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zebra

Prone pilot Meteor

19 posts in this topic

I'm joining the group build with a 1/48 prone pilot Meteor. This aeroplane has fascinated me ever since I first saw it at Cosford many years ago. Since then I've been back a few times and always make sure I get a good look at this aircraft. It's just so... weird!

 

The prone pilot (or prone position) Meteor was used by the RAF Institute of Aviation Medicine to test the concept of a prone pilot - a second cockpit was added to the nose, with the pilot lying prone on a bench seat, flying the aircraft with specially modified controls. The idea was that a pilot in this position would be less susceptible to g forces, and an aircraft with a prone pilot would result in lower drag.

 

The new cockpit was added as an extension to the nose of a standard Meteor F.8, WK935. A normal cockpit was retained. The other major modification was to replace the standard tail unit with the tail of a Meteor NF.12.

 

As you've probably worked out from the lack of prone pilot aircraft flying today, it wasn't a great success. WK935 flew 99 flights over the course of a year, and was never flown solo from the front cockpit. They found that the aircraft could be flown from the prone position, but the prone pilot had a limited rear view so it wouldn't be much use in combat. The development of the g suit dealt with the problems the prone pilot idea was trying to solve.

 

I'll be building this using the Brigade Models resin conversion and the Airfix 1/48 kit. I've also got some Eduard PE and Brassin wheels. I've got a Neomega ejection seat too, but not sure I'll need it.

 

Box shots:

Next project - prone pilot Meteor

 

And a shot of the resin parts and decals from the conversion kit:

Meteor conversion parts

 

The resin bits look quite nice. Just a few bubbles to fill and the normal clean up of the parts is needed. You get a one-piece nose, with some cockpit detail inside, a tail unit, instrument panel, couch for the prone pilot, new undercarriage doors, two vac form canopies and some smaller detail parts, and a decent looking decal sheet.

 

Looking forward to getting into this - hopefully I'll get a chance to get started tomorrow.

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Excellent choice.

I have similar memories of the plane. I thought about making it from scratch when the CA Meteors came out but couldnt find a suitable canopy. I didnt realse there was a resin set available.

 

Looking forward to seeing how this one turns out.

 

colin

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Made quite swift progress already. I've got the resin nose and tail pieces cleaned up and got a coat of paint into the prone pilot's cockpit - more painting to come - meanwhile I've cracked on with the Airfix components. All going well so far - here's where I'm up to:

 

Meteor WIP

 

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Posted (edited)

More progress... Prone pilot's cockpit is done, just needs the clear parts adding before it's ready to install on the fuselage.

Prone pilot Meteor WIP

 

I've also made some progress with the fuselage and wings, installed the resin tail (quite a good fit, not a lot of work needed to blend it in), assembled the engines, started painting the ejector seat. The fuselage didn't go together as well as it did the first time I built this kit - I think the fuselage halves lost some rigidity when I cut the tail off. It might have been simpler to modify the fin to the NF.12 standard instead of using the resin piece - would have been straightforward enough to build it up with plasticard. 

 

Here's where I'm up to tonight. I wouldn't be surprised if I've got it painted by the end of the long weekend.

Prone pilot Meteor WIP

 

Edited by zebra
NF.12, not T.12!
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Cracking start.  The prone cockpit looks excellent. 

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More progress - got to love a long weekend! Most of the airframe is complete, just need to attach the resin nose and the canopy and I'll be ready to start painting.

 

The only glitch with the resin conversion is that the nose part doesn't fit over the undercarriage. In particular the upper undercarriage parts foul the inside of the resin nose. So I've bodged together a strengthening piece in the middle from plastic card (which will still need trimming a bit, but will be fine) and snipped off the outer parts of the undercarriage. The plastic card bits should give it enough strength and should fit inside the resin nose piece. Far from accurate but will also be hard to see it once the nose is attached.

 

Here's how it's looking at close of play today:

 

Prone pilot Meteor WIP

 

And a close-up of the nose undercarriage bodge:

Nose undercarriage bodge

 

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Prone pilot nose is now on - fit was pretty good once the nose undercarriage mods were done. Here's how it was looking a couple of hours ago - it's been masked and primed since then:

 

Prone pilot Meteor WIP

 

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Painted! Have to say I'm pretty happy with the paint. I used a mix of decanted Tamiya TS-17 and TS-30 thinned with Mr. Color levelling thinner and it went on very nicely - great coverage and a nice smooth finish. I'll have to use decanted Tamiya spray paints more often.

 

Here's how it's looking tonight:

Prone pilot Meteor WIP

 

Prone pilot Meteor WIP

 

Prone pilot Meteor WIP

 

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Well you're really cracking on with this. The finish looks really good., maybe I'll try spraying decanted aerosols! 

I'm surprised how long the model is to a standard Meteor. The real thing looks more balanced but of course we can only see the real one from one angle. 

 

Looking forward to seeing it finished tomorrow. 

 

Colin 

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12 hours ago, Colin W said:

Well you're really cracking on with this. The finish looks really good., maybe I'll try spraying decanted aerosols! 

I'm surprised how long the model is to a standard Meteor. The real thing looks more balanced but of course we can only see the real one from one angle. 

 

Looking forward to seeing it finished tomorrow. 

 

Colin 

 

Thanks Colin. The Airfix kit is a pretty straightforward build and it's not a complex conversion, so pretty easy to make fast progress with this one. The bulk of the conversion is in sticking on two large resin pieces that fit pretty well. The bits that need more work - removing any trace of armament, modifying the undercarriage to get the nose to fit, and trimming vac formed clear parts - are fairly straightforward too. And it's a simple colour scheme to paint. That said, I've surprised myself at how quickly it's gone.

 

Don't think it's going to be finished that quickly though! Back to work today, and a busy day, so won't get much done for a couple of days. But another long weekend coming up - it'll be finished some time next weekend.

 

I've been surprised at how long it is too - most photos you see seem to be taken at Cosford from the same angle, which compresses it a bit - but the photo below is taken from the side and I think the length of the resin nose is about right:

 

Meteor prone pilot 2

 

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That is looking good. At least you wont need any nose weight!

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24 minutes ago, Julien said:

That is looking good. At least you wont need any nose weight!

 

There's 20g or so in there, just to be on the safe side!

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Crikey!

Incredibly Meteoric progress!

:coat: 

 

I didn't know that Brigade made this conversion; it looks very good. I've seen the MPM kit of this Meteor in 1/72, but had wondered how one would approach it in 1/48.

 

You have achieved a lovely paint finish, with nice merging in of the resin and plastic areas; something that can so easily show through a metallic finish, but doesn't at all.

 

Transfers next weekend and it looks like we have a stunner for the gallery!

 

:goodjob: 

 

TonyT

 

PS: I'm out of 'likes' at the moment; will return with them.

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On 03/04/2017 at 9:39 PM, zebra said:

It's just so... weird!

 

Barmy!! Love it: the sort of plane only this group build could love!!

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11 hours ago, TonyTiger66 said:

nice merging in of the resin and plastic areas; something that can so easily show through a metallic finish

It was very thoroughly primed!

 

11 hours ago, TonyTiger66 said:

Transfers next weekend and it looks like we have a stunner for the gallery!

 

:goodjob: 

 

 

Thanks Tony!

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Finished! Apart from the pitot on the left wingtip, which I snapped in half removing it from the sprue and I'll need to dig out a replacement for, but I'm calling it done for now.

 

After my last update there wasn't a lot left to do - just undercarriage, decals and things like aerials. The Brassin wheels are nice - I'm becoming a fan of resin wheels, if nothing else they save the hassle of assembling wheels that come in two halves, also I never seem to be able to avoid losing detail in wheels when they come in two halves. The Brassin set also came with masks, which is a great help, and resin mudguards which are quite nice but I'm not convinced were really needed.

 

The decals are mostly the ones that came with the Brigade Models conversion, but a few stencils came from the Airfix kit and the roundels are Xtradecal. The Brigade Models sheet is nice, the decals are thin and conform well, but a couple of them showed a tendency to fold up on themselves hence a few Airfix stencils were needed. The sheet included roundels, but I preferred the colours of the Xtradecal roundels.

 

So, possibly one of my fastest ever builds (less than 3 weeks), and pretty pleased with it. A few photos - taken indoors, it was raining today, will try to get some natural light photos soon - I'll also put these in the gallery:

 

1/48 Prone pilot Meteor

 

1/48 Prone pilot Meteor

 

1/48 Prone pilot Meteor

 

1/48 Prone pilot Meteor

 

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Looks great! ... but all wrong ... but great!!

 

Well done, envious of your efficiency!

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Just now, greggles.w said:

envious of your efficiency

 

Believe me, it's out of character! But I do seem to be on a bit of a roll - 3 builds completed this year with a fourth not far off is prolific by my standards!

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That looks really great. A superb build and well executed. 

 

Congratulations 

 

Colin 

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