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Folland Gnat T Mk. 1
Subsonic Jet Trainer


Serial XP-530
Central Flying School
RAF Little Rissington
Gloucestershire, England 1964

Airfix

This model added to kgwings.com on July 4, 2016

Airfix Folland Gnat T.1 1:72 scale model
The Folland Gnat is a lightweight aircraft that found fame with the British Royal Air Force as a jet trainer. Serving until 1979, the Gnat proved to be a capable and much loved trainer.
Airfix Folland Gnat T.1 1:72 scale model

Development of the Gnat began in 1952 as a private venture to create a lightweight interceptor to counter the threat of escorted Russian Tu-4 bombers.

Airfix Folland Gnat T.1 1:72 scale model

The Royal Air Force decided against the Gnat single-seat fighter but instead placed an order for 14 pre-production Gnat two-seat trainers. The trainers would be used to transition pilots between the De Havilland Vampire T 11 and the English Electric Lightning.

Airfix Folland Gnat T.1 1:72 scale model

In August 1959 the Gnat T.1 Trainer flew for the first time and the Royal Air Force ordered 91 of the aircraft. From 1964 until 1979 the Gnat served proudly as the primary aircraft of the RAF Yellow Jacks and Red Arrows aerobatic demonstration teams.

Airfix Folland Gnat T.1 1:72 scale model

The Kit:

Airfix originally released the Gnat in 1964, but this is the completely re-tooled 2012 kit and it is a beauty!

Airfix Folland Gnat T.1 1:72 scale model

The cockpit detail and panel lines are well done in this new release. Fit is excellent overall with only a bit of sanding required around the intakes. I added seat harnesses made with masking tape and ejection handles made with copper wire.

Airfix Folland Gnat T.1 1:72 scale model
For the metal finish I used Testors Silver enamel mixed with a few drops of Testors White enamel to tone down the reflective properties. For the dayglow red I used a mix of Modelmaster Fluorescent Red with a touch of Tamiya Red X-7.
Airfix Folland Gnat T.1 1:72 scale model
Masking the paint scheme was fairly easy since it follows the panel lines exactly.
Airfix Folland Gnat T.1 1:72 scale model
The kit provided decals are excellent. Sharply printed in perfect register, with nice brilliant colors. The amount of stencil data provided is really impressive.
Airfix Folland Gnat T.1 1:72 scale model
This image really shows just how tiny the Gnat is in 72nd scale.
Airfix Folland Gnat T.1 1:72 scale model
The landing gear is strong and fairly well detailed. Note that the serial number decals must be cut apart and repositioned if the wing tanks are installed.
Airfix Folland Gnat T.1 1:72 scale model

Here my Gnat sits on the workbench before weathering/washes. With the canopy off you can get a better look at the ejection handles and harnesses I added to the stock kit seats.

This was one of the most enjoyable builds I've completed in a long time. Airfix really impressed me with this new retooled kit and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.




Airfix Folland Gnat T.1 1:72 scale model
Airfix
Kit: Airfix #A01006
1:72 Scale Model
Scale: 1/72

Assembly:

The kit consists of approximately 49 parts molded in light gray with 2 transparent pieces.

Molding quality is very crisp with virtually no flash to clean up. Panel lines are a little deep for the scale but acceptable and convincing after painting. Fit is very good overall with a little sanding required around the intakes and wing roots.

Cockpit details are good and the one piece canopy is crystal clear.

The landing gear is fairly well detailed with are parts are provided to build stowed or retracted. The gear doors are too thick but are improved easily with a bit of careful sanding.

Assembly is very straightforward with no surprises, a speedy modeler could probably finish this kit in a day.

Aftermarket Parts:

None.
Decals:

Markings are provided to build XP530 of the Central Flying School, RAF Little Rissington, 1964. The sheet is extremely well done, printed in perfect registration with sharp details. The quantity and quality of stencil data is impressive for a kit in any price range, and even more so for a kit in this price range.
Painting:

The interior was painted acrylic Tamiya XF-82 Ocean Gray 2 (RAF) with a black pastel chalk wash applied. Exterior was airbrushed Testors Silver enamel mixed with a few drops of Testors White enamel to tone down the reflective properties. The dayglow red is Modelmaster Fluorescent Red with a touch of Tamiya Red X-7.
Customizing:

I used strips of masking tape to create seat harnesses. Strands of electrical wire was used to make ejection handles.
Value:

This is one of the best value kits on the market today! It retails for as little as $7.99 (US) at the time of writing which is an unheard of bargain these days.
Recommendation:

This kit was an absolute joy to build. I didn't run into any snags at all. The end result is a great kit, highly accurate at a bargain price. Recommended to anyone from beginners to experts.

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