is my model of the Tamiya 1/48 Gloster Meteor F.3. The Meteor (F.1) was the
first Allied jet fighter to enter service in 1944 and was initially used against
V-1’s over the UK. No 616 Squadron’s Meteor F.3’s were dispatched to
in early 1945. Despite being a fighter, most of its operations in Germany
were in the ground attack role and it never went in to combat against its arch
rival, the Messerschmitt ME262.
Tamiya kit is moulded in very strong feeling grey plastic with very nicely
moulded panel lines and rivet detail. The three piece canopy is very clear with
all of the kit parts being very crisply moulded. The kit also comes with two
detailed engines that are visible through removable panels on top of the engine
started on the cockpit, this is fairly basic, however it does have a good
instrument panel. I couldn’t find a great deal of information on the details
of the cockpit in the F.3. But with what little I did find, I scratch built some
extra details with plastic rod and strip and copper wire; I re-modelled the seat
(the anecdotal information I found suggested that the kit seat was the wrong
shape) the kit’s decal seatbelts I replaced with scratch built ones that I
made from thick foil. I also scratch build the Ace Maker gun sight, and added
the ‘fire’ button on the spade grip. The cockpit was painted with H67 Matt
Tank Grey (rather than black as that would look too dark) and the seat was
painted with H226 Interior Green. The instrument dials were then applied, most
of them individually, to the panel using copious amounts of decal setting
solution. These were then matted over and when dry, the dials were given several
coats of Klear to make it look like glass dials.
images below to see larger images
main fuselage, wing and tail sections were then assembled, taking care to
remember to install the thoughtfully supplied weight that helps prevent
the model from becoming a tail sitter. Although this helps, it’s only
just enough to keep the nose down, you really need a little bit more –
even a couple of grams would be enough. Most of these parts need hardly
any filler at all as the kit is very well engineered. At this point I
drilled out the cannon ports and installed some sections of plastic tubing
to simulate the gun barrels. The completed cockpit tub is then slotted in
and the last section of fuselage is installed to keep the tub in place.
assembled the landing gear and added some pipe work with copper wire;
these were then painted and left to one site for later. I dipped the
canopy in Klear and left this to dry thoroughly and then painted the
canopy frame work. I assembled the two engines and painted them, taking
care to pick out the mesh intakes and dry brushing the raised areas to
give a well maintained, yet used look.
primed the fuselage assembly with Halfords Grey primer and when dry this was
rubbed smooth with 1500 grit abrasive paper and kitchen paper towels. The
underside of the fuselage was then sprayed with H165 Medium Sea Grey. This was
masked off and the top was then sprayed with H106 Matt Ocean Grey. I marked out
the disruptive pattern camouflage (free-hand) with a light pencil using the
scale plans provided by Tamiya. Then, using thinned H163 Dark Green, I brush
painted the camouflage pattern on to the fuselage. As the paint was well thinned
to help disguise any brush marks, I had to use several coats giving a full
24hours between applications. The u/c bays were brush painted with
aluminium. When all of the colour coats were fully dry I applied a couple of coats of Klear
by brush before applying the decals. The decals looked quite thick during their
application but settled in very well after applying plenty of setting solution.
When all of the decals had been applied I brought out the panel lines using a
sludge wash made from chalk artists pastels, water and dish washing liquid.
this was dry I sealed everything in by spraying several coats of Humbrol Matt
Clear Cote. The landing gear, u/c doors and canopy were then added to the
completed fuselage to finish the model.
kit has been a joy to build and I have been quite impressed with Tamiya’s
engineering of this model and the quality of the moulding and the plastic used,
and this is a very welcome addition to my collection.
images below to see larger images