Silver Wings 1/32 Gloster Gladiator I/II Build Guide

By Doug Nelson

Parts Cleanup

As with other Silver Wings kits, parts cleanup is fairly simple, and due to the soft resin they use for their kit, a sprue cutter can even be used to snip most parts from their pour stubs. After that, a few scrapes with the Xacto knife and/or sanding stick and the part is ready for use.

With these kits, since there are no part numbers to worry about, I like to clean up all the parts and then begin the build. Any parts can be painted as appropriate after cleanup and before assembly as well. A few things to note when preparing your kit parts for use:

Engine Assembly

Prior to assembling the engine, you should drill three 1mm (#60 drill bit) holes, one each at the 12:00, 4:00 and 8:00 positions in the gear cover (see photo 4 for location) for the cowl brace (referred to in the instructions as “prepare on your own”). This brace is actually 3 parts on each brace, one rod from the gear cover to the exhaust collector ring (the front part of the cowl) and two thinner rods from the each side the cylinder head base to the main brace, attaching just below where the main brace meets the exhaust collector. For purposes of this build, I just added the three 1mm rods. Once you have drilled your holes, engine assembly begins with the cylinder heads. Attach each one, making sure it is facing directly forward. You can check your work by putting them up against the exhaust collector ring.

After this, you can attach the pushrods in place; each has a pad on the engine block and the cylinder head to aid in placement. If you are building a Mk1 airframe, you should attach the two downward pointing tubes referred to in the instructions (see photo 4 for location assistance)

Finally, attach the breather tubes to the back of the engine block and cylinder heads.

Interior Subassemblies

Cockpit Assembly

The Gladiator cockpit is primarily interior green with throttle, etc. in black. Assembling the interior for this kit is relatively straight forward, and like other Silver Wings kits, getting the cockpit framing assembled as straight as possible is key. I began building up the interior subassemblies by working on the cockpit framing. For best results, I recommend the following order:

Fuselage Assembly

Fuselage assembly is straightforward, as one would expect, simply insert the cockpit assembly between the fuselage halves and glue together. There are alignment tabs in the fuselage to help align the cockpit properly. I chose to leave mine "loose" and tacked it in place once the fuselage halves were together.

Cowling Assembly

You may want to pre-paint the interiors of the cowls and exhaust collector ring, and touch up as necessary after assembly. After studying the parts, I came up with the following assembly sequence to get the cowl together:

Lower Wings

Upper wings

Rear Empennage

The rear empennage for this kit is very straightforward. The kit does provide the rear bell crank for the elevators, which are barely visible on the finished kit, so you should decide if you want to attach any control cables to them. You can also complete this step at any time after you have glued the fuselage together, depending on what you think will be easiest for you and the painting scheme you have chosen.

Final Assembly

Now we are on the home stretch, and we have a model that looks pretty much like a Gladiator :) You should decide at what point you want to paint (and rig if desired) your model, and stop and do so when you have assembled the necessary parts. Now let's get those final bits attached!

Congratulations on your newly finished model! Photos 30 ~ 37 are of the completed model.

© Doug Nelson 2012

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This article was published on Saturday, January 28 2012; Last modified on Saturday, May 14 2016