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Roden Gladiator - Rigging, Check!


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Just came across this, too late to help, which is a shame because over the summer I did a Roden and an Eduard version of these, alongside a Pyro/Lindberg/etc kit.  I think the engine sits where it should in the cowling because the fiddly exhaust stubs that fit to the collector ring go in without a problem. But I had to thin the fuselage opening as far as structurally safe before the firewall would pop in and sit far back enough. Same on both Roden kits.  Broke one cabane strut on the first Eduard kit due to getting insufficient dihedral on the lower wings, replaced with a bit of old Strutz brass. I was more careful second time and they worked fine, but only just. All 3 kits look similar enough dihedral wise now they're models sitting in the case.

 

Having read ahead I was expecting trouble fitting engine to cowling but found it went in nicely having sanded back the cylinder heads a millimetre and could go in after the fiddly cowling had been built, filled and sanded.

 

Usually I persevere with Roden decals. They can be very thin and still not respond to setting solutions, but placing them on wet Klear and sealing with the same usually saves them. This lot though were of the disintegrating variety, despite 2 coats of Microscale Liquid Decal Film, so I used decals from the Eduard boxing and an aftermarket set by Pheon.

 

The Pyro kit was much easier, and a good kit for it's day, and I added the Airwaves detail set in the cockpit to jazz it up a bit, lazy-fashion. The upshot is I enjoyed all of them and will happily build more, but get hold of the separate Eduard set because the thing that needs most improvement on the cockpit is the seat. You can sand it thinner but then it looks visibly too small. The PE set in the Eduard boxing has no seat, but their earlier set does.

 

FWIW I rigged one of mine with some old PE RAFwires meant by RB productions. These normally don't work due to the wing cellule flexing and the PE sagging, but in this kit it just about works. The other two I used elastic thread that I prepainted with Modelmaster Steel Metalizer.

 

The Sopwith kits you mention all have slightly off strut lengths, so I suggest quality time with some plans and a jig so you can establish the strut lengths before commiting to glue........................ Apart from that, they're good kits.

 

 

FWIW, I read recently on a WWI forum that Roden are looking at improving their decals for their upcoming return to 1/32nd WW1 kits.

 

Paul.

 

 

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Oh dear, oh dear. It really is a false economy buying a bargain book on ebay. This little gem landed on the doorstep yesterday, with change from three English pounds, including postage. I must say it is a gold mine of local aviation information, and alas, inspiration.

 

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Even though I've only had a chance to casually flick through the pages, I've already serious hankerings to find a Saro Cloud to add to the display case. (Seen here just across the Water from me at RAF Calshot) 

 

k2895calshot.jpg

 

https://hangar47.com/saunders-roe-a-19-cloud-preview/

 

SRA-19-1.jpg?resize=1080,657&ssl=1

 

So, yet another kit added to the 'wish list' 😳

 

This tickled my fancy too -

http://baltictransportjournal.com/index.php?id=705

 

when-yachts-used-to-fly-1.jpg

 

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On 11/15/2020 at 10:58 AM, Paul Thompson said:

The Sopwith kits you mention all have slightly off strut lengths, so I suggest quality time with some plans and a jig so you can establish the strut lengths before commiting to glue........................ Apart from that, they're good kits.

 

Paul.

 

 

 

Thanks for the info Paul. I'd followed the few Gladiator build threads on here before tackling this, so know it wasn't a perfect kit. I need to challenge my build skills though, as I would prefer to build more obscure and unusual aircraft. Thanks for the Sopwith kits heads up, I definitely need to up my jig building game for these I think!

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On 11/15/2020 at 10:04 AM, Duncan B said:

Having just started the Merit 1/48 Gladiator it is interesting to compare that with the Roden kit you are making. It looks like the Merit kit is the much easier of the 2 to build for sure. You have made a great job of your build so far and this thread has been really useful to me too, keep up the good work.

 

Duncan B

 

I did read up on the pros and cons of all the 1/48 Gladiator offerings on here somewhere, none were perfect? So let the box art sway me! Thanks for the kind works Duncan. Have you posted progress up on the Merit Glad?

 

On 11/15/2020 at 8:55 AM, bigbadbadge said:

I like the home made jig that looks great. Good to see the upper wing on.  How's the finger now?

Chris

 

Finger's healed really quickly Chris, I'm surprised for such a deep cut. It's open to the elements now, with a rather annoying flap of skin tempting me to pick off!

 

On 11/14/2020 at 11:12 PM, The Spadgent said:

Looking good. I’m glad I’m learning about all the pitfalls of this kit. She looks the part though. 🤩

 

Johnny

 

I'd still recommend it Johnny, it just has some annoying bits of bad engineering that would be easy fixes. Like you say, it definitely looks the part 😎

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After a few minor chores today I got so quality time in the modelling cave, and with a few tunes on the background to steady my nerves I got on with rigging my first biplane. (This classic is the same age as me 😎)

 

50630979751_b2ab315496_z.jpg

Rigging the Gladiator by Mike, on Flickr

 

The 'Strong and Stretchy' stuff turned up, and despite my concerns that the 0.4mm would be too big, I think you can just get away with it in 1/48.

50630980186_df90779fce_z.jpg

Rigging the Gladiator by Mike, on Flickr

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Elastic-Stretchy-Beading-Thread-Cord-Bracelet-String-For-Jewelry-Making-0-4-1-0/114004006884?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=414288715942&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

 

50630241103_9b0c03dee6_z.jpg

Rigging the Gladiator by Mike, on Flickr

 

I used my old school compass as dividers to measure the beading, cut it a few mm undersize, and then glued one end into the holes I'd drilled. Once I'd done that with all of them, it had dried enough for me to then work back and glue the other ends in. Several popped out and had to be reattached, but not enough to put me off the task.

 

50631084552_110af16bb1_z.jpg

Rigging the Gladiator by Mike, on Flickr

 

You can see they look quite thick, but I can live with it for this first attempt.

 

50630984531_c0ccd4bbea_z.jpg

Rigging the Gladiator by Mike, on Flickr

 

And a crappy phone pic of them painted. I keep turning round to see how many of them have pinged off again, but so far they are all holding. I'm reluctant to call time on it just yet, but I think it's time to park this in the cabinet now as there are so many fragile elements I'm terrified of damaging it. (That happened to the Walrus in my profile pic!)

It's been a very useful exercise and an invaluable learning curve for me, rather than a showcase build. I'm a slow builder, so don't really entertain the idea of making multiples of the same model, with so many interesting kits out there life is too short for that, but this may be an exception. I've taken a few shortcuts with this build that niggle me, and I think I can do better. That said, I am happy with it. And apart from some basic scratch building it is mostly OOB. I'll get some daylight photos done for an RFI soon. Now to bed, as me and my cycling buddy are getting a decent ride in tomorrow!

 

 

50630240518_f6aaaa7dff_z.jpg

Rigging the Gladiator by Mike, on Flickr

 

50631082317_033a2afc99_z.jpg

Rigging the Gladiator by Mike, on Flickr

 

 

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Very good crack at the rigging. The commercially available PE stuff looks more over scale than yours does. What I usually do is secure one thread end in a blind hole, but where possible drill right through the wing for the other end, thread the thread through, put a drop of gel CA on the (overlength) line 1cm in from the hole then pull it through to draw the glue right through the hole, and let it set without accelerator tensioned by a peg. Once cured I turn it over, lift the free end up to the vertical, and spot a drop of CA over the exit side of the hole. Done carefully, once cured and sliced off with a fresh blade there's usually no more than a mm wide area needing paint touch up. More obviously if a bit of sanding is needed. But the  point is, although it takes slightly longer to do, it rarely pops free and needs redoing.

 

The other thing is, until I run out of it, I use Modelmaster Metalizer stainless steel paint for the rigging. I unroll enough to nearly reach from ceiling to floor and weight the end with a clothes peg, then and secure the top to a shelf near the ceiling. I then run a loaded brush up the exposed length of thread. The paint is very thin and doesn't flake off when I remove the peg prior to cutting lengths. Much easier than trying not to get paint on the model once the rigging is in place. This paint is a laquer, I think, buthas had no adverse effect on elastic thread over the last 20 years...........

 

 

Paul.

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  • Quiet Mike changed the title to Roden Gladiator - Rigging, Check!

Thanks chaps. The rigging is a learning experience of course, and while the results look 'OK', there is a lot of room for improvement. Paul, I'll take your advice on board next time. My first attempt would have worked better if the drilled holes had been a little bigger, and the thread a little thinner. It would have given the thread a little more surface area to attach to. Of course it would be bullet proof using your method! I liked the little bit of stretch this stuff has, and looking over my shoulder at it in the cabinet, all the threads are still attached a few days later, so 🤞

If I can get my act together in the morning, I'll try and get a few daylight shots outside before I head into work. Unfortunately I'm struggling after months of furlough to get back into a more disciplined routine. I'm in a habit of doing chores in the morning and it means I'm always running late.

 

Anyways, the workspace got a proper dust down. I really need to have a declutter here and organise what little space I have better. (I'm thinking that should actually be the next project!)

I'm currently trying to choose which kit is next up on the chopping block. There's definitely a theme going on with the stash! I've been looking at this pile for a couple of days, and changing my mind every time I look at it. The Sopwith Schneider by Special Hobby is the most recent addition. I can't believe I got it for under a fiver, it's a lovely kit. Plans are to convert it to the 1914 Schneider Cup winner. (I know the kit is called the Schneider, but it's the model Sopwith made during the war and named after the winner, not the actual race entrant.) I don't feel I have enough modelling hours under my belt to tackle it yet though, especially after reading Bughunters epic build thread -
https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=10756.0

 

And then there is that rogue Arado kit that landed on my lap after a random charity shop visit just before lockdown a few weeks ago. Although a float plane not a kit that was on my radar before. It looks like an amazing model, but massive! I'm still debating whether to sell it to fund new kits I'm more interested in - like the Saro A19 Cloud from Valom, or just bank it as I know it's turn will eventually come. (In Tintin colours!)

 

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A selection of aircraft that float and fly by Mike, on Flickr

 

Right now, the Stranraer is my next choice, but this will probably change again. (As I'm still undecided what scheme to paint it)

 

And I think I spend as much on books as I do on kits. This Gladiator is the first build I've done without doing any research first!

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Made the most of the fine weather today, and took some shots for an RFI.

 

Thanks everyone for all the advice along the way. As already mentioned I've got a hankering to revisit this kit. I've just read Going Solo by Roald Dahl, where he describes his crash in a Gladiator while en-route to joining 80(F) Squadron in Egypt, and then 5 months later after recovering he finally catches up with them at the end of the disastrous campaign in Greece. The cover art of this kit is ace 'Pat' Pattle, flying his 80(F) Sqn Gladiator out in Egypt.

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Looks really well. Believably grubby :) 

 

Making me want to dust off my glads, but I really want to carve up the wip a bit more before I start anything new. Maybe when I get the PB31 over the line.

 

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Edited by Marklo
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