1/72 Frog M.S.406

Gallery Article by Carmel J. Attard on July 6 2015

 

      

Rising Decal 72-004 on MS406

Rising Decal 72-004 covers two unique colour schemes of the Morane Saulnier MS 406 in the service of Croatian Air Force and the Yugoslav Partizan Air Force. The sheet measures 62mmx54mm and contains no less than17 decal pieces to enable one to make one type or the other. A colour chart depicts side views, two Croatian AF ones, serial number 2305 and 2308, based at Zagreb and another side view of 230-8 but this time in Partizan AF markings after it was captured and based at Zaluzani AB near Banja Luka. This was flown by pilot corporal Sulejman Selimbegovic which scored one confirmed victory over German Junkers W-34.The MS406s are finished in splinter type of camouflage of RLM2 grey/green and RLM71 dark green upper surfaces and RLM65 light blue lower surfaces. The instructions indicate that the edges of the colour separation is soft (sprayed).

 

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The Croat aircraft has the chequered red and white markings in 5 positions and serial number on the side of rear fuselage. 2305 has a white and green spinner while 2308 has a black spiral over a white spinner which is a decal part. In two of the examples the forward side of fuselage is in mottle finish while the Partizan example has a wavy pattern of soft mottle. As 2308 is the same machine that was taken over by the Partizan force side the spinner is retained with its black spiral finish. The Croat insignia is now changed for four red stars over a white circle wing marking while the whole tail unit is in red white and blue horizontal colours with a red star over the middle white portion. Markings for the three bladed propeller are also included. The decal appears to be of excellent quality with sharp colours of correct register and size. They are thin and conform to the surface very well propeller are also provided

Further to the past history of the MS406 C1 recent research revealed that there were three MS406 captured at Zaluzani in Bosnia in September 1944 which were captured from the Croat AF and used by squadron of the 5th Corps NOVJ. The three were serialled 2308, 2323, and 2332 and were delivered on the 21st of September of 1944. Ref: La Force Aerienne Croate 1941-1945 editions Lela Presse. The squadron of the 5th Corps of NOVJ was formed from captured at Zaluzani Airfield and was the second Yugoslav partisan aviation unit that was similar to the liaison squadron. The new squadron consisted of a couple of MS406 fighters as well as a Caproni twin-engine aircraft and some Beher training aircraft and BE-51 sports plane. These aircraft took part in the first action on the very first day when the squadron was formed. They participated in an attack on the Banja Luka Fortress, where surrounded by the Ustaza units which fought very hard. When the Germans later forced the partisans out of Banja Luka, the squadron moved to other airfields in western and eastern Bosnia. It performed 90 combat flights and captured more aircraft, a Ju-87 and FP-2. During all this time the squadron was supplied with fuel, ammunition and other essentials, only from areas which were under control of the 5th Corps of NOVJ. This proved that aviation can even be used by partisans themselves in the conditions of partisan warfare. The squadron was never very great; nevertheless its actions were tremendous boost of morale for the partisans and civilians on the ground.

The instructions recommend the decals for use on the Hasegawa kit of the MS406 but equally useful on any ageing kit as the Frog or Heller kit provided these are updated in their respective ways. In my case I had an old Frog kit which needed detailing in the cockpit, radiator front, additional wing leading edge guns made from surgical needle cut to size, additional antennae and detailing the undercarriage legs. 

Carmel J. Attard

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Photos and text by Carmel J. Attard