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Airfix 1/72 J8a Gladiator


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Hot off the heels of the vampire, I'm already starting something new (my modelling table was looking far too empty!)  This time, I'll be building this:

 

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I've always had an interest in unusual configurations of aircraft (such as skis), and also for markings of the Finnish air force (I played through all 200 missions of the Finland campaign in IL-2 Sturmovik some years ago...).  I'd been wanting to build this one for a while, and when I saw that there was only one left on the shelf, I knew I had to have it!  Looking inside, here's what we get:

 

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The parts look very good, lots of detail straight out of the box and well molded.  You even get hollow exhaust pipes!

 

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I probably won't be using the pilot.  Hes quite detailed, but seems to be positioned as if he's sitting on a horse, not in an airplane!  He also has a mysterious hole in his...err...gentleman's area.  I hope that's not a locating hole for another part!

 

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Before I looked at the instructions, I was worried that these were a crude attempt at pushrods or something for the front of the engine, but they're actually the exhaust pipes, thankfully:

 

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Here are the parts unique to this boxing.  The 3 bladed prop I won't be using.  It's neat that they give you a tail ski in both the on ground and in flight positions.

 

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With this much detail, I think I'll do it with an open canopy and door.  To do so, Airfix would have you cut away the door on the fuselage.....

 

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...and attach this on the outside!

 

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It's far too thick and looks way worse than the actual fuselage part, so I'll probably end up just cutting the side wall very carefully so I can still use the removed piece.

 

Building to start shortly.  There are some excellent pictures in the walkaround thread for the gladiator which I'll be using for reference on the colours..to a certain extent.  I'm not going to try and match all the shades exactly, but the silver bits will be silver, the green bits will be green, etc.

Back soon with some construction pics!

 

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Nice subject. I built this in the Finnish livery too. You're right to cut out the door, the replacement is too thick and blobby. The only issues I had with it were the fuselage mounted guns, which are tricky to mask, so I cut them off and fitted them later; and be careful when removing the cabane struts from the sprue - I bust mine!

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10 hours ago, Beggsy said:

but they're actually the exhaust pipes, thankfully:

 

I'll have to correct myself here, those are the inlets for fuel/air mixture.  The exhaust runs forward to the collector ring on the leading edge of the cowl.

 

9 hours ago, Christer A said:

Will there be rigging in yours?

 

That's the plan, as much as I'm able to do (might miss a few smaller wires if they get too fiddly)

 

6 hours ago, Tomoshenko said:

the fuselage mounted guns, which are tricky to mask

 

I'm thinking I might paint them last and mask over the camouflage, if I can get a piece of tape to go into the gun channel nicely.

 

1 hour ago, limeypilot said:

ow along if you don't mind.

 

I don't mind at all :)

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I've built three of these, and they're great. I'd say be a bit careful with the cabane struts,, as it's a bit too easy to knock these off, and I've found it easy to just marginally misalign the cowling, which then has a knock-on effect on the canopy. I've rigged all of mine with EZ line which is by far the simplest way I've found to do it.

 

I've done mine in RAF, Royal Helleniic Air Force and Fleet Air Arm markings, and I reckon I've got at least three more I want to do. I'll enjoy seeing yours come along!

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I have one of these I'm doing as a Continuation War Finnish aircraft, with the black/green camouflage and yellow Axis markings. I am tempted to get another to do as the ski-equipped Swedish/Finnish Winter War aircraft. Good luck on yours! It is a very nice little kit.

 

Regards,

 

Jason

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I would love to follow along if I may?

 

Rather like yourself, I've found a 'relatively' close LMS with just *one* of these in stock, but I can't afford it for another 48 hours :o!

 

I hope it's still there on Monday :pray: .

 

There are some great pictures of a Finnish machine on the Swedish air museum's website, have a Google if you haven't seen them already.

 

Looking forward to this build, this looks like a very good new(ish) Airfix kit indeed.

 

:popcorn: 

 

TonyT

 

 

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And so, construction commences.  It's been a weekend day with the weather doing this (and getting worse), so progress has been quick!

 

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Firstly, I glued together the pieces for the cockpit.

 

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I also cut away the access door on the port side, and sanded it down to reduce the thickness.  I also carved away a bit of the fuselage under where it will attach to further reduce the apparent thickness.

 

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The cockpit parts were then given their main colours using an airbrush.  The silver is Tamiya XF-16 Flat Aluminium, and the green is a 50:50 mix of XF-2 White and XF 65 Field Grey (which despite the name, is green).

 

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Smaller details were then painted witha  brush or a toothpick, and a dark wash applied.  The guns were also attached.  There's not a lot of detail on the breeches, but they won't be very visible once it's done.

 

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Before sticking the fuselage together, I found and old set of Eduard seat belts and decided to add them.  They claim to be American style, but I think they're good enough.

 

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The instrument panel decal wen on without hassle.

 

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The fuselage went together fairly easily.  A small amount of sanding was needed to get rid of the seam, but no filler.

 

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However, a patch of filler was needed to remove a step after adding the upper section of the nose.  Other areas needing filler were small gaps at the aft end of the wing-body join.

 

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The wing guns have been added before painting, since the main pods will be the same underside colour as the wings.

 

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While the main work on the fuselage progressed, I also started surgery on the pilot to correct his posture.  He won't be in the cockpit, but I'll probably have him sitting beside the aircraft.  He's green because I had some left in the airbrush and wanted to spray something.

 

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Finally for today, I cut the ends of the elevators and scored them along the hinge lines, allowing me to bend them into the drooped position without having to actually separate them entirely from the horizontal stabilizers.

 

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Back to work tomorrow, so slower progress to be expected.

 

 

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Great work mate i currently have 2 on the go as mojo boosters. 

 

As a quick warning check your clear parts as i had part C2 (open canopy) missing in my mk2 kit. However airfix have no gladiator parts instock to replace the missing part.

 

All in all good going im doing mine in the raf colours with the white and black underside.

 

Ill certainly be popping up a deckchair for this one 😊😊

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18 minutes ago, Tomoshenko said:

Forgot to mention that fitting the engine cowling can be a bit fiddly.

 

I'm thinking of leaving the two upper cowling panels removable so that the engine can be seen, depending on how easily they can be made to sit in position without glue.

 

3 minutes ago, Graham316 said:

As a quick warning check your clear parts as i had part C2 (open canopy) missing in my mk2 kit.

 

All present and accounted for, thanks for the heads up!

 

Does anyone have any recommendations for the underside colour?  It looks like it should be standard Swedish camouflage with silver sprayed over the top.  I've seen a few references saying FS36329 is the correct colour, and that Tamiya XF-66 is a match.  To me, they don't look at all similar, XF-66 being darker and not having the same blue tinge.

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32 minutes ago, Graham316 said:

Lucky you mine came sealed in the bag but had the part and the centre sprue injector point missing. May have to attempt modifying one of the closed canopies 🤔🤔 good progress so far mate.

 

I've got a spare one in the stash. Drop me a PM and I'll dig it out and pop it in the post.

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9 hours ago, Beggsy said:

 

Does anyone have any recommendations for the underside colour?  It looks like it should be standard Swedish camouflage with silver sprayed over the top.  I've seen a few references saying FS36329 is the correct colour, and that Tamiya XF-66 is a match.  To me, they don't look at all similar, XF-66 being darker and not having the same blue tinge.

The Swedish colors of this time were Olivgrön W 25 on top and Ljust Blågrå W26 below.

A good match for the green is FS 24079, the light blue FS 26176 but with a little more green tint. All according to the book Kronmärkt

Edited by Christer A
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On 08/04/2017 at 5:15 AM, Beggsy said:

I probably won't be using the pilot.  He's quite detailed, but seems to be positioned as if he's sitting on a horse, not in an airplane!  He also has a mysterious hole in his...err...gentleman's area.  I hope that's not a locating hole for another part!

 

 

 

I think the word you were looking for is Groin!

 

Gondor

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How about the undersides of the wings and horizontal stabilizers?  Airfix would have me paint them silver, rather than blue.  Is there any evidence for or against this?

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1 hour ago, Beggsy said:

How about the undersides of the wings and horizontal stabilizers?  Airfix would have me paint them silver, rather than blue.  Is there any evidence for or against this?

I need to check that!

Let me get back to you.

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Fantastic, thank you!  I see there's also another photo of airplane "F" near the bottom, but from the other side as the one posted earlier, nice!  Those pictures also seem to confirm that the tops of the skis are a darker colour compared to where they attach to the struts.

 

Great find, very much appreciated!

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hi,

 

Just came across this build, and I'll tag along if you don't mind - I have one of these started, and stalled - must get myself in gear.

 

I was going to paint my undersides blue RLM 65 plus a bit of white & grey, not too sure how close this is but I agree the XF66 seems miles off.

 

Looking at Christer's link above, I am not so sure about the all-blue anymore.

 

I have Forslund's book on the Harts & J-8s of F 19 wing, the pics are in b&w and so are open to interpretation, but I can't find a single pic where the undersides are as shiny as the silver on the sides. Other manufacturers decal sheets, (e.g. SBS), also have the wings all blue..... I think there are arguments both ways.

 

cheers,

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