Author Topic: #6 REALLY DONE @p.2 +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese post-war service  (Read 4996 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Dizzyfugu

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 8516
    • Lots of works in my FlickR gallery
Well, I found something in the stash and the project list that's worth another contribution to the GB - and actually it's one of the oldest whif projects still on my idea list (another one is earmarked for the Soviet GB next year  ;)) for which I never found enough drive to tackle it. So far.

The kit is the venerable Matchbox 1:72 Gloster Gladiator (from 1973) -  and an Old Kit GB would not feel right without a Matchbox kit?
While the rigging will be an adventure in itself (did that for a real world Greek Gladiator many moons ago), I'll do some mods for an uncertain outcome. This will be a "different" Gladiator. And since it provides a good background story, and on popular demand (best regards to Sport21ing), this one will carry Portuguese markings.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2016, 03:50:16 am by Dizzyfugu »

Offline Dizzyfugu

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 8516
    • Lots of works in my FlickR gallery
Re: #6 WiP +++ A different Gloster Gladiator in Portuguese service
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2016, 09:28:40 am »
Things already started moving, so the pics lag behind. At first, the basis:


A different Gloster Gladiator... (WiP)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

More from the workbench to come soon.

Offline Dizzyfugu

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 8516
    • Lots of works in my FlickR gallery
Re: #6 WiP +++ A different Gloster Gladiator in Portuguese service
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2016, 11:43:31 pm »
More basic stuff. The Matchbox Gladiator is, despite its age, IMHO a really good model of the biplane. The engine is well detailed, the only thing that lacks is a decent dashboard and the canopy is utterly thick. It's O.K. when built OOB, though, and you would not see any cockpit interior beyond the pilot at all. Fit is good, and you even get engraved panel lines, even though they are a bit soft and rough. But it's very O.K..

Some early dry-fitting of the upper wings' struts:


A different Gloster Gladiator... (WiP)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The interior; I just add a dashboard and "something" behind the seat, since I want to have an open cockpit, even without the sliding hood:


A different Gloster Gladiator... (WiP)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The engine, OOB. Just painted with aluminum, and later unthinned black ink was added on top, revealing the nice surface details:


A different Gloster Gladiator... (WiP)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Fuselage assembly made quick progress (at this stage) - after all, it's a simple and small kit:


A different Gloster Gladiator... (WiP)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Soon things will start to... deviate. Stay tuned.

Offline zenrat

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 13506
  • Not on the rug, man!
Re: #6 WiP +++ A different Gloster Gladiator in Portuguese service
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2016, 11:58:43 pm »
The two colours are very subdued and close in shade.  Very unlike Matchbox's usual combinations.
Fred

Another ill conceived, poorly thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.


Offline Dizzyfugu

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 8516
    • Lots of works in my FlickR gallery
Re: #6 WiP +++ A different Gloster Gladiator in Portuguese service
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2016, 12:43:27 am »
I was surprised, too - blessing of the late boxing, maybe? I remember one Gladiator I built was dark green and silver, and another, much older one, was in a shocking read and beige. This one here almost look realistic OOB.

Offline Dizzyfugu

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 8516
    • Lots of works in my FlickR gallery
Re: #6 WiP +++ A different Gloster Gladiator in Portuguese service
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2016, 12:13:13 am »
Meanwhile... let's take the description "Sea Gladiator" literally!  :lol:

A different Gloster Sea Gladiator... (WiP) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

While starting work, the ultimate question arose: classic twin floats, or a bigger, central float with outriggers? Both would be possible under the Gladiator…

For a twin-float layout, a Hasegawa Heinkel He 51 B  lay ready in the as donor bank.
For a central float, I had a single float from a Matchbox Fairey Seafox in the spares box, together with a pair of stabilizer floats from a Matchbox Supermarine Walrus - but both would need getting rid of the old paint and some mods.

I settled for the more unusual single float variant – because of its more exotic look. The Walrus floats were too big, though, so I cut away a lengthwise 2mm “slice” (eliminating formerly drilled holes for toothpick struts, the floats were formerly used under a Mitsubishi Zero turned into a scratched Rufe many years ago…) which gave an overall reduction in size that would match the compact Gladiator.

A different Gloster Sea Gladiator... (WiP) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The Seafox float was just perfect in size and shape (it even comes with nice surface details and a rudder), and an oven foam cleaner for several weeks (yes, this build already had a long prep time  ;))  cleaned the piece from masses of old enamel paint (this was originally Light Olive and White, with Light Blue undersides and certainly with another enamel layer below). The result (1st pic) is amazing, though, almost as new!

A different Gloster Sea Gladiator... (WiP) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


For reference, here are two halves from the same Matchbox He 115 float (not for this build! ;)) that shared the same oven cleaner bath, before and after a brass brush treatment...

A different Gloster Sea Gladiator... (WiP) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Stay tuned...  :mellow:
« Last Edit: December 08, 2016, 12:16:35 am by Dizzyfugu »

Offline NARSES2

  • Nick was always on his mind - just ask the Pet Shop Boys
  • Global Moderator
  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 35259
Re: #6 WiP +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese service
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2016, 06:26:50 am »
Glad you've gone single float  :thumbsup:
Decals my @r$e!

Offline Dizzyfugu

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 8516
    • Lots of works in my FlickR gallery
Re: #6 WiP +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese service
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2016, 11:34:56 pm »
Yup, I think (in the end) that it will be the more elegant solution. The aircraft itself is/was built OOB, just with an added dashboard in the cockpit and the canopy cut into three pieces for an open position (in fact, the sliding part was totally left away). Under the lower rear fuselage a stabilizer fin was added and the OOB wooden propeller is replaced by a cuffed three-bladed alternative, IIRC from a Hobby Boss Grumman F4F Wildcat.
Mounting the floats is more complicated, though. The streamlined struts I used in this case were taken from a donor Eastern Express Blackburn Shark (reboxed vintage NOVO kit) and adapted to the new use. From the Shark I also took the longer exhaust pipes, they look just great.

A different Gloster Sea Gladiator... (WiP) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

A different Gloster Sea Gladiator... (WiP) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

A different Gloster Sea Gladiator... (WiP) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

A different Gloster Sea Gladiator... (WiP) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Work started with the outriggers, both placed on two struts each, and once these were in place the central float was mounted on four pylons, putting it in a slightly “deeper” position than the outriggers and far enough away from the propeller arc. A lot of dry-fitting and trial & error was necessary to define the float’s and struts’ position under the Gladiator’s fuselage, as well as their relative length.

Offline Dizzyfugu

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 8516
    • Lots of works in my FlickR gallery
Re: #6 WiP +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese service
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2016, 08:52:41 am »
Since the area in front of the cockpit is hard to reach once the upper wing is in place, some partial early painting was done in this area. The kit will also receive a scratched beaching dolly. The wings themselves are pretty easy to mount if you take time for dry-fitting and thorough drying of the sub-assemblies (see above) – but the real horror comes with the (optional) rigging!

A different Gloster Sea Gladiator... (WiP) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

A different Gloster Sea Gladiator... (WiP) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

And here we are, ready for rigging (*shudder*):

A different Gloster Sea Gladiator... (WiP) by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

Offline Snowtrooper

  • Makes own decals
  • ***
  • Posts: 520
Re: #6 WiP +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese service
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2016, 03:11:13 pm »
And here we are, ready for rigging (*shudder*):
You glued the upper wings in place before rigging? :blink: What is this, SPARTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA?

Offline Dizzyfugu

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 8516
    • Lots of works in my FlickR gallery
Re: #6 WiP +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese service
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2016, 11:53:40 pm »
No riots, please. I guess that everyone has a different approach to this subject. The discussion(?) about the "right" material for the wires is another can of worms. I do it my way.  :mellow:


Offline ericr

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 2368
Re: #6 WiP +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese service
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2016, 01:26:03 am »

looking good !

any aircraft can be improved by fitting floats (or a hull)

Offline Snowtrooper

  • Makes own decals
  • ***
  • Posts: 520
Re: #6 WiP +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese service
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2016, 02:14:39 am »
No riots, please. I guess that everyone has a different approach to this subject. The discussion(?) about the "right" material for the wires is another can of worms. I do it my way.  :mellow:
Your way is always the right way, as is my way :thumbsup:

Was just wondering the practicalities of rigging with both wings in place. With my clumsy fingers the only reasonable approach would be that while the top wing is still loose, I attach the rigging wires to the lower wing (and leave plenty of excess wire), and only then glue upper wing in place, tighten the rigging through pre-drilled holes in the top wing, and then PSR the holes shut. Of course, it is entirely possible to drill holes to wings and pull rigging wire through them even when they're fully attached. Or not even drill holes but to use PE fittings fixed with superglue.

Offline Dizzyfugu

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 8516
    • Lots of works in my FlickR gallery
Re: #6 WiP +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese service
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2016, 02:49:41 am »
Work here is not so sophisticated.  ;) I did not want to leave the kit without the wiring details – it just looks much better with stabilizing wires, and these actually stiffen the kit!

There are several methods/materials, including fine yarn, wire or fishing line, with or without holes. I tried all of these, and personally prefer heated and elongated, leftover sprues, simply glued between the struts. This is certainly not the most exact option, but I rather build for the overall impression than for minute detail. My aim is just to replicate the wiring.

The benefit of the styrene method is that the stuff is "natural" for the kit, easy to glue and it bonds well with the rest of the kit. Thin threads (which can be torn into individual strength) have innate stability, so that no tension has to be applied while trying to stick the stuff into place. And with the proper color of the styrene (e. g. in silver, black or grey), the wiring even looks pretty realistic in itself without any further paint, which, by tendency, can leave drops and simply makes the wires visibly thicker.
Despite experience with former biplane builds, the rigging process is/was still a tedious thing - the Gladiator, despite being a relatively modern design, still carried a lot of wires between its wings…

1:72 Gloster Gladiator Mk. II floatplane conversion; aircraft '461’/ ‘Tubarão’ of the Esquadrilha de Caça No. 3, Portuguese Aéronautica Militar; Lajed (Azores), 1949 (Whif/modified Matchbox kit) - WiP by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

1:72 Gloster Gladiator Mk. II floatplane conversion; aircraft '461’/ ‘Tubarão’ of the Esquadrilha de Caça No. 3, Portuguese Aéronautica Militar; Lajed (Azores), 1949 (Whif/modified Matchbox kit) - WiP by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


With the wiring in place, painting started quickly. The scheme was a bit of “carte blanche”. While an FAA Gladiator would have been a nice and plausible option, I rather searched for something exotic – and found the Gladiator’s long career with the Portuguese Air Force well beyond WWII and the engagement of the type in the Azores. The archipelago location made a home-made floatplane conversion even more plausible.

But I did not stick to the original Portuguese paint scheme – the real service aircraft were painted in a uniform dark green on all upper surfaces (and alternatively a RAF Dark Green/Dark Earth scheme, AFAIK), with light grey wing undersides.
I created a fictional mix, with classic FAA colors (Dark Sea Grey/Extra Dark Slate Grey/Sky Grey) and a high waterline, plus counter-shaded, lighter upper surfaces of the lower wings, plus fictional Portuguese markings (coming soon, after some further treatments of the basic paint job).

The basic colors I used were Humbrol 224 and 123 on the top sides, plus FS 16473 (ADC Grey) from ModelMaster for the lower surfaces. The counter-shaded lower wings were painted with Faded Olive Drab and Dark Gull Grey (FS 36231) from Modelmaster.

Offline Dizzyfugu

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 8516
    • Lots of works in my FlickR gallery