Jump to content

Recommended Posts

This is my Special Hobby Gnat F.1 XN326 RAE Farnborough 1959.




The RAF didn’t adopt the F.1, but it saw service overseas with the Indian and Finnish Air Forces in particular.

The twin seat derivative was adopted by the RAF as the, by then, Hawker Siddeley Gnat T.1 which became famous as the Red Arrows’ first aircraft type.


This was an early trials/demo aircraft and as such I didn’t weather it as I figured it would have been kept fairly clean.

I finished it in semi-gloss varnish as I figured the real thing would have been slightly glossy.













This was my first use of Alclad paint. I used ALC-101 Aluminium over-sprayed with Tamiya X-35 semi-gloss varnish.

I was very happy with the result, although the Alclad black microfilmer primer came out a bit rough.

I might try Tamiya XF-1 black as a primer next time.








Here it is next to my very old model of a Red Arrows Gnat T.1.

You can see that the wing and tail surfaces are all larger on the T.1.





It is a very tiny aircraft. Even my Spitfire, which I think of as a small aircraft, dwarfs it.

It must have been like wearing a jet-pack.




Products used:-

Cement, Tamiya Extra Thin.

Canopy glue, Formula 560 Canopy Glue. PVA based I think.

Primer, Alclad II ALC-309-60 Black Primer and Microfiller. Unthinned, this went on a bit rough.

Undersides, Alclad II lacquer. ALC-101 Aluminium. Unthinned. Nice.

Upper surface camo, MRP-110 Dark Green BS641 WWII RAF. Unthinned. Perhaps a bit dark.

MRP-113 Dark Sea Grey BS638 WWII RAF. Unthinned.

Radomes, MRP-005 Black with a touch of Tamiya XF-2 white unthinned.

Varnish over the whole model, Tamiya X-35 Semi-gloss thinned with Mr Color Levelling Thinner.

Seat belts, Eduard steel Photo Etched belts.

Pitot probe made from Albion Alloys tubing.



Things I have learnt:-


Tamiya Extra thin cement takes a while to dry fully. My fuselage joints sunk a bit over time.


Alclad metallic paint is extremely unforgiving of poor surface preparation. Any tiny flaws will not be hidden by the paint.

When sprayed onto Alclad primer it was robust enough for masking without any peeling.


I used tape lifted at the edges with cotton thread to give a soft edge to the camouflage.

It ended up too soft and variable. I used Blu Tack on my previous models which gave a much tighter and more controlled edge.


On balance, Bare Metal Foil is better for masking canopies than tape. Possibly. It was a bit tricky to remove. What do you guys think?


I found that I could put the kit decals directly onto the Alclad and the MRP paints without the need for a gloss varnish coat.

With the use of Microset and Microsol the kit decals went down nicely without silvering.


It’s really difficult to avoid dust getting on the paint finish.


Gnats are tiny!





My BUILD LOG is here.


Comments and criticism welcome.


Happy modelling,



  • Like 23
Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree about the Alclad primer. It never seemed to dry fully and peeled off if sanded. I use XF1 exclusively now. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Robin-42 said:

I use XF1 exclusively now. 

That's good to know that Alclad works on XF-1. I've another of the same kit to do in a similar scheme but with the round nose so it'll make an interesting comparison.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a very nice F1! Hard to believe it is so much smaller than a Spitfire! Well done!


  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Lovely job, looks awesome

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...