Gloster Meteor
NF12 (test)

1/72 scale kit of the Gloster Meteor NF12 (NF 11 mod)
kit review / modelling report

The Gloster Meteor was the first operational British jet fighter. The Meteor first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with 616 Squadron of the Royal Air Force (RAF). Although the Meteor was not an aerodynamically advanced aircraft, it proved to be a successful and effective combat fighter. Several major variants of Meteor were made to incorporate technological advances during the 1940s and 1950s. Thousands of Meteors were built to serve in the RAF and other air forces, and remained in use for several decades.

One of the versions was the NF.11 night fighter with a two seat cockpit with room for a radar operator.

Many, many kits in 1/72 have appeared of the Gloster Meteor, such as from FROG, AIRFIX, REVELL, and many others.

For a two seater, the former MATCHBOX kit (PK-129) from 1977 is a good kit in 1/72 scale. Here the REVELL re-issue #40124 of 1998 will be built. 

A number of two seat versions of the Meteor can be made out of this kit, like the NF 11/12/14 . 

The REVELL decals are excellent for: 

  • No.11 Squadron, No.1 Wing, Belgian Air Force, Bevekom 1953 (NF11) 
  • 264 Squadron RAF, Linton on Ouse 1957 (NF14) 
  • 153 Squadron RAF, West Malling 1955 (NF12) 

The parts are seen here: 

The parts do not have the dreadful "trenches" as we saw to see in older Matchbox kits, but almost no panel lines are inscribed at all. But these can be inscribed as desired by the modeller using a flexible metal ruler and scriber.


Some filling and sanding is needed but nothing too bad. Filler is needed at the engine intake fairings, the wing roots and also various other areas like the to panel for the "two seat" model version. 

The model was to be converted into a BEDFORD test Meteor NF12, a modified NF11 with the test radar nose. 
These parts are needed:
- two seat part 17
- tail parts 14, 15
- nose parts 9, 12, but with modification (see later on)
- canopy part 63 with frames
- intake parts 31, 32


The undercarriage bays are in the kit with some detail. It is unclear from the kit instructions were later the gearlegs should go, but the main legs should be set on the outboard section in each bay. 

Bedford NF 12 test aircraft 


The model was to be converted into a NF12, a modified NF11 with the test radar nose. Aircraft WD790 was used around 1981 at Bedford. AIRDECAL has a very nice decal sheet, set 7211, Raspberry Ripple PART 2. 

This aircraft as used at Bedford has a different test radarnose. Kit parts were assembled, but the front cut off with a razor saw.

A new conical nose was made from the front of a store of a 1/32 rocket pod, probably from a Trumpeter MiG-23. 

I did not bother too much about the cockpit interior. For the instrument panels, decals were found in the spare decal box. On the kit seat parts, head rests were added from plastic scrap.

The Bedford test aircraft paint scheme is quite challenging, but fortunately the AIRDECAL sheet does provide the red demarcation lines and the decals are accurate. 

Colours needed are white, red and blue, using:
White:  Revell acrylic 360301
Red:     Revell acrylic 36131
Blue:    Revell acrylic 36156
(these are the paints in the Revell blue square paint containers...).

Start with a light grey base coat using your airbrush. Then do the white overall, mask the red and do the blue.

The decals are quite brittle but went on fine. Note the walkway decals as well, not a lot of other stencilling was discovered on actual aircraft. 
No furher weathering was required as these aircraft are kept in excellent condition. 

After applying the decals as per instructions, also this model got a decal protecting coat of Johnson Future/ Pledge with the airbrush.


Finally, the canopy got a cross bar inside and the "green house" was hand painted. 

The end result of this colourful model is seen here:

How about other British test aircraft, like those at Bedford or the Test Pilot School Boscombe Down? These are also on the AIRDECAL sheet......

Also check out the 1/72 Meteor 8 model made....

Back to 1/72 Models......

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Created this page
December 18, 2012