Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

neilfergylee

Another Vintage Meteor: the Frog Mk.IV

Recommended Posts

Following earlier forays into vintage Meteor models (Matchbox NF.11 and Airfix Mk.III), plus an MPM PR.10, I decided to keep-up the momentum and go for Frog's 1970 model of the Mk.IV.

 

It's by no means the first one I have done but to put it into context, Margaret Thatcher was just resting her handbag on the desk in No.10 when I did the last one.

 

A trip up to the loft revealed my ace stash of old kits and buried deep in Box No.3, I found these bad boys:

 

42246268634_3b26db7f2f_c.jpg

 

Christmas had come early.

 

Pausing to build the Airfix Mk.III, (see link below), one Mk.IV was left in its rather fragile cellophane wrapping and the other was opened-up.

 

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235040365-the-original-airfix-meteor-iii/

 

One thing that surprised me was the colour of the plastic.  Usually medium grey, I was surprised to see that the model had been moulded in a very dark blue.

 

43889408681_43c2e37c9c.jpg43171537274_594c9ce6d3.jpg42080804070_187bfced80.jpg

 

Using my trusty Airfix MPM as the baseline, one can see that it is a crisply-moulded model with light, raised panel lines but none of the dockyard riveting seen on Airfix's Mk.III.

 

43964560472_6a5af76f74_z.jpg41359930820_29d40ee00b_z.jpg

 

 

 

 

So, the build commenced last Sunday evening.

 

I had decided to add two sets of resin extra components to the build.  Both I had used before and they would give me the opportunity to upgrade the cockpit and - importantly - the undercarriage bays.

 

43964486102_17be5fdb7a.jpg

 

Therefore, the first check was to see if the Pavla cockpit would fit into the fuselage.  Interestingly, I had the same problem as the Airfix Meteor: the resin nose undercarriage bay did not quite line-up with the model.  I then lined-up the Mk.IV fuselage with the Mk.8 to check the nosewheel bays and saw that the Frog nosewheel bay was rather undersized and not best lined up.

 

42203849580_3e3f51ae99.jpg43294495154_539cca1158.jpg

 

Therefore, surgery began: open-up the Frog nosewheel bay and enlarge it, the net result being a better fit for the cockpit area.

 

43964665282_e6b001f42b.jpg29076151567_8a1b07d186.jpg

 

So, we're off the blocks, more episodes to follow.

 

Neil

Edited by neilfergylee
Fixed the thread title

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, first chair on the front row. 🍿 on order!

 

I’m sure a stunning result is in the offing.

 

BTW you may want to amend the heading......

 

Trevor

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mmm 🤔

Pretty sure I've got one of those Frog meteors stashed somewhere and some other Frog kits 

Either in the loft or in my parents loft, I only moved out in 1989, must have a stock check and see exactly what I have got and where

Looking fwd to this build, I'm sure it will be a hell of a lot better than the last time I built one as a teenager 😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One advantage of taking part in long conference call at home is that one way to stay alert is to have something to occupy your hands.  Model making is ideal for that, so while participating in several calls today, I turned my attention to the main undercarriage bays.

 

Like many models of its era, the Frig model's bays are Spartan in the extreme, while I had managed to shoehorn a pair of Czech Master resin bays into my Airfix F.III last month, I decided to do the same with the Frog wings.

 

Now, there is one big disadvantage with the Frog model: whereas almost all models of the Meteor have a single-piece wing undersurface, Frog and Matchbox went for separate wings.  The disadvantage of this is that you lose the subtlety of the fuselage where the underside blends into the wings but in the case of resin inserts, you have the additional complexity of them interfering with the wing/fuselage join.

 

To fit the inserts, both the wing and the inserts needed surgery: lots of cutting and filing as you can see here:

 

43377170574_2dfa53b06a_c.jpg

 

On the left you can see the original size and on the right my cut-down version.  The objective was to get the inserts to fit inside the opening under the wing and because the meteor's aerofoil is quite slender, any excess around the insert simply clogs-up the available space and prevents the two halves of the wing from being joined-together.  This picture below, albeit rather unclear, helps illustrate my point: on the left, the untrimmed insert sits very proud of the undersurface, whereas the trimmed version on the right is far more snug.  On the left, the uneven mass to the right is just Blu-Tac holding-up the wing for the photo.

 

 

29157928837_37e71c487b_c.jpg

 

A lot of carving, filing and persuasion had the desired effect and here you can see a 'before and after' in the form of both wings.

 

44047094992_e8a57569f1_c.jpg

 

More to follow!

 

Cheers,

 

Neil

Edited by neilfergylee
The inevitable typo...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ten days - what a difference!

 

I was fortunate: I usually travel a great deal with work but for the past week or so I have been based at home.  This gave me a great opportunity to spend time on the Meteor when, otherwise, I'd be in a restaurant or in my room aimlessly surfing the Interweb while watching yet another repeat on Dave.  Living the dream!

 

So, back to the undercarriage bays.  Fitting them was a complete and utter pig, involving lots of filing, shaving, nibbling and swearing.  However, I managed to get them fitted and a touch of superglue got them in place.  Meanwhile, I also fitted the cockpit which included the nosewheel bay with slightly less bad language.

 

43277500565_8cf41b8fcb.jpg

 

Putting the wings together required a reasonable amount of persuasion because the mainwheel bays did put a wee bit of a strain on the wing roots, so the judicious application of slivers of duct tape and an overnight hiatus worked remarkably well.  They stuck well although, interestingly, the 'easy' wing that fitted-together well at the dry fit was the awkward one!

 

I then turned my attention to the fuselage, where I needed to fix the cockpit / wheelwells and add half a ton of lead to ensure it doesn't end-up a tailsitter.  The wheelwell fits straight down into the aircraft skin, so the aperture had to be a little oversized to accommodate it.  In turn, I needed to make sure the cockpit area was a snug fit: this was achieved by a big lump of Milliput fine filler (lovely stuff), including a little between the cockpit tub and the right-hand fuselage to straighten things up.

44134440892_efc4345fcc_c.jpg

 

I must confess that looking at this view with all the lead rods embedded in the filler, I can't help but think 'nail bomb'!  Note the cockpit tub and how the wheelwell protrudes into the fuselage skin.

 

Meanwhile, a trial fit and the moment of truth - sticking it all together was approaching.  Note the filler on the nacelles - just a little tided them up I nicely.

 

44182018151_ac19709feb_c.jpg

 

Putting it all together, I added the canopy for a quick preview of the finished article.  Note the blu-tack keeping the tailplanes in position while they dried and the rubbed-down greenstuff filler on the nose and spine.  In general, the fuselage went-together very well, but there were some tiny alignment issues where a small amount of filler helped a great deal.  Because I needed to do very little bodywork, I elected to retain the raised panel lines: obviously they would not pass muster in a competition, but for the time, they were lightly-done and not intrusive,  I replaced the rubbed-down lines for the fuel tanks and nose where they had been rubbed-down by using a scalpel and a little gentle scribing.  It worked.

 

43277574345_166fe46cc5_c.jpg

 

One area I did need filler was the wing roots and this elicited a it of bad language (more to come - read-on).  With the wings being plug-ins into the fuselage, the inevitable gaps appeared and so the Vallejo filler was used.  It was a tough job and the end-result is by no means a success.  However, the Vallejo putty is a great asset to any modeller-s toolkit, especially as it can be applied and then wiped-off with damp cloth or finger.

 

43277600015_159c27a4f8_c.jpg

 

Note the filler around the wheelwells (am I sounding obsessed?).  So on to painting...

 

My original plan was to finish the Meteor as a WW-II camouflaged F-4 and here is the best example:

 

42083361290_468ee773c4_b.jpg

 

However, while plenty of F.4s were painted in camouflage in the early days, there is little or no evidence of a short-wing F.4 in camouflage and squadron markings.  During the course of a little research, I found the following thread on this very site, proving that nothing is unique:

 

 

 

Furthermore, I looked through the wonderful Flight Magazine archive and it seems that F.4s started hitting the squadrons in 1948, by which time they had been changed to a bare metal / silver finish.  Certainly the first article I cold find where 74 Squadron was showing-off their brand new F.4s, they were all silver.  Now it's possible that some in camouflage did find their way into squadron service but finding them is a job.  So what's a boy to do if he wants an RAF version?  It's going to be silver.

 

So, as it was going to be silver, I could start work.

 

To begin, I masked the cockpit.  This did expose geometric differences between the Eduard mask optimised for MPM kits and the (generally good) Frog canopy.  This led to my having to extend the mask for the windshield but generally it masked well.  The first step was to spray it black so as to provide an interior finish.  The result was something like a slug!

 

44156740082_482fa517cf_n.jpg

 

However, once in pace it allowed me to prime the complete model.

 

43487270904_6fe847c5aa_c.jpg

 

So, here's the pre-silver state: more to follow, including the swear-fest!

 

Cheers,

 

Neil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, woody37 said:

What would modelling be without a swear-fest? 

 

Lovely progress :)

 

It was decal-related and it's a good thing my mother-in-law is broad-minded!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking good Neil, I landed a canopy for my one the other day, now its looking like I need wheel wells & a cockpit, I reckon you're leading me into the way of darkness. :D

Steve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right then.  Lots of progress over 24 hours and I'm a bit miffed.  I shall explain.

 

So, the aircraft was going to be silver but what squadron?  I wanted one with squadron markings and Type 'D' roundels so as to provide continuity from the Mk. III that I had completed with squadron codes and Type 'C' and 'C1' roundels.  Doing a bit of homework it was interesting to note that the colourful markings came-in quite late in the F. 4s career, while roundels and schemes were rather in a flux, so  - as is always the case - a bit of individual aircraft research was necessary.

 

Looking for third-party decals, the choice is quite limited, particularly if you don't want to model the 263, Fellowship-of-the-Bellows squadron which seems very over-exposed when it comes to F.4s.  However, more was to come.

 

One squadron that had caught my eye was no. 600 (City of London) squadron for two reasons.  One reason was that I had recently purchased an MPM F.8 kit with that squadron's markings but more significantly this:

 

29370096087_a5226fb28d_c.jpg

 

An original 1950s FROG model of an F.8 that I have picked-up through eBay earlier this year in this finished state.  Now, who actually builds these to sell when they are worth considerably more unmade and boxed is a mystery to me.  I picked this up for a tenner and at the time of writing, there is another built one in camouflage on eBay for a fiver - with no offers.  Madness but it makes an interesting comparison with more up-to-date versions.

 

This particular aircraft is well-represented in the Web:

 

F4_GB_600Sqn_1.jpg

 

The squadron's aircraft appeared originally in a Profile publication volume, but other references came-up, including a very good thread on this site, which I can't find now!

 

Gloster%20Meteor%20F_IV%20(78+)_Page_02-

 

So, I decided to go for this aircraft which, although referenced elsewhere, I found the original reference from the excellent 'Flight' Magazine archive, dated April 1951 and was able to save this image:

 

43396732455_00a96d3853_b.jpg

 

Now, VT106 looked interesting because of the undersized roundels on the wings, so I decided to plump for that one and off I went.

 

In preparation for this, I realised that whilst I had roundels and squadron markings, I had neither serials or the prominent walkway markings as spare.  Therefore, I decided to revert to my old friend, PowerPoint to make my own.

 

Here is the result.  An A4 sheet of markings and serials.

 

29366825427_6349cbfec6.jpg

 

And the same cut-out:

 

42494798850_76e0204641_c.jpg

 

So, all set for a nice evening's decal application!

 

LANGUAGE ALERT!

 

It was all going so well: first on were the fuselage roundels and squadron markings - lovely stuff, each one about a mile long and looking magnificent.  I just got onto the wing roundels when - bloody hell - one of the fuselage marking was wrapped around my finger! 😮 Hilarity ensued and for five minutes I was swearing and panicking while one and then the next decal went all wrong.  To cut a long story short, my mother-in-law was in a state of shock and I managed to get the decals back EXCELT FOR ONE MORSAL!  The corner of one of the decals had torn-off and was floating - coquettishly - in the water container.  Just a square millimetre and it was playing hard-to-get.  It stared up at me and winked.  I let it fester.

 

Meanwhile, I managed to attach the rest of the decals, including the home-made ones and I was reasonably satisfied with the result.  Not delighted and in retrospect I'd have made them a little thicker and not cut back so far on the surrounding decal film.

 

30435671178_3119b7947c_b.jpg

 

Just after I had finished all this lot, I discovered - to my horror - that this scheme is as common as muck and the Revell version had the decals as standard!  Bugger.

 

And the missing square millimetre?  It took pity on me, gave-up and allowed me to reattach it to the model.

 

So, progress but frustration and disappointment!

 

Cheers,

 

Neil

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That’s looking rather nice.

 

Trevor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I decided I could do better with the home-produced decals.  The wing walkway markings were a bit thin and because I had cut-away much of the carrier film (which turned-out to be near-invisible), they were a bit wobbly.

 

I went back to PowerPoint, where I had made the original design, thickened-up the lines and then started adding stencils to the sheet.  I also re-sized the sheet to A5 so I could save on decal paper by cutting it in half and the result was the following:

 

44328134831_cb17ddd631.jpg

 

The detail available with PowerPoint, including getting down to 1pt test was pretty impressive when printed:

 

44330030841_38cedc0467_c.jpg

 

I removed the original walkways and was heartened to note that whilst they did come-away, they were well-attached which bodes well for the future.

 

Here are a quick couple of shots of the result:

 

43436811395_fbb67697ec_c.jpg30475587478_09b3e3d7c7_c.jpg

 

One the home straight...

 

Neil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, A tour de force. The FROG meteor was The first bulk buy  of mine back in 1981 when I found a lode of them at the Model Shop Harrow. I bought all that I could and they   were the basis my F8's, T.7's and night fighters until the Matchbox night fighter kit came out....the year before I started moving into 1/48th scale. It's nice to  see one in blue plastic, mine were all black which I think with FROG was the all concealing colour to mask  that they were made from all of the recycled dregs of polystyrene. I always found FROG blastic to be  grainy and not to  rub down well. However I didn't care, I had all of the long nacelle meteors I could want. Your's is coming along so well

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, matti64 said:

Wow, A tour de force. The FROG meteor was The first bulk buy  of mine back in 1981 when I found a lode of them at the Model Shop Harrow. I bought all that I could and they   were the basis my F8's, T.7's and night fighters until the Matchbox night fighter kit came out....the year before I started moving into 1/48th scale. It's nice to  see one in blue plastic, mine were all black which I think with FROG was the all concealing colour to mask  that they were made from all of the recycled dregs of polystyrene. I always found FROG blastic to be  grainy and not to  rub down well. However I didn't care, I had all of the long nacelle meteors I could want. Your's is coming along so well

Thanks Matti,

 

It sounds like we are of a similar vintage.  1981 was a grim year for Meteor fans; there were no Meteor kits in catalogues, except - perhaps - Novo but I don't think they knew what to make on a day-by-day basis!

 

It's interesting you mention black plastic because my memories of both Frog and Novo were of medium grey plastic as evidenced by a big box I have that is full of Canberra, Lightning and Swordfish sprues that canme into my possession so long ago that I don't remember how I got it.  I was certainly surprised when this one turned-out to be dark blue.

 

One thing I do recall was then when Matchbox launched their two-seat Meteors, I thought all my Christmases had come at once!

 

Thanks again for your kind words.

 

Neil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

       hi ALL ,

 

                         I too dug out My ex Swapmeet NOVO F.4 Meteor, the diff between the FROG F.4 and F.8 are like

                      Cheeze 'n;' Chalk in quality... the F.4 bein'the better...NO Sydney Harbour Bridge Rivets !`

 

                       Thanks for the Headz up on the Nosewheel Bay Dims .( you did'nt supply Dims )

 

                      Did you not notice that the F.4 and lower Marks had Fabric Rudders ?

                       ..... and Kit Fin/Rudder off a Sunderland ?  scrap ,scrap , sand, sand !    hhhhhhhhrrrr !

 

                      The Main Wheels are awful.....lookin' for AEROCLUB Replacements.

 

                      Ordered a nutha today (as if I did'nt have enuff Models to build ! )

                        Why  ?.....coz I like this FROG/NOVO Kit >

 

                          As for the Main Wheel Bay Aftermarket not fittin the A/M Parts

                          '..... I just cut right thru to upper Surface,

                          either use thin cutout or use Styrene Card replacements a lot easier  !

 

                       ....gotta put on Your Modellin' "Brave Pants " ! ......a good Whisky at hand is essential !

 

                        Recently bought the AEROFAX Meteor Book ....great reference

                          ....hence today the additional  FROG/NOVO F.4     hhhhhhrrrr !

 

                                                                                                      cheery "modellin' " mumbas  !    🛩️☺️🥃   🇦🇮

 

                                                                                                                            Geoff

 

                                                                                                                               F.T.G. 3156

 

                            

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Home straight now: decals on but I needed t finish the cockpit and then do the undercarriage.

 

Putting-together a few spares, I built a harness out of marking tape, decorated with a few spare etched parts, while I also built-up a gunsight from a piece of carved sprue and an etched part to represent the lenses.  A piece of clear plastic attached using Kristal Kleer completed the work.

 

29436684757_4533df0a83_c.jpg

 

Then the undercarriage.  My first reaction was 'Oh just buy another Aeroclub whitemetal one like back in the day".  Bit of a problem: Aeroclub aren't with us and although Czech Master produce some useful replacement parts, there isn't a complete Meteor replacement set available.

 

Now, looking through my spares box from 35 years ago, this was my last experience of a Frog Meteor undercarriage:

44332327052_32412a423a_n.jpg

 

So, I wasn't feeling too confident but taking the Czech Master replacement wheels, I realised that I could make them look pretty good:

 

44324411792_77074a89fc_c.jpg

 

I wasn't taken with the Frog nosewheel, so I butchered a Matchbox nosewheel assembly that I had discarded when building the Matchbox NF.11.  I carved-off the mudflap and attached the Czech Master replacement before attaching it to the fuselage and adding the Czech Master undercarriage doors.  Add a few more bits and hey presto - I'm calling it finished!

 

44393204312_ab1c2e286c_b.jpg

 

And a couple of comparisons.  The first is with the Mk.III I completed last month and the second is with an original Frog F.8 that I purchased - previously assembled - off eBay earlier this year.  It would probably have fetched a great deal more ha it still been unassembled and in its box.

 

43533773375_809a64938a_b.jpg

 

44393381562_8a85a4786c_b.jpg

 

And finally, a little vanity shot:

 

42647147150_87859e0a52_b.jpg

 

Well that is all for now, I much appreciate your kind comments and support.  Next will be a rather less exciting MPM / Airfix Mk.8.

 

With best wishes,

 

Neil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

                       hi ALL,

 

                                        I  recently ordered a book from KAYRA  on the Gloster METEORS.

 

                    The Book  ?   DETAIL SCALE AIRCRAFT  Meteor 1/72 scale drawin's

 

                     This Publisher also print a Tome for 1/48 Scale Modellers ( bit more expensive tho )

 

                         btw :   AIRCRAFT ARCHIVE F.8 Drawin's are not to 1/72 Scale !

 

                      ...... this I discovered when I cut orff the Nose of My Mk.4. only to discover it was the right length

                          the 1st  place !  😵   hhhhhhrrrr !

                     ...... anyway removin' the nose allowed me to add * weights and add a Nosewheel Well

                      .........Anybody got Pics of the Nose Wheelwell ?

 

                              * Weight....... don't throw away your broken Reading Lamps, check to see wots in the Base for Ballast

                               mine had  metal stamping blanks  15mm x 4mm x 3mm thick ...just right for shuffin' up the Fuselage.

 

                                                                                                               cheery " modellin' " mumbas !

 

                                                                                                                                    Geoff

 

                                                                                                                                        F.T.G. 3156

 

                             

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@G.E.SAUNDERS

 

Thanks Geoff!

 

I'm sure there are nosewheel pictures out there, give me a little while and I'll find them for you,  Interestingly, forward of the nose bulkhead the nose was basically an empty box while the nosewheel was connected to a frame attached to the front bulkhead.

 

What happened to the wonderful Scale Models Plans Service?  They must all be out there somewhere...

 

Cheers,

 

Neil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Courageous said:

A very impressive build. Love the resolution on your DIY decals.

 

Thanks Stuart - I was quite amazed myself!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎8‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 8:13 PM, neilfergylee said:

Furthermore, I looked through the wonderful Flight Magazine archive and it seems that F.4s started hitting the squadrons in 1948, by which time they had been changed to a bare metal / silver finish.  Certainly the first article I cold find where 74 Squadron was showing-off their brand new F.4s, they were all silver.  Now it's possible that some in camouflage did find their way into squadron service but finding them is a job.  

There are no photos of camouflaged squadron aircraft in the Meteor F.4 section of Roger Lindsay's Cold War Shield Volume 1.  Given the depth of Roger's knowledge and research, I'm inclined to take that as evidence they didn't exist. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Seahawk said:

There are no photos of camouflaged squadron aircraft in the Meteor F.4 section of Roger Lindsay's Cold War Shield Volume 1.  Given the depth of Roger's knowledge and research, I'm inclined to take that as evidence they didn't exist. 

I think you're spot-on.  There were prototypes in camouflage, even with short wings (I think retrofitted), but all the long-wing camouflaged examples I have seen with squadron markings are actually long-nacelle Mk.IIIs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Blitz23 said:

Very nice job, looks great.

Thank you very much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...