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As my builds for the AFVs are proceeding I thought it time to get on with something with wings. As well as the defence of Malta Sea Gladiators were active in the Med as Fleet fighters for a significant period up until mid 1941. Swordfish pilots formed 813F NAS to give a fighter defence using some of the Sea Gladiators left as a reserve on Malta where they were Eagle's Fighter defence in 1940 until mid 1941.  My base kit for this build will be the new mould Airfix Gladiator. A little bit of work will be needed to scratch a dinghy pack and the arrestor hook housing. I'll use some transfers left over from my Pavla build from the BoB GB. 

 

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I obviously started to put some paint on it before but nothing has been started apart from that. 

 

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Start as usual with the cockpit interior. 

 

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and some paint on the small, and not so small parts. 

 

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2 hours ago, Touvdal said:

Like this kit  have build a few and some in the stash,

 

Look forward to see the result.

 

cheers

Jes

It is a nice kit and well engineered, especially for this things that can be challenging on biplanes. I will be doing a bit of surgery to get the arrestor hook trough added. A dinghy pack from Milliput will also need created. 

 

A bit more work has the cockpit inserted and the pilot seated. Airfix give quite a nice pilot and rather than make seat belts I went down the line painting a small figure instead. I used Gloss Sea blue matted down for his Navy Blue uniform. 

 

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And because of the way the cabane struts and IP are constructed it's time to close up and worry about the front end a bit later 

 

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Will need a little bit of filler and sanding but not much. 

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Looking very sharp @825, the pilot looks really nicely moulded and your painting of him really highlights this. Makes a nice change from some of the aliens we were given as pilots on previous kits !

Cheers Pat

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5 hours ago, JOCKNEY said:

Looking very sharp @825, the pilot looks really nicely moulded and your painting of him really highlights this. Makes a nice change from some of the aliens we were given as pilots on previous kits !

Cheers Pat

Thanks Pat, the pilot is a nice moulding, though it was a little perverse of me to decide rather than cut a few strips of Tamiya tape for seat belts, it would be easier to tidy up and paint the pilot. Though now I've done it I'm pleased. We often forget in our builds that these little planes were flown by very braver young men and we should represent them in some way. 

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Fashioned a trough for the arrestor hook. Used the insert from my Pavla build as a template for the outer aspect then marked it out with a scalpel, then sliced the basic outline out, attacked it with a file then sanded it down with a folded over piece of 800 wet and dry. I'll smooth it all off with some Mr Surfacer. 

 

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Added the transfers to the IP and assembled the cabane struts and cowling. This is nicely engineered by Airfix so there should be no wobbly struts. Popped the lower wing on as well. A little bit of sanding was needed to get a nice fit but nothing more than a few swipes with the sanding stick. 

 

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Did a fair amount of checking on where the demarcation of the upper colours on the fuselage were. On Eagle's Gladiators after painting over the Sky Grey with Sky or a 'home made' light blue the fuselage demarcation was quite high, being just below the cabane struts. So the lower colour was masked appropriately and sealed with some under colour. This is where we are after a first coat of Dark Slate Grey on the fuselage and Light Slate Grey on the lower wing. A couple more thin coats required. 

 

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Finished painting the lower wings and fuselage, and as usual with some trepidation the masking comes off. And to my delight there's little touching up required. 

 

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Then work started on the engine.  I followed Airfix's painting guide but the Aluminium front end is wrong. I'll paint it before proceeding. The canopy has been removed from the sprue cleaned up and dipped in Klear as well. But not to be seen here as it was drying in a box during the photo shoot. 

 

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Working away on the engine. There was a small amount of  filler needed. Airfix have engineered it nice but the tolerances are really tight. 

 

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Front end finished off and some transfers on. I always worry with biplanes that the upper wing won't be strong enough for too much handling so I try to do as much finishing before it goes on. The roundel came from left over transfers from a Fulmar and the codes from those left over from my Pavla build of an 804 NAS Sea Gladiator in the Battle of Britain GB. Moral: never throw anything away. 

 

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Lots of little bits done, some which took more time than expected. Masking the open canopy took forever and although the rear part went on easily the windscreen wanted to sit anywhere but where it should. Now fixed solid and some paint on. The undercarriage needed a fair bit of trimming for the wheels to go on and the tail wheel hole needed re-drilling. The struts needed trimmed to fit into their holes as well I don't know if this was me or Airfix's close tolerances but it's a pain. 

 

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Canopy unmasked, and not looking too bad. I was a bit apprehensive due to curves and small panels, but it's ok. 

 

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Upper wing is on as well. 

 

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Snipped off the cross braces and tidied up the struts. This was a lot easier than the last time I did one for an Airfix Tiger Moth when the struts snapped and broke, then disappeared into the carpet monster. This time it was OK. The resin arrestor hook from my earlier Pavla build and some Citadel Green Stuff started for the dinghy pack are sitting in front. 

 

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The dinghy pack and arrestor hook added. The dinghy pack is a little on the big side so I can sand it down once solidified. 

 

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And finally for today a Watts prop added. This is a Matchbox prop as I donated the original Watts prop in the kit to my Pavla Battle of Britain build. 

 

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Pretty well done, painting finished, last transfers on and most of the airframe has an initial coat of matt varnish. A little bit of tidying up to do and another coat of matt varnish and it'll be time for the gallery photos. 

 

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