The Gnat was the creation of W.E.W. "Teddy" Petter, a British aircraft designer formerly of Westland Aircraft and English electric. Petter believed that a small, simple fighter would offer the advantages of low purchase and operational costs. New lightweight turbo-jet engines that were being developed enabled the concept to take shape. One of the hallmarks of the Gnat's design was its compact size. However, to achieve such a size, its systems were closely packed, making maintenance more difficult. Some of its systems were not noted for their reliability and the aircraft suffered from high operating costs. There were also issues that its cockpit was cramped and obstructed the instructor's forward visibility. Furthermore, the limited weapons load and reduced fuel capacity – both designed to reduce overall kerb-weight – meant that it could not operate for protracted periods. Despite the shortcomings, the Gnat and its predecessor the Folland Midge were praised by the RAF evaluation and the test pilots. The lower cost of the Gnat, its compact dimensions, as well as "good press" for the aircraft in air shows, were among the factors that prompted a spurt in its export sales.
See Scott's in box review on the Pro-Resin's 1/72 Gnat.
Construction was pretty well straightforward for a Pro-Resin kit after the small amount of flash sanded off and the resin pour tabs was razor sawed off, as always when working with resin remember to wash all parts to remove all the mold release agents so paint and glue with stick. I sanded all mating surfaces with a sanding block to assure a straight gluing surface. Interior was painted and all the great detail molded into the kit cockpit sidewalls was highlighted the ejection set has a lot of detail to it and looked good when painted. I drilled out the solid resin nose cone before attaching it to add the weight into that area so the plane would sit on the gear properly. The wings and tail planes was molded solid and was really thin and was also straight so there was no need to repair any warped parts. Light detailed panel lines and rivet detail was present on the resin surface with only one chipped resin part to repair.
Little putty was used around the intakes, front of cockpit and by the wing root front on one side...just a dab, rest of the seems filled themselves with the super glue when gluing half's together. I did have a little trouble with the landing gear trying to figure out which way and what went where, pretty sure it was all me, in the end it did sit level without having to tweak anything which is a plus when working with resin kits. The vac-u-formed canopies was a ease to mask as you could see the frame work outline quite well when masking, I always mask my canopies off first before removing then from the sheet. Pro-Resin kits come with 2 canopies incase you mess one up. Attached the canopy with white glue then let dry before painting the interior frame work color first then after that mask the whole canopy off and prime the rest of the resin kit so there is no major paint build up near the canopy framework. I use alcohol prep pads always for a final wipe down of resin kits to remove any residue that is on the resin before I prime, the primer I used is lacquer spray can from the auto parts store as it dries fast and with very little shrinkage then sanded when dry with a 1000 grit paper wiped back down with paper towels airbrushed off with just the air then the overall canopy mask removed then tacked wipe off the entire model then painted. While the primer was drying it was time to paint the tires and the other little add on's. I did replace the two probes with metal pieces instead of the thin resin parts as they tend to break off when moving the kit around.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
I chose to do the Indian Air Force version as their Gnat's have a little history behind them being known as "Saber Slayer's" . Paint used was the old Humbrol enamel line of paint, British Sea Gray thinned with lacquer thinner. Always seems to go over the primer I use nicely. When dry a coat of Testors Model Masters gloss clear, then next day applied the decals which are well registered and seems to go down nicely with a little help of the blue bottled Micro-Set, when that dried a couple coats of MM flat clear coat and was sitting pretty. I had trouble with the painting guide trying to figure out what was what on there gray scale as there was no color letter pointing at the airframe like on the RAF version so I painted it the Sea Gray and hope that was right, or at least close.
This is my second Pro-resin kit that I have built, first being the Curtiss XF-15C-1 early "Stingaree" which also was a pleasure to build. I have a few other Pro-Resin kits in the to do pile. And looking forward to getting there Bristol T.188 and the Fairy Delta 1, I am sure they will be up to there usual good standards. Highly recommended to the Folland Gnat, British jets, or if you like the fact that they slayed a few Saber fans. Making a great addition to your 1/72 scale collection.
Modeling Madness thanks www.olimpmodels.com for the review kit. Ask your local store to order one for you.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Review Index Page