Gloster Gladiator Guns

Published: August 23rd, 2014     
Reviewed by: Perry Downen - IPMS# 44000
Scale: 1/72
Company: Quickboost
Price: $4.40
Product / Stock #: QB72 443
Product provided by: Aires Hobby Models

First things first, I want to thank Aires for supplying this Quickboost item for review and IPMS/USA for allowing me to write this review.

The last biplane fighter to enter service with the Royal Air Force was the Gloster Gladiator. Even though it was not a first-line fighter almost from the beginning, it was used in nearly all theaters during World War II. It epitomized the best of the biplane era with an enclosed cockpit, top speed of 257 mph and four .303 Browning machine guns. Two of the guns, with 600 rounds each, were located in the forward fuselage with the barrels protruding between the cylinders of the radial engine. The other two guns, with 400 rounds each, were located just forward of the cockpit, over the wing root leading edges, and they fired between the cylinders via a trough in the fuselage.

Airfix has recently released the Mark II version of their Gloster Gladiator. The detail on this kit is nice. However, Quickboost will improve the finished look a bit with their recently released set of resin .303 Browning aft mounted machine guns. While the kit guns are molded in one piece, the Quickboost guns come in two parts, the barrel and the receiver. As seen in the accompanying pictures, there is a bit of flash to clean up on the delicate kit guns. I bent one removing it from the part's tree. Removal of the resin parts from the pour block was easy enough thanks to the thin connection. For such small parts the detail is quite good. The ends of the barrels are hollowed, impressions of cooling vents can be seen, and the receiver is very well defined.

There are no instructions in the package since adding the resin guns is a straight forward replacement of the kit guns. I found it a little difficult adding the small barrels to the small receiver, so I tried a different approach. I also found that the resin receiver did not fit very well into the indentation provided in the cockpit area. Some knife work will be needed to make a neat fit. In my example, I simply laid the receiver over the indentation and inserted the gun barrel from the outside, through the fuselage opening, and glued them both in place at the same time. Viewed from the exterior, the resin guns fit as well as the kit guns. Unpainted, the guns look very similar. The detail of the resin barrels will show up a bit more once painted, when compared to the kit guns. However, I'm afraid the detail of the receivers will be lost underneath the upper fuselage structure, part A3, when it's glued in place. This resin set will improve the looks of the Gladiator kit by a small amount, but that may be the difference between your model and the one sitting next to it.

Thanks again to Aires and IPMS/USA.

  • Kit Guns (Left) Compared to Resin Replacements
    Kit Guns (Left) Compared to Resin Replacements
  • Gun Mounting Location
    Gun Mounting Location
  • Kit Gun (Top) Compared to Resin Gun - Interior
    Kit Gun (Top) Compared to Resin Gun - Interior
  • Kit Gun (Top) Compared to Resin Gun - Exterior
    Kit Gun (Top) Compared to Resin Gun - Exterior

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