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Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8

Xtrakit, 1/72 scale
 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Xtrakit 72001 - Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 79 parts in grey plastic; six clear plastic parts; markings for three aircraft.
Price: From GBP10.20 available online from Hannants website
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Long awaited subject, crisply engraved panel lines, robust engineering; good level of interior detail; useful options including early and late style intakes and canopies plus drop tanks; excellent quality clear parts; nice selection of markings.
Disadvantages: A few sink marks; one-piece canopies (cutting required to display canopy open).
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Reviewed by Brett Green

 

FirstLook


Considering the historic role played by the Gloster Meteor, it is surprising that the recent flood of new kit releases has not generated a state-of-the-art Meatbox in 1/72 scale. Indeed, it is more than three decades since we saw the last mainstream small scale, single-seater Meteor offering.

Xtrakit has filled this gap with their debut release, a 1/72 scale Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8.

Xtrakit's 1/72 scale Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8 comprises 79 parts in grey plastic, six parts in clear and markings for three aircraft. Options include both early and late style intakes, two styles of canopies, wing tanks and under fuselage fuel tank

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The plastic parts are manufactured to a very high standard. The grey styrene is cleanly moulded and well detailed with fine, crisp recessed panel lines and selected fastener holes around the nose. The effect is impressive, even when viewed under high magnification. The only imperfections on my sample are a few sink marks on some undercarriage parts.

Sprue gates are narrow, so cleanup should be trouble free. This is especially important if your Meatbox is destined to wear a High Speed Silver finish.

 

 

Parts breakdown is quite conventional and robust. Wings are supplied as full-span top and bottom halves. The fuselage will then be mounted securely on the resulting saddle. Horizontal tailplanes fit into a large slot in the front of the fin.

One of the troublesome aspects of the 1/48 scale Classic Airframes Meteor kit is the fit of the engine nacelle to the wing leading edge. This problem has been avoided on the Xtrakit offering thanks to the bulk of the nacelles being moulded as part of the top and bottom wing halves. Only the front of the nacelles are separate, allowing different rings for the early small, or later large jet intakes.

Detail is quite good in the wheel wells, cockpit and the interior of the intakes. However, the seat looks a bit underdone, so I would suggest a little extra attention with small strips and scraps of styrene, or replacing the seat with a white metal Martin-Baker Mk.2 from Aeroclub. This is better detailed, and will also help keep the nose wheel on the ground (although a little extra weight above the front wheel bay would be advisable too).

 

 

Clear parts are very thin and free from distortion. The model supplies both the early (partly shrouded at the rear) and late (full vision) style canopies. Unfortunately, my early style canopy cracked in two after I packed it too tightly in my bulging suitcase. Each canopy is provided as a single part, so if you want to display the cockpit you will have to spend some careful time cutting the part open with a razor saw.

Although marked "not for use" in the instructions, the transparent ADF housing found on RAAF Meteors is also attached to the clear sprue (part C7). If you are feeling that way inclined, decal sheets for several Aussie Meatboxes - Korean War and aerobatic teams - are available in 1/72 scale from Red Roo Models.

Markings are supplied for three aircraft:

  • VZ495 ZD-K of 222 Sqn in overall high speed silver with early canopy

  • WH470 600 Sqn RAuxAF in overall high speed silver with early canopy

  • VZ494 501 Sqn RAuxAF, camouflaged with late canopy.

Decals are thin and nicely in register.

 

 

Markings for seventeen other squadrons can be found on Xtradecal sheet number X72057, also reviewed on HyperScale.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Xtrakit's Meteor F.Mk.8 fills an important gap in the 1/72 scale model lineup. It is a really nice little kit, well detailed, appears to be accurate and should be quite easy to build too, thanks to sensible parts breakdown and the absence of multi-media parts.

While at ScaleModelworld 2006 last weekend, I noticed the eminent Mike McEvoy from Scale Aircaft Modelling working on one of these kits. During our conversation he revealed that he had bought ten Xtrakit Meteors! Luckily, there is no shortage of markings.

Whether you want to build an entire flight line like Mike's, or just a single example, Xtrakit's 1/72 scale Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8 should be a fast and satisfying build.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Hannants for the sample


Xtrakits, Xtraparts and Xtradecals are all available online from Hannants' website


Images and Text Copyright 2006 by Brett Green
This Page Created on 23 November, 2006
Last updated 24 November, 2006

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