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I "Heart" Kit 68403 1:48 Scale Gloster Gladiator Mk1 finished as the Red Section leader's aircraft from 72 (Fighter) Squadron based at RAF Church Fenton circa 1938

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In July 2023 I had a great weekend staying with my daughter and watching the Flying Legends warbird displays at Church Fenton in Yorkshire. I can thoroughly recommend this shows new venue, although we could have done without the thunder storms on the Saturday.😬  To get an idea of the views available from the airfield and inside the village, click here to see my Youtube vid of The Flying Bulls B-25 and P-38 display.

In the weeks of anticipation leading up to the show, I looked up the history of RAF Church Fenton and found out that the first RAF Squadron to be based there was 72 (Fighter) Squadron, who moved here not long after the base first opened in 1937. 72 Sqn had just been equipped with the Gloster Gladiator Mk1, the final front line bi-plane fighter to serve in the RAF and an aircraft that following the recent development of monoplane fighters was pretty much outdated for front line use even before it entered service.🤔 

I got the yen to build a 72 Squadron aircraft and was delighted when a quick search yielded this 1:48 I💓 Kit, which is apparently a re-boxed Merit kit (Nope - never heard of them either!). It even appeared to have the decals required for the markings of 72 Sqn's red section leaders aircraft. It took me on a bit of a journey, as I've never rigged a bi-plane model before and although the kit is basic in many respects, it goes together well but the decals proved to be a bit iffy in several respects. If you'd like to see the full the build log, the journey starts in Work in Progress - Aircraft here. There were a few mods and additions required to the kit parts.

Otherwise, may I present my rendition of K6130 as she may have looked circa 1938. My working assumption was that both reflector gun sight and a radio had been fitted by 1938. I based the two colour prop scheme on a photo of the squadron's aircraft on the tarmac at Gloster's just before delivery here, and I used the kit decal version of the wing flash with straight ends, rather than the curved boundary with the wing roundel seen on other renditions. This could be wrong, but the photo of 72 Sqn from above taken in the air in the Flying Legends show brochure is somewhat ambiguous on this front. The wing and fuselage flashes were airbrushed directly on to the model, because the kit decals had incorrect colours. The kit roundels also have incorrect proportions and colours, so I used the correct 1:3:5 1:48 scale 15" and 40" Type A roundels from Xtradecal sheet X48031. A mixture of Alclad II Shiny Aluminium lacquer and Tamiya Flat Aluminium acrylic paints were used on the airframe and Tamiya acrylic s for all other paintwork. All finished off with the sparing addition of MiG Storm Grey pin washes on the panel work and aileron hinges. Rigging lines are INFINI Models 110 denier (0.121 mm) Lycra Rigging and the Aerial wire is mig Medium Fine lycra rigging (0.02 mm).



















Edited by NellyV
Added some images of final display
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