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Readers’ Gallery: Mike Grant’s 1/72 Matchbox Gloster Gladiator

Forum member Mike Grant (migrant) shares this marvelous looking Matchbox Gladiator kit. What makes it even more remarkable is he built it in a day! Mike shares with us some of his secrets for this great looking quick build.

This is another of those Blitzbau projects- started and completed in a day. It’s the old 1/72 Matchbox Gladiator finished in my own Lithuanian markings and rigged with EZLine (highly recommended for speedy builds). Like Jon’s Boeing, it’s a good way to get the creative juices flowing and building again.  I didn’t do much to the basic kit- thinned the cowling down at the rear, replaced the kit seat, drilled out the handles on the upper wing.

I spent about 12 hours on it total.  Started just after lunchtime and worked all afternoon/evening until it was at paint stage, then the next morning I painted/decalled and rigged it, finishing just after lunchtime the next day.  I used lacquers for fast drying, superglue/accelerator for fast filling & sanding, and as I mentioned, EZLine for fast rigging.  The last hour or so was a bit fraught but I got it done with minutes to spare.

A 24-hour build is all about planning, and deciding where to spend the time. For instance, I spent very little time on the interior or engine, but quite a bit of time on surface prep and alignment. First thing I did was dip the canopy in Future so it would be cured by the time I reached painting stage. All parts of a similar colour were sprayed at the same time. Paint levels were checked and my airbrush thoroughly cleaned before the build started. Stuff like that helps keep the build on track.  And yes, I did drill out the under-wing guns, as well as the exhausts.