Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

Gloster Meteor NF.11/13

 

Classic Airframes

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 480
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 66 parts in blue-grey styrene; 2 parts in clear styrene; 31 parts in light grey-coloured resin. Decal sheet with three marking options. 7 pages of instructions and letter-sized colour marking guide.
Price: MSRP USD$60.00
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Meteor night fighter variants not previously available as injection moulded kit in this scale; thoughtful engineering; high quality resin parts; good quality decals with colourful marking options; useful options - large and small intakes, belly tank, drop tanks; separately packed clear parts.
Disadvantages: Some chunky sprue attachment points; some fiddling required at nose wheel bay / cockpit assembly
Recommendation: Highly Recommended for experienced modellers.

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Meteor NF.11/13 May be ordered online from Squadron

 

FirstLook

 

Classic Airframes has already released the Meteor F. Mk.8 (in three different boxes and two different versions), F.4, T.7, and FR.9. They have however, in my opinion, left the best till last with their new 1/48 scale Meteor NF.11/13

To me, Meteor night fighters always give the impression of being the last flying relics of British WWII aviation barely nudging into the jet age, with their conventional low, straight wing, chunky framed canopy and traditional Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey camouflage. What a fabulous looking aircraft - in my opinion, of course!

The model comprises 66 parts in pale grey injection moulded styrene, 2 parts in clear injection moulded plastic, and 31 resin parts.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


We get quite a few new plastic pieces for the night fighter variant, including the long radome nose for the fuselage and new outer wing panels with cannon moulded in place.

In common with Classic Airframes' earlier Meteor releases, the quality of the grey plastic parts is excellent. The surface is shiny, 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 presented with a butt join for the horizontal tailplanes though, so some reinforcement with wire or fine brass rod would be a good precaution 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.

Classic Airframes has supplied both the smaller, early intake and the larger, later intake in this version of the kit.

The clear canopy parts are very thin and free of distortion. They look slightly cloudy in the box, but Classic Airframes' clear parts respond exceptionally well to Future. Also, it is nice to see that the clear parts are packed in a separately sealed compartment of the plastic bag, preventing scratching and scuffing during transport.

Resin parts are beautifully detailed and perfectly cast in my sample. 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. The rear cockpit is supplied as a separate tub, and the new resin is just as nice as the original parts. Earlier reviews mention the absence of a gunsight in all previous releases. The night fighter kit gets one - and a very nicely detailed one too -  hurrah!

 

 

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

Decals are provided for three aircraft. These are two Meteor NF.13s finished in Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey (one RAF machine in striking Suez stripes and, ironically, one Egyptian Air Force Meteor); plus a third aircraft - and an NF.11 in Dark Sea Grey, Dark Green and Medium Sea Grey -  from 5 Sqn RAF based in Laarbruch, Germany in 1959.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


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

 

 

Conclusion

 

All good things come to those who wait. Classic Airframes' initial Meteor, the F.Mk.8, was released back in October 2003. I am delighted that the night fighter is now a reality.

As I have mentioned in earlier reviews of Classic Airframes kits, 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. Indeed, with that long,  hollow nose there is plenty of space to add weights - there is no excuse for this kit to be a tail sitter!

Reports from modellers who have built the earlier Classic Airframes Meteor releases have reported that there are some challenges presented (especially aligning the intakes and in the location of the cockpit and the nose wheel bulkhead), but that the model is eminently buildable. The completed CA Meteors in HyperScale's Gallery and Features sections stand as testament to the attractive results that are possible.

Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Meteor NF.11/13 will need more preparation and attention during assembly, but a great result should be possible for anyone wanting to take on a project a little more challenging than a standard Tamiya or Hasegawa kit.

Highly Recommended to experienced modellers.

Thanks to Classic Airframes for the review sample.


Review and Images Copyright 2005 by Brett Green
Page Created 20 June, 2005
Last updated 21 June, 2005

Back to HyperScale Main Page