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A pair of Gnat T.1s - 1:72 Airfix RAF Valley circa 1977

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Greetings Fellow Modellers!

I submit for your perusal a pair of small, so terribly small Gnats :).

Both models are Airfix's newish Gnat T.1 in 1:72 scale. They represent my return to the hobby, in that on these models I let loose every experiment from which I could learn. I initially wanted to build them OOB, but I ended up using quite a bit of aftermarket stuff: the pitot tubes are Albion Alloy Micro Brass Tubes and the nose wheels are from a nice wheel update set from the Hungarian company SBS. The nose wheels make an improvement over airfix's ones which are a little bit too small. The main wheels are from the kit, and the examples left over from the SBS set will be used later for a hangar diorama.

The canopy was cut with a Revell precision saw to enable it to be posed open. The interior of the canopy was lightly detailed with thin plastic card and stretched sprue. For canopy work I mostly used bookbinder's glue, which is a strong PVA type. The windscreen was made flush with the fuselage with the aid of Gunze Mr. Dissovled Putty and then Mr Surfacer 500. Same story for smoothing the side walls of the nose wheel wells. Cockpit and ejection seats were detailed with plastic card of different thicknesses, stretched sprue and very occasionally thin brass wire.

Paint was basically Gunze Sangyo Mr Hobby, except Vallejo for detail work and Citadel Runefang Steel for the silver. I had lots of trouble with the H1 gloss white, which I applies much too thickly and as a result wouldn't cure well. Thanks to tips from the Tools&Tips section (thanks DuncanB ) I learned some new skills. First matt white, a coat or two, then one coat of gloss. Works beautifully.

Decals were from all over the place: lots of stuff from S&M models' sheet, wing stencils came from the home printer, and the rest was basically scavenged.

Please forgive the format of some of the photos, I liked the idea of imitating 1970s film, so I edited the model's images accordingly.

24224440836_ee726600bb_c.jpggnat2-7 by J Goat, on Flickr

23622235664_8eaa720b95_c.jpggnat2-9 by J Goat, on Flickr

23882709999_fcba2d3f2f_c.jpggnat2-13 by J Goat, on Flickr

23623646503_e16d06dd4f_c.jpggnat2-1 by J Goat, on Flickr

23623649013_17409e9299_c.jpggnat2-3 by J Goat, on Flickr

23624651704_ccd6f5d3d4_c.jpggnat2-15 by J Goat, on Flickr

24167915991_e3f0105496_c.jpggnat2-4 by J Goat, on Flickr

24167916671_da6c472c58_c.jpggnat2-5 by J Goat, on Flickr

23623647283_bc247fd4c8_c.jpggnat2-2 by J Goat, on Flickr

24142395672_418561acf8_c.jpggnat2-14 by J Goat, on Flickr

Thanks for looking!


Edited by Mountain goat
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As no-one has said it yet, I feel I must...

What a lovely pair! :bouncy:

The 72nd Gnat was also my return to the hobby. I'm not ashamed to say those those are several orders of magnitude better. Very well done indeed, especially with a kit that fiddly and intricate.

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Those are superb,.....I had to double check that I`d read 1/72nd scale correctly!! I love this scheme on the Gnat and they look as if they are on a weekend booze trip over to RAF Germany, both nestled in that revetment,......as said earlier it almot looks like a photo of two real aeroplanes!

Great stuff,



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Thank you for the comments, massively appreciated! :cheers:

they look as if they are on a weekend booze trip over to RAF Germany, both nestled in that revetment,......

Booze trip it is! I knew I missed something though - Should've added a couple of ashen faced pilots staggering back towards their mounts, shouldn't I?

Just one small thing though, I think 61 is a CFS jet rather than 4FTS.

Keith - thanks for the comment and yes, that's what I thought initially, but my very scant research (almost assumptions really) led me to believe 61 was reshuffled to 4FTS - solely based on a pic of it in this thread on Valley Gnats. But to be safe I'll edit the title and remove the 4 FTS anyway. By the way, looking at the pic again I realise how off the markings look on my example. Oh well.

I would never be able to present them in this way.

Thank you, I'm very much humbled by comments like these. Never say never though - in case you're wondering: most pics were shot with a smartphone - which is handy for making ground-level pics. No other lenses get that low - ideal for miniature photography. Also, modern smartphones are able to focus on objects very close by - more so than standard cameras I believe (unless you get expensive specialized lenses and gear - obviously superior!) Pics were made inside on a desk, using natural light.

Beautiful, brings back childhood memories.

Thank you - I'm curious about those memories!


Edited by Mountain goat
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