Author Topic: #6 REALLY DONE @p.2 +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese post-war service  (Read 4657 times)

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Online kerick

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Re: #6 WiP +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese post-war service
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2016, 09:52:19 am »
Turning into a real silk purse! Carry on!
There's someone in my head, but it's not me!

Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: #6 WiP +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese post-war service
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2016, 12:58:28 am »
Thanks a lot. In the meantime, I also scratched a beaching trolley, from styrene profiles, leftover parts from a ship display and wheels from the scrap box. Proper and stable hold of the aircraft model was later achieved through cushions made from paper tissue dipped in thinned white glue - in order to achieve a proper shape and tight fit, the float was simply covered with cling wrap and put into place while the cushions dried. Pragmatic, and worked well.  <_<

glp08459 by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

glp08462 by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

glp08464 by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

glp08466 by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Oh, and, by the way, a pic of the almost done Gladiator - still much detail work to do, but the overall look is there:

glp08456 by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Cute, eh? The markings are conservative and minimal, mostly from a PrintScale aftermarket sheet for the Gloster Gladiator and from a Carpena “Exotic Spitfire” sheet.
AFAIK, 3. Esquadrilha de Caça aircraft did not carry any squadron emblem – hence I invented the nickname “Tubarão” (shark) and the respective nose art (from a Revell Dassault Mystère with Patrouille de France markings).
Another type in EC3 service, the Spitfires, featured an RAF-style 2-letter-squadron code (“XZ”, AFAIK) an individual letter for the respective aircraft, and a serial number. For the Gladiator I stuck to the type's original serial numbers, though, added the national markings on the fuselage and used re-arranged code numbers from an Irish Air Corps Spitfire on fuselage and under the wings for a proper code number (pls. wait for the background). From the Spitfire the red fuselage band was used, too, it adds some color to the overall rather dull and simple aircraft.

Offline NARSES2

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Re: #6 WiP +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese post-war service
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2016, 02:02:39 am »
It certainly suits the central float  :thumbsup:
Decals my @r$e!


Offline JayBee

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Re: #6 DONE +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese post-war service
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2016, 11:33:10 am »
That is just truly fantastic.
Also a bit sad for me anyway, as I had been thinking of doing a single float Gladiator, but I fear the benchmark has already been set too high.

 :wub: :wub: :wub: :wub: :wub: :wub: :wub: :wub:
Alle kunst ist umsunst wenn ein engel auf das zundloch brunzt!!

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Offline strobez

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Re: #6 DONE +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese post-war service
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2016, 03:34:08 pm »
I love it. I picked up the new Airfix Gladiator for another project, but it's nice to see what can be done with the old kit.  I'm a huge fan of float planes too... so your build has given me some ideas too. Love it!
Thanks!

Greg

Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: #6 DONE +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese post-war service
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2016, 11:40:18 pm »
As mentioned above, a Hasegawa Heinkel He 51 floatplane kit is another good donation option. The floats match well with the Gladiator, and then you still have a complete biplane kit, just with the normal wheeled landing gear. Would surely make a nice on-board observation plane for a smaller RN vessel - maybe even a Flower Class Corvette?  ;)

Beauty pics are pending because of the season's poor light conditions. I'll have to wait for the weekend since initial attempts with pure artificial light created harsh shadows, I was not happy with the results of scenic motifs so far.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2016, 12:33:51 am by Dizzyfugu »

Offline Captain Canada

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Re: #6 DONE +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese post-war service
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2016, 06:10:06 am »
Oh yeah that looks good !

 :wub:
CANADA KICKS arse !!!!

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Vive les Canadiens !
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Offline Flyer

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Re: #6 DONE +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese post-war service
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2016, 01:40:57 pm »
 :wub: :thumbsup:
Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. -Robert A. Heinlein


Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: #6 DONE +++ A literal Sea Gladiator in Portuguese post-war service
« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2016, 03:49:51 am »
Quicker than expected... the missing pieces: Gloster Gladiator Mk. II floatplane conversion; aircraft '461’/ ‘Tubarão’ of the Esquadrilha de Caça No. 3, Portuguese Aéronautica Militar; Lajed (Azores), 1949.


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)
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)
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)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Some background:
The Gloster Gladiator (or Gloster SS.37) was a British-built biplane fighter. It was used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Fleet Air Arm (FAA, as the Sea Gladiator variant) and was exported to a number of other air forces during the late 1930s. The Gladiator was the RAF's last biplane fighter aircraft and was rendered obsolete by newer monoplane designs even as it was being introduced. Though often pitted against more formidable foes during the early days of the Second World War, it acquitted itself reasonably well in combat.

The first version, the Gladiator Mk I, was delivered from July 1936, becoming operational in January 1937. The Mk II soon followed, the main differences being a slightly more powerful Mercury VIIIAS engine with Hobson mixture control boxes and a partly automatic boost control carburetor, driving a Fairey fixed-pitch three-blade metal propeller, instead of the two-blade wooden one of the Mark I.


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)
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)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The Gladiator saw action in almost all theatres during the Second World War, with a large number of air forces, some of them on the Axis side. The RAF used it in France, Norway, Greece, the defense of Malta, the Middle East, and the brief Anglo-Iraqi War (during which the Royal Iraqi Air Force was similarly equipped).
Other countries deploying the Gladiator included China against Japan, beginning in 1938; Finland (along with Swedish volunteers) against the Soviet Union in the Winter War and the Continuation War; Sweden as a neutral non-combatant (although Swedish volunteers fought for Finland against USSR as stated above); and Norway, Belgium, and Greece resisting Axis invasion of their respective countries.

Portugal was another operator of the Gladiator, and its service with the Aéronautica Militar (Army Aviation) lasted well beyond the 2nd World War. Initially, the Portuguese Government ordered fifteen Gladiator Mk. IIs in July of 1938. Gloster supplied them as kits to Alverca in Portugal, where they were assembled in September 1938. The machines we4re allocated the serial numbers 450 to 464 and formed half of the Esquadrilha de Caça (EC for short: fighter squadron) at Ota, with ten Junkers Ju 52/3m G-3E bombers forming the rest of the squadron. Portugal attempted to purchase more modern fighter equipment from the United Kingdom, but RAF orders had priority and so fifteen more Gladiator Mk. IIs were ordered, diverted from an RAF contract. These were assigned serials 465 to 479 and formed a new EC at Tanco.


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)
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)
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)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


In early 1941, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated that the Azores Islands "represented the eastern frontier of the United States". The Portuguese-held islands were an ideal operating base for Allied surface ships and maritime reconnaissance aircraft, since these forces could combat German submarines operating in the mid- and south Atlantic Ocean from the Azores.
On the other side, there was also the imminent danger of a German occupation — an intent of German strategists through 1941 was to seize the Azores as an ideal base for the trans-Atlantic ranged Amerika Bomber project, for direct attacks on the US east coast.

Anyway, Portuguese concerns about an Allied takeover appeared more realistic and prompted the government to deploy air and naval units to the Azores. The Aéronautica Militar consequently formed Esquadrilha de Caça Expedicionara No. 1 dos Azores (1st Expeditionary Fighter Sqaadron of the Azores) in June of 1941. Their fifteen Gladiators were immediately deployed to Rado de Peize on San Miguel Island in the Azores. Soon afterward, Esquadrilha de Caça Expedicionara No. 2 dos Azores was formed to fly Gladiators from Tejas on Terceira Island.


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)
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)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


By late 1943 , the Gladiators were obsolete as front line aircraft and were replaced in the Azores by Curtiss P-36 "Mohawks". British-supplied Hurricanes and Spitfires replaced Gladiators in Portugal-based fighter units. But the type was not retired: in 1948, several Gladiators returned to the Azores as Esquadrilha de Caça No. 3 at Lajed, where two of them were converted into floatplanes with a large central float plus smaller outrigger floats under the wings. These were the original aircraft “461” and “464”, but among the crews they were better known under their nicknames “Tubarão” (shark) and “Toninha” (harbor porpoise), represented by nose art paintings under the machines’ cockpits.

Further modifications of these floatplane Gladiators included a new, reversible three blade propeller for easier handling and a ventral strake for improved stability. The underwing machine guns were removed and replaced by shackles for light ordnance - including containers with life rafts, but also flares or small caliber bombs - added. The fuselage-mounted guns were retained, though, but rarely fitted since the weapons suffered heavily from the Ocean environment and the added weight cost performance and range.


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)
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)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

These unique machines were primarily used in general observation, weather reconnaissance and 'hack' duties, e. g. as document couriers between the Azores and passing ships. But this episode lasted only for two years: in 1950, the remaining aircraft (a total of seven were still airworthy) were returned to Portugal and served as advanced training aircraft at Tanco.



General characteristics:
    Crew: 1
    Length: 27 ft 5 in (8.36 m)
    Wingspan: 32 ft 3 in (9.83 m)
    Height: 11 ft 9 in (3.58 m)
    Wing area: 323 ft2 (30.0 m²)
    Empty weight: 3,217 lb (1,462 kg)
    Loaded weight: 4,594 lb (2,088 kg)

Powerplant:
    1× Bristol Mercury VIIIAS radial engine, rated at 840 hp (619 kW)

Performance:
    Maximum speed: 253 mph (220 knots, 407 km/h) at 14,500 ft (4,400 m)
    Cruise speed: 210 mph
    Stall speed: 53 mph (46 knots, 85 km/h)
    Endurance: 2 hours
    Service ceiling: 32,800 ft (10,000 m)
    Rate of climb: 2,300 ft/min (11.7 m/s)
    Climb to 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 4.75 min

Armament:
    Four .303 in Vickers machine guns; two synchronized in fuselage sides,
    two under the lower wings outside of the propeller arc




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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


A relatively simple conversion, but effective and the Gladiator on floats does not look as fictional as I expected – even though the sheer height of the overall arrangement turned the otherwise sleek fighter aircraft into a pug-like utility vehicle, despite the relatively slender, single Fairey Firefox float. The Portuguese markings look good on it, too, adding to the exotic touch of this whif.

Offline NARSES2

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Really stupendous  :bow: The float arrangement really suits her
Decals my @r$e!

Offline PR19_Kit

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What Chris said, that single float really looks the business under a Gladiator, make you wonder why the FAA didn't do it for real.

Superb model Thomas, well thought out, well engineered and well built too.  :wub: :thumbsup:
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

Regards
Kit

Offline DogfighterZen

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I've been a bit disconnected from the GB and almost missed this one... :banghead: Very nice work as always, great build, pics and story. Very believable! :thumbsup:
Now, i'm sorry if i'm being picky but, i have just a couple of corrections to make...  Lajed is Lajes and Tanco is Tancos.  ;)
And also a question, what/where is Tejas? :unsure: That's the Spanish word for roof tiles, telhas in Portuguese... Never heard of such a place on that island... Going with your idea, the place should be the north peer of the military harbor of Praia da Vitória/Vitória beach.

 :cheers:
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Offline TheChronicOne

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Hey, how 'bout that!! Very nice, I love it.   :lol: Inspiring and great pictures as always, too... makes me want to fire up a flight sim and fly around on a leisure cruise over the coast.  :lol:
-Sprues McDuck-