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Gloster Whittle E28/39 Pioneer
the 1/72 scale FROG kit
by Michael Morrow

This is the old 1/72 scale FROG bag kit. It's been modified to represent the Gloster Whittle as it looked right after it was rolled out, with the all-silver paint scheme, the thermal strip down the sides of the fuselage, and the original short nose landing gear leg.

Modifications included:

. . . adding an improved airstream splitter inside the nose,

. . . shortening the nose landing gear leg, which was installed in a slightly turned position . . .

. . . and adding a metal tail jet pipe.
The cockpit also got some minor attention. The kit provided a cockpit tub which was a good start, but the seat needed a little help. I added a plate with a headrest to the back of the kit seat, and added shoulder harnesses to the seat. No controls were provided in the kit, so I added a control stick with a circular yoke like the one on the original aircraft. The original kit did not provide an instrument panel, and lacking suitable references to reproduce a scale version, I cobbled one together from my spares box. A center floor console was also sourced from the spares box, which completed the cockpit. Even these rudimentary details are difficult to see through the thick kit canopy, but they were fun to add.

The canopy frames are strips of Bare-Metal Foil, and nicely reproduced the shiny polished metal appearance of the original. To ensure the model would sit on the nose wheel, I also added a fair amount of nose weight so it wouldn't tail-sit.
The model base is a piece of 1 x 4 pine board with a plastic sheet of model railroad grass cut to size and attached using spray-mount adhesive.

The wheel tracks were measured and layed out on a thin piece of cardboard and cut out. Using the template, the grass along the wheel tracks was carefully removed with a rounded erasure to simulate tire tracks. Using the tire track template to prevent overspray, the tire tracks were sprayed with flat tan paint, giving a very realistic impression of mud. A light spray of flat tan on the tire treads gave them a suitably muddy look, which worked out quite nicely.

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