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Natty Gnat

November 26, 2016 in Aviation

Airfix’s 1/72 Red Arrows Gnat Stater Set completed earlier this year (2016).

Built pretty much out of box, except I discarded the paints that came with the set & opted for Vallejo acrylics, buffed and then layered with generous coats of Future.

If you’re thinking of going down this route to achieve a really high gloss finish, my advice is…don’t. It’s a labour of fools….

Do yourself a favour and do what any sane person would do to achieve a high gloss finish and use lacquer paints, or acrylic based lacquers such as Mr Color, to name one, and layer it with high gloss clear.

It’s an interesting choice by Airfix for a starter kit, it isn’t that easy to build and there are a number of areas that can trap the unwary for something so small: The wing to fuselage joint at the rear is one example. Just take your time and whittle down the plastic so you get a good(ish) fit. Likewise around the air intakes.

Also the fuselage halves need a bit of work to join neatly especially down between the rear wheel bays and towards the tail pipe.
The interior is nicely done, and all that was added were some foil belts and some painted wire for the ejection handles.

On the subject of the undercarriage: that’s also a tad fiddly being very delicate and easily broken.Be careful. Good detail all round though.
Decals are by Cartograph, which are very nicely printed if a tad thick, so plenty of layers of clear coat are the order of the day.
Another nostalgia build for me as I had previously built their original red arrows kit when I was very young & in short trousers.

I was impressed enough with the kit that I ended up buying it’s bigger brother in 1/48, which actually looks like an easier build. It’ll certainly be easier on my ageing eyes.

As always, thanks for looking.

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5 responses to Natty Gnat

  1. Great result for your many efforts, sir….nice job on this.

  2. Beautiful build, Marek !
    The Gnat has indeed some more difficult areas which needs some attention.

  3. For all the issues you mentioned it seems to have turned out quite well, I like it.

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