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HK Models 1/32 scale Gloster Meteor F.4

Kit:01E06 // Scale:1/32 // Price:$89.95
HK Models
Good molding; decent fits; easy assembly; interesting markings
Spartan offering: no engines or underwing stores; fragile decals hard to position
Injection-molded, 108 parts (1 white metal), decals

The Gloster Meteor was the first production combat jet fighter deployed by the Royal Air Force, and it proved to be a sound design. Entering service in small numbers late in World War II, it continued to be developed and was utilized by many different air forces in the postwar era.

The first injection-molded Meteor in 1/32 scale, HK Models’ kit is cleanly molded in light gray plastic. Surface detail is impressive; panels and rivets look to-scale. A metal weight is provided to keep the nose down. All of the flying surfaces are separate and designed to move. No pilot figure is included.

I started construction with the cockpit tub. The side walls are well detailed, but the seat looks simplified. I installed the cockpit module and the nose weight in the left fuselage half, then test-fitted the halves. There was some problem preventing a good fit at the upper-nose join, but I found removing the nose-weight locators from the fuselage side and letting the weight float freely improved the fit.

The wing assembly consists of three main parts with separate components for the engine bays, flying surfaces, and dive brakes. I worried about the fit of the large engine-bay panels, but found their fit was perfect. However, I was surprised that the kit has no representation of the engine bodies.

The assembled fuselage and wings attached without difficulty, though I needed a small amount of filler at the wing root. Also, I found all of the fuselage and wing joints/seams need filler and significant sanding. This was an important factor because I was doing the silver finish.

The canopy parts are beautifully molded and very clear. You can pose the canopy either closed or open with no problem.

I painted my Meteor with a combination of Tamiya spray paint and acrylic bottled paints.

Decals are provided for two aircraft. I found them difficult; they are fragile and will not slide once they are down on the surface. Sharped-eyed modelers will notice I misplaced the wing roundels. This is because I inadvertently placed the large roundel on the underside and, though I immediately realized the error, it was impossible to move it!

I consulted several walkaround photos I saw on the Internet and found useful references in Ra’anan Weiss’ book Gloster Meteor (IsraDecal Publications, no ISBN). Based on those sources, I think the model’s looks are convincing.

I finished my Meteor in 17 hours. Considering the model’s size, details are sparse. Nonetheless, modelers of large-scale jets will want this important aircraft in their collection. It was a fun build that made me a fan of this aircraft, and modelers with a few kits behind them will enjoy putting it together. 

Note: A version of this review appeared in the October 2013 FineScale Modeler.


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