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Gladiator

Eduard 1/48 Gloster Gladiator Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2015 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject Gloster Gladiator Scale 1/48
Kit Number 1145 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Great details Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $49.98

First Look

Gladiator
Gladiator
Gladiator

The Gloster Gladiator, and its Royal Navy counterpart, the Sea Gladiator, were advanced fighter aircraft in their time (mid-to-late 1930s). Unfortunately as the clouds of war loomed on the horizon, it was becoming clear to the Air Ministry that newer aircraft would be required to defend England. The biplane was obsolete. Nevertheless, as war broke out across Europe, the RAF and RN used everything available to defend themselves. In the battle for Malta, the aircraft placed itself into the annals of history as only three Gladiators, named Faith, Hope & Charity, were the only air defense available for Malta. They opposed the Italian Air Force for two months until reinforcements in the form of Hurricanes arrived in theater.

Eduard has released another interesting subject into its limited edition series, this time the Roden 1/48 Gloster Gladiator/Sea Gladiator kit. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and features some nice detailing on the surface to represent the various construction techniques used on the aircraft. The rib detailing on the wings is nicely done. The kit comes on two trees of gray parts and these evidently have the parts to do about any variant of the Gladiator. For instance, the kit includes two-bladed and three-bladed propellers, choice of wheels or skis on the landing gear, and more.

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Nicely detailed cockpit
  • Choice of early or late instrument panel
  • Color-printed instrument panels and placards
  • Sutton harness pilot restraints
  • Positionable canopy and entry door
  • Detailed radial engine
  • Several carberator intake options
  • Choice of two or three-bladed propellers
  • Positionable ailerons
  • Positionable rudder
  • Positionable elevators
  • Choice of wheels or skis on landing gear
  • Tail hook for Sea Gladiator option
  • A nice set of drawings illustrate the proper rigging of the aircraft

The kit includes markings for eight aircraft:

  • Gladiator Mk.II, L9044, 3 Sqn, NW-Z, RAAF, Libya, 1941
  • Gladiator Mk.I, J8/278, 19 Sqn, Finland, 1940
  • Gladiator Mk.I, 121, 123 Sqn, Latvian AF, 1938
  • Gladiator Mk.I, K7985, 73 Sqn, RAF, Church Fenton, UK, 1937
  • Gladiator Mk.I, K7974, 87 Sqn, RAF, Shoreham, UK, 1938
  • Gladiator Mk.I, 24, 1 Sqn/2 Group, Belgian AF, 1939
  • Gladiator Mk.II, N2398, 615 Sqn, KW-T, RAF, Merville, France, 1939
  • Sea Gladiator Mk.II, N5517, 813 Sqn, 6-A, HMS Eagle, 1940

Roden produced an excellent kit with this Gladiator release. Eduard made it even better with the inclusion of the color-printed photo-etched parts and nice selection of decal subjects. Grab one while you can!

My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!

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