1/48 Tamiya Gloster Meteor F.3

by Karl W Branson



This 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 Germany 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.

The 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 nacelles.

Construction 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.

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The 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.  I 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.

I 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.  When 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.

This 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.

Thanks for looking.



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Photos and text © by Karl W Branson