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Tim T
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Gloster Meteor F.8the MiG Killer: Airfix 1/48

May 12, 2023 · in Aviation · · 24 · 0.7K

My version of the RAAF's F. 8 Meteor, flown by George Hale of 77 Squadron, stationed in Korea. In March 1953, Hale famously shot down two MiG 15s - an opponent that outclassed the Meteor on many levels - earning Hale and his mount the famous sobriquet ‘MiG Killer'. Apparently the Meteor was better-suited to low altitude ground attacks; however, its elongated lines make it look faster, more graceful and more futuristic than perhaps it was.

This is the kit, and it went together like most other recent Airfix kits - easily, for the most part, with an economic parts break-down and some satisfying engineering. No nose weight is called for in the instructions, but it needs a load to stay balanced on its tricycle undercarriage (as did the real plane; the F.4 required 1000lbs of front-end ballast, apparently). As has been noted, fit of the nose over the front wheel cover is difficult, requiring shaving down both parts to get a satisfying join. There were also annoying sink marks on every rocket head and on a couple of other pieces, but these didn't destroy the fun of the build.

I used Tamiya lacquer LP 11 to represent High Speed Silver. I bought a bottle of Mission Model Paints for this, but it was like porridge and had to be binned. The Tamiya paint went on easily, and is opaque even when very diluted. I tried to show restraint with weathering, but nevertheless wanted to give a sense of heft and purpose to the airframe. Also, I was moved by the dismembered parts of an F.8 I saw at RAF Tangmere, beautifully decaying in the car park; it certainly informed some my choices as I painted.

Plenty of self-induced errors that hopefully aren't too obvious. Perfection eludes me every time, but that's always one motivation to move on to the next one.

Thanks for looking.

Reader reactions:
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8 additional images. Click to enlarge.

24 responses

  1. Tim @timtozer231, your build is splendid. I love the metallic/ silver finish with the wear and tear in between. Very realistic!

  2. Well done, Tim (@timtozer231). NMF looks perfect, and the weathering is also well done. Great job.

    • Thanks, George! Actually, the Meteor was painted rather than sporting bare metal; the colour was the evocatively named High Speed Silver.

  3. Lovely finish.

  4. Nice! My F.8 was a pig to build so it seems like you had a better experience.

    Have the original. or at least the nose of it, just around the corner at SAAM in Adelaide. Check here for gun-port filth 🙂

  5. Very nice looking Meteor, Tim, the finish is especially convincing. I gather there two versions of the Airfix F8 kit, looks like you got the improved one.

  6. One of the best I’ve seen.

  7. The metallic weathering effects are amazing (the build is pretty good too.)
    What did you do to create it?

  8. Excellent job, Tim!

  9. Really nice looking Meteor, Tim @timtozer231
    No errors visible from here.
    The NMF and weathering does look great.

    • Thanks, John. Glad the rough bits aren't too noticeable. Most of the damage was done when I had to tear off the nose and add lead weights inside - I'd done a pretty solid job of attaching it first time, too, and it didn't want to come off.

  10. This is a really awesome build!
    I’ve one in my stash waiting to be finished in RNLAF livery.
    Hope to meet your current standard, chapeau!

    • Cheers, Alfred. Enjoy your build; the nose and the wing roots are places to watch, but otherwise I had few problems beyond the ones I made for myself. Look forward to seeing the results!

  11. I really appreciate the feedback, everyone! Makes it all worthwhile to share with the great community here!

  12. superb in every category- weathering around the front guns is especially impressive. You knocked this one out of the park

  13. Excellent build tim.

  14. A great looking build! Nice to see a different Mig killer type of the Korean war.

  15. Great job, Tim T

  16. Love the paint work Tim. Beautiful job!

  17. Very cool meatbox! She looks brilliant in that livery! 👍

  18. Love it! It's hard to get an NMF project to look real, and your weathering really pulled that off! Well done.

  19. G'day Tim (@timtozer231),
    This is a lovely build of the last RAAF aircraft to achieve an air-to-air kill.
    It is also an aircraft that I want to build one day, being the first RAAF jet.

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