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Airfix Folland Gnat T.1 in 72th. New year, new attempts. ++Backwards is the new forwards++


Rob G
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Right, this year is the year. I'm doing stuffs for me, and everyone else can go hang. To that end, here's my first entry for this GB, the 1/72 Airfix Folland Gnat T.1. It will be a straight OOB build, hopefully quickly, to set the tone for the rest of the year.

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If WHEN I get the Gnat done, I'll have a good go at this

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with all its warts intact. I know about the issues, don't much care. It'll just be nice to have a couple of things built quickly. (Did anyone ever come up with a definitive answer for the possibly over length boom issue? That's the only thing that I might address, if I can find out for sure. I've done a bit of looking around, and can't find an answer that answers the question.)

Inspiring all this is a new work area, nearly 3m long and all new (and ALL MINE!)

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Still in a state of being fine tuned, but the important bits are done, so I can crack on when the appointed hour for the start of this GB rolls around - I can add shelves to the wall later. 2 work areas, one for the 'shelf-of-doomers' and t'other for the new works. That's the theory, anyway.

As for the Gnat, I have to wait until Monday to be able to get the recommended Humbrol Fire Orange (no hurry, ain't got nowhere to put it anyway), and I'll have to look up and see if they were painted aluminium, or were in natural metal (I suspect the former - Airfix just specify good old Hu11 :) )

New blade fitted to scalpel, glue sniffed and confirmed OK, ready to roll. Just waiting for takeoff clearance...

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Nice build choices!

I'm just tieing up the lose ends on my Sea Vixen FAW 1 build. It was a nice kit, went together well, nice details and the decals are good. As you mention there are a few issues. I'm not sure how the 1 and 2 kits compare. I bought a pavla seat as the kit ones were way out of scale. The nose was also a bit of a dodgy shape so I bought a resin replacement which looked loads better.

Keep your eyes peeled, the RFI will probably be up tomorrow.

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Looking forward to seeing your progress. :popcorn:

.......and me and my occasional space on the kitchen worktop are very jealous of your new workbenches!

Stix, one of the benefits of being single is that I can use any space I want for anything I want. Sometimes though, that doesn't outweigh the disadvantages of being single...

Nice build choices!

I'm just tieing up the lose ends on my Sea Vixen FAW 1 build. It was a nice kit, went together well, nice details and the decals are good. As you mention there are a few issues. I'm not sure how the 1 and 2 kits compare. I bought a pavla seat as the kit ones were way out of scale. The nose was also a bit of a dodgy shape so I bought a resin replacement which looked loads better.

Keep your eyes peeled, the RFI will probably be up tomorrow.

DAG, I'll keep an eye open for the RFI. I believe that the 2 kits are effectively the same, with the FAW.2 having just the extended boom noses added as per the real a/c and a few other small bits done to make it a little more accurate. I may indulge in a new seat for the pilot, won't bother with the observer, and almost certainly won't add a new nose - that's a step too far for me.

But then I only count rivets on things I realllly like.

EDIT: I HATE it when I go looking for stuff and find out that it's not as expensive as I'd feared... <sigh> I may be adding a nose to the SV if I get that far.

Drat.

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Airfix Gnat T1? Another in this group build I have in the stash so this thread will be useful research! I was a bit dubious about Humbrol Hu209 Fire Orange as being a bit 'loud' for 1/72 and considering Hu 82 Orange Facings instead, I'll be watching this one to find out.

Good luck Rob, going to be interesting this one?

. . . Dave

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I thought that about the nose. But when you put the kit nose and the AM nose side by side there is a definite difference, and I thought it was for the best. I think the resin added a bit off additional weight too which is needed with some lead to stop it from tail sitting.

I used your logic with the seat, I only changed the pilots too. The kit supplied ones are more like 1/144 so it was essential.

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Interesting choice of models. I'm considering building the Gnat as an OOB 3rd entry. I just need to do a quick easy build to don't feel submerged in all the other AM-loaded builds I'm going through...

Cheers

Jaime

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Two cool subjects and a rather nice new work area Rob.

With regards to your Gnat colour question: a painted finish rather than natural metal and one that exhibited considerable dirt and wear on occasion if you wish to weather it ;)

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Airfix Gnat T1? Another in this group build I have in the stash so this thread will be useful research! I was a bit dubious about Humbrol Hu209 Fire Orange as being a bit 'loud' for 1/72 and considering Hu 82 Orange Facings instead, I'll be watching this one to find out.

Good luck Rob, going to be interesting this one?

. . . Dave

Dave, I'm not sure how useful it'll be. But you're welcome to sit in and watch. :) As it turns out, my LHS didn't have any Fire Orange anyway, so I've ended up with some Gunze Sangyo Fluoro Orange instead. I will be conducting experiments with it over a base coat of both white and orange to see what looks best. The other colour you mention, Hu82, looks way too drab to my eye - from what I see, the colour should glow, which Hu82 doesn't. But that's just my opinion, and I've never seen a dayglo Gnat in real life, so my opinion may be invalid.

I thought that about the nose. But when you put the kit nose and the AM nose side by side there is a definite difference, and I thought it was for the best. I think the resin added a bit off additional weight too which is needed with some lead to stop it from tail sitting.

I used your logic with the seat, I only changed the pilots too. The kit supplied ones are more like 1/144 so it was essential.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I ordered a nose. And a seat. Now shut it. :) I'm sure that the extra expense will be well worth it. (There, happy now? :P)

Interesting choice of models. I'm considering building the Gnat as an OOB 3rd entry. I just need to do a quick easy build to don't feel submerged in all the other AM-loaded builds I'm going through...

Cheers

Jaime

Thus far, I'd not recommend the Airfix 72th Gnat as a quick and easy build; it's fiddly. Instead, try the new Mk.1a Spitfire - mine went together without a touch of filler. I was well impressed, and there's an RFI somewhere of it.

Two cool subjects and a rather nice new work area Rob.

With regards to your Gnat colour question: a painted finish rather than natural metal and one that exhibited considerable dirt and wear on occasion if you wish to weather it ;)

Thank for both the compliments and the color info Col, saves me looking it up. I would indeed wish to weather it, but sadly, all that happens is that I end up with a model that looks like I messed the paint up on. It would appear that I'm not sufficiently artistic to make it look like it's meant to be dirty. :)

Build updates to this thread happening later today, I hope.

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Thus far, I'd not recommend the Airfix 72th Gnat as a quick and easy build; it's fiddly. Instead, try the new Mk.1a Spitfire - mine went together without a touch of filler. I was well impressed, and there's an RFI somewhere of it.

Thanks for the warning. I've done the Spit Mk Ia already. In this one I found the canopy to be very ill-fitting and not very thin, though the fit problem could have been modeller-induced...

I'll try the Gnat anyway. I believe that after having built Airfix's Grumman Duck, anything is a great fitting kit :)

Cheers

Jaime

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Ah yeah, summer in the tropics. This is on hold (as it just about everything) until the weather moderates a bit. Temps over 32C and humidity in the mid-90s make for impossible modelling conditions; it's not even any better after dark. This will continue, as and when.

In the meantime, why don't you take a little walk...

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  • 1 month later...

In other news, progress has been made! The weather has broken and although it's not humidity-free, it is significantly better than it was. I went for a wee drive to the next town South for their annual show over the weekend (a mere 350km) and came away inspired to get things rolling, as well as thinning the stash by a good amount.

So, what's been done. I'm glad you asked. I've got the cockpit painted and assembled, done some seatbelt addery with bits of bent wire and medical tape (a little overscale, but ho hum), joined the fuselage halves and stuck the wing on top of the whole lot. Due to careful test fitting, the seams were mostly absent, so a few spots of Mr Surfacer have sorted them out, and due to an complete inability to scribe anything I said "Meh, who looks underneath anyway?" and filled some damaged panel details with superglue. Just waiting for the wing to set up, then I can fill and sand as required there (minimal, by the look of it) and start blowing the first coat of jam onto it.

Photos to follow, just to show that I'm actually rolling along.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ah work, the curse of the drinking modelling class. Been away doing nights for a week, so this has been on hold. I'm back now, so here's the pix of where I am so far.

Seatbelts. They actually look better than this IRL, but I think from now on I'll be using etched belts for anything I do, to save the time and fiddling around as much as for looks.

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Cockpit/IP. Nice decals actually, such a shame that they're slightly too large and can't be seen once the fuselage is stuck together. Oh well.

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And the whole thing assembled. A fair bit of fettling to get the wing to sit down where it has to be, but the time was well spent - apart from the large gaps at the forward root area (the thick white lines are the Perfect Plastic Putty that I used to fill the gaps - first use of the product and I think it has potential) and fine gaps at the roots under the wings (as usual with shoulder-mount wings), it all went well.

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I have added the tailplanes since the photos were taken, and have confirmed the fit of the canopy with a trial - mercifully, it further hides the overscale belt buckles! :D Once the weather dries up a bit (it's raining buckets right now - can't win, humidity or rain, it seems) I'll start with the exterior paint.

This one might actually make the cutoff!

More later.

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Haha. Thanks guys. It's actually not bad, but I'm not sure it'll win any beauty prizes. Regardless, onwards and upwards.

The rain has stopped, and it's a lovely day. I might manage to get paint on this today.

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herpa-derpa-derpa-derp...

Paint. Right. Didn't happen. There were more bits to add than I'd remembered, AND I had to craft a replacement UHF aerial for the underside, to replace the one that Airfix in their wisdom mould to one fuselage half. I mean, they can make the 2 on the spine separate, with lovely little wells to put them into, but they can't do summat similar for the one that is most likely to get knocked off... Oh well. The new one is brass, with an integral pin - it'll be proof against just about anything.

I also had to stick the canopy on after masking it, which I duly did, and managed to knock it bit skew-whiff at some point. Of course, I didn't pick up on that until the Araldite had set well up... so, the person driving will have to twist his neck a little bit to see through the windscreen (harden up, princess).

I've been debating the best way to deal with the orange over silver colour scheme, and have decided to throw caution to the winds, paint the thing silver, let it set up for a week while I'm away, then mask for the orange bits and lay on a coat of white, then the orange. Hopefully that will work out. Silver will happen tomorrow AM, early. If you have seen any of my other recent GB posts, you'll know that tomorrow, early, is going to be a very busy time here in chez RobG. We shall see what transpires.

If I get time, I'll drop a pic in here after the silver happens.

More anon.

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Silver has happened. Despite a few dust particles, it's quite glossy and looks da bomb. I'll cut it back gently with Micromesh when I'm home again and dust another light coat over it, but I'm happy.

Good old Humbrol 11.

(And if I can figure out to post photos while accessing BM from my phone, I'll add some!)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ah yeah... 9 days away at work and I came home to have a look at this little thing, with the intention of giving it a quick cutting back and a top coat of silver, then making it pretty with the orange.

Yeah, right.

Distance provides perspective, they say, so upon the hero's return, he looked at the silver Gnat and said "Cor blimey, that looks a bit naff. Funny, it looked awesomely good before I went away, all shiny 'n' stuff."

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And so it was. But, Mr Humbrol #11 and Mr Dust are apparently best friends, with a mutual attraction that rivals Fred and Ginger, Biggles and Algy or even Holmes and Watson. So, it was with a heavy heart that I decided some serious dust removing scrapery was in order - 4000 grit MicroMesh to the rescue! I ended up with a more-grey-than-silver Gnat (I won't bore you with the photo), but at least the dust bunnies were gone.

In the process of dust removal, I managed to break off one of the 2 spine aerials, and bent the other sufficiently that it self-detached in due course... <sigh> Back to the brass sheet to make a couple of new ones, and I then recalled that I'd forgotten to replace the small triangular antenna above the nose, and it was now lost, so while I was at it I might as well make up 3 of them, and replace the ones under the fuselage as well. Photo etch frame to the rescue! (Never, ever, ever throw anything away.) A bit of filing, cut a few slots on the centreline, add a dab of old-fashioned cyanoacrylate and Robert's your mother's brother (as they say in the posh places.)

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And de fun ain't done! While I was washing off the accumulated grot from the silver and dust removal operations and the small amount from cleaning up the new antennae, I managed to dislodge the canopy. No big deal, it was crooked anyway. Clean up the glue, dip the whole thing into some Windex to remove the Klear and paint, let it dry, re-Klear and let it dry, then mask up and fit. No worries mate! Except that the whole shebang looked a bit dodgy, so off with the masking and back into the Windex for a long soak and a right proper scrubbing. Tonight, it will get (another) final polish and then Klear, and (hopefully) tomorrow sometime I'll be able to re-re-mask it, re-re-attach it and get on with the job at hand, instead of going backwards!

Teddy Petter didn't have this much drama with the real thing!

More anon.

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Whilst this is boardering on the totally irrelevant; of the 2 upper spine aerials, only one is actually the UHF aerial (can't remember which after 43 years though). The second 'aerial' is actually a dummy, an aerodynamic addition to counter the effects of the real aerial! I am also tackling the Airfix Gnat, although it shall be finished in the Red/White scheme of 4FTS when I flew them in 1973.

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TeeELL, that's an interesting tidbit. A thousand curses on whomever decided on that solution, making more work for me 'n' all. While I've got your ear, what purpose (if any) do the small half-round bumps under the fuselage of the model serve. Airfix have them moulded there, but I'm having trouble seeing them in photos of the real thing.

Col, the UHFs as supplied weren't too bad, but the little triangular whatevers do indeed look better in thin brass.

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Rob,

I will take a look tomorrow. I put my Gnat 'on hold' to focus on the P-47 GB, which I have finished. I have my ground school notes for the Gnat and I shall try to find them and see if they shed light on the bumps. The triangular aerials are, I suspect, for the IFF and TACAN although time has eroded my memory and I only flew them as a student (I was a flying instructor on the Hawk at 4FTS - for 20 years, as you might note from my avatar).

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