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neilfergylee

Return to modelling: Matchbox Gloster Meteor

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I've always had a love for the Meteor.  It goes back to 1972 when I bought my first modelling magazine: something I still have as you can see below.

 

38955268985_dd4ea175ba_z.jpg

 

It was a fascinating and intimidating article in equal measure.  I knew there was a Meteor III and Meteor IV, the marks I and II were a mystery and to discover that there were marks 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, even 20!  Meanwhile, the article gave me a glimpse into past treasure with the original 1956 Frog Mk.8 model (regarded as unobtainable - see later) and then described how to build a vacform machine out of wood, aluminium and asbestos (yes, really) that you placed under the domestic grill.  At age eleven, you might have well given me the plans to build a moon rocket...  Nonetheless, I was hooked on Meteors!

 

Roll forward to 1988 and I was well into modelling and absolutely delighted when Matchbox brought-out this beauty:

 

28145995189_f4e3f2c528.jpg

 

Now, a little context is required here: in the 1980s, there were no Meteors in catalogues: Airfix's Mk.III was discontinued and Frog's Mk.IV was, well, Novo so in that pre-internet age you found them where you found them.  So to get a model with THREE, say it again, THREE variants was a Meteor fan's dream.  It was an excellent choice because it was a kit-basher's dream too: combine it with the spares box or accessories and you could pretty-well model any post WW-II version.

 

 - PAUSE - 

 

1988 to 2017: house move, climb the career ladder, raise two children (not on my own, naturally) and spend all your spare time involved with this: https://www.e-v-r.com/  - still my obsession - and so scale modelling disappeared from view.  I still had all the kits tucked away but I'd lost my mojo.

 

2017 and the mojo came back.  Slowly at first with lots of gentle dipping of toes into the water and a great deal of uncertainty as to what to begin-with.  To cut a long story short, I decided to more-or-less pick-up where I left-off with the Matchbox Meteor.

 

I decided to add a couple of extras to jazz-up the model and decided on a standard Mk.11.

 

26053746858_2e48a7f471_n.jpg26053745828_7a3324ab4f_o.jpg

 

I had made a start on the model, having painted the rather bare interior black (which had dried glossy - no wonder I'd given-up) I chose to add the Airwaves etched cockpit walls and hack-around the Czech Master nosewheel bay to replace the flat plate moulded by Matchbox.

 

This proved to be a challenge as the resin insert really didn't fit the different profile of a two-seater:

 

25852324218_a460250fe3_c.jpg

 

So, off I went with superglue, Milliput a razor saw and a lot of nerves and - to all intents and purposes - bodged it together:

 

25852316528_8ba7165167_z.jpg

 

Meanwhile, I attached the quite beautiful etched instrument panels:

 

25852315608_8f32e1e33c_z.jpg

 

I then came to glue it all together.  It was a struggle: the etched sidewalls and the resin u/c bay required a great deal of hacking and gluing the whole assembly together took a lot of patience and tape:

 

25852314498_6ee15320d9_c.jpg

 

I then came to add the 'lid' for the Mk.11 and Mk.12 versions.  As you can see, the application of filler was a given: the mouldings had slightly rounded edges and leaving them unfilled would have looked terrible:

 

25852313808_b1d38a3fbc_b.jpg

 

24854582167_af6f842014_b.jpg

 

Similarly, the tailplane was provided in two versions and the fit was similarly 'challenging':

 

24854582077_4d202ee64e_c.jpg

 

Meanwhile, I assembled the wings, using the narrow (early) intakes (thank you Matchbox) and filled the HUGE gap in the rear wing fillet.

 

24854582327_a20b034205_c.jpg

 

Once the fuselage was glued (it stuck together nicely), it was greenstuff time:

 

38826009425_ba177cd9f1_c.jpg

 

38826009075_c1aa030fc8_c.jpg

 

As an aside, the orange fillings above are ear defenders!  Those small foam thingies that you roll-up and place in your ear does an excellent job of sealing orifices while filling, sanding and painting.

 

So, with the wings on the model starts to look like a meteor:

 

38826006585_cf06837d90_b.jpg

 

 

TO BE CONTINUED...

Edited by neilfergylee
Typo corrected.

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Thank you!  Hoping to provide an update this weekend :smile:

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First time I have ever seen Airwaves stuff prove half useful.

 

Good work so far.

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She's definitely starting to look like a meatbox!

As a bonus, you can also use the ear defenders when you need to get out the chainsaw to beat those Airwaves bits into submission!

Definitely a watcher!

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Now you know where Freddie Mercury got the inspiration to write "Filler Queen".

I know where my hat and coat are: I'll collect 'em on the way out................

 

Seriously though you're putting a lot of work into that kit and hopefully it'll reward you with a lovely replica of this classic jet.  Now if only Airfix would do a 1/48th Meteor Night fighter to go with their very nice Mk. 8..........

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God help us, those old kits certainly love their filler don’t they? I’ve just finished an Airfix Vulcan that was the same. All said, you’re certainly beating that into shape-it’s looking great. I hope at some point Airfix offer us a 1/48 variant of the NF version.

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I am genuinely gratified by each and every one of the replies I have received - thank you all.  When I was last making models, the hobby was to all intents and purposes a solitary one: I was never a member of any modelling clubs, so other than visits to the local model shop (remember them?) I was on my Jack Jones, being intimidated by photos of the championship-level models in the magazines.  Therefore, it is a delight just to get feedback - any feedback will do but this has been really encouraging.

 

So, this week I have been applying paint, courtesy of the Humbrol Acrylic range of spray paints.  In my return to modelling, I'm trying to stick to acrylics: it's so much nicer to wash your brushes under a tap, while if you put the paint where it shouldn't, you can wipe it off - bliss.

 

The big problem I had was the wing roots: there was a God-awful seam between the top and bottom of the wing by the rear fillets but there was the inevitable gap between wing and fuselage.  I had squared it up as best as I could with a file (plus the same for the tailplanes which I attached using superglue gel so as to prevent drooping) but there was a <1mm gap that was awkward to get-to and not really suited to Greestuff or Milliput.  Having done some research, I found that the cyanoacrylate gel I had was a good candidate but, of course, any excess immediately set on the fuselage.  This was the result:

 

25989157348_a324d9cbf0_c.jpg

 

Now, you can see that by this point I had put the structure together, sanded-down the lashings of filler and attached the canopy using PVA adhesive for later removal before covering it in masking fluid (another old friend that hasn't changed in 40+ years).

 

Once together, rubbed-down and dried I used Humbrol grey primer to see how she looked:

 

25989154478_4e68bcb7bf_c.jpg

 

Don't worry about the canopy: that will be removed, the cockpit interior completed and then the frames hand-painted.  That'll be a test for my eyesight!

 

I went back to the joint line and cleaned-up the cyanoacrylate although I've not fixed it 100%: enough is enough, I'm not submitting the model to the IPMS finals and I hope that the application of camouflage, decals and varnish will reduce the effect which is stark when matt primer is used:

 

26062548198_896288884c_c.jpg

 

I also acquired a tube of Vallejo plastic putty that comes with a really fine applicator.  Where have you been all my life?

 

39935040001_f7463bc157_c.jpg

 

Therefore, after another application of primer to keep things consistent, I went for it and sprayed two coats of Humbrol Acrylic Sea Grey Medium:

 

39047160505_c121d79747_c.jpg39235041144_037b1e0671_c.jpg

 

It's not perfect but I'm reasonably satisfied for my first return to modelling.  Note the nosewheel bay, while I was half-tempted to add low-vis two colour pink/pale blue roundels and call it finished!

 

Next episode:

 

Applying the green upper-surface camouflage - do I mask it with paper, masking tape or blu-tack and masking fluid?  Or do I bottle it and just add the upper surface camouflage by brush?  Stay tuned!

 

 

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4 minutes ago, HOUSTON said:

Neil..

 

AWESOME start ...love it.:penguin::gobsmacked:

 

Thank you. :yahoo:

Thank YOU!

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Coming on superbly! I have one of these to build (and two Xtrakit F.8s) so watching with interest, and some trepidation at the amount of filling required! I used to have issues like yours with filler sticking where it shouldn't - may be too late now but I started using masking tape either side of the crack before applying filler, so any excess would just stick on that and peel off with it.

 

I'm assuming you'll need to add weight in the nose too?

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Lord Riot said:

Coming on superbly! I have one of these to build (and two Xtrakit F.8s) so watching with interest, and some trepidation at the amount of filling required! I used to have issues like yours with filler sticking where it shouldn't - may be too late now but I started using masking tape either side of the crack before applying filler, so any excess would just stick on that and peel off with it.

 

I'm assuming you'll need to add weight in the nose too?

 

 

Masking tape - never occurred to me - thanks for the tip!

 

Interestingly, the night fighter Meteors don't need an additional weight as they're so blinking long.  Contrast wit the Mk.3 where you need about 3/4 of a ton!

 

Thank you for your words of encouragement. :)

 

Neil

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So, a week on and it's fair to say that quite a lot of my spare time was planning how to apply the camouflage.  I had decided to use the Humbrol acrylic spray, s masking was necessary and - to be frank - masking to spray is pretty new to me.  I had spray-painted a Vulcan and Victor in about 1983 but they're white!

 

And so the masking began...

 

40064950661_4c08e220e5_z.jpg

25192859037_16db45d68b_z.jpg

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Blinking heck that was hard! On at least one occasion I masked-off the wrong bit, but after that I flipped it over and masked the underside, applying masking fluid to cover the big bits.

 

The method I used was to apply masking tape, mark it with pencil and then use a scalpel to cut the lines.  This worked fairly wall, but the scalpel has to be brand new, it does tend to cut into the surface below and it's hard to follow a curve.

 

25192885677_3bbd83bd89_z.jpg

 

Then it was out to the finishing shop (er, garage) and out came the tin and I sprayed:

 

25192890357_0389219c58_z.jpg

 

And then the reveal:

 

25192897857_909031d367_z.jpg

 

And so...

 

39166654765_ea496da5a8_b.jpg

 

39166664245_f4a72b5971_b.jpg

 

39354581614_f2a963b175_b.jpg

 

Plenty still to do: I need to touch-up the results of the spraying and as you will see below, I definitely need to get the radome correct - note green thumb! and of course I still need to paint the canopy and fit-out the interior.

 

28285864909_c4b7492bac_c.jpg

 

Thanks for looking!

 

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Looking good! Great work with the masking. I'm too lazy to do the camo masking, so I spray the grey all over, then handpaint the green. 

 

Interesting how similar the upper and lower grey are. I've got one of these to make so watching with interest! Impressive so far.

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Cracking effort on a model with more than its fair share of joins to rub down! It really looks the part now it’s in cammo.

 

Trevor 

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12 hours ago, Lord Riot said:

Looking good! Great work with the masking. I'm too lazy to do the camo masking, so I spray the grey all over, then handpaint the green. 

 

Interesting how similar the upper and lower grey are. I've got one of these to make so watching with interest! Impressive so far.

Thank you!  The masking was quite - er- challenging but I felt it worthwhile.  Certainly I will appreciate the availability of pre-cut mask sets!

 

Regarding the grey, in early meteors, they were Sea Grey Medium all over and then had green camouflage on the upper surfaces.  This was just the same of WWII night fighters such as the Beaufighter and Mosquito.  Later-on, the upper surfaces received a coat of Dark Sea Grey.  Personally, I think the Sea Grey Medium looks a little dark when comparing it to contemporary photos but it definitely isn't as pale as Light Aircraft Grey.

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11 hours ago, Max Headroom said:

Cracking effort on a model with more than its fair share of joins to rub down! It really looks the part now it’s in cammo.

 

Trevor 

Thank you!  Yes, all the filling and rubbing-down has been worthwhile although I think it could use a bit more surface detail, so I'm going to have to have to get a touch creative before the final coat of varnish!

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Wow, looks like you've returned to the hobby with a bang! Great work, looking forward to seeing this develop further :thumbsup2:

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47 minutes ago, clive_t said:

Wow, looks like you've returned to the hobby with a bang! Great work, looking forward to seeing this develop further :thumbsup2:

That's very kind of you: I think the one advantage of getting a bit (lot) older is the ability to stop running at things like a bull at a gate!

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4 minutes ago, neilfergylee said:

That's very kind of you: I think the one advantage of getting a bit (lot) older is the ability to stop running at things like a bull at a gate!

Doesn't seem to apply to me, unfortunately :lol:

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I

Love

It!

 

It really does look good but I tend to agree with you ref: the Sea Grey Medium, I used the Old Humbrol Authentics SGM under my Frog Tiffie as the first model I made when I came back to the toyshop from fixing up my classic car

 

It looks far lighter than that one, do Humbrol sell it as Sea Grey Medium or do they say medium sea grey?

 

I have a real hate on now, for acrylics, they invariably disappoint me so I'm going more back into the Sovereign hobbies and xtracolor ranges nowadays

 

I had a batch of Sovereign's paints last year and have nothing but praise for them

 

Proper colour match and if you use Artist's Sansodour thinners, not much lingering stinky whiffs but decent drying times

 

Which should bring me back to the Meteor, this looks so good I am tempted to de-stash my Frog Meteor and get it on the bench with all my Naval types

 

 

Proper model shops! Just down the road where we could gather for a natter, happy days

 

Although I recently discovered one in Brum. 😉

Edited by perdu

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Hi Neil, Welcome aboard, and well done with your Meteor - the NF kit normally gets poor press, but I like it.

I've just completed my 7th copy of this kit, an NF14T .

Prior to that, this NF13  an aircraft that we have at Jet Age.

And in 2007 three simutaneous copies of the NF14T

Thanks for that tip about ear-plugs,  as a data centre manager - I know were there is an unlimited source of those. 

As for your camo masking, my currently preferred method is to scale copy the painting instructions to same size the model.  (might not work with back of Matchbox), then cut out one shade, stick that pattern to the model - then spray.

Bit like this:

Masking.jpg

 

Some tips here,  posts 14 and 15, on 29 May 2017 - for that canopy.

 

 

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On ‎04‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 12:56, perdu said:

I

Love

It!

 

It really does look good but I tend to agree with you ref: the Sea Grey Medium, I used the Old Humbrol Authentics SGM under my Frog Tiffie as the first model I made when I came back to the toyshop from fixing up my classic car

 

It looks far lighter than that one, do Humbrol sell it as Sea Grey Medium or do they say medium sea grey?

 

I have a real hate on now, for acrylics, they invariably disappoint me so I'm going more back into the Sovereign hobbies and xtracolor ranges nowadays

 

I had a batch of Sovereign's paints last year and have nothing but praise for them

 

Proper colour match and if you use Artist's Sansodour thinners, not much lingering stinky whiffs but decent drying times

 

Which should bring me back to the Meteor, this looks so good I am tempted to de-stash my Frog Meteor and get it on the bench with all my Naval types

 

 

Proper model shops! Just down the road where we could gather for a natter, happy days

 

Although I recently discovered one in Brum. 😉

 

 

Thank you perdu!

 

I have a nasty feeling that what purports to be Sea Grey Medium is a wee bit dark.  BUT, when you look at most samples, it does seem quite dark:

 

x003.jpg

 

and compares to the paint job on the model:

 

39047163495_8fbceef4b7_n.jpg

 

 

But I'm puzzled and if you look at the excellent model made by @theplasticsurgeon, his is much lighter and, frankly, looks more prototypical:

 

26300609348_3b550cee3a_o.jpg7851532346_6329000e22_z.jpg

 

So, I'll just have to see how it pans-out but I'm bothered that following a couple of coats of varnish, things might get even darker!

 

Thanks very much for the tip regarding Sovereign and xtracolour: I'm inherently lazy, hence my preference for acrylics (just wash it off in the sink) but I suspect I'll change given time!

 

Regarding model shops - where have they all gone??? :o  I'm genuinely shocked to see how plastic modelling has disappeared into a niche, although the likes of Games Workshop are booming: there has to be a lesson there for somebody.

 

Thanks again for your kind encouragement - more updates to follow!

 

Cheers,

 

Neil

 

 

 

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On ‎04‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 20:58, theplasticsurgeon said:

Hi Neil, Welcome aboard, and well done with your Meteor - the NF kit normally gets poor press, but I like it.

I've just completed my 7th copy of this kit, an NF14T .

Prior to that, this NF13  an aircraft that we have at Jet Age.

And in 2007 three simutaneous copies of the NF14T

Thanks for that tip about ear-plugs,  as a data centre manager - I know were there is an unlimited source of those. 

As for your camo masking, my currently preferred method is to scale copy the painting instructions to same size the model.  (might not work with back of Matchbox), then cut out one shade, stick that pattern to the model - then spray.

Bit like this:

Masking.jpg

 

Some tips here,  posts 14 and 15, on 29 May 2017 - for that canopy.

 

 

 

Thanks for the welcome and I really appreciate your tip regarding masking.  One question though: how do you attach the pattern to the model?  I had considered doing something similar but couldn't think of how to attach it without potentially leaving a sticky residue.

 

Your models are excellent and a real inspiration.  If I can get to a stage half as good, I'll be delighted!

 

Cheers,

 

Neil

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