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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

AZ Models Gloster Gauntlet

Another biplane crosses the finish line tonight. This is the AZ Models Gloster Gauntlet, one of the many silver interwar biplanes that was featured in Model Alliance’s book Wings of Silver. I personally have found the AZ kits to be pretty buildable, though you have to watch out for all the usual traps of a short run injected plastic kit. At least they feature injected canopies in their kits, which is a great advantage in my book.

The particular boxing that I bought was the Gauntlet Mk 2, kit 72020. Decals are for a camo version (dark earth, light stone, and azure blue) and two silver versions. I opted for the 74 Squadron markings, as I’ve always liked their tiger stripes, and this one featured a squadron markings bar across the top wing. Part of the tail and the wheel hubs are in the flight color of red.

Construction was generally uneventful. The cockpit is pretty sparse, and the resin engine and its cowling take a bit of fiddling. The wing struts (except for the cabanes) are all single pieces, which means a challenge in keeping them lined up when the time comes to attach the top wing. All it takes is patience; not my best trick. Still I managed to get it painted and decalled without too much drama. Rigging, as always, was a lot of work. I used the ceramic wire method I’ve outlined in this blog before, but since my calipers are broken there was more trial and error involved than I’m used to. As I was attaching the last couple of wire lengths I was breathlessly waiting for the big disaster but was able to give out with a huge sigh of relief when the last one was in place.

I did discover as I was downloading the photos onto my laptop that I have apparently torn the decal on the port side. Very discouraging after a lot of work, but then I seem to have that problem a lot. Not sure if I can cadge a properly sized tiger stripe from another decal sheet. I do actually have an old Aeroclub Gauntlet that has those markings, but I have no idea if they would be the right size. Ack, I may need something stronger after this session than the usual Cherry Coke...

I do think this will satisfy my biplane urge for a while, having finished a Gladiator, Snipe, Staggerwing, a Ki-10 Perry and two Bulldogs in the last 18 months. I seem to be leaning toward  some Cold War RAF projects at present.

This is completed model #356, finished in May of 2011.


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