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Spiros Pendedekas
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Valeriy Grygorenko's 1/48 Gladiator Mk.I

September 23, 2022 · in Aviation · · 22 · 0.8K

Developed privately as the SS.37, the was RAF's last biplane fighter.

Already rendered obsolete by newer monoplane designs even as it was being introduced, it nevertheless saw action in almost all theaters during the Second World War and with a large number of air forces, some of them on the Axis side. The RAF used it in France, Norway, Greece, Malta, the Middle East, and the brief Anglo-Iraqi War (during which the Royal Iraqi Air Force was similarly equipped). Other countries deploying the Gladiator included China, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Belgium and Greece.

Though often pitted against more formidable foes during the early days of the Second World War, the Gladiator acquitted itself reasonably well in combat.

South African pilot Marmaduke "Pat" Pattle was the top Gladiator ace with 15 victories with the type. In total, 747 Gladiators were built.

Gladiators of RAF 33 and 80 Squadrons assigned to the Near East saw active service during the Arab Revolt in Mandatory Palestine in the late 30's.

They were mainly deployed performing the so called “Air-Pin '' operations, where they would appear over a village before ground troops were seen approaching it, shooting at every fleeing person. Of course, apart from partisans, many civilians lost their lives during those operations.

By May 1939, with the Arab strength in the countryside compromised and a sort of “peace” being settled, the machines returned to their normal stations in Egypt, awaiting the imminent war with the Axis, a war that did not seem too far away.

Bill “Cherry” Vale, DFC & Bar, AFC, born on 3 June 1914, was a RAF fighter pilot and flying ace of the Second World War.

He was credited with 30 enemy aircraft shot down, shared in the destruction of three others, and claimed six damaged and another two shared damaged. His 20 kills achieved while flying the Hurricane and his 10 with the Gladiator, made him the second highest scoring Hurricane and biplane pilot in the RAF, in both cases after Marmaduke "Pat" Pattle . He retired from the RAF in 1959 and was sadly killed in a road accident on 29 November 1981. He had the reputation of a staunch pilot, displaying great courage and determination, even at the most adverse of odds.

This is the very good and well known kit, with, of course, the box art done by "our" beloved and much missed Valeriy Grygorenko. The kit was built as a participant to our friend's @stephen-w-towle 's Valeriy Grygorenko Memorial Build Group Build:

Should you wish to read the full build review, you might do so by visiting my beloved site Modelingmadness:

Happy modelling!
Reader reactions:
9  Awesome

1 additional image. Click to enlarge.

22 responses

  1. Lovely write-up and beautiful pictures as usual, Spiros. I’ve read Roden kits are not the easiest of builds, but you certainly mastered this one.

  2. Well done and a nice tribute.

  3. Great Job as usual Spiros.

    RIP Valeriy

  4. Nice brother those things must have been tough to bail out of what with all the wires and such around the cockpit

  5. Very nice! Not generally seen in that livery, but looks a little sleeker in those silvery shades.

  6. Another fine build, Spiros!

  7. Excelent build supported by a ditto article, Spiros @fiveten
    Always have liked the Gladiator a lot and surprised by how actively it was still used in WWII

  8. great build and painting!

  9. An excellent job! Really like this plan, I must build one one day. Your model is a great inspiration!

  10. Well done on this one Spiros it's really great , funny but I was talking about aircraft from the interwar period with a colleague only this week , the Gladiator couldn't have been given a more apt name for such a tough , durable little machine . I didn't know so many countries had used it.
    Maybe a group build of aircraft from the 1918 - 1939 period could be fun , I'd sign up...

  11. Nice work on the model and an excellent write-up. I've done a few of the Roden Gladiator (even have another one here again in the stash) and it's one of Roden's best. You definitely got the most out of what was there in the box, @fiveten.

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