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Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale
Fairey Gannet AS.4

by Ingo Degenhardt

 

Fairey Gannet AS.4

 


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Introduction


“The ugliest thing that ever took to the air”. That may well be true, but a 1/48 scle Fairey Gannet has been a much desired model kit for me for quite a long time.

So when CA issued their short run kit it did not take very long until I had one at home. I was even able to start building it within a relatively short time.

 

 

Construction

 

The kit does not feature any of the options one might have wished for – no wing fold, no deployed flaps, nor a weapons bay. Instead there are nice resin parts, most of them for the three cockpits.

 

 

Just in time to include it, I ordered the brand new A2Zee model’s Weapons Bay and Weapons (two sets). These are nicely done and the bay is not too difficult to install – just sawing out the closed weapons bay doors from the kit parts, a few adjustments to kit fuselage and resin bay – plus the usual dry fitting and it’s done. The weapons themselves need a little bit more attention in terms of cleaning, filling and detailing but add very nicely to the open bay. By the way, I installed the bay doors (also part of the A2Zee set, resin) in the ‘loading position’, i.e. fully opened and attached under the wings. To deliver any ordnance, they do not open that far.

 

 

The model goes together quite easily – adequate fit of parts, nicely engraved panel lines. Some work is needed for example on the wing trailing edges – they show up much too thick when top and bottom wing parts are glued together. Stretched sprue glued along it with a generous amount of  Cyanoacrylate plus some sanding deals with the problem.

Some reference (the Gannet edition of the German F-40 series in this case) is very useful to be able to add some small detail omitted by CA.

The decal choice offered by CA consists of four aircraft, all in the usual EDSG over Sky camouflage scheme, serving with the Navies of Great Britain, Australia, Indonesia or Germany.

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

My choice is a Gannet of the German Marineflieger (the equivalent of the Fleet Air Arm, but of course sans aircraft carriers).

The model depicts Gannet UA+103 as it appeared only for one day when the german Gannet crews were stationed at Eglington, GB for training. This aircraft had its right outer wing damaged during taxiing and as there where no german spare parts at hand, the RN kindly supplied a new outer wing – already painted and including a british roundel on the underside.
(The roundels on the upper wing were on the middle part).

So UA+103 featured an Eisernes Kreuz and a roundel for a very brief period – around 24 hours before the roundel was painted over.

 

 

I had to change the decals to ‘103’ instead of the included ‘112’ which was easily done by using appropriate british numbering taken from a Carpena decal sheet that includes numbers and letters in various sizes.

CA forgot the yellow numbering on the wing leading edge for the german version of the Gannet and these were added too. ( I have forgotten what decal sheet I took them from)

Painting was done completely with XtraColor, with weathering kept to a minimum as the Gannets were rather new then in 1958/59 - just enough to show a little difference between the new outer right wing and the rest of the aircraft.

 

 

Conclusion

 

In hindsight I wish I had even done a little less regarding the wash for the panel lines but I consider it being still ‘in the green’. By the way: I have no idea why the front wheels were painted in green and red – but the very rare colour photographs of German Gannets show it clearly (Editor's note - they appear to be painted red for port and green for starboard).

Ugly though it may be, the Gannet AS.4 is a welcome addition to my collection and is in good company in the glass display cabinet near the Sea Vixen, the EE Lightning, etc.


 

References:

  • Fairey Gannet  - F-40 publications

  • My own pictures taken at the Gatow Luftwaffenmuseum and at Nordholz NAS - there is a museum attached to it that has a nicely restored Gannet on display.

 

  • Classic Airframes 1/48 scale Fairey Gannet AS.4 by Ingo Degenhardt: Image
  • Classic Airframes 1/48 scale Fairey Gannet AS.4 by Ingo Degenhardt: Image
  • Classic Airframes 1/48 scale Fairey Gannet AS.4 by Ingo Degenhardt: Image
  • Classic Airframes 1/48 scale Fairey Gannet AS.4 by Ingo Degenhardt: Image
  • Classic Airframes 1/48 scale Fairey Gannet AS.4 by Ingo Degenhardt: Image
  • Classic Airframes 1/48 scale Fairey Gannet AS.4 by Ingo Degenhardt: Image
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Text Copyright 2009 by Ingo Degenhardt
Images Copyright © 2009 by Lutz Degenhardt
Page Created 16 September, 2009
Last Updated 16 September, 2009

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