Profile Photo
10 articles

Lovely, not "ugly", bird

August 20, 2019 · in Aviation · · 41 · 3K

Hello, guys!
I have rarely built post-war aircrafts, civil or military. This is the first post-war Royal Navy bird for me.

I never believe the reputation that Fairey is one of the ugliest planes of the world. Although maybe not beautiful or elegant, she is a very lovely bird. I would be happy if anybody agrees with my view.

The kit was pretty tough at least for me: fittings of parts were not very bad in general, but the scarcity (or virtually absence) of locating pins or tabs and ambiguous instructions kept troubling me during this project. Actually, I came close to abandoning it a few times. On the contrary, details of surfaces and general outlines seemed convincing. Decals and PE parts were also excellent. I added some wires in the wheel wells and brake pipes on the main gears. Anti-collision lights? were made from transparent sprues and painted clear red.

The color scheme is Extra Sea Gray (I used TAMIYA Color XF63 German Gray as replacement) and SKY (Mr. Hobby H-74 Sky), as is usual for Royal Navy birds of this period. One thing for which I am not sure is the color of wheel wells and landing gears: is it painted with the undersurface color (Sky, in this case) or with any other color? I checked several photos and read articles on the internet, but failed to reach a conclusion. In the end, I selected an easier way: they were painted with the undersurface color Sky. It would be grateful if anybody shows me the true color.

Thank you for watching.

Reader reactions:
16  Awesome 1 

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.

41 responses

  1. There is a "law" in aeronautics: an aircraft with good flying characteristics somehow looks always beautiful!
    Some aircrafts express their beauty impudently, others are more shy and hide their beauty in more subtle aspects. I guess Gannet belongs to the latter group and the pics of your excellent model allow us to appreciate these subtleties.
    I have to agree with you: the Gannet is not ugly and thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you Peter for an interesting view on the beauty of aircrafts.
      Yes, the beauty of Gannet may be rather peculiar, but the shape of the aircraft is optimized for her duty, demonstrating “the beauty of function.”

  2. Just like a seagull is mastering the elements for which it was designed there is also a beauty in its no frills look. Think the Gannet is also in the same category of beauty. It is said to be pleasant to fly. Model looks great.

  3. Beautiful or Ugly...whatever one thinks - that aside, your build looks outstanding.

  4. Sorry-ugly as sin. Especially with that growth underneath. Very nicely built, however.

    • Hi, Bill.
      I have to admit the large radome underside of AEW emphasizes the peculiarity of Gannet. But thank you for the positive comments of the finish of the model.

  5. Definitely not a graceful-looking aircraft, but I have always appreciated the "purpose-built" nature of the form! I've always been intrigued by the Gannet and recently picked up a Trumpeter kit at a contest for $5. I'm looking forward to building this and her stable mate - the Wyvern. Such unique-looking aircraft!

    Your's looks great by the way!

  6. Excellent work on a butt ugly aircraft!

  7. Very clean build, nice model! Years ago I've had a FROG's Gannet – a really unusual airplane.

  8. Nice work on this. The Gannet has always interested me. I remember seeing some aboard HMS Hermes in Manila harbor after the 1963 SEATO exercises.

    The gear and wells were silver, like the interior surface of the folded wing in the photo you've provided. Not a killer that you did as you did.

    • Thank you Tom for valuable information about the color of wheel wells and gears. Silver did not come to my mind. Next time I build another Royal Navy bird, I don’t fail to remember it.

  9. Great job on the Gannet! There is one flying on the US civil register out of Minnesota (With a lady owner to boot!) so occasionally it makes appearances at shows. This is probably my favorite FAA paint scheme as pretty much any plane looks good in it! Just wish Sword would punch this one up to 1/48.

  10. Great looking model of a plane that is all business. Sword kits can be a challenge, but they sure make some kits of planes that no one else has. Great job.

    • Yes, George, the selection of Sword is unique and attractive.
      I cannot understand, however, why they do (or can) not pay attention to the ease of building of kits, considering the excellent surface texture they show off. Puzzling...

  11. Good looking Gannet Shun, well done, interesting different version to the one I'm working on, Trumpeter 1/72 !

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

    • Thank you Allan!
      I also like the version you are building. It is, in a sense, more “Gannet-like” than AEW I built. I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing the finish.

  12. I do like these (real) big-eyeed planes. We had a similar one in the French Navy: Bréguet Br.1050 Alizé.

    Bravo for this very clean rendition!

  13. Thank you Stéphane.
    Yes, I know Alizé. (Incidentally, this name reminds me of a French female singer, Alyzée.) It is also my favorite. Is there any kit of it currently available AND not so expensive?

  14. Nice work. I’d love a new Gannet in 1:48.

  15. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    I never have seen any " ugly " side to the GANNET, visually shocking … yes, yet this trait is what in my view … has made it a captivating bird to see.
    Your model alone speaks well of this aircraft. Nice model work on this one Shun.

  16. There are NO ugly planes, Shun ... only those that aren't quite as handsome as others.

    One thing I noticed. From above (see photos #7 and #8 above) the Gannet has a general outline (shape) of an F6F Hellcat. of course there are LOTS of differences - starting with the canopy placement and double prop - I just mean the overall outline. That's just me, perhaps ---- LOL!

    Shun, your model looks outstanding and serves as tribute to the real and somewhat under-appreciated ones!

    • Yes, you are right, Jeff. It can be said any plane is beautiful as long as it fulfills the required specs.
      I did'nt notice the similarity between Gannet and Hellcat. It's an interesting finding that a seabird is similar to a feline...
      Thank your for kind words to my model.

  17. I have a thing for "ugly" birds; I prefer the Hurricane to the Spit, and the Thunderbolt to the Mustang. Ungainly seabirds are my favorite of all--they catch the eye's interest. But you made ugly beautiful with this outstanding bird. Really nice work.

    • I know what you mean, David. In a sense, “weird” aircrafts sometimes give a stronger impression and show off more when reproduced as a model kit than “elegant” ones.
      Thank you for nice comments.

  18. Hello Shun,

    The great number of responses regarding your model, are the proof, that the Gannet is a very well liked aircraft. Like a lot of items produced in the UK (at that time) it was a complicated AC.

    Wings folded in two stages, two engines behind each other, double props and so on.

    And even you told us, it was quite difficult to get it together.

    Well, my dear friend, you did a very excellent job.

    As you know, there is one flying in the US. The T5, I would love to see it start up in real time.

    Thanks for sharing this remarkable bird with us. Regards, Dirk.

    • HI, Dirk.
      I really appreciate you and all others for comments, and happy to know that Gannet is loved by many including those who do not think it beautiful.
      Yes, the Gargantuan Double Mamba engine and the contrapropeller, among others, give her a quite unique figure. The uniqueness is a great merit, at least for a plastic model.
      Thank you for kind comments.

  19. Lovely. Don’t see these being built much. ?

  20. She's a beaut buddy and don't let anyone tell you otherwise🤬🤣.

    I have the same kit, but also a Shackleton AEW and Skyraider AEW as the radars started in the spad and ended in the shack...via the Gannet. Always wondered how many lives might have been saved had the Gannets still been in service during the Falklands war but hey😪.

    There is a cracking anecdote about a Gannet on exercise being intercepted by a USAF air defence cab.

    There sits the Gannet pilot, autopilot engaged, puffing away on a pipe, beard, looking at a news paper.

    "What have you got up there" asks the fighter controller?

    Interceptor pilot after a friendly wave from the Gannet driver..."Dunno...God I think"🤣🤣🤣🤣

    Nice model chap, well done❤️

Leave a Reply