avatar_Brian da Basher

1/72 Gloster-Nieuport "Greyhound" from the classic Airfix kit

Started by Brian da Basher, November 12, 2008, 12:43:07 PM

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Brian da Basher

A little known bit of British aerospace history is the keen competition for the single-engine fighter specification issued by the Air Ministry in 1928. At that point, the R.A.F. was equipped with primarily obsolescent types not much improved since the Great War. All the major British firms submitted proposals, but none matched the Gloster-Nieuport design for being on the cutting edge of technology.

It all began shortly after Gloster and Nieuport formed an alliance. While sorting things out, a large supply of spare Nieuport 28 horizontal and vertical stabilizers were found in a warehouse in the tiny village of Chat d'Mauvais-Tempéré. Of course, Gloster-Nieuport was able to enjoy a large tax write off due to depreciation and amortization, but they sought to double their money by actually using the parts in a new design. The chief Nieuport designer, Comte de Camembert managed to work the found parts in, but was bedeviled by designing a modern fuselage.

Enter a clerk at Supermarine named Ian Overisead who loved to bet at the greyhound track. When he lost it all on a long shot, Ian was offered a way to dig himself out of his hole and gave copies of R.J. Mitchell's latest fuselage design studies to a Gloster-Nieuport agent. Comte de Camembert quickly incorporated them, and the Gloster-Nieuport Greyhound was born. The Greyhound was truly revolutionary for its time and the Royal Air Force proceeded cautiously, only ordering a test squadron.

No. 43 Sqdrn. was re-equipped with the new spatted wonder in 1930 and is best remembered for delighting crowds with their aerobatic displays. No. 43 Sqdrn. also gained further fame when C flight intercepted the off-course Soviet airship Maxim Gorky in 1931. By the mid-1930's the Greyhound was superceded by more advanced types and it was relegated to use as squadron hacks. By that point, its engines had become unreliable due to a scarcity of cod-liver oil used as a lubricant, and pilots assigned to fly the old crate were heard to exclaim, "Not that dog again!" No examples exist today, but recently some color photos taken in 1938 were found of K938 and are shown here.

Brian da Basher

Brian da Basher

The basis for this project is the venerable 1/72 Airfix Spitfire Mk. I which I got for $4. While thinking about how to back-date it a bit, I discovered that the tailfeathers from a Nieuport 28 were an almost perfect fit as well as the engine and cowling and a wing leftover from a 1/48 SPAD XIII. I actually took a spare engine and added it to make it a double row engine, but you can't see it behind the cowling. I added a bomb tip onto the Nieuport 28 prop for a spinner and used landing gear doors from a Brewster Buffalo and a pair of Aeroclub Gloster Gauntlet spats. The machine gun fairings are from sprue and the barrels are spare struts. I made a windscreen from a piece of clear plastic and added seatbelts made from Tamiya tape. Plastic card was used to cover up the rear of the 'pit and looks like an access panel for the radio.

The entire model was brush painted by hand in acrylics and the decals are mostly from the Matchbox Hawker Fury.

Now that we have an extra two weeks, I might make another entry from the left over wings, tail and engine.

Brian da Basher

Ed S

Very nice.  This week's model is another beauty.  It sure doesn't look much like a Spitfire though.

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Brian da Basher

Quote from: Ed S on November 12, 2008, 01:18:29 PM
Very nice.  This week's model is another beauty.  It sure doesn't look much like a Spitfire though.


Thanks Ed! I was hoping people could tell it was from a Spitfire by the two kit exhausts I used.
Brian da Basher


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My MacBook informs me that the parts were found in the village of Cat the Badone. This pleases me, it's good to see someone is alos coming up with ridiculous place names (okay, mine are all cake themed but still!)

Nice build.
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Huh, finally, a SPitfire with SPats....who woulda thunk it?  Heh, heh.   :banghead:
You turn everything you touch into an original work of art, BdaB.   :wub:

Good (great) job.  You make it look way to easy, dammit!   :bow:
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Does it strike anyone else that maybe this plane belongs on the air racing circuit with those lines?
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She's gorgeous!

Those 43 Sqn markings really do look fantastic on everything, don't they?
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