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  1. The combat debut of the Gladiator was in southern China early in 1938. The Chinese government ordered the machines in October, 1937, paying a premium for quick delivery. The first crated Gladiators arrived at Hong Kong at the end of November, and were assembled by January, after which they were dispersed into the interior of Kwangtun province. Judging by the usual popular sources, and decal makers, there is a much uncertainty about what form of National marking CNAF Gladiators displayed, and where they were marked. It is commonly asserted the 'white sun' of the Nationalist emblem was applied without blue background, and on upper port wing and lower starboard wing only. I've a decal sheet showing four such 'white suns' and directing they be applied in the usual manner, and other decal sheet shows four standard 'white sun in blue sky' cockades, again applied in the usual manner. I am interested in the delivery scheme, as I want to do a 'combat debut' Gladiator, alongside a IJNAF Type 95 float-plane. Usually machines were finished on the production line, emerging in whatever colors, and with whatever national markings, suited the customer. So far as I am aware, standard CNAF practice at the time the Gladiators were ordered was 'white sun in blue sky' in all four wing positions. As time went on, the CNAF did try to mark its machines less obviously, tactical numbers ceased to be marked large in white on fuselage sides, and the upper wings often lost the national emblem. As the white was the 'break' in camouflage, it is hard to see removing the blue as a measure to increase concealment, and while over the course of the Gladiator's service in China national marking presentation likely changed, is there any reason to believe the Gladiators were ordered with markings not standard in the CNAF when the order as placed?
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