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Sea Gladiator

Roden 1/48 Gloster Sea Gladiator Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2005 Manufacturer Roden
Subject Gloster Sea Gladiator Scale 1/48
Kit Number 0405 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Great details Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $19.98

First Look

Sea Gladiator
Sea Gladiator
Sea 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.

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, and other nice options.

A nice set of drawings illustrate the proper rigging of the aircraft.

The kit includes markings for six aircraft:

  • Sea Gladiator, D3511, 40 Sqn, RFC
  • Sea Gladiator, B4891/6, 56 Sqn, RFC
  • Sea Gladiator, D5995/1, 143 Sqn, RFC
  • Sea Gladiator, B507/A, 60 Sqn, RFC
  • Sea Gladiator, B139, 111 Sqn, RFC
  • Sea Gladiator, B4863/G, 56 Sqn, RFC

Roden has turned out another beauty with this kit. The detailing and options allow for just about any version of the venerable Sea Gladiator to be built out of this box. At the suggested retail price, this kit is definitely a great buy!

My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!