Monday, November 8, 2010

1/72 Gloster Gladiator II by Corgi

The Gloster Gladiator was the last successful British biplane design of the 1930s, which despite being considered obsolete by the start of WWII, it achieved good combat results and remained in the frontline into 1941. When the war broke out, the Royal Air Force had No. 607 & 615 Squadrons (operating in France) while Fleet Air Arm participated in the Norwegian campaign with No. 263 & 804 Squadrons.

In the Middle East the Royal Australian Air Force also made vast use of this biplane, operating with various squadrons, however, the most famous and gallant episode involving the Gladiator took place at Hal Far in Malta. A handful of Gladiators went against all odds with the Regia Aeronautica, as they were the only defence of the island between April and June 1940.

Gloster Gladiator IIToday's model represents a MkII variant (with a 3-bladed metal propeller unlike the MkI which had a 2-bladed wooden propeller) serial no. N5851, flown by Sergeant Ron Walter, No. 6 Squadron which was stationed at Kufra, Egypt in August 1941. On 26 September 1941, Walter claimed his only kill of the war and the last RAF's final Gladiator victory over a Regia Aeronautica SM. 81 bomber.

Info, Photo & Artwork source: Osprey - Aircraft Of The Aces 044 - Gloster Gladiator Aces

The model is from Corgi's WWII Legends range (not limited) and it's an exquisite piece of diecast, especially if you like 1/72 biplanes. Such finishes like the fabric effect, wiring and struts are well presented. I've seen photos online of a crude attempt in making this model by another company, but this is the diecast Gladiator to collect.

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