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Hobby Boss Gloster Gladiator 1/72

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It's been quite some time since i posted anything, but I recently started hobby boss's Gloster gladiator (or RAF gladiator as they call it).


(i hope the flickr pictures will show up as it's the first time i use this site for pics)


I also have airfix's gladiator wich is a more detailed and accurate kit, but since i will be finishing this kit as a Belgian maschine i will be airbrushing the markings and since i have limited experience with this i wanted to try it first on a kit that would build up quickly so i could get right into painting.




contents of the box




3 piece cockpit



At this point i realised the belgian gladiators had a differentstyle windshield but fortunately the airfix kit had this style and the option of an open and closed canopy so since i'll be building the airfix with an open canopy the closed item would be a straight swap right....


Turns out the hobby boss made the rear taper far to wide so the solid portion should only be half the with... what to do... moddify the hobby boss clear part... a lot of work and no accurate result still so out with the saw


for the solid portion i made a mold from milliput and plug moded a nes piece from clear blister plastic


Cardboard backing with CA reinforcement... took a few tries as usual but works well enought for such small parts.


More sanding needed but much better



I added a few more details to the interior, i didn't go all the way, as not much can be seen trough the canopy. i'll save that for the airfix kit.


For the interior green i started with a much darker green and than came in with a dusting for a much lighter shade followed with an enamel wash


since i had some color left i sprayed most of the top as well, it gives an impression of the final color and to play with the wing shading


And that's where we are right now

Edited by lunarhighway
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Pull up a chair 😄


The aifix kit is probably more detailed and accurate, but these hobby boss kits are refreshing and fun to build, and parts the alternative parts breakdown is surprisingly effective. 


They tend to have some inaccuracies but surface detail is quite nice so with some carefully painting you quickly have a nice model.

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another small step in this build...


making the hinges, i drilled holes in the separated elevators and superglued metal wire into it. the drill broke trough the surface in a few places so some filling was required.




this little spool of metal wire originally intended for floral arranging has lasted me since my early days of model making







I can forgive hobby boss with it's low part count for not including separate control surfaces, but it would be nice if more kits would come with them separate. imho it adds more realism to a model than a fully detailed cockpit that can't be seen.


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Time for some paint....


Since the main idea behind this build was to practice painting markings i gave the model a base coat of white... i designed marking in inkscape and printed them as outlines


I put low tack masking tape over the printed paper, and as you can see the lines show trough well enough so i could cut them out


the comets will be red with a yellow outline so first the red of the comet was applied...this was a custom mix i had left but i added some gloss varnish to the mix to make the paint more glossy, the that masking would be easier


next i came in with a coat of white to provide a base for the yellow


so far so good


next all yellow roundels where masked and the red paint was loaded up again


which gave me these nice roundles


and than masking again for the red outline




Rather tempting to leave it this way :) but next well go to silver and green

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I wasn't very happy with the round masks, in that they where not as round as they could be...

I have a circle cutter but while it could match the diameter of the large roundels on it's smallest setting the blade would flex and the roundles where not much better than those cut freehand.

I tried a curve cutter, a hobby knife with a free pivoting blade, but the result wasn't much better than those cut freehand.

For the smaller circles i used a metal scribing template and this worked well, but the diameter wasn't large enough to match the bigger circles... what to do


I recently piked up a drafting compass, which didn't turn out to be the best quality, however it had an attachment to hold a drafting pen or similar in stead of the standard pencil point, and while it would hold a hobby knife this would increase the diameter to much and introduce to much flex.


But this evening it dawned on me i could try and attach one of the spare blades of the curve cutter to the compass... much to my surprise it worked brilliant, no flex in the blade and as close to a perfect circle as i could hope to get... the blade is very sharp and only a light scoring will cut trough the tape.


As a little experiment i cut a circle inside a circle. While i doubt the resulting ring will easily be put back in it's current shape when removed from the cutting mat it does show the precision that can be achieved.


I replaced all the red masks, and while i haven't gotten round to further painting yet,I'm quite pleased with this little step forward... especially since the this build was mainly intended to gain more experience in masking markings.









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  • 2 weeks later...

Time to put the masks to the test...




back basecoat and some silver... the copper is some 20 year old citadel paint




the actual copper ring is masked, the circle cutter came in handy to make a fitting mask for the front



Masked the bottom serial... actually realised i made a mistake at this point as the 22 should be to the right of the gun, but i put the roundel to close so it wouldn't fit.... lessons learned

i'll leave it like this...


and this is how it looks under a coat of silver




And at this point i changed my mind on the masking order, looking at the demarcation it seemed that it would be easier to mask the green rather than the silver, so i went on to paint on the main camouflage color, and i'll mask it later and redo the silver


I used my own custom blend (mainly Revell, Italeri, Valejo... i ordered some empty paint bottles and leaving of the nozzle allows me to pour any unused paint back on the bottle)

It's quite handy to mix a small batch of custom colour.


I went over with two shades or Hataka dark green to add some modulation




i unmasked the tailnumber




it looks OK-ish, but the masks should have been more precise... i once worked with a vinyl sticker cutter plotter, and i wish i still had access to such a machine to cut these masks


the roundels look better, or rather the ribs hide the imperfections




and that's all for now





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i repainted the silver and unmasked everything...


not to happy with the way the comet turned out, thin outlines seem to be pushing the boundaries of this technique, but than that was the point of this exercise.







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4 hours ago, stevehnz said:

Watching this one with interest indeed, I'm keen to do one of these Belgian Gladiators but I'm going to cheat & use decals. :( :)


I believe airfix is about the rerelease their gladiator with Belgian decals, so that might interest you. I certainly don't consider decals cheating ;) but it's always nice to have a few tricks up my sleeve :)



2 hours ago, Andre B said:

Nice looking Gladiator!


How was the fit of the "top wing" to the rest of the aircraft?


Cheers / André




Considering in the last picture it's just held on by the central struts and is not glued yet, i'd say, rather good :) the side struts are held together by horizontal braces that fit in slots in the wings... i think this might leave some minor gaps when they are glued in place, but getting the geometry right should be rather easy. the centeral struts are also linked in pairs that slot into the central top cowl in such a way that you can't get their position wrong (i had actually labeled them before i noticed Hobby boss had thought of that)


Although the kit is simplified and has a few errors, the overall engineering is excellent, with parts that could be mixed up having different sized slots to avoid that. and most parts being snap fit. in fact you have to be carefull when dry fitting as otherwise some parts light be on permanent.

Hobby boss plastic is fairly hard, but not really brittle so overall i don't have the impression small thin parts will break easy either, which is sometimes a problem on biplane kits.








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OOh that is really nice. I'm building an Airfix one in Irish Air corp markings. And I just bought the Roden 1/48 one which will probably be done in the camo IAC scheme, when I get to it.



Slightly blurry photo but you get the idea.

Edited by Marklo
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1 hour ago, Marklo said:

OOh that is really nice. I'm building an Airfix one in Irish Air corp markings. And I just bought the Roden 1/48 one which will probably be done in the camo IAC scheme, when I get to it.



Slightly blurry photo but you get the idea.

that also looks like an interesting colour scheme, looks like you have the rigging all sorted as well... it's one more hurdle i must take on mine... speaking of which...


i installed the side struts to the lower wing first, i had pre rigged them with stretched sprue i added little ticker stretched sprue disks to the centre of these



next i hand painted them and installed the top wing... this took a little fiddling and some care as it was ever so slightly warped so that i had to use a little masking tape to keep one of the side struts from popping out, the central struts also needed some care to line them up with the holes in the top wing, but all in all nothing dramatic for a biplane.


later i realised that i had forgotten to actually glue the top cowl to the fuselage... however flowing some extra thin glue in from the front sorted everything out.... ouff.


The front cowl is also still detachable so that the prop can be painted separate but in the end the little grommet that allows the prop to spin can be fitted.



i painted in the black roundles... i cut masks and pondered breaking out the airbrush, but considdering they where black i descited to hand paint them, using very little paint but finally unmasking them and doing it by hand... not perfect but not worse than the big masked markings.


i went in and tried the fix the comet and some overspray on the roundels... i probably still fix some things here and there... some things that stand out in the photo's are not really that noticable in reality





I'm most pleased with the lettering so far, the roundels are not great but with practice i think i should be able to get better results... the outline of the comet was most disappointing, although i didn't expect this to some out perfect... if i where to do it again I'd probably go for a yellow comet only and carefully paint in the red.



A little more rigging and some weathering here and there and she will be done...


and i'll have a look trough my collection for those other kits i've been putting off for lack of decals :)



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Yours is extremely neat. Mine will hopefully get there given a bit of scotchbrite and some retouching :)



Tried to get a decent picture of mine. Also added the rudder and the engine and started adding the cowling (it's in 4 parts). They wouldn't look too bad side by side :)

Edited by Marklo
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  • 4 weeks later...

It's been a while but we're on the final stretch now.


i did rigging with elastic rigging wire. installing one end with superglue was fairly easy but getting the other end to stick took some trial. finally i figured out that aceton works as a superglue kicker... for some wires i filled the hole with acetone, applied superglue to the wire and stretched it into the hole... it still takes some practice and a third arm would have been handy.





some last details to be added and i'll call it done.

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13 hours ago, StephenCJ said:

Very nice Gladiator Lunarhighway and excellent masking.  I bought a Cricket for making masks, but have only used for a few circles.

Thank you. I won't be throwing out all my decals just yet but if nothing else it certainly is a fun exercise to paint some markings...

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  • 4 weeks later...

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