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The Gloster Gladiator

The Gloster Gladiator Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review November 2017 Title The Gloster Gladiator
Author Richard A. Franks Publisher Valiant Wings Publishing
Published 2017 ISBN 978-0-9957773-1-6
Format 130 pages, softcover MSRP (BP) £17.95


Santa came early this year with a magnificent monograph on one of my favorite Blitzkrieg-era subjects.

I must've been a very good boy!

Penned by Richard A. Franks, The Gloster Gladiator – 12th in Valiant Wings' outstanding "Airframe Album" range – spans 130 pithy pages over four chunky chapters:

  • Introduction – with Gladiator design, development, deployment, and disposition notes
  • Technical Description – in astonishing detail, especially for modelers
  • Evolution – prototype, production, and projected variants
  • Camouflage & Markings – sampling the full swath of Gladiator livery

A further section details Steve A. Evans' superb build of the 1:32-scale Silver Wings model. And four appendices complete coverage:

  • Kits
  • Accessories
  • Decals & Masks
  • Bibliography

Like all Valiant Wings efforts, it's packed with plenty of pretty pictures. Hundreds of them.

B&W historical photos. Color detail shots. Tech-manual excerpts. Variant isometrics with detail comments. Manufacturer's diagrams. And more.

They make the book's subtitle – "A Detailed Guide To The RAF's Last Biplane Fighter" – a masterpiece of understatement.

Color plates, too. At least 56 profiles and 21 inset views by Richard J. Caruana. Sensational for model-project inspiration.

RAF. Fleet Air Arm. Belgian. Chinese. Egyptian. Irish. Finnish. French. Nazi Germany. Greek. Iraqi. Latvian. Lithuanian. Norwegian. Portuguese. South African. Swedish. Even Soviet.

All complete with authoritative camouflage & markings notes. Let your modeling muse run wild!

So whether you're attempting ancient Inpact, FROG, or Heller efforts – or tackling newer Airfix, Hobby Boss, or Roden Gladiators, you need this vital volume.


Rabidly recommended!

My sincere thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for this review copy.