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Julien

RAAF Gloster Meteor Mk.8 Detail Set (for Airfix) - 1:48 Red Roo Models

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RAAF Gloster Meteor Mk.8 Detail Set (for Airfix)

1:48 Red Roo Models
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The Meteor F.8 was a later mark of the original aircraft developed as Britain’s first Jet Fighter during the war. The F.8 featured a stretched fuselage to overcome centre of gravity issues, and more powerful Derwent engines. It first flew in 1948 and by the 1950s had become the mainstay of RAF Fighter command despite the fact it was obvious by then that straight winged aircraft were obsolete compared to the swept wing fighters then coming on stream. In a strange twist some RAF Fighter Squadrons would transition from the North American Sabre back to the Meteor while waiting for Hawker Hunters to be delivered. The RAF retired its last target tug machines in the 1980s, with a couple surviving F.8s converted to drones with the MOD at Llanbedr being retired in the 1990s.

 

Like many aircraft they were also delivered to commonwealth nations. The RAAF ordered 94. The RAAF would go on to use these aircraft in combat in the Korean War with No. 77 Squadron transitioning from P-51Ds onto Meteors. It was soon apparent that the straight winged Meteor was no match for the swept-wing MiG-15, although in 1953 Sergeant John Hale did score a MiG kill. The RAAF reverted to ground attack where it was found the Meteor was an excellent stable attack platform with its four 20mm cannon. The aircraft was also armed with British 60Lb rockets, and could also use US 5” HVAR rockets if needed. 77 Sqn flew over 4,800 combat missions in Korea with the loss of 30 aircraft mainly due to AA fire. One of the last RAAF units to operate the Meteor, 78 Sqn was probably the most well-known, flying the Aircraft as “The Meteorites” Aerobatic display team. The Meteor was replaced in RAAF service by the CAC Sabre, a locally modified re-design of the F-86. One of the main distinguishing features of the RAAF meteors was the addition of a spine ADF aerial fitting not carried by British airframes.


 

The Set

Red Roo are masters of improving kits that were used by their home country, and this set is intended to do just that to the new Airfix kit, which although a step up from what was previously available, still has a few faults and niggles that might annoy the detail-aficionado. We're reliably informed in the opening dialogue of the instructions that these issues are pretty easy to fix with the assistance of the contents of this set and a little modelling skill. The set arrives in a small flat box with the product details sticker pasted to the lid. Inside are two bags of parts, one containing resin, the other holding the metal parts. Another ziplok bag is full of three decal sheets of differing sizes that will further assist in the accuracy department. The instruction booklet doubles as packing material, and is quite verbose, offering many hints and tips to make your Meatbox as accurate as possible in a conversational style, accompanied by plenty of pictures of the real thing for reference. In the box you get the following:
 

Resin Parts

8 x rocket bodies

8 x rocket tails

2 x main wheels

1 x nose wheel

1 x air compressor cowling

2 x nacelle vents

 

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Metal Parts

8 x brass rocket rails

1 x 23G hypodermic needle

4 x v-shaped 0.4mm brass wire

1 x 20mm 0.5mm brass wire

1 x 4mm 1mm brass tube

 

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Other Parts

1 x 7 x 14mm 0.4mm plastic strip

2 x stencil decal sheets for external tanks

1 x airframe stencil decals

 

As you can see that's quite a list, and why the instructions extend to eight sheets of A4 that are printed on both sides. As well as providing you with a full and concise description of how to install all the parts, it also gives you lots of hints and tips on how to further improve your model interspersed with the instructions, which are of course optional, but as you're currently looking at an update set, you're probably enticed by this extra work already. Most of the "mandatory" updates (well, you did pay for them!) are simple changes that just require a little effort, but those freebies even extend to how to improve the fit of the wing roots, canopy etc., as well as repairing a few errors that Airfix made with a couple of boo-boos that arose due to them scanning a museum example, which is kind of understandable really.


 

Markings

The stencils are a replacement set for the kit decals, some of which are inaccurate, so just replace the whole lot with the new ones, the instructions for which are spread over four sides of the instructions, along with the various additional fuel tanks that the Meteor often carried.


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Conclusion

This is a very comprehensive set that will be of use to builders of any Meatbox F.8, although not all the parts would be used. The stencils are a boon, and I find that they're an easy way to easily add to boost the perception of detail, especially if you hide the edges of the carrier film with a few layers of clear and some careful sanding. Highly recommended.


 

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Review sample courtesy of

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