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. :)

PeterB

1949 - Xtrakit (ex MPM) Gloster Meteor F8

Recommended Posts

My second build for this GB will be the Gloster Meteor F8 which first flew in 1948, and was delivered to the RAF in 1949. I will be using the Xtrakit ex MPM boxing.

 

DSC01990

 

Having just finished a Meteor IV in the Frog Squad GB, I have done a little research and it seems that the development of this, the RAF's first operational jet fighter, was at times almost a case of trial and error. The original Meteor I and III were not much faster than conventional late war piston engined fighters, but the more powerful engines in the Mk IV made it nearly 100mph faster. However, the wing of the Mk III was already showing signs of weakness, and the same airframe in the Mk IV was decidedly over stressed, so the wing was clipped to relieve the stress and some local strengthening was carried out. It also, like the Mk III suffered from balance problems as the original design was going to have 6 cannon, and the reduction to 4 threw the CG out resulting in the need for up to 1000lb of ballast having to be carried.

 

The Mk 8 retained the same wing as the Mk IV, but an attempt was made to solve the balance problem by stretching the nose by 3ft and adding an extra fuel tank. However, it was then found that the Mk I/III/IV style tail was inadequate so a larger tail was fitted. That solved most of the handling problems but pilots reported that the elevators became heavy in combat manoeuvring, and the Derwent 8 engines were no more powerful than the Derwent V in the Mk IV, so all in all it was not much of an improvement on the Mk IV, though it did have an ejector seat at last.

 

The kit gives the option of building either an early model with the old style engine intakes and the canopy with the metal rear section, or the later version with the wider "deep breather" intakes and the true bubble canopy - I will be building the latter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice to see a Meteor added to this GB Pete. I've got the Airfix boxing of this very same kit, although your decals look far superior to what's offered in my box.  Best of luck with this build and please report on any issues that come your way (from memory the multi part main gear legs are an issue?). 

 

Cheers.. Dave 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dave,

 

Yes the legs look very fiddly with little or no locating pins etc as is usual in MPM and similar kits. Also, they tell you to make our own bracing struts for the 3 mudguards - wonder if Airfix have done the same? I suspect the original MPM kit may have had some resin and etch - certainly their Australian rebox has. I am a bit dubious about the suggested 3 gram nose weight - what do Airfix say. I had to put 12g in the Frog one, but of course this has a longer nose and a lot more bits in the cockpit. However that also means not a lot of room for ballast!  I am not sure how well the flimsy u/c legs will cope with a lot of weight - I may have to do a bit of strengthening work. 

 

I will post some pics in a day or so.

 

Pete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pete, from what I can remember, the Airfix instructions are a copy of the MPM diagrams so suspect the same nose weight and ‘make your own’ bracing strut recommendations apply. When I get a chance, I’ll bring her down from the upper cupboard and take a look. 

 

Cheers.. Dave 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having built the kit (which was produced by MPM for Hannants and then they used the moulds as a basis for all their single seat versions), there was no etch in the original. The undercarriage was fiddly and the wings needed work as the trailing edges are quite thick and the leading edge is blunt. Butt joint city and at least looks like the F.8 when finished. Some versions have the outer wing panels as separate parts just to add to the model building experience. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Mr T said:

Some versions have the outer wing panels as separate parts just to add to the model building experience. 

Ha!! probably explains why I keep looking at my Mk.IV ‘Record Breaker’ kit and then quickly put it back! 

 

Cheers.. Dave 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has taken a while but I have managed to get all 17 of the interior bits into the fuselage - frankly I am getting a bit too old to really enjoy this sort of fiddly work.

 

DSC02006-crop

 

I have had to lighten the pic quite a bit as everything is black! I have fixed 3.5g of lead in the nose and once I have touched everything up I will glue the fuselage together. I have also made a start on the wings and they should also be together shortly. After that the only other fiddly bit is the undercarriage which looks like it will be a real pain!

 

Anybody recognise what the fuselage is propped up against?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

17 cockpit parts you say Pete, so when do you start attaching the PE!?? I agree with all  the fiddly bits and think most of it is not exactly necessary in this scale. It’s probably the reason why I like 1/72 as you can get away with leaving out a fair bit if you want to move things along. I’m afraid I’ve got not idea what your fuselage is resting on, could be some car engine component, but I’m honestly guessing. 

 

Oh, that’s right. I managed to take a look at the Airfix instructions for this kit and they mention 3g of nose weight. They also show a ‘hand’ image where they  point to the main undercarriage support struts, however nowhere is their a key to say that this hand means ‘make it yourself’? 

 

Cheers.. Dave 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dave,

 

Apparently MPM include resin and PE in their "Hi Tech" kits but none in this thank goodness. At leasts Xtrakit have the key for the various actions, including one that says "Scratch Build"!.

 

No prize for that. Let's just say it is to do with planes and leave it a while to see if anybody else guesses. I saw the thing it fits into in the Midland Air Museum a few years back if that helps anybody.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Starter cartridge perhaps?

 

I'm with you on the cockpit detail thing, especially with the darker colours. And if the canopy is closed it doesn't help at all either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know if it is a problem with their moulding machines, but I could have done without the seperate inserts for the front and rear upper sections of the cockpit - ie the "tray" behind the seat and the "cowling over the IP. Getting anything like a good fit is nearly impossible as you have to glue them into one side of the fuselage and then try and line them up with the other before the glue dries - tedious.

 

Anyway I have joined the fuselage halves and when dry I will do a bit of filling etc. I have also glued  the engine fronts and wheel bay interiors into the wings. Although I dry fitted and checked at every stage I ended up having to do a little filing down to make it fit at the end.

 

DSC02016

 

The dural coloured object running accross the black circular bits is meant to be the front wing spar. Tomorrow I will glue the wings together before fitting the front rings and the rear exhausts which are 3 parts each.

 

Hi Jinxman - no it is not a starter cartridge though that was a good guess - I have never seen one but for some reason have a mental picture of an oversized shotgun cartridge - probably wrong. Here's another clue which should make it rather more obvious.

 

DSC02013-crop

 

Rather a nice bit of machining considering what it is! The Inspection stamp at the bottom is a bit of a give away in terms of origin.

 

Thanks for your interest.

Edited by PeterB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh, Luftwaffe fuse, or fuze I suppose.Assume it was fitted in a bomb of some sort?

 

Nice engineering on something that will be blown to smithereens!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Give that man a coconut!

Before he retired my Brother in Law was a fine art auctioneer. About 20 years ago he was asked to visit a client to make a valuation on something, and whilst he was there he found out that the client used to work in bomb disposal. They got to talking and, knowing my interest in planes etc, he somehow ended up with this which he gave to me a while later.

 

The marking El.A.Z – Electrische Aufschlag Zünder – followed by C50 shows that it is an electrically operated impact fuse (or if you prefer - fuze) whilst the “15” in a circle is the actual fuse type. Rh.S 1938 means that it was made by Rheinmetall at their Soemmerden factory in 1938. No idea what the 37α is for – some sort of factory mark perhaps, but on the rim at the 6 o'clock position is the Reichs Eagle mark of the inspector. The 2 spring loaded contacts on the top with black insulated surrounds were where the electrical arming circuit was connected when the bomb was mounted on the bomb rack. This early and rather basic fuse was used in the SC series of smaller bombs for the first couple of years of the war I believe – there is what I think is an SC50 bomb in the Midland Air Museum near Coventry which has the “fuse pocket” showing where it would have been fitted. The SC50 had one fuse and the SC250 seems to have had 2, as does the SC500 which may or may not have used this fuse – as most of you will know the weights were quoted in Kg so SC50 was around 110lb and so on.

 

At the start of the war the Luftwaffe did not think in terms of duds being defused so they took no precautions. This fuse had 2 “trembler” switches, one horizontal and one vertical, so that it should go off either on impact, or if so chosen with a slight delay (less than 1 second). It is machined out of aluminium and replaced an older version made of brass that was used in the Spanish Civil War, and was itself replaced by versions with a variety of timing mechanisms and anti-handling devices. The locating pin on the side enabled it to be correctly positioned in the bomb before a retaining ring was screwed in to hold it in place. At the bottom there are threads for something known as the “gaine” - a small cylinder about the size of a 35mm film container which was filled with explosive and amplified the small explosive charge in the fuse, helping to set off the main charge in the bomb. If you have ever watched the old TV series "Danger - UXB" you will have seen them putting a brass ring with two pins sticking out on to the top of the fuse to unscrew the retaining ring and apparently they could discharge the internal capacitors by using the contact studs and make this simple type of fuse safe - it got a lot harder and more dangerous before too long.

 

Whether this came out of a real "UXB" or was an unused one picked up after the war I don't know, but is polishes up rather nicely and makes a useful paperweight.

Edited by PeterB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Enough of this frivolity! With just a month to go and the Frog GB finally finished I decided to press on. The wings and tail went together pretty well and did not need much filler.

 

DSC02020-crop

 

I have painted a thinned coat of Dark Sea Grey on the upper surfaces as a primer and will add the exhausts and any more filler that might be needed, before starting the top coat. With luck my Banshee should be finished by the end of the week and this should not be too far behind if the undercarriage behaves itself. Then I can start on the Panther.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking good there Pete and a nice historical piece to have on display. I know these Xtrakit / MPM / Special Hobby Meteor's are a little tough going but when they're the only game in town, well that's it I suppose. I do see that Special Hobby are soon to release a new series of NF Meteor's with the NF.12 being first cab off the rank, I suspect they will be based on the same moulds however hope they are a bit better fitting overall. You're doing a swell job with this F.8. 

 

Cheers.. Dave 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bit more progress.

 

DSC02027-crop

 

It will need another coat of dark green, but I think I will get a coat of "High Speed Silver" on the underside first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice camo colours Pete. It’s always intrigued me how a good number of modellers paint the upper colours first before painting the underside. I’ve always painted the undersides first (dependant on lighter colour) so I suppose like most things there’s no official rule and probably just comes down to habit. Whatever works for each of us is always the best approach however it is of interest I think.

 

Cheers.. Dave 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Rabbit Leader said:

Nice camo colours Pete. It’s always intrigued me how a good number of modellers paint the upper colours first before painting the underside. I’ve always painted the undersides first (dependant on lighter colour) so I suppose like most things there’s no official rule and probably just comes down to habit. Whatever works for each of us is always the best approach however it is of interest I think.

 

Cheers.. Dave 

If I’m painting a model with any form of silver the other colours go on first, so like Peter my RAF Meteors will get the upper surface camouflage first, then the High Speed Silver undersides, as masking tape seems better able to “lift” a silver finish than a non-metallic colour.  Likewise I’ll paint and mask the coloured spine and fin and the anti-glare panel of a “silver” Lightning before applying the silver to the rest of the model.

 

On the other hand if I’m working on a camouflaged RAF aircraft the underside Sky, Light Aircraft Grey or Medium Sea Grey will go on before the darker upper surface camouflage as it’s easier to cover a light colour with darker colours than vice versa.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dave,

 

A matter of personal taste perhaps but it may also depend on the type of camo scheme. One rule of thumb is of course to do the lighter colours first, but with two or more upper colours I find it easier to get a good demarcation line if I do the uppers first and then apply the unders, so I can run a brush straight down the side. Of course, if I were airbrushing I would mask and then it would not matter. When I do my Firefly, Seafire 47, Attacker and Sea Fury in EDSG over Sky and my Sea Hawk and Scimitar EDSG over white, as the uppers are in a single colour I will probably paint the unders first - ditto my new Airfix F4K

 

I tend to brush paint smaller models with multi colour upper camo as I can't be bothered masking - I readily admit painting is not one of my better skills in spite of many years experience!

 

2 good things have happened  today - John has resufaced on the Frog GB and now the Kiwi's can't make rude comments about your lot being beaten by mine in Japan -"How are the mighty fallen"! I do not think England played that well actually in terms of scoring tries, but what they did do was get in their faces and keep smashing into the All Blacks for the full 80 minutes, which unsettled them a lot. Whether they can do it again next week remains to be seen. As an Englishman who has lived in Wales for more than half his life and has kids who are Welsh I have divided loyalties I guess - pity there is not a Yorkshire "national" team that I could support 100%

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that I think of it, for silver undersides what Steve says makes a lot of sense and is something I now should have done on my Frog Canberra build. Not that I had too much drama, however there was the odd spot where the tape had lifted the silver paint. That’s a good tip for the next one. 
 

As for the RWC, I can’t imagine what will be written in the local NZ press. We’ve had a whole week of Rugby chatter and how bad the game has been administered and handled for a whole week and it would have to rate as our third or possibly forth most popular Football code. That’s not the case in NZ, where it means everything to them. If England still has room to improve, then they will romp through whoever they play next week.

 

Whoops.. back onto modelling, although sporting chat is fun all the same. 
 

Cheers.. Dave 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I mentioned elsewhere Dave, it does not hurt to widen the horizons just a little bit - otherwise it can get a little bit too serious. As a friend of mine said frequently on another forum - "hobbies are meant to be fun"!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have finished the basic painting except for a little touching up so it is time to start on the main undercarriage which on the Meteor was a little unusual for the time.

 

DSC02036

 

Instead of the "normal" straight leg, it was of the "lever" type (which is now much more common) so MPM have moulded it in two parts. The lower leg with the fork for the wheel sits at an angle of around 45 degrees to the upper leg, and has to be glued on. Fortunately, as well as the "U" shaped mount at the top, it is supported by the shock absorber so it should be quite  strong. However the nose leg is not only thinner but has no form of brace so it will be a weak point. I may have to pin it somehow to reinforce it. The trick is going to be to have just enough ballast to make it sit on the nosewheel but not too much as it might break. I have put just over the recommended 3g in the nose, and hopefully that should be enough, but until I get the main wheels on I will not know for sure and I think it will be very close! I do have room to squeeze a bit more lead into the rear of the nose bay if required. I will post again once the gear is together and you will see what I mean.

 

'Bye for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes Pete, an interesting arrangement for this kits gear and hopefully Special Hobby take the time to improve these when their NF Meteors come out shortly. 
 

Cheers.. Dave 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have managed to assemble the main gear legs.

 

DSC02048

 

Earlier I said that the lower section hung at 45 degrees to the vertical, but that is when it is unloaded - MPM have chosen to model it just about fully compressed as on the ground and it is nearly horizontal - perhaps too much so but it will have to do. I have added DIY bracing struts between the leg and the bottom of the mudguards as per the instructions and will now do some painting before fitting them in the wheel wells. The nose gear will go on near the end.

 

NB this is the "plain" side of the hubs which are covered by the outer wheel door - only the inner face is detailed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Main gear and doors on, and drop tanks assembled.

 

DSC02051-crop

 

At the moment it is just about balanced and when I put the canopy and nose gear plus doors on it should just sit on the nose wheel. However, as those of you who watched my He 162 build on the recent Frog GB will remember, that was the same but as soon as I sprayed a couple of coats of varnish on to finish it, it became a tail sitter and I had to squeeze some more lead in the nose wheel bay. Looks like I will have to do the same with this, so if any of you are thinking of building this kit in any of the MPM, Xtrakit or Airfix boxings, the recommended ballast of 3g in the nose is wrong - you should try and get in at least 5g I suggest but do not overdo it as the nosewheel is not going to take too much weight I think. There is not much room in the nose, but you can also get lead in behind the seat, in the front of the belly tank as I did on my Frog Meteor IV, or in the nose bay as I am doing.

 

I will get the canopy on and touch up and fit the wing drop tanks after putting on their decals and then it will be time to put on the rest of the decs. Once they are done I will fit the nose gear, pitot tube and aerials, touch up as required and it will be ready for the final spraying. More before too long.

 

 

Edited by PeterB

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...