NEW AND IN VIEW
NEW AIRCRAFT KITS
ROVEX TRI-ANG LTD. (FROG) Westwood, Margate. Kent. Gloster MeteorMk.IV. 1/72 scale. Price 4/9d. (U:K)
Until the 1970/1 kit programme was announced at the Toy Fairs, hope had almost been given up of ever seeing new kits of British aircraft of the immediate post-war period. Admittedly we have had a few; the Hawk Mk.22 Spitfire, old Frog kits, Meteor 8, Venom Fury and Gannet but it appeared that this era was being sadly neglected. However, Frog have delighted many enthusiasts by their plans for 1970/1 releases and the kit of the Gloster Meteor IV will be welcomed by the majority, particularly as the recent release from Frog is of the Mk.IV while Airfix announce for later this year another kit of the earlier Meteor Mk.III.
We commented very favourably on Frog's Whitley but this latest kit must rate as one of the finest yet produced by this Company and most modellers will welcome the new approach to surface detailing, originally seen on the Whitley, where very fine lines are moulded to represent the various panels etc. and no ugly overscale 'rivets' are visible anywhere.
Assembly is straightforward with each part fitting to near perfection. The cockpit canopy is a superb piece of craftsmanship which captures that 'double' bubble effect so noticeable on all Meteors and the clarity of the hood is such that one must surely add internal detail in addition to the seat and gunsight provided with the kit.
Decals are for a Mk.lV of 263 'Fellowship of the Bellowes' Squadron R.A.F. with alternative insignia for another Mk.lV of 323 Squadron, Royal Netherlands Air Force. Full national insignia marking is provided as are the various squadron badges and colourful markings.
The box top painting is excellent and the Profile style artwork a useful guide to finishing the models.
Our "Cover Comment" feature provides information on additional detailing for those interested and we are sure that we shall see many a Meteor entered in forthcoming IPMS Competitions. A fine kit that augers well for the quality and accuracy of the remainder of the Frog range as announced in our March magazine.
The IPMS magazine, june 1970
THE Gloster Meteor, strangely neglected by manufacturers after Frog withdrew their F8 six years ago, thankfully re-appears on the modelling scene as an F4 from Frog moulds.
It is a short-span variant with colourful transfers for VT328 of 263 Sqn, RAF. or Y9-8 of 323 Sqn Royal Netherlands Air Force.
Both machines, incidentally, are illustrated in Edward Shacklady's Meteor monograph.
The F4's distinctive fuselage profile is re-created almost to perfection, but the gremlins have got at the wing assemblies.
The Meteor's graceful wings are notoriously difficult to reproduce satisfactorily, and Frog have evidently encountered snags here.
The aileron trim tabs are too thick for scale accuracy, and a lot of smoothing down—with consequent loss of detail—is needed on the engine nacelle joints.
Main undercarriage legs are sturdy and convincing, but why Frog should mould the nosewheel and its leg as one complete unit is beyond us — this is harking back to the ancient F8!
Assembly is straightforward, each of the 35 parts being clearly numbered on the sprue. Under-wing drop tanks are included, though these, of course, are optional.
Despite its annoying faults, this kit will be snapped up by all 'Meatbox' fans and, we suspect, converted just as quickly!
It costs 4s 9d and our review sample came from Jones Bros of Chiswick, who hold stocks.
Another "Meatbox" from Frog
"For many years the only available Gloster Meteor kit has been the early and rather basic version of the F8 by Frog. Now Frog has produced an entirely new 1/72 scale kit of the Mk IV. These two kits, with Airfix's pending Meteor FIII, will provide for all the versions that modellers will require, and give scope for many conversions.
Frog's Mk IV is in some ways disappointing, mainly on account of the moulding and some of the contours. However, with cleaning up, making subtle changes to some shapes, and filling where necessary, the resulting model looks very /lice. The two items that require the most attention are the nacelle intakes, which are too sharp-lipped, and the nose shape, which is too wide and blunt in plan. If you file back the intakes and provide a blunter lip, the result is much more convincing. The side view contours of the nose are good, but the plan view should taper more than it does at the extreme front. The offending area is from the gun blast tubes forward to the extreme nose, and luckily there is sufficient wall thickness in the plastic to permit this to be done.
Slight alteration to the rudder shape is also desirable, but again this is easy. The 180 gallon drop tank under the fuselage requires some changes to the nose shape, as it is a little too symmetrical.
The canopy moulding is excellent, and the shape looks very good.
One word of warning about this model: I made up my Meteor with what I thought would be sufficient weight in the nose, but in fact it requires a massive amount to get it to balance correctly on the wheels. Plasticine is just not heavy enough! I filled the nose with it, and then in a desperate attempt to provide more weight, filled the drop tank with lead and more plasticine, forward of the centre of gravity. But all was in vain, and it became necessary to convert the Meteor into a wheels-up stand model. Nothing short of masses of lead shot in the nose will provide sufficient weight. An interesting thing about all this is that the full-size Meteor IV suffered from exactly the same problem! When the Meteor was originally designed, it carried six 20mm guns in the front fuselage. (In fact, I stood alongside DG203, the second F9/40 prototype, when all the six guns were fired into the butts at Bentham, and a shattering experience it was). But eventually it was decided to reduce the number of guns to four, and provide more ammunition. This meant mounting lead ballast in the nose to main the CG in the right place. When the bigger engines were installed in the MklV their extra weight was aft of the CG, and again more ballast had to be provided. The equipment, such as radio transmitter/receivers, was much increased and most of it was installed in the rear fuselage. Again, more ballast was necessary! The rear fuselage required stiffening and strengthening at the higher air speeds, which again meant additional ballast! In the end, all Metaor IVs carried the burden of 1 0001b of ballast (even the intake rings on the nacelles were made of heavy alloy). Strangely, this problem proved to be a blessing in the end; for it permitted the Mk 8 series to be evolved. To provide the necessary balance the nose was lengthened by 30in, providing additional fusl tankage, and an ejector seat was able to be installed for the first time. All this was gained for roughly the same weight.
To return to the model, transfers are provided for two versions—a Royal Air Force Mk IV of 263 Squadron, and one from 323 Squadron, Royal Netherlands Air Force. A curious addition to the decal sheet is the ejector seat warning symbol. As this equipment was never fitted to Mk IVs it is difficult to see its reason for inclusion.
In addition to the large central drop tank, two under-wing drop tanks are provided.
The price of this welcome new Meteor kit is 4s 9d.
There are a number of Royal Air Force types of this era that have not been adequately covered in kits. These include the Vampire, Hornet, Javelin, and Canberra. The Javelin and Canberra have been available in early Frog kits in 1/72 scale, and the Canberra is available in a Revell kit—but not to one of the popular scales. It would be nice to have some new kits of these types.
Aircraft illustrated magazine 1970-07
"FROG have provided the modeller with another long-awaited kit subject, the famous GLOSTER METEOR Mk.IV to 1/72 scale.
Moulded in light grey polystyrene, the kit has 35 flash free parts and a beautifully clear cockpit transparency.
A choice of undercarriage positions is offered and a decal sheet of the high standard now expected of Frog, provides either Dutch or Royal Air Force markings.
The panelling on the fuselage and wings is of the correct scale size and is not exaggerated as in some other kits. Undercarriage legs are finely detailed and feature revolving wheels.
It is advised that before cementing the fuselage halves together that a considerable amount of weight is packed in the nose, otherwise when assembled the model will not stand properly on its tricycle undercarriage.
Attractively boxed for only 4/9d. the Meteor offers good value for deserving a place in every aircraft collection, representing as it docs a replica of a milestone in Aviation History.
We hear AIRFIX are also releasing a Meteor kit later this year, happily it is a Mark III and not just a duplicate of the Frog kit subject."
Scale Models magazine 1970-08 Vol.01 No.11