.

While no doubt improving the look of the Morane, in my humble opinion, the Klimov’s did nothing to improve the rather woeful performance of the pre-war designed French fighter.

That said the Finns still made a good fist of it and it was a capable aircraft flown in experienced hands.

What was equally remarkable was how long an obsolete aircraft such as this continued to serve during and then for a short while after, World War Two.
This has a lot to do with the Finns ability of having to make do with the meagre resources they had.

Their French engines were wearing out on the MS 406 so, with the Klimov’s becoming ironically available it was a case of converting or consigning the aircraft to the scrap heap.

Only a handful of MS 406 were converted to Morko’s, which is the Finnish for Ghost, before the Continuation war ended. The programme however continued with a total of 41 being converted.

The Morko remained in service until September 1948.

So, it was an oddball kit of an obscure subject that piqued my interest.

But, as for the kit, well oh dear; dear, dear me! This one is not for the faint hearted.

It is, I suspected a warmed-up re-pop of the old Classic airframes moulds with all that entails.

Nothing here fits the way it should, or could. The worse offender is the fuselage join just behind the main wing trailing edge.

A fillet of plastic and careful sanding will fix this one, but be warned!
The resin cockpit parts are also a lousy fit and the moulds are very worn having seen better days.

It is as if the toolmaker was given a back of the envelope drawing with the instructions of “well we’re not quite sure if all the bits fit, so do your best” and the whole thing was done on a Friday afternoon/ Monday morning with the pattern maker having the hangover from hell…or so it seemed to me.

So, one for the enthusiast only, and hence so few pictures of built up ones on the inter web.

There are quality issues all round and it’s a fight all the way to the finish (excuse the pun), the decals being the final insult: Overly thick and prone to silvering. As there were no aftermarket alternatives like the Finns before me I just had to make do.

This is a kit where you can see where all the bodies are buried, nevertheless there is a sense of achievement on the part of this builder of not letting the kit beat me.
I’ve prescribed myself a course of Tamiya kits to recover.

Thanks for looking.

19 responses to Morko Morane

  1. Marek, congratulations on your win! For all the faults you mention it has turned out really well – a thing of beauty in fact! Really interesting pre-shading too!

    • Thanks Paul; re. the pre-shading I was doing a fair bit of experimenting with colour bases and testing out air-brush techniques initially. At the construction stage I wasn’t even sure I’d get this puppy to the finish line (oh dear, pardon the pun) so at worst it could have ended up being a spray mule. As it was, the construction got done eventually and another coat of Mr Surfacer black covered up my early colour experiments.

  2. Well done Sir !!!! You tamed the beast…………. and it looks great.

  3. I have to admit, I’ve never heard of one – much less seen a model of it. Sure turned out well, though. 🙂

    • Thanks Craig, and yes up until I bought one from a mate in my local modellers club for five bucks many moons ago I’d never heard of a Morko Morane either. And the moral of the story (if there is one): beware of suspiciously cheap kits….they’re cheap for a reason….

  4. Nice and very unusal type. I like your decent finish. The build itself – it looks like it must have been fun 🙂 – but you definitely made it!

  5. I like it, looks good, and the plane is kinda sexy in its ugliness! Good work on what looks a very hard to build model

    • Cheers Pedro, there is a pretty plane wanting to get out & that’s part of the reason I stuck with it.
      Regarding the actual aircraft rather than the kit, and this really applies to the Morane Saulnier MS 406 from which the Morko is derived from: If the profile and detailing was further refined and a bit more time and development was spent on it, I could imagine it being considered as one of the classics rather than a footnote and an “also ran”.

  6. You’re a better man than I. One of MPM’s worst, and it ended up in the trash after being thrown with great enthusiasm against the wall.

    • Thanks Tom, I’m surprised: of all the folks to have thrown in the towel I would have put you last on that list – though it is entirely understandable. This is a true Shelf Of Doom candidate (or SOD for short), and I’ve lost count the number of times the big Monty Python foot almost came down on this ill fitting assortment of parts loosely described as a construction kit.
      Ah well, whatever doesn’t break you makes you stronger…or something like that.

  7. I’d never heard of this little aberration, but it made up into a fine model. I’d love to find one of these in 1/72. I have to say, sometimes these types of projects are among my favorite! I’d rather tame a savage beast than muff a pristine kit! At least the former provides a better boost to my modeling esteem than the latter!!

    • Hi Greg, another Czech firm, RS Models do one:
      It’s still a limited run kit so it should be sufficiently challenging hopefully without driving you into the depths of insanity.

      One final observation on this build before this post is consigned to the depths of the iModeler archives is it’s all well and good to do one or two of these sorts of builds during the course of the year,and yes there is a sense of satisfaction of “well this didn’t beat me”, but it does somewhat slow one’s build rate:
      For the time it took to finish this pup at least two or three modern well engineered & crafted kits could have been completed….admittedly they’d be mainstream subjects rather than something rare and obscure – but they’d be better turned out too.

  8. Sympathetic model and very good looking how you have made it. I’m happy you managed to finalize it. Thank you for the history lesson. Timing is nice, while we Finns celebrate our independence 6th of Dec.

  9. Believe it or not, the Klimov engine and other modifications did increase the plane’s performance a fair bit by increasing the top speed by 64 km/h as well as increasing the climb rate, according to some sources to 17-20 m/s

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