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Gloster Gladiator Mk. I/II
& Sea Gladiator


Pavla, 1/72

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Pavla Kit No. 72059 - Gloster Gladiator Mk. I/II & Sea Gladiator
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 33 Mid blue/grey short-run plastic parts on one sprue, 28 cream resin parts on ten pour blocks, 2 vac-formed canopies (not identical), decals for 5 aircraft plus a 16 page A5 instruction booklet with history, parts plan, 18 build diagrams including one for rigging and 10 pages of paint/markings drawings.
Price: USD$27.96 available online from Squadron
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: A long awaited subject in this scale, beautifully cast resin, excellent decals and fine engraved panel details.
Disadvantages: Short-run means some flash, resin and vac-formed canopy means not for beginners, 3 bladed prop devoid of detail.
Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewed by Glen Porter

Pavla's 1/72 scale Gladiator is online from Squadron.com



At last, it's here.

We've been waiting a long time for a new Gladiator and it's no disappointment. Although produced previously by both Matchbox and Heller, they were quite good for their time but they were very old and showed it in their level of detail and accuracy. Again, Pavla to the rescue.

Conceived in the early thirties and first flown in 1934, it didn't reach the RAF until 1937. Powered by a Bristol Mercury IX radial engine, the biplane Gladiator Mk I was armed with four machine guns, two in the fuselage and two in the wings. Mk IIs were to follow along with a navalised version, the Sea Gladiator.

The Pavla kit caters for all three variants with a two bladed prop and early canopy for the Mk I plus a Volks filter for the second Mk I, three bladed prop, late canopy and under-engine air-intake for the Mk II and Sea Gladiator with arrestor hook and life-raft blister for the Sea Gladiators only.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The plastic sprue is not quite as good as the Pavla Lancer that I reviewed recently but only in that it has more flash on everything and will require a little more clean-up. The surface detail is just as good as is the resin and decals. Here's something I've never seen before. If you want to display the access door open, you have to cut it out and they give you a spare on the sprue in case you butcher the original in the process. Nice.

The resin, as we've come to expect from Pavla, is top notch, beautifully cast and no bubbles. You get a cowling, engine, wheels and a few other minor exterior bits plus a full cockpit with floor, seat, instrument panel, sidewalls, joystick and head rest. No PE... yippee!


Like the decals in the Lancer kit, these are darn near perfect on the sheet - excellent register, good colour density and minimum carrier film. There are two Mk Is, a pre-war all silver aircraft from 87 Sqdn in the UK and a camouflaged one from 80 Sqdn in Egypt, early 1940. Only one Mk II, a Battle Of Britain aircraft from 247 Sqdn called Anzac Answer, flown by an Australian, P/O N.I.C. Francis, UK, August 1940. Next comes one of the famous “Faith, Hope and Charity” from Malta's defence in 1940, a Sea Gladiator with the hook removed and finally another Sea Gladiator from HMS Eagle in the Med, summer 1940.

Faults, there's got to be faults. Well yeah, no kit is perfect. There are two and they stick out like a sore thumb. The two-bladed prop, while not bad in shape and detail, has a dirty big sink mark on one side of the spinner. Fixable but annoying. The three blade, on the other hand looks like a flat piece of plastic sheet cut to the shape of a propeller and each blade given a twist to simulate the pitch. That’s it, no detail what so ever, not even some aerodynamic shape to the blades. Even Airfix could do better than this and what makes it look worse is that the rest of the kit is so good.

If it wasn't for the above two faults, this kit would get even higher marks indeed. Along with the “not for beginners” tag, I can only say Recommended.

Recommended, recommended and recommended.

Thanks to Pavla for the review sample

Review and Images Copyright © 2006 by Glen Porter
Page Created 23 March, 2006
Last updated 24 March, 2006

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