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Gloster Meteor F.8

 

Classic Airframes
Hannants Special Edition

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 478
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 71 parts in grey styrene; 7 in clear styrene; 13 parts in dark grey-coloured resin. Decal sheet with two marking options. 6 pages of instructions and letter-sized colour marking guide.
Price: GBP29.95 (in the European Union)
GBP25.49 (outside EU)
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Important subject with this variant not previously available as an injection kit in this scale; beautiful surface detail; accurate outline; thoughtful engineering; crystal clear transparencies; excellent resin parts; good quality decals with colourful marking options; useful options - large and small intakes, belly tank, drop tanks, and two styles of canopy (canopy option in Hannants edition only); clear instructions
Disadvantages: No gunsight; some chunky sprue attachment points; possible problem with style of wheels
Recommendation: Highly Recommended for experienced modellers.

 

Reviewed by Brett Green

 

FirstLook

 

It was not surprising to hear that Classic Airframes was about to release a model of a British aircraft that had not previously been available as an injection moulded kit. It was surprising that this latest subject was going to be a post-war jet.

Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Meteor F.8 is their first post-war, jet powered subject. The kit is delivered in familiar packaging with an attractive painting by Don Greer on the boxtop. The model comprises 71 parts in pale grey injection moulded styrene, 7 parts in clear injection moulded plastic, and 13 resin parts.

The quality of the plastic parts is excellent. The surface texture is satin, and panel lines are finely engraved. The dive brakes on the upper and lower surfaces of the wings are represented by engraved panel lines. Most of the ejection pin marks are hidden on the inside surface of parts except for one big raised pin inside each main wheel well. The only other minor problem was some disappearing rivet detail on the inside of one gear door - hardly a tragedy.

 

 

Trailing edges of most flying surfaces are nice and thin, but the inside surfaces of the rudder halves would benefit from some sanding. The trailing edge of the wing centre section (inboard of each nacelle) also seems a trifle thick but a few minutes with a sanding stick will remedy this area too.

Engineering is thoughtful. The lower centre section of the wing is moulded as a single part, onto which the inside upper wing parts (incorporating the nacelles) are joined. The outer wing panels are secured via a recessed reinforcement strip - much better than the butt-join we might have otherwise expected.

 

 

We do get a butt join for the horizontal tailplanes though, so some reinforcement with wire or fine brass rod would be a good measure to prevent later damage.

There are no locating pins, so extra time should be allocated for test-fitting and aligning parts. Also, sprue attachment points are a little thick and located in some prominent areas, so take care when removing and cleaning up parts.

We will be seeing other versions of the Meteor later this year, and the parts breakdown reflects these plans. The forward nacelles are supplied as separate parts. In fact, Classic Airframes has supplied both the smaller, early intake and the larger, later intake in all versions of the kit.

 

 

The canopy, navigation lights and landing lights are all supplied in clear injection-moulded plastic. The parts are very thin and free of distortion. They also respond exceptionally well to Future. I dipped some of the parts and the sparkling results speak for themselves - no prizes for guessing which set of parts was treated!.

 

 

The standard edition of the kit offers the canopy with the rear metal cover in the Early Version boxing, and the all-clear canopy in the Late Version boxing. The early version canopy on the real aircraft featured a very slightly "blown" effect forward of the metal cover. This is not depicted on the early version kit canopy but, to be fair, it would be a very small deviation from the flat canopy line in any case.

My review sample is Hannants "Special Edition", which includes both sets of canopies. The "Late" version decals come with this kit.

Resin parts are delicately detailed and as nice as we have come to expect from Classic Airframes in recent years. The complex mount for the nose wheel is pre-fabricated, saving the modeller some potentially delicate assembly. Both this part and the combined cockpit floor/nose wheel well and nicely rendered. I particularly like the Martin Baker Mk.2 seat. Careful painting of the cushions and harnesses will offer the chance to add some colour to the otherwise all-black cockpit.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Instructions are logically laid out in six pages over 14 steps. Brief notes supplement the exploded view diagrams.

Decals are provided for three aircraft. In the review sample, these are two RAF aircraft finished in Dark Green and Dark Sea Grey over Aluminium; and one Israeli Meteor in Tan and Dark Blue-Grey over Light Grey.

 

 

Options include the distinctive belly tank and wing-mounted drop tanks.

Strangely, the kit does not supply a gunsight, so you will want to scratchbuild one from scrap plastic or, alternatively, buy a resin after-market item. Also, the style of wheels seems to be more appropriate for the early Meteors. Even so, the main wheels are barely visible under the nacelles.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Classic Airframes latest recent releases have been a joy to behold in the box, and the Meteor F.8 is no exception.

The lack of locating pins will call for extra care and dry-fitting; and a little more cleanup than average will be required; but I do not see anything too alarming in construction.

HyperScale has already heard from two modellers who have built this new Meteor and, although there are some challenges presented (especially aligning the intakes and in the location of the cockpit and the nose wheel bulkhead), the model does appear to be eminently buildable.

The Hannants "Special Edition" certainly delivers the greatest flexibility of all the boxings, with the option of the two different canopies included as well as the alternate intakes. It is also nice to already see after-market decals from Xtradecals. I hope that resin manufacturers jump on the bandwagon too, with a set of rockets.

Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Meteor F. Mk.8 looks like a good prospect for a modeller who feels ready to tackle something slightly more challenging than a standard Tamiya or Hasegawa offering.

Highly Recommended to experienced modellers.

Thanks to David at Hannants for the review sample.
 


Review and Images Copyright 2003 by Brett Green
Page Created 06 October, 2003
Last updated 06 October, 2003

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