MPM 1/72 Meteor PR.10
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Short run kit|
Gloster developed two photo recon versions of their Meteor. In addition to the armed, low altitude operation, tactical FR.9 variant (which was based on the F.8 fighter), Gloster also developed thePR.10 for high altitude missions. The first prototype flew on 29 March 1950 and was actually converted into the first production aircraft. Based on the F.4, it had the F.4-style tail and the longer wings of the earlier variant. All the cannons were removed and a single camera placed in the nose with two more in the rear fuselage; the canopy was also changed. The PR.10 was delivered to the RAF in December 1950 and were given to No. 2 and No. 541 Squadrons in Germany and No. 13 Squadron RAF in Cyprus. The PR.10 was rapidly phased out from 1956 with improving surface to air missile technology and newer, faster aircraft rendering it obsolete. 59 airframes were built.
This is a continuation of MPM/Special Hobby/Xtra-Kit's rather popular Meteor kits. This was a wise choice for the MPM group as so many different types can be done simply by adding bits to the basic set of sprues. So it is with the PR.10.
What you get is the Meteor F.8 with the wings and tailplanes of the F.4 added into the box. Other new bits include the proper clear photo nose and a pair of resin rear wing root extensions. This means that the builder has to cut away the nose and tail section of the F.8 fuselage that is provided and replace them with the F.4 bits. The new tail has a circular tab that will help in alignment. The outer wing sections are butt joined just like the standard outer wing; same with the new nose. No cameras are provided and there is no indication of where the fuselage cameras might have been placed.
The rest is standard F.8 stuff with its nicely done cockpit, full wheel wells and properly complex landing gear. You will want to paint the nose camera windows black so that you can stuff the nose with weight as the Meteor is a dedicated tail sitter without it. No indication as to how much weight or even that it is needed, but I can assure you that it is. Like the F.8, you can install the large belly tank, the two wing tanks or both.
No flamboyant markings for these planes, just code letters if that. Of the five options, two are the same serial number. Two planes are from 541 squadron and are in Dark Green/Medium Sea Grey over PRU Blue. Another 541 Squadron option does away with the Dark Green upper color. Third option is in overall High Speed Silver with 13 Squadron based in Egypt during 1953. The final option, also in Silver was with 81 Squadron at Singapore in 1960 after that type had been removed from service. It was the personal plane of the squadron commander. Decals are nicely done by Aviprint.
If you like Meteors, you will want this one in your collection. The only other option that may no longer be around is the Aeroclub conversion for the Matchbox kit. Trust me, this is a much nicer option!
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