Post War 1/48 scale Meteors have been high on modellers wish lists for years. Classic Airframes caused a lot of excitement by announcing a series of injection-moulded single and 2-seater variants. The first release is the F.8 fighter. This in-box review is of the "Hannants Special Edition" which, I believe, combines some parts otherwise available separately.
Classic Airframes' Meteor is very cleanly moulded, with next to no flash. The detail on the plastic parts is a little softer than on the earlier Tamiya F1/F3 kits, but some of the parts are so similar (e.g. the undercarriage), that it looks as though Tamiya parts were used as patterns for the new model.
As usual with short run kits, there are no locator pins. A quick test-fit shows the fuselage-halves and wing-roots line up well, but the lower fuselage/wing joint will need some trimming. The wing is moulded in 7 parts, so some careful alignment will probably be necessary.
There are some big ejector-pin marks to deal with. Most are hidden but, frustatingly, there are two really nasty ones in the main wheel wells. These will be awkward to correct, but they are very conspicuous. Classic Airframes supply two styles of nacelle intakes, plus drop tanks and an enormous belly tank.
Clear Parts and Resin Details
Both fully-clear and part-metal style cockpit canopies are provided. The clear parts are a little thick, but are clear and undistorted - so they should look great if they're dipped in Future/Klear.
The resin parts are beautifully moulded. The cockpit features an excellent ejector seat and a lot more detail than the Tamiya kit, but no gunsight is provided. Engine fronts are provided to blank off the necelles and, like the undercarriage, these seem to be modelled from Tamiya parts
Decals and Conclusion
Decals are provided for 3 camouflaged aircraft - 2 Royal Auxilliary Airforce machines and one Israeli, along with plenty of stencilling. The decals are printed by Microscale and are perfectly in-register.
Overall, this is a very nice kit, and we can expect to see plenty of Meatboxes at clubs and shows. I don't have any plans available to check for accuracy, but I have read concerns that the wheels are more suitable for early Meteor versions - seeing as these too seem to be based on Tamiya items, this is hardly surprising...
The Gloster Meteor holds a unique place in history as the only Allied jet to see combat in WW2 and, while serving with the RAAF, the only British jet used in the Korean conflict. The F.8 featured a new tail, engine intakes, and an ejector seat and with a one-piece canopy. Entering service in 1950, the Meteor F.8 bridged the gap between WW2 technology and the next generation of fighters such as the Hunter.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...