Airfix 1/48 Folland Gnat T1

  • Built: 2021
  • Added to Stash: 2020
  • Aftermarket: Wheels, SBS. Pitot Tube, Master Detail
  • Decals: kit

This build was undertaken on a recent 4 week leave block. At the time I had decided on a – far too ambitious, as it turned out- idea of building three kits in four weeks. This, the Riich universal carrier and the Gecko Models Bedford MWD. Lockdown. Wife at work. All the planets were aligning for a solid four weeks at the bench.

Well, getting called back to work for a week, and the Riich Bren gun carrier with its 400 parts put paid to that idea!

I was originally going to mount the gnat in flight, but didn’t really want to waste the SBS wheels. The other thing that squashed this idea was the fact Airfix only supply one pilot, for a jet that is a trainer!

A bit of penny pinching on Airfix s part I think. Anyway, the plan last this stage was to build the box art scheme, so I really needed two pilots. So the idea of a jet in flight was abandoned.

The model assembled easily enough with the use of minimal filler. Aside from the wheels and pitot tube, the model was OOB. CMK and Eduard do AM sets for the cockpit, but I found the kit cockpit and instrument panel decals were fine, especially under a closed canopy.

Soon enough, it was time for paint. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, between schemes, the Yellowjacks scheme was decided on. Mr Surfacer pink was used as a primer, which revealed a few seams needing a revisit from the sanding stick. Mainly the underside seam and the wing roots, not sure what I did here, but I was left with a small step, previous dry fits had shown a problem free fit, maybe the intake trunking had interfered slightly.

Main colour was Mr Hobby Insignia yellow, applied in two thin coats, the pink undercoat helping to provide a nice vibrant deep yellow. The Airfix decals performed as advertised, as they always do, Microscale products helping them sink into the underlying detail on the wings and fuselage.

Tamiya brown panel line accent was carefully run along all engraved detail, before being allowed to dry, the excess then being removed with then aid of a odourless thinner dampened cotton bud.

There is really nothing further to add about the build. Again the photos show where I have been less than careful with my masking of the wheels and restating panel lines around the avionics bay, but this model really was just an exercise to see if I could get it built in a week.

Would I build another? Absolutely! It seems fashionable these days for some “serious” modellers to bag Airfix as lacking in detail and aiming their kits purely at kids. Yes, they may be simplified in a lot of cases, but their 48 scale kits, I believe certainly have the enthusiast in mind. This is the fourth Airfix kit I have completed. Every one of them has been a joy to construct, and that to me is what its all about.

Folland Gnat T1. “Yellowjacks” Aerobatic Team.

No4F.T.S Royal Air Force.R.A.F.Station Valley . Wales 1964

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