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This is my first post in WIP- Aircraft, but having read about the poor quality of the paints and brush supplied with the Airfix starter kits, I thought I would share my experiences of m OOB build of the Airfix 1:72 Gnat purchased from Aldi.


A Yellowjack Gnat would not normally be on my build list, as it was not based in East Anglia but this I one of my favourite Airshow moments (Dunsfold 2014) and the Gnats in the photo are based at North Weald.




As to the kit




At the sprues were given a good dose of washing up liquid and well rinsed as no primer was going to be used.


As the build would follow the instructions I decided to pre-paint all the parts shown in the instructions as requiring painting before assembly and hit my first issue




The pot of black paint did not have a hinge or opening tab - it also showed signs of leakage! How that was nothing compared to no 11. I opened the pot and found...




Rather than the expected Silver a rather fetching shade of light blue/grey. Anyway had plenty of Silver in stock so by the end of the first evening pre-painting complete.





As a last question this raises an interesting issue about consumer rights. What (as with this one) I buy a kit make a start on it and then discover at a later stage that the kit was deficient in some way, can I still return it to the retailed for refund/replacement?

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Your contract is with the retailer Paul so I would expect your normal consumer rights to apply. It would then be down to the retailer (Aldi) to take the matter up with their supplier if they wished to.

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As other have produced better examples of the Airfix Gnat than t I am capable of making I am only recording my trials - which I though would be limited to paint.


The cockpit, intakes and fuselage all went together well, but when I tried to fit the wing my attempts failed as I could not get the wing to sit flat. I looked at areas on the fuselage/cockpit assembly and nothing was obvious, but the bottom on the wing showed two ribs




as you can see I had already filed one off. Removal of the ribs half fixed the problem. It may be that my alignment of the intakes was wrong rather than an issue with the kit itself. I say half fixed as the wing still needed clamping to sit without any gaps. Due to the contours of the fuselage neither clamps or pegs would stay in place. In the end a combination of the two worked.




Next step was to be painting but looking at that photo I need to address the seam line in the nose!


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Two hours later and the wing seemed to have secured OK. So first coat of paint. I think this is the thinnest coat I have ever achieved - less than a quarter of the tip went into the pot on each wing. One or two blemishes but overall I am happy with the result - this will now be left to dry overnight,


yellow 1


Edited by Paul821
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6 coats of yellow paint on I have reached this stage




Looks OK at this distance so I will wait for the paint to dry before making a decision as if another coat is needed.


Would I use this paint again?


I have a feeling that it I had primer the kits used a No4 brush I could have got the same coverage in one (or two coats). This may have hid some of the detail which have managed to retain. The paint is much thicker in consistency than I am used to with Humbrol Acrylics, but very free of grain and clogging.


Overall this is a kit that just requires two coats with rattle cans - one primer and the gloss yellow. But that would have put the cost up at least 100%.


A couple of more posts before final thoughts..

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I like your yellow, I built this kit a couple of years ago but didn't use the small paints, rather Humbrol enamels which covered OK. I don;t recall any real hassles with fit but do remember it being a neat fit all around & I had to be careful not to get paint on mating surfaces. I'm looking forward to seeing your's done.


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OOB box is finished. I present it with all it’s faults of which there are many.





As a model:

Ease of build 7 out of 10. I had issues with the fit of the wings to the fuselage, also the instructions say fit the crew at the end – the rear crew member needed his legs amputated to allow him to si low enough in the sea.

Quality of paint: 6 out of ten. Already mentioned

Enjoyment factor 8 out of 10.

Value for money 9.5 out 10. Nearly four hours of leisure time for £6


This is not the end for this build. The big issue with a starter kit is the lack of paint for the crew and some detailing of the cockpit. Therefore the canopy is not glued down so I can address these points.

Lastly, awaiting building is the new Airfix Phantom – what a difference in decals: under 20 on the Gant and nearly 500 for the Phantom.




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  • 6 months later...

Bit of a contrast in decals!


I still enjoy using Modeldecal sheets where possible. A nice balance between maint type markings and unit badges etc. I don't think any of their sheets were quite so busy though.


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