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Fensman

Pat Pattles Gloster Gladiator

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Hi

 

Squadron Leader Marmaduke Thomas St John Pattle DFC*, usually known as Pat Pattle, was a South African-born Second World War fighter pilot and flying ace of the Royal Air Force. Wikipedia

His  score could be as high as  51. A total of 26 of Pattle's victims were Italian; 15 were downed with Gloster Gladiators, the rest with Hawker Hurricanes.[He is considered to be the highest-scoring ace on both Gladiator and Hurricane (35 victories)

 

I have chosen to model his Gloster Gladiator using the current Airfix 1/72 Gloster Gladiator MkI when he was based in North Africa.

 

This is the second biplane I have rigged using nylon invisible sewing thread, which is visible at this scale. Next time I might stain the thread with dark grey felt tip.

 

I have used xtracolor RAF Dark Earth and Tamiya XF81 Dark Green 2 for the upper surfaces and Tamiya Titanium for the upper wing undersurface and finally Tamiya White X-2 and Tamiya XF1 flat black.

 

I used an artists oils muddy black pinwash for the panel lines and another pinwash of a light dust colour for panel lines on the black underside and to give a dusty weathered effect to the general model.

 

I used Humbrol  Clear matt originally as the final cote and this was TOO matt and left white residue so I oversprayed it in Humbrol Clear Satin which gave a much more realistic finnish 

 

Unlike peace time Gladiators the propeller was painted black with a dark earth leading edge and the exhaust collector ring was modelled on images of pegasus engines that had actually been run as the brass shows subtle  changes in colour from different temperatures of exhaust gas with an aluminium coloured  front and  back edge.

 

I hope you like the photos on a makeshift diorama

 

 

Pat Pattle Galdiator-1547.jpg

 

Pat Pattle Galdiator-1548.jpgPat Pattle Galdiator-1549.jpg

 

Pat Pattle Galdiator-1552.jpg

 

Pat Pattle Galdiator-1555.jpg

 

Pat Pattle Galdiator-1556.jpg

 

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Nice Gladiator and a good story too. Thanks for the details about the pin washes.  Those help me a great deal.   Regarding the thread...I use .005 or .004 fishing line frequently and it is very similar to your invisible thread.  I use a black permanent marker which, combined with the clarity of the thread, actually looks more dark silver grey.  A silver marker might also work since it is more opaque but I think a grey marker might not be enough.  Just to let you know.  

Edited by John D.C. Masters

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Excellent build!

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Brilliant model and rigging Sir ! :goodjob:  The background works really well and the story is interesting to read, my congratulations to you.  Regards Colin.

I am in awe of your rigging skills, as you use invisible mending thread as well, any advice on how you fixed the thread successfully and cleanly would be appreciated.

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As for the rigging, Airfix include a clear diagram of where each cable is to go.

 

There are lots of tips on rigging on the internet but this is what I did. It has encouraged me to do more biplanes ( Airfix Swordfish in Toranto colours or Revel Hawker Fury )

 

I used 0.5mm ( but a 0.25mm might be better) drill in a pinvice to pre drill all the attachment points. For the top and lower wing this meant drilling all the way through the wing.

 

I started with the bottom wing threading the nylon through the holes one at a time and securing them with a tiny drop of thin super glue that is sucked into hole by capillary action.

 

When that has set I thread the nylon into the corresponding hole in the upper wing and whilst holding the thread taught apply a drop of thin super glue and keep holding the nylon thread taught until the glue has set.

 

When you have completed the rigging excess thread is trimmed away with a very sharp blade and any remaining holes filled with a filler  or thickish paint I used Humbrol No 1 primer. It then just takes a quick sand to remove excess filler and then you can paint as needed.

 

My advice is to do one cable at a time and not to rush making carefull note where each cable is going befor comitting to glueing

 

I found that the fit of the top wing to the struts on the lower wing was fiddly and not perfectly aligned.

 

Rigging I seem to think strengthens the model but makes dusting impossible.

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Nice work there.

You might like to get your hands on some smoke invisible thread (not terribly invisible!), which has a nice metallic dark grey sheen to it and means you don't have to get messy with marker pens or the like.

For my biplanes, I  drill holes in the upper wing that don't quite go all the way through, but go all the way through the lower wing. I have a ready supply of 0.3mm drill bits, and need them too! The trick is to check that the holes are nice and clean, and that they don't have a raised rim of any expelled plastic. Then I superglue the upper ends of each 'cable' into the upper wing sockets and wait for it all to dry. After that, I thread the lower end all the way through the relevant hole in the lower wing and tension it by clamping a clothes peg to the loose end. I do this pairwise for the same cable on each side of the plane so the tension balances out, then apply some superglue to secure the lower end. Wait a minute to be really sure, then release the pegs and trim the loose ends. A smidgen of filler or Tippex fills the remaining hole, and is sanded when dry.

I've never got on too well with the elastic EZ Line for rigging for some reason, culminating in a Sopwith Camel imploding as I was near nigh finished. Your mileage may vary.

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Brilliant and great history

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Superb treatment of the beautiful Airfix kit!

 

The rigging looks very good from a scale point of view, but perhaps the material is a bit stiff for the purpose, or perhaps the holes need to be drilled at the same oblique angle as the stay? Some of the lines seem to be curving into their attachment points, which somehow compromises the realism of the rigging.

 

Kind regards,

 

Joachim

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23 hours ago, Fensman said:

This is the second biplane I have rigged using nylon invisible sewing thread, which is visible at this scale. Next time I might stain the thread with dark grey felt tip.

18 hours ago, Steve Coombs said:

Nice work there.

You might like to get your hands on some smoke invisible thread (not terribly invisible!), which has a nice metallic dark grey sheen to it and means you don't have to get messy with marker pens or the like.

 

Thanks for posting your fantastic model, as well as the background story.

 

I agree with Steve – there are different grades of visibility with the "invisible" thread, and some are quite dark yet reflective.

 

Regards,

David

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Yes I see the rigging wires of some of the cables do curve in a bit. I hadn't thought of predrilling the holes at  an angle which I think would work well Thank you

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3 hours ago, Fensman said:

Yes I see the rigging wires of some of the cables do curve in a bit. I hadn't thought of predrilling the holes at  an angle which I think would work well Thank you

If you've got a soldering iron, you can use it to tighten up the rigging a touch; hold the hot soldering iron tip close to the thread and it will shrink a little with the heat. Don't go too close or the rigging will melt!

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Lovely Gladiator, and very nice job on the weathering - it has a suitably used look to it! One day I shall do an East African campaign Gladiator, although I doubt I'll have the courage to do the rigging.

 

Regards,

 

Jason

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I have just acquired one of these beauties - lovely work :goodjob:

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That is a super Gladiator. Of all the biplanes to see service in the RAF that must be one of the most aesthetically pleasing: yours is particularly so.

 

P

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