The Gloster Gladiator was a British-built biplane fighter developed from the Gauntlet and its prototype, designated the SS.37, flew in September 1934. The first production model was the Mk.I, which became operational in January 1937. An improved Mk.II version followed in 1938 and eventually 270 aircraft of this Mark were built.
The Gladiator Mk.II was a single-seat biplane of metal construction with mixed metal and fabric covering. It was fitted with a fixed undercarriage and powered by a Mercury radial engine turning three-blade metal propeller. Its armament consisted of four guns, of which two were mounted in the fuselage and two under the lower wings.
The Gladiator was the RAF’s last biplane fighter aircraft and the first with an enclosed cockpit. Although rendered obsolete by newer monoplane designs, it proved good in initial combats and saw action in almost all theatres during the WWII.
Gladiators (both the Mk.I and Mk.II versions) were successfully exported to many countries and saw service with more than 15 air arms, including those of Belgium, China, Egypt, Finland, Free France, Greece, Iraq, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania and Norway. They also equipped RAAF and SAAF squadrons in the Middle East and North Africa and flew in secondary roles such as Meteorological Flights.
Portugal took delivery of 30 Gladiator Mk.IIs while Sweden flew their 55 planes under military designation J 8 and J 8A.
Colour schemes included in the kit:
1) Gloster Gladiator Mk.II, N5641, Grey HE-G, No.263 Sq., RAF, Norwegian Campaign, June 1940
2) Gloster Gladiator Mk.II (Met), N2309, White B, No.1401 (Met) Flight, RAF, Bircham Newton airfield, 1943
3) Gloster Gladiator Mk.II, Yellow 459, Esquadrilha de Caça Expedicionaria (Expeditionary Fighter Squadron) Nr.2, Portuguese Air Force, Achada airfield, the Azores, 1941
4) J 8A (Gloster Gladiator Mk.II), No.278, Black 8-48, 1. Division, Flygflottilj 8 (Wing F 8), Swedish Air Force, Barkarby airfield, summer 1939