by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
The Gloster Gladiator has received a long overdue turn in the spotlight recently, thanks to a new-tool kit from a newcomer to the scene, Merit International. However, Merit’s kit has a number of problems, one of them being a less than stellar set of decals, so SBS have timed things very nicely with the release of a pair of aftermarket sheets covering the Gladiator in Swedish (and by extension, Finnish) service. Of course, the decals wil also complement the well regarded Roden kit, not forgetting the vintage Lindberg model, which certainly shouldn’t be dismissed, despite its age.
Each set contains markings for four aircraft - and, unlike so many sheets, that really does mean you can complete four kits, because sufficient national markings and servicing stencils are provided.
D48005 - Volume I covers the following schemes:
1.J8 (Gladiator Mk. I) nr. 1 (Air Force nr. 231), Fighter Wing F8, Barkaby, 1938
2.J8 (Gladiator Mk. I) nr. 5 (Air Force nr. 235), Fighter Wing F8, Barkaby, 1937-38
3.J8 (Gladiator Mk. I) “White 25”, Fighter Wing F9, Göteborg, 1940
4.J8A (Gladiator Mk. II) nr. 48 (Air Force nr. 278), Fighter Wing F8, Barkaby, 1939
D48005 - Volume II features:
1.J8 (Gladiator Mk. I) “White 10”, Fighter Wing F8, 2nd Division, Bultofta, 1939
2.J8A (Gladiator Mk. II) no. 284 “Yellow F”, Swedish Voluntary Wing F19
3.J8A (Gladiator Mk. II) no. 279 “Yellow G”, Swedish Voluntary Wing F19
4.J8A (Gladiator Mk. II) no. 278 “Yellow H”, Swedish Voluntary Wing F19
The decals themselves look to be superb quality. They are printed in perfect register on the sample sheets and are as thin as any decals I’ve ever seen. The gloss carrier film is crystal clear and the colours look accurate and appear to have excellent opacity (of course, the proof will be in use).
The instructions comprise full colour diagrams, and both sides of each scheme are shown (barring one where no reference photo was available). FS equivalents are given for the colours used.
ConclusionI’m really looking forward to using SBS’s new Gladiator decals. The subjects chosen offer a great variety of attractive schemes with their mix of silver dope and camouflage, along with wheels or ski-landing gear. Highly recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.