Mike Grant Decals Foreign Gladiators

The Gladiators decal sheet

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Rating (1-10 10=best)

Foreign Gladiators (48/72)MG001

Mike Grant Decals

1:48 or 1:72

Five aircraft (+ instructions for a sixth)


This is the part where I normally say "Mike Grant makes these in his basement...." We'll get to that in a minute.

The Gloster Gladiator was the last British RAF Biplane fighter ordered. It saw some action in the war - most famously during the defence of Malta when three gladiators ("Faith," "Hope" and "Chairty") supposedly provided all the defence for the island.... It saw service with other air arms, too, including Egypt, Greece, Lituania, and Latvia.

Like I said, nomrally I mention how Mike produces these in his basement. This is a limited run sheet, however, screen-printed like normal "big name" decals by Fantasy Printshop. Like "normal" decals, these are NOT on a contiunuous carrier film, but each marking has its own little "shape" of carrier. Very nice, Mike... Every marking is crisp and clear.

The options given on this sheet are for a Greek aircraaft (delta-187,) Egyptian (L8025 in desert camoflage,) Lithuanian (how's that for esoteric markings?,) Latvian (if you want to educate people that not all swastikas = "Nazi aircraft," this is one to use,) and even a captured example in German markings! You can also model a Russian one by using the Latvian markings, but replacing the Latvian national insignia with red stars (not provided.) The aircraft are a mix of Mk.1 and II Gladiators.

The one odd bit with this sheet (which on reflection is a good idea, IMHO) regards the fin flashes for the Egyptian and Greek aircraft - they are provided as rectangular "blocks" which need to be trimmed around the rudder contours. A little work? Sure, but given that no one kit is mentioned, it neatly avoids the problem of trying to "touch up" stripes that were meant for a "different" kit. Just let 'em dry first!

I can't fault the printing process, clarity, or anything else with the decals. They're, unsuprisingly, beautiful. If I have *any* nits to pick, it's with the instructions - they're in greyscale, instead of color. This is a *very* small nit to pick as (a) many OTHER manufacturers do that, including Aeromaster, and (b) a color profile is provided in PDF format on the Mike Grant Decals website.

The only thing left is to find a kit - in 1/48, the Lindberg kit, though older, is still available for a reasonable price on Ebay, and probably in some hobby shops as well... cheap enough to build every scheme on the sheet, that's for sure! If you love biplanes, pick up this sheet. You need a Gladiator. Might as well make it unique.... Highly reccommended.