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In-Box Review
172
Gloster Meteor F.3
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Dragon pleased fans of British jets earlier this year when they released CAD shots of their new 1:72 Meteor as part of their Cyber-Hobby range. Well, now the kit is ready for release and an early example arrived last week, prior to the model hitting the shelves of UK model shops.

Dragon's Meteor arrives in a solid top-opening box adorned with a slightly garish painting of a pair of Meatboxes against a purple sky. Inside, all the sprues are bagged, and the clear parts and accessories are taped to a cardboard liner for further protection. The kit comprises:

51 x grey styrene parts
7 x clear parts
5 x etched brass parts
Decals for 6 x aircraft

The moulding is very good, with no signs of flash or sink marks, and with crisp detailing throughout. The exterior surfaces have a satin finish with neatly engraved panel lines and some embossed rivets and fasteners. Strictly speaking, these are probably a bit overdone, but they aren't excessive - especially under a coat of paint. The rudder features a fabric effect, and this does look too heavy to my eyes, so I'll reduce it a fair bit.

Basic Fit
I've dived straight in and begun building the kit, and haven't hit any major problems so far. The cockpit tub slots neatly into the fuselage, and the halves fit together well. The wings and nacelles fit together well, and the way the wing dovetails into the fuselage underside is cleverly engineered. The wing roots are pretty good (although there's a slight gap at the front), but I've found the wings have a tendency to droop, so I think they'll need taping while they dry to ensure the centre section is flat. The kit is a tail-sitter, and Dragon show to add weight behind the cockpit. There's plenty of room, so it should be no problem adding enough.

A few details
As regards the aircraft as a whole, all the control surfaces are separate and the flaps can be assembled raised or lowered. The dive brakes are represented by photo-etched parts.

The cockpit is simple, but quite nicely detailed for this scale. The sidewalls are very well moulded and slot into a basic tub, along with a decent instrument panel. The seat lacks a harness, which seems a missed opportunity considering that the kit contains and etched fret. Rudder pedals are moulded into the floor of the tub. The control column has a conventional grip, whereas my references show that a spade grip was more likely for the Meteor III.

The undercarriage features separate wheels and a nice touch is that the tyres are "weighted". The hubs are crisply detailed, and the wheel wells are boxed-in and have the interior structure well defined.

The nacelles are the original "short type" and have a jet-pipes to insert, but they still have an empty "see through" look, so you may want to add a little "gizmology" to fill the voids.

The canopy is crystal clear and can be posed open or closed. Other clear parts represent the gusight and lamp covers.

Instructions & decals
The assembly guide is well drawn and easy to follow (if a little cluttered in places), breaking construction down into 5 main stages. Although a colour chart is included for Gunze Sangyo and ModelMaster paints, there's no painting guide for the interior or other details.

Decals are included for no less than 6 main schemes (plus alternative serials for 2 more):

616 Sqn., RAF, Lübeck, 19465
74 Sqn., RAF Colerne, 1945
616 Sqn., RAF, Manston, 1945
616 Sqn., RAF, England, 1945
257 Sqn., RAF, Horsham St. Faith, 1947
500 Sqn., Royal Auxiliary Air Force, West Malling, 1948

The decals are custom printed by Cartograf with their usual excellent register. Unusually, the finish is quite matte. The roundel red may be a bit bright for the wartime machines.

Conclusion
Overall, Dragon's new Meteor looks a great little kit - easy to assemble and nicely detailed. My one concern is the price; although it's not in stock yet, Hannants are showing a price of £26.99. That's pretty steep for a mainstream kit of this size, and risks putting off potential buyers. That would be a real shame, because Dragon's Meatbox has a lot to offer.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
SUMMARY
Highs: Easy to assemble. Well detailed. Plenty of decal options.
Lows: No painting details for interior etc. Possibly the price?
Verdict: Dragon's Meteor looks set to build into a very neat and nicely detailed "Meatbox".
Percentage Rating
85%
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 5044
  Suggested Retail: TBC
  PUBLISHED: Jul 29, 2010
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.84%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.50%

Our Thanks to Dragon Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)
FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright ©2018 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.



Comments

I think t's a nice kit especially the great cockpit but I don't like the exterior detail because it's a bit rough (as I can see in the pictures) and the details are also a bit "too much" I think that the MPM kit has better plastic surface & much finer exterior details But the Dragon's kit cockpit is WAY better Cheers Nick
JUL 29, 2010 - 12:03 PM
Hmmm... Everything sounded good until you got to the price..
JUL 30, 2010 - 08:13 AM
Hi all Assuming Hannant's pre-release price is correct, I have to say I think it's going to put off a lot of potential purchasers. I reckon Dragon would more than make up the difference in extra sales if they knocked it down by a tenner... All the best Rowan
JUL 30, 2010 - 08:58 AM
Hi Rowan, New member here, and kudos on your kit reviw! I've noticed that the elevator is incorrectly shaped, i.e. it should have 'control horns' on each side. The decal options are for Derwent 1-engined aircraft (Gloster's designation G.41D), but the sprue shows the W2B/23 Welland exhaust pipes (parts G5) as fitted to the earlier Meteor III's, the Gloster G.41Cs. Are the G6 parts the alternative exhaust pipes for the Derwents? If so, parts should also be included to represent the oil-cooler vent on the right side of each nacelle: can you confirm they are indeed included? The decal sheet has a few items that are 'Meteor Mk III atypical' The Type B roundel on the wing's top surface was no longer used when the G.41Ds came around (I'll have to check my issue of 'Camouflage & Markings' on the Gloster Meteor to be sure) and - off the top of my head - the '/G' was used only on the Mk.III prototype (EE230). On the other hand, considering the full set of numbers provided for the serial, it is well possible this is the very reason why Dragon provided it, unless...they considering the release of a Mk.I in the future! Regards,
AUG 16, 2010 - 08:36 PM
I was wrong. The type B roundel was ordered transformed into the Type C - by painting a white ring between the red and blue rounds - in March 1945, so any aircraft delivered prior to this date (and indeed several G.41Ds had, by then, been delivered) sported it. Regards,
AUG 18, 2010 - 09:02 AM
Hi Peter Sorry, I missed your earlier post. Welcome to Aeroscale, and many thanks for the extra info! It's great to have you aboard. All the best Rowan
AUG 18, 2010 - 09:32 AM
Thanks Rowan, Glad to be aboard
AUG 18, 2010 - 06:47 PM
Good Morning evrybody I am new here .. Id like to thank rowan for his comment , he made me buy this superb kit , I received it yesterday and I must say that is worth the price , in fact I ordered it in Japan for many years I buy asian made kits in ASIA and european made kits in Europe it saved me a lot a of monee . . Patrice
AUG 18, 2010 - 08:45 PM
Hi Patrice Welcome aboard too! How much did the Meteor cost you from Asia? As you can tell, the projected UK price (based on Hannants) looks set to put some people off when the kit s released here. All the best Rowan
AUG 18, 2010 - 09:32 PM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
Thanks.
   

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