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Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8

by Chris Wauchop

 

Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8

images by Brett Green


Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Meteor F.Mk.8 (early) is available online from Squadron

 

Background

 

77 Squadron RAAF entered the Korean War equipped with Mustangs. These aircraft were adequate for the Squadron's prior occupation duties in Japan, but were totally outclassed by the new generation of jet fighters in Korea.

93 Meteor F.8 replacements were delivered direct to Korea from April 1951. The unit happily converted to the new jet on the front lines. However, the "Meatbox" was hardly a match for the scourge of the Korean skies, the MiG 15.

The MiG 15 was designed as a modern jet fighter from inception. Its swept wings and stubby fuselage built around its powerful single Klimov engine (ironically, a copy of the Rolls-Royce Nene) was the most advanced design of its time.

 

 

The "Meatbox" was old-fashioned by comparison. Its straight wings, conventional fuselage, and twin nacelle-mounted engines betrayed its World War Two design origins. The nimble MiG could out-climb, out-turn, out-run and, with its 37mm cannon, out-gun the Meteor. Nevertheless, pilots from 77 Squadron managed three victories over MiG 15s.

The real forte of the "Meatbox" lay in its ground attack capabilities. Solid design provided a stable platform for bombs and up to 16 rockets. The nose mounted 20mm cannon were also well suited to strafing attacks.

The cost of this deadly dangerous task was the loss of thirty-eight Meteor aircrew and a further seven imprisoned during the Korean War.


 

Classic Airframes 1/48 Scale Meteor F.8

This is Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Meteor F.Mk.8. Classic Airframes has released the Meteor F.8 in two separate boxings with alternate combinations of intake and canopy types, and different markings options. My project is based on kit no. 466, the early version of the Meteor F.Mk.8.

The model is a limited run, multi-media offering. The main components are presented in high quality injection moulded styrene with crisply engraved panel lines.

 

 

The cockpit, wheel wells and some other details are supplied in resin. Overall detail of the kit is very good.

This was another commission build and my Australian client wanted, probably not surprisingly, George Hale's Korean War MiG killer from 77 Squadron RAAF. This pilot and aircraft were responsible for two of the RAAF's three MiG kills.

 

 

Construction

 

Classic Airframes' Meteor Mk.8 does not fall together by itself, but the results are very pleasing.

Construction commenced with the cockpit. Detail in this area is good but much of it will be hidden, despite the large bubbletop canopy, owing to the black interior.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The ejection seat has the harness and cushions moulded on. This part responds very well to careful painting.

The main components were built as sub-assemblies. A length of sprue was added inside the outer wing panel sections to help with alignment  and to strengthen the join.

As has been noted in previous reviews, aligning the cockpit/forward wheel mount assembly inside the fuselage was a bit tricky. However, the result was acceptable. Once the fuselage halves were joined I added a fillet of styrene to the front of the wheel well opening to shorten the gap between the front of the wheel bay and the open front undercarriage door.

The cannon ports are moulded solid on the kit so I drilled them out. I managed to obtain the impression of a separate muzzle inside each port, but this was purely by chance!

 

 

Holes for the air intake and gun camera were drilled in the nose at the same time.

The undercarriage parts were reinforced with brass wire. Hydraulic lines were also added using fine solder.

 

 

I encountered some minor alignment issues between the intakes and the main wing parts; and a couple of easily-filled gaps at the wing joins.

Other additions and modifications included:

  • Boarding step scratchbuilt using plastic card and fine wire for handle

  • Canopy rail handle fabricated from fine wire

  • Canopy guide rail and windscreen seal created from plastic card and Milliput

  • All tyres slightly flattened

  • Rocket rail stubs sourced from various kits, with rails added from strip styrene

  • Pitot tube made from brass tube and wire

 

 

  • Solid ARN-6 Radio Compass Beacon housing kit part used as plug for plunge moulding new clear cover

  • Aerial/beacon inside the clear cover formed from scrap styrene sprue

  • Radio whip antenna from nylon monofilament

  • Selected rivet lines added after painting

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

The Meteor received an overall coat of Tamiya AS-12 Bare Metal Silver decanted and sprayed through my Testor Aztek A470 airbrush. With its subdued sheen, this colour is a good representation for the overall Silver Dope finish on the real aircraft.

A mix of 50% Tamiya XF-1 Black and XF-64 Red Brown was then thinned approximately 90%. This thin mixture was then sprayed lightly and unevenly over the belly drop tank. The brighter silver straps around the belly tank were masked prior to this dirty overspray.

 

 

The same mix was used to subtly overspray panel lines. Light vertical streaks were also applied inside panels to represent stress and rippling often seen on these front line jets.

A 2B graphite pencil was used to add some final enhancement to the panel lines.

The kit decals were used, and they performed flawlessly.

 

 

Photos and Conclusion

 

The photographs were taken indoors, under incandescent lights by Brett Green on his Nikon Coolpix 5700.

The photos with the scenery were taken on a base with Eduard's 1/48 scale PSP plate (presented in black styrene) embedded into architectural foamboard.

The scene is meant to represent a 77 Squadron flightline in the primitive and sparse airfield facilities of Kimpo in South Korea.

 

 

The other model seen behind my Classic Airframes kit in a few shots is Brett's Aeroclub 1/48 scale vacform Meteor F.8 built during 1999.

I was very happy with the way my Classic Airframes Meteor F.8 turned out.

Now if only I could find the time to build an Aussie Meteor for myself!

 

 

Additional Images

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

 

Korean War Aces
Aircraft of the Aces 4
Author: Robert F Dorr
Illustrator: Chris Davey
US Price: $19.95
UK Price: 12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date:
 April 10, 1995
Details: 96 pages; ISBN: 1855325012
Shop cart
Buy it from Osprey Publishing

Model by Chris Wauchop
Text Copyright 2004 by Chris Wauchop and Brett Green
Images Copyright 2004 by Brett Green
Page Created 23 March, 2004
Last Updated 08 April, 2004

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