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.
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:
Squadron, Royal Air Force, Lübeck 1945 (Ocean Grey and Green Camouflage)
No. 74 Squadron,
Royal Air Force, Colerne 1945 (Ocean Grey and Green Camouflage)
Squadron, Royal Air Force, Manston 1945 (Ocean Grey and Green Camouflage)
Squadron, Royal Air Force, England 1945 (Overall white scheme)
Squadron, Royal Air Force, Horsham St. Faith 1947 (Ocean Grey and Green
Squadron, Royal Auxilary Air Force, West Malling 1948 (Overall silver
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
images below to see larger images