AIRFIX 1:72 GLOSTER J-8A/GLADIATOR Mk.II In-box REVIEW
Catalogue number: A02063
Contents & media: 72 grey injection moulded parts in soft plastic on 3sprue trees. Markings for one Flygflottilj 19 example from the Winter War 1940 and markings for one Royal Air Force example, Tangmere 1939.
Availability: Hannants UK – £7.99.
Review Type: In-box.
During the 1936 re-organisation of the Flygvapnet (Swedish Air Force), the Air Force implemented one new fighter and four new bomber wings. The fighter wing would be primarily tasked with the defence of Stockholm. The head of the Swedish Air force decided that the Gloster Gladiator would be best suited for this role.
The first two squadrons in the wing were purchased from the United Kingdom, whilst the third squadron was licence-built in Sweden.
The J8 Gloster Gladiator was received with mixed feelings. Even by 1936 the aircraft was becoming obsolescent. The type had first flown in 1934, however, the bi-plane configuration and Bristol Mercury VIII with 840 hp. Gave the Gladiator a comparable performance to its soviet counterparts the Polikarpov I-15 and I-16 series. Against the Tupolev SB bombers that it would regularly encounter in the north of Finland it would prove an extremely effective aircraft.
For an in-depth review of the operational history of the J8 Gloster Gladiator in the Winter War see: https://thebalticstatespost.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/flygflottilj-19-finlands-swedish-defenders/
This is a new tool kit and it looks a gem. The mouldings are crisp, the detail accurate given the small scale and the proportions look correct.
The parts are all sealed in polyurethane bags, the instruction sheet is in A-4 layout and is clear, easy to follow and comprehensive. A useful addition is an A-4 Rigging diagram located on page 6 which will take some of the minor difficulties out of the build process.
Both decal options benefit from FULL-Colour 3-views in format.
3-View Markings for one Flygflottilj 19 example from the Winter War 1940;
This looks to be a very promising aircraft indeed. Airfix continue to improve their product range and this model is no exception.