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Project Notes

#741 Gloster Gladiator

Building the Airfix 1:72 Gloster Gladiator Mk II over St. Inglevert, Northern France, December 1939. No electronics in this one.



The Gloster Gladiator is a British biplane fighter. It was used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) (as the Sea Gladiator variant) and was exported to a number of other air forces during the late 1930s.

Developed privately as the Gloster SS.37, it was the RAF’s last biplane fighter aircraft, and was rendered obsolescent by newer monoplane designs even as it was being introduced. Though often pitted against more advanced fighters during the early days of the Second World War, it acquitted itself reasonably well in combat.

The Gladiator saw action in almost all theatres during the Second World War, with a large number of air forces, some of them on the Axis side. The RAF used it in France, Norway, Greece, the defence of 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 against Japan, beginning in 1938; Finland (along with Swedish volunteers) against the Soviet Union in the Winter War and the Continuation War; Sweden as a neutral noncombatant (although Swedish volunteers fought for Finland against USSR as stated above); and Norway, Belgium, and Greece resisting Axis invasion of their respective lands.


Gloster Gladiator Mk.I 1/72 Airfix - PLASMO


Airfix 1/72 Gloster Gladiator Mk I/II Build and Review


Marking Schemes

Scheme A (selected scheme)

Gloster Gladiator Mk.II No.615 (County of Surrey) Squadron, Royal Air Force, St. Inglevert, Northern France, December 1939. (A)


Feature Color Recommended Paint Used
engine inlet pipes Silver - Metallic Humbrol 11  
engine block Black - Gloss Humbrol 21 H18
  Trainer Yellow - Matt Humbrol 24  
upper camo. Dark Earth - Matt Humbrol 29 H72
upper camo Dark Green - Matt Humbrol 30 H64
cockpit details Black - Matt Humbrol 33  
under camo Black - Matt Humbrol 33 H12
under camo White - Matt Humbrol 34 H11
engine cowling Gunmetal - Metallic Humbrol 53  
cockpit interior Aluminium - Metallic Humbrol 56  
  Flesh - Matt Humbrol 61  
cockpit upper Cockpit Green Humbrol 78 H320
  Cream - Matt Humbrol 103  
compass Ocean Grey - Matt Humbrol 106  
lower camo US Light Green - Matt Humbrol 117 H303
lower camo US Light Earth - Matt Humbrol 119 H310

Scheme B

Gloster Gladiator Mk.I 1 Escadrille, 1 Groupe Belgian Air Force, Schaffen Air Base, Diest, Belguim, 1938. (B)


Feature Color Recommended Paint Used
  Black - Matt Humbrol 33  
  Gunmetal - Metallic Humbrol 53  
  Aluminium - Metallic Humbrol 56  
  Matt Mid Green Humbrol 101  
  Matt Pale Stone Humbrol 121  
  Matt Olive Drab - Matt Humbrol 155  

Build Log

build01a build02a build02b build02c build02d build02e build02f build02g build02h build02i build02j build03a build03b build03c

Gloster Gladiator Mk.II over St. Inglevert, France, 1939.

build06a build06b build06c build06d

Added to my wall of flight..

wall1 wall2

Credits and References

Project Source on GitHub Project Gallery Return to the LEAP Catalog

This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LEAP GitHub repository.

LEAP is just my personal collection of projects. Two main themes have emerged in recent years, sometimes combined:

  • electronics - usually involving an Arduino or other microprocessor in one way or another. Some are full-blown projects, while many are trivial breadboard experiments, intended to learn and explore something interesting
  • scale modelling - I caught the bug after deciding to build a Harrier during covid to demonstrate an electronic jet engine simulation. Let the fun begin..
To be honest, I haven't quite figured out if these two interests belong in the same GitHub repo or not. But for now - they are all here!

Projects are often inspired by things found wild on the net, or ideas from the many great electronics and scale modelling podcasts and YouTube channels. Feel free to borrow liberally, and if you spot any issues do let me know (or send a PR!). See the individual projects for credits where due.