AZmodels 1/72 V.L. Pyry "post war"
KIT #: AZ 7228
PRICE: $19.85 from
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Short run kit with photo etch, resin and vacuformed parts.


VL Pyry was a Finnish low-winged, two-seated fighter trainer aircraft, built by the State Aircraft Factory (Valtion lentokonetehdas) for use with the Finnish Air Force. The Pyry was in use from 1939 to 1962. The aircraft was a mixed construction of wood, steel, fabric, and duraluminium.

The Finnish Air Force ordered a prototype of the aircraft in 1937. It was to be called VL Pyry I and carried the identification number PY-1.

The chief designer was Arvo Ylinen, and the other persons of the design team were Martti Vainio, Torsti Verkkola, and Edward Wegelius.

The first flight was made on March 29 1939 by the factory test pilot, Lieutenant Jorma Visapää. The FAF ordered 40 aircraft in May and the aircraft were quickly constructed and were ready in spring of 1941. These aircraft were known as VL Pyry II and their identification numbers were PY-2 - PY-41.

The first unit to be equipped with Pyrys was the Air Force School in Kauhava, in 1941. The aircraft was used to train pilots for 20 years and it was one of the most successful Finnish airplane constructions. Around 700 pilots were trained in the aircraft and the type accumulated over 56,000 flying hours. The first accident with a Pyry happened in March 1943, when major E.O. Ehrnrooth stressed the aircraft too hard. Ehrnooth, who was the commander of a Messerschmitt Bf 109 squadron, died in the accident.

The last flight with the Pyry was made in Härmälä on 7 September 1962. Captain Veikko Hietamies was the pilot of the PY-1 and senior lieutenant Keijo Elio piloted the PY-27. 


Typical of many short run kits, this one combines a small injected plastic sprue with photo etch, resin and vacuformed parts. The vac bits are a pair of nicely done canopies. Always nice to have a spare. Photo etch makes up the instrument panels, trim wheels, throttle quadrant and one set of harnesses (guess someone forgot this is a two seat plane).

Resin parts are the interior framework (which will require quite a bit of careful cleanup), engine cowling, rudder, seats, engine, pitot tube, wheels and the upper landing gear legs. The resin is quite well molded and while the engine is somewhat generic looking, it will do the part. The major parts of the airframe are in injected plastic. Engraved detailing is crisply done and some of the large parts have ejector towers that will need to be removed. This includes one in each fuselage side that is inside the fuselage interior detailing. Such is luck, I guess.

There is a one piece wing, tail planes, instrument panel backings, interior floor, prop and tail wheel. Not really a ton of parts, but for a trainer it is sufficient as these are not complex planes. There are also the lower landing gear forks and a collector exhaust ring that will fit in front of the resin engine, hiding much of its generic look. The builder will also have to make control sticks and the rear tail plane struts. An acetate film has the various instruments which go behind the photo etch instrument panels.

The instructions are the same for both this and the earlier kit with the fully spatted landing gear and swastika insignia. As such, you need to follow the appropriate notes for each, though in reality they are basically identical. Markings are for the post war version and there is little different between the two options aside from the serial number. The Olive Drab fuselage with Orange wings and horizontal stabs is really quite a fetching scheme. The tiny sheet looks to be well done, though I'd bet they are not opaque enough to keep the Orange on the wings from showing through the white on the roundels.

In all, a neat short run kit of a rather obscure trainer that was only used in Finland as far as I can tell. It will make a nice addition to your collection and be something a bit different from the usual.


October 2010

This kit and many other nice kits and accessories can be found at

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