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reini

Tiny Finnish Gnat - Special Hobby 1/72

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Hi there!

 

I already had a plan for this GB - but I think I will deviate from my original plan right away. I had a long & hard look on the scandinavian planes on my stash - and the Gnat got my attention.

 

Firstly - it's one of those types that are overshadowed by other types. Such as the Hawker Hunter, which for example RAF chose instead of the Gnat. 

Secondly - it was purchased at a difficult time and it had a difficult career in the Finnish Air Force, but still managed to serve from 1958 until 1972, despite the purchase of MiG-21's in the early '60's.

And thirdly - most importantly - it was one of the first kits I bought when I came back to the hobby last year. I was visiting Finnish Air Force Museum at Tikkakoski and saw the plane there and bought the kit!

 

So I thought it's time for a Gnat to shine too!

 

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Here's a Gnat at Finnish Air Force Museum (ilmavoimamuseo.fi/). Livery is 'Kreivi von Rosen' which means 'Count von Rosen'. Count Eric von Rosen was an important person for Finnish Air Force - as he donated the first plane to our air force and as such helped to create it in the first place. This is also the origin of the Finnish Swastika. Count von Rosen's lucky symbol - a blue swastika - was painted on the wings of the Thulin Type D he donated.

 

 

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And here is the kit. Like I mentioned earlier - UK never acquired the fighter version of this type - and Gnat F.1 was actually only used by the Finns, Yugoslavians and the Indians. Finland had total of 11 planes (not including 2 recce variants), Yugoslavia 2 and India 40. India used the type quite a lot and went to license produce it as HAL Ajeet.

 

 

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Back of the box and colour scheme options.

 

 

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What's in the box. Sharp looking decals, very good looking sprues and full colour instruction sheets. Special Hobby kit's I've encountered so far (Gnat & Vampire) look splendid!

 

 

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Main bits. The name Gnat is fitting - the plane is TINY! It looks like a miniature of itself. :P 

 

 

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Couple of nose options, for the recce & trainer variants I believe.

 

 

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Some of the weapon options. That we are not using - just the fuel tanks.

 

 

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Clear parts. Gnat had a particularly strange canopy - the windshield stayed in place and the canopy sealed around it, rather than have separate front part of the canopy as normal. Maybe to improve visibility to have less framing? Not sure. In any case there is both options included in the kit - to display the canopy either closed or open.

 

 

 

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Closer look at the fuselage, it really looks really nice this kit.

 

 

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And this is the colour scheme we will be doing, 'Kreivi von Rosen'. Colours were basic RAF colours at the time, olive green & grey upper surfaces and high speed silver undersurfaces.

 

Questions, comments? Feel free to join the fun :) 

 

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Ooh the Gnat one-seater!

It looks as a fine kit for a tiny tiny Aircraft. Good luck!

 

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These are really cute - pulling up a chair! I have an old Aeroclub in the stash as well. 

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

 

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welcome along with a really interesting build and first foreign aircraft.

 

Wow it looks to be a little gem of a model and very detailed as well. Plus you look to have every extra you could want as well.

 

Good luck with the wee beastie, it looks to be a lovely model and I look forward to seeing her in the gallery.

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I built one few years ago. Great kit.

 

Last August I was in Ilmavoimat museam. I enjoyed a lot.

 

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Hi @reini

Great choice, I didn't know the Gnat had served in Finland.

Might be worth pumping the tyres up on yours when you build it, the one in the museum looks like it's got a puncture !

cheers Pat

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So good to see one of these little Gnats being built here. I'm hoping that we do get to see a large cross section of hardware operated by all the Nordic countries. This now leads me to think that we haven't seen a Danish or Norwegian project announced just yet, so hopefully they will all come in good time. This SH Gnat does look the part and I hope she builds up nice and quickly for you. I'll be looking on to see how you go. 

 

Cheers and best of luck.. Dave 

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Okay, lets go :)

 

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Hard decisions right off the bat! It seems that the Gnat cockpit gets even smaller when you close the canopy - must be magic :P Not quite understand the reason behind two panels with slightly different sized gauges - maybe because of canopy glass material thickness - but hey, good job on giving a choice even if it's a relatively small thing. And about the decision - canopy closed, so small gauges it is.

 

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I prepared the cockpit parts for painting. Cockpit is not superdetailed - but I think it's detailed enough for 1/72. We'll see if we add couple little things.

 

 

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I stopped following the instructions right away - as I'm doing the first and last step of the instruction manual at the same time. Instructions pop in the ejection seat last into the cokpit to finish the build. But I prefer to finish the cockpit first and glue the canopy on before painting the exterior.

 

 

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Part fit seemed OK, but I was little hesitant on what goes where. For example the fit of the cockpit to the fuselage seemed bit vague. But things started to make sense the more parts I glued in, like for example the nose wheel well...

 

 

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Like a glove! Fuselage join seems promising too as I test fitted it briefly.

 

 

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I'm little hesitant about the belts. I'm thinking between left over Eduard MiG-21 belts - or the trusty Tamiya tape. In both case it will be 'close enough' representation of the belts, I don't have high hopes of the details showing too much thru the small canopy.

 

 

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One thing that seemed to be missing - that can actually be visible thru the canopy - is the pull cord for the ejection seat. So made one from copper wire.

 

 

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Next up is painting of the cockpit. Special Hobby mentions dark grey as cockpit colour - but as far as I know it should be black as was the way of the Brits with their jets? So black it is. Which actually means I'm gonna paint it grey and apply generous amount of Tamiya black panel liner. As I think very dark grey is more scale appropriate and in this case creates an illusion of slightly worn color - plus all the shades & shadows from the panel liner help bring out details.

 

Questions, comments? :) 

 

 

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great start, that's very interesting the 2 instrument panels, least it saves you from have fit problems with the canopy later on.

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This probably beats the gladiator in the tiny aeroplane contest 👍

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58 minutes ago, Hewy said:

This probably beats the gladiator in the tiny aeroplane contest 👍

Haha, well - it is actually pretty close! Gladiator is 8,36m long, compared to the 8,74m of the Gnat. But Gladiator has 3m longer wingspan - which is to be expected. But I'm guessing side by side, even a Gladiator makes Gnat feel small :D 

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Nice start. I'd be carefull of painting the 'pit black as the two-seat Gnat had a medium grey office.

 

*Edit* Black it is! 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Folland_Gnat_Mk.1_(GN-107)_Karhulan_ilmailukerhon_lentomuseo_19.JPG

 

 

Edited by Col.

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3 minutes ago, Col. said:

Nice start. I'd be carefull of painting the 'pit black as the two-seat Gnat had a medium grey office.

Interesting. Have to do some more research.

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4 minutes ago, reini said:

Interesting. Have to do some more research.

Ignore me, they were indeed black 

 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Folland_Gnat_Mk.1_(GN-107)_Karhulan_ilmailukerhon_lentomuseo_19.JPG

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Here's a thread that may be of interest to you :) 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Col. said:

Here's a thread that may be of interest to you :) 

 

 

 

Indeed! Thank you!

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Some basework with the cockpit.

 

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Got a first layer of paint down. Grey Green for the interior parts.

 

 

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This is after two layers of Tamiya Black Panel Liner - quite liberal amount of it :P Have to wait it to dry and I can start adding some weathering and details.

 

 

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I checked the thread @Col. linked and came into conclusion that I need to do something about the seat - other than just slab random belts on it. Nothing big but just some small details that might or might not show thru the canopy. So I dug up Green Stuff from my Warhammer miniatures stash.

 

 

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I tried to create the seat pad/parachute(?) on the seat as seen on this picture: Link. Once dry I will refine it a little bit and start figuring out the belts. 

 

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great start, that Greenstuff works a treat for the seat cushion!!

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Cockpit got some additional colors to liven it up a bit,

 

 

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Also added some chipping to make it stand out little bit better.

 

 

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And cockpit is done! I used decals for the cockpit panel. Belts are from Eduard MiG-21MF and final touch up is with pigment powders to add some dirt and color variation. Also scratch built a small red ball on a stick - apparently there to remind the seater by sticking on the back that the seat is not armed. Thanks @Col. for linking the thread where this info was to be found :) 

 

We shall see what needs to be done next in order to get the fuselage closed. To be continued...

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Even when looking at your photos on a tiny mobile 'phone screen it's clear you've done a great job of adding and highlighting the details in such a small area. Nice work :goodjob:

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21 hours ago, Col. said:

Even when looking at your photos on a tiny mobile 'phone screen it's clear you've done a great job of adding and highlighting the details in such a small area. Nice work :goodjob:

I agree, I was coming to that conclusion myself, then read your comment about the phone screen. The parts are obviously tiny and well painted and detailed. Ha! I'm pretty sure a wingy thingy will find its way into my stash (full of trucks) during this GB 🙄

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Thanks! :) It is tiny alright, but I'm glad that the kit is relatively high quality so it's nice to paint.

 

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Need to pop in the engine before we can close the fuselage. Interesting solution of making the exhaust from three small rings. Well I guess it's better than two parts that are cut in the middle.

 

 

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Gloss black basecoat.

 

 

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And some gunmetal.

 

 

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I think we are ready to close the fuselage.

 

 

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Oh one more final touch - some Citadel 'Ardcoat (thick clear coat) for the gauges. Bit hard to catch on the camera but it creates nice little glass imitation.

 

 

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First I glued the stuff on the other side - stuff being the cockpit and exhaust. 

 

 

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When you test fit stuff, it fits perfectly. When you actually put the glue in and try to make them fit, you get lot's of seams. 🙄I wonder why is that... This one did not necessarily have awful seams, but some, even if it looked really good beforehand. Oh well. Good that this is such a small plane so very little sanding!  :P 

 

 

 

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Fine fine job reini,  it looks really good in the photo ,the human eye will struggle to pick out your detail from 2 feet, let alone any skeletons in the closet👍

,love the map for the backdrop 

Edited by Hewy

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gee there's some nice work there Reini! :thumbsup:

 

You do get an idea of just how small she is with the clothes pegs!

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On 21/01/2020 at 21:18, Hewy said:

Fine fine job reini,  it looks really good in the photo ,the human eye will struggle to pick out your detail from 2 feet, let alone any skeletons in the closet👍

,love the map for the backdrop 

Thank you :) I was moaning at my wife that my hobby desk is so messy that it's no good as a photo background. She went to the bookshelf and brought this old huge atlas book - from the dark years of cold war. 'Use this, don't want it back' she said. Okay, why not - seems to work! :) 

 

22 hours ago, trickyrich said:

gee there's some nice work there Reini! :thumbsup:

 

You do get an idea of just how small she is with the clothes pegs!

 

Thanks! Indeed, I'll give you couple size comparisons:

 

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Bf 109 like we all know is not a big airplane. It's pretty much the size of a Gnat to be more precise. Excuse the Messerchmitt, it's from my early years as a modeller - beaten and broken, been thru several air wars in our backyard forest... :P

 

 

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And here is a size comparison with a plane of it's era - a Hawker Hunter. A normal size jet of it's era I would say - not small, but not big. Hunter is more recent addition to my miniature shelf - from today to be precise! :) 

 

 

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I'm preparing the fuselage and wings for painting. I like this clever little design features on the kit, parts fall into place nicely. But then again - if the fit is not good, these kinds of design solutions usually create more problems than they solve

 

 

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Need to tidy up the fuselage before attaching the wings but it's starting to look like a plane.

 

 

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