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Gloster Gladiator Mk.II




S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: RD401
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 103 parts in light grey styrene; 6 parts in clear styrene; markings for five aircraft
Price: USD$20.97 from Squadron.com
Review Type: QuickLook
Advantages: Authentic surface texture; parts for wheels and skis included; good details including cockpit and engine; positionable flying surfaces; very thin trailing edges of flying surfaces; five marking options including decals for the tyres; extra parts also applicable to Sea Gladiator and Gladiator Mk.I
Disadvantages: Some sink marks on fuselage; poorly shaped seat; mould flow lines on wings and other smaller parts.
Recommendation: Recommended to early WWII RAF and Finnish and biplane aficionados.


Reviewed by Brett Green

Roden's 1/48 Scale Gladiatorr Mk.II is available online from Squadron.com




Less than 12 months since the initial release of the Gladiator Mk.I, Roden has released their third and final member of the Gladiator family, the Mk.II.

In my opinion, Roden has left the best until last. If you have not bought a Roden 1/48 scale Gladiator yet, this is the one to get. All the parts from both the Gladiator Mk.I and Sea Gladiator are included in this box, plus a new sprue with skis for the Finnish options. Even with this bonus parts bonanza, the price of this version is actually lower than the earlier two kits were on their release! A second style of windscreen has also been supplied.

The other relevant news is that True Details released a cockpit detail set for the Gladiator Mk.II earlier this year. This resin set provides even nicer detail in this prominent area, and even more importantly replaces the awful kit seat.

Roden's 1/48 scale Gladiator Mk.II comprises 103 parts in light beige styrene, and an additional 6 parts in clear.

In common with the earlier kits, the parts are generally well moulded, and surface texture is very impressive. The fabric over ribs looks just right. Panel lines, where appropriate, are crisply engraved. Depiction of rib tape on the ailerons is so subtle as to be almost invisible! There are a few sink marks and stress lines on the outside of the fuselage. These are partly the result of ambitious moulding of structural detail on the inside of the fuselage. There are some bigger sink marks on the front face of the propeller blade too. These will need some attention with putty and a sanding stick. Mould flow lines are present on the wings and tailplanes, but they will disappear under a coat of paint.



Locating pins are not widespread on the kit but engineering is robust. Large tabs help locate the lower wing to each fuselage half, and the upper wing is supplied as a single, full span part. The trailing edges on the three wing parts are almost razor sharp - very impressive. Furthermore, there are locating pins for the top and bottom of the outer struts on each wing. The cabane struts are secured with locating pins too. All the flying surfaces are supplied as separate parts.

Some of the parts are incredibly fine and delicate. Of special note is Part 68, the fin mast for the aerial wire. The trigger on the control column and the pitot tubes moulded to the port strut are worthy of attention too.

The engine is made up of 26 pieces not including the propeller, cowl and filter. This should look great when finished, but care must be taken to ensure that it will fit in the three-piece cowl.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The cockpit is also convincing. Raised structural detail is present on the sidewalls, and the impression of the partial floor is captured quite well. The instrument panel is a clear part with decal instruments applied to the rear. The same awful slab-like seat is still offered though.

The new sprue this time contains eight parts for the skis and a new radio mast..



The arrestor hook and three bladed Fairey propeller are still included.

The decals look very good. Markings for six Gladiator MkIIs - two British and four Finnish. The painting instructions for three of the Finnish options suggest a disruptive overspray of silver over the camouflage colours. If correct, that would be an interesting look!



Instructions are called out over 18 steps using diagrams. Paint references are supplied for Humbrol, Testor, Gunze and Lifecolor. Each marking option is covered using a side profile plus upper and lower plan view. Separate rigging diagrams for the RAF and Finnish subjects completes the package.





Roden's 1/48 scale Gladiator Mk.II looks every bit as nice as its two predecessors.

In common with the earlier versions, careful preparation and test fitting is the best formula for avoiding problems. In particular, I would recommend that the basic engine part is test-fitted to the assembled cowl, and that the engine is test fitted repeatedly after each extra component is added. The cockpit components should be test-fitted in the fuselage to check width before painting and assembly too.

A little time and care, and a replacement seat, will render a terrific result from this impressive kit.


Review and Images Copyright 2003 by Brett Green
Page Created 10 November, 2003
Last updated 10 November, 2003

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