Those of our faithful readers who have followed the various posts on the Gladiator thread, will know that I have had one or several re-thinks on the subject and some (including me...) will have been no doubt frustrated by an evident lack of progress towards the production of the sheets.
Well I'm delighted to say that the first sets (in 48th scale) have now gone off for printing and they will be available from us at Telford.
In the end I went for three sets and these first volumes all focus on pre-war and (for the RAF) pre-camouflage subjects:
48021 Gladiator Mk.1 International (Lituania, Latvia, Sweden, Norway, China and Belgium)
48025 Gladiator Mk.1 RAF Vol.1
48026 Gladiator Mk.1 RAF Vol.2
Each set will include full and accurate stencil decals for three aircraft (more than thirty items for each) and correctly sized and shaped serials as well as cockades for two machines on the RAF sets (additional cockades will be available at a later date).
I'll be posting the artwork, profiles, prices and pre-order offers in the next few days in a new thread.
For adherents to the other two major scales I'm pleased to say that these decals in both 72nd and 32nd (for Silver Wings beautiful resin kit) will also be coming before too long.
The next subject is the Hawker Demon, to support John Adams' mouthwatering new 48th scale kit, due to be released at Telford next month. Whilst our decals unfortunately won't quite make it to Telford, they will be out soon and we will be taking pre-orders when we've posted the artwork, profiles etc here, in the run up to the show.
Two sets, imaginatively titled RAF Vol.1 and 2 will be the first releases. As for the Gladiator they will all be for pre-war/pre-camouflage subjects. All the major operating squadrons and their rainbow liveries are represented: 23, 29, 64, 600 & 604, on vol.1 and 65, 74, 601, 607 & 608 on vol.2. As the Aeroclub kit decals will include a full set of stencils and roundels designed by us and printed by Fantasy Printshop, the colours and quality of the kit decals and our aftermarket ones will be to the same high standards. This has enabled us to keep costs down to some degree (there are ten colours on the sheets!) and to include nine subjects on Vol.1 and eight on Vol.2.
72nd scale versions will follow shortly and as soon as some enterprising manufacturer releases a kit in 32nd, rest assured that we will follow suit with decals!
The finishing touches are now being made to a further two sets for the lovely Gauntlet, along the same lines as the above - all RAF prewar/pre-camo. As for the Demon, we are covering all the major operating squadrons: 17, 19, 32, 46, 54, 56, 65, 66, 74, 79111, 151 & 213. Due to a paucity of good photographs, some of these markings are, to a degree, specualtive but we hope as accurate as available information allows. There are still a couple of weeks left before these are finalised, so if anyone has access to photos of 32, 46,65 and 79 squadron's Gauntlets in particular (and of course the top wing of a 74 sqn machine....), we'd love to see them and any close-ups of stencil markings would also be very welcome!!
In 72nd scale the Aeroclub and AZ Model Gauntlets are just begging for these markings, so they will also be coming soon - and of course a 32nd kit will provoke a set or two in that scale, as soon as we have one!
Markings for the Hawker
The drabbing down of the RAF's beautiful silver machines, following the Munich crises of September 1938 was sad but inevitable and although not as "pretty" as the earlier markings, I know that there is interest in sets of decals for this period and they, too, will get the treatment in the coming months. I think it is inevitable that this will lead onto wartime markings for these aircraft and Australian target tug Demons, Dessert war Gladiators and East African Gauntlets will all feature in the future. Much work has already been done on decals for the fabric-winged Hurricane Mk.1 and these will be amongst the first of the "transitional period" markings, including the Battle of France.
There is a rich vein to be explored with the various regional conflicts leading up to the Second Unpleasantness, Manchuria, Khalkhin Gol/Nomonhan and the Spanish Civil War, all hold a high measure of interest.
In all of this, the First World War modeller is not being neglected, so no need for any disquiet! The long-awaited 32nd scale SSW D.III set for the Roden kit and those in 32nd and 48th for the Pfalz D.XII from Wingnut Wings and Special Hobby,will be released in the next week or two and the first 48th scale Jasta 5 and the two Jasta 18 sets (in 72nd and 48th) will be released at Telford.
Resin parts for the WNW RE8 are coming in the next few days from Brian Fawcett and these will be followed up with decals which will include some colourful training machines, soon afterwards. The Hanriot HD1 in Italian service (at last!) in 72nd and 48th (please someone, let's have a 32nd kit!) are also close to being ready and the Gotha G.IV set for Wingnut's wonderful kit will launch at around the same time.
Gas Patch Models ( http://www.gaspatchmodels.com/ ) recently announced 1/48th Salmson 2A2 will be a wonderful kit (particularly so, knowing that the super-talented modeller, Costas Patsaros is the man behind this new company) and this is another subject which we have been working towards for some months - some beautiful schemes for it have already been drawn and others are in preparation.
I haven't forgotten the Nieuport fighters........... or the Camels....... or the other lozenge sets!
With all this going on, some might think that we've given up on the 32nd Tamiya Mustang project - not a bit of it! I expect to have the first resin parts for the underwing rocket stubs here in the next few days from Brian and the decals will follow on soon.
So a fair amount to digest there, but I'd love to hear reactions and other ideas for the future.
Edited by Rowan Broadbent, 26 October 2011 - 08:19 AM.