1/72 Gloster Meteor F.3 model kit

Product # 5044 2,400 Yen (US$28.51) from Hobbylink Japan

Product Article by Dean Reynolds on Nov 4 2010


Britain’s first and only operational jet aircraft of the Second World War, the extraordinary Gloster Meteor was designed by George Carter whose preliminary study was given approval by the Air Ministry in November 1940 under the specification F.9/40.

On 7 February 1941 an order was placed for 12 prototypes, although only 8 were completed and fitted with the Rover W.2B engine, able to deliver 1,000 lb’s of thrust. After some delays and modifications the first flight was finally made on the 5 March 1943 at Cranwell, with a Halford H.1 engine. The first operational aircraft, delivered as Gloster Meteor Mk1’s were delivered on the 12th July 1944 to 616 Squadron based at Culmhead in Somerset.

The RAF was hesitant to risk losing an aircraft over enemy territory, so early Meteors were tasked with protecting the English coast against the V-1 flying bombs or “doodlebugs” as they were nicknamed in Britain. On 4th August 1944 Flying Officer Dean destroyed the first flying bomb to be claimed by a jet fighter, using the Meteor’s wingtip to tip it over into a spin after the aircraft’s 4 cannons had jammed. By the end of the war the Meteor had claimed 14 flying bombs and 46 German aircraft destroyed on the ground, and would go on to serve a total of 17 years in the RAF as well as seeing combat across the world, from Korea, to the Middle East.

Click on images below to see larger images




These days a lot of people are put off by the idea of 1/72nd scale for single seat fighters as more and more kits in larger scales get released, and that is why it was such a pleasure to open this box and be reminded that when done properly, a 72nd kit like this is a really great build, and makes for a perfect weekend project.

The kit comes on 5 grey sprues and one clear sprue, totalling 52 pieces with 5 photo-etch pieces. The small amount of pieces means the modeller can spend less time cutting and sanding, and more time painting and this kit has some of the best detail I have ever seen in plastic.

 I have been lucky in that all the Dragon kits I got in the 90’s were stunning, and it’s great to see they have only improved over time! The instructions are clear and easy to follow, especially since the entire aircraft can be built in 6 steps! I would normally say that a kit like this would be good for a beginner, but the truth is with this level of exceptional detail I am fully expecting to see modellers walk away with prizes at IPMS competitions in the 72nd scale.

Areas featuring some of the best detail are the aelirons and elevators, (the rivets are entirely accurate and look stunning patterned in correctly), the raised rivets on the inner undercarriage doors, the side consoles for the cockpit and the forward fuselage where the 4 cannon muzzles are located. There is no flash, no swirls on the plastic, no warping and all the recessed panel lines are present, and are scaled correctly to the aircraft. This kit must be seen to be believed. My only complaint with this kit is that unlike other 72nd scale early jets Dragon has released in the past there are no engines or cannons included to be displayed, which is a shame because with this level of exterior quality it would be incredible to see a built up one with an engine nacelle open or with inspection hatches open showing its armament.

The decals are by Cartograf and are without fault. The colour, registration and overall thickness of the decal is perfect for 72nd scale, and the kit comes with options for 6 aircraft which are as follows:

  • No. 616 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Lübeck 1945 (Ocean Grey and Green Camouflage)

  • No. 74 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Colerne 1945 (Ocean Grey and Green Camouflage)

  • No. 616 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Manston 1945 (Ocean Grey and Green Camouflage)

  • No. 616 Squadron, Royal Air Force, England 1945 (Overall white scheme)

  • No. 257 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Horsham St. Faith 1947 (Ocean Grey and Green Camouflage)

  • No. 500 Squadron, Royal Auxilary Air Force, West Malling 1948 (Overall silver scheme)

This is a great little kit and I’m looking forward to actually building this one instead of just writing about them for a change!

Special thanks to Hobbylink Japan for supplying this review sample.

Dean Reynolds

Click on images below to see larger images




Photos and text © by Dean Reynolds