RED ROO MODELS


RRR48174 Gloster Meteor U. Mk 16/U Mk 21A conversion for Airfix 1/48 Meteor kit (model by RIchard Hourigan using conversions set)


Review by David Harvey

 

Review Type

First Look

Scale:

1/48

Price:

$27.50 AUD from Red Roo

Contents and Media:

As listed below

Advantages:

Good instructions and comprehensive components and decals

Disadvantages:

None seen at this time.

Recommendation:

Highly Recommended

 

Introduction

The Gloster Meteor U Mk.16 was an unmanned target drone based on the F Mk.8. This was the second drone to be based on the Meteor, after the U Mk.15, which had been based on the F Mk.4. The first prototype U Mk.16 flew on 22 October 1956, while work on the U.15 ended quickly, the last U.16 conversion was made as late as 1972.

The U.16 carried their remote control equipment in a 30in nose extension. As with the U.15, they could be piloted, entirely remote controlled, or carry a non-piloting observer. As the number of U.16s dwindled work began on a system that allowed the test missile to miss by a pre-determined distance, allowing the drone to track the progress of the missile, and then return to the ground. Because of this a number of U Mk.15s survived to be redesigned D Mk.15 during 1980s (U for unmanned, D for drone). A number of F Mk.8s were converted to a similar standard for service in Australia as the U.21.

The Gloster Meteor U Mk.21 was an unmanned drone, similar to the U Mk.16 and like that aircraft based on the F Mk.8 fighter. The only significant difference between the U.21 and U.16 was the electronic telemetry equipment, with specific equipment installed in the U.21 for use at the Weapon’s Research Establishment at Woomera.

Flight Refuelling Limited converted one F.8 and seven U.16s to the U.21 standard, with work beginning in 1962. Fairey Aviation in Australia converted fifteen ex-RAAF F Mk.8s to the U.21 standard, using kit parts provided by Flight Refuelling Limited. One of these aircraft was later shipped back to the United Kingdom (July 1971), and converted back to the U.16 standard, only retiring on 11 October 2004, in the same month as the closure of RAF Llanbedr.

(History courtsey of History of War website)

The Conversion

Prior to the release of the Airfix Meteor Mk 8 kit the only kit generally available was the Classic Airframes kit. Red Roo had made the conversion set for the Classic Airframes kit as RRR48137 which only included the resin components and nothing else. With the release of the Airfix kit a number of short falls were identified with the base kit resulting in the release of the Update set as reviewed HERE. This set is not just the previous conversion for the CA kit slightly modified but a new set that includes the components required to fix the shortcomings of the Airfix kit, the conversion components for the U.16 / U. Mk 21 aircraft, corrected decals for the Airfix kit and decals to model the specific aircraft that result from the conversion.

This conversion has the following items:

The resin components are nicely cast and have a smooth surface to them so will need minimal clean up prior to installation.

 

You would definitely need to wash the components in washing liquid and use a primer once they are installed otherwise I think your paint may lift if you mask any of the bits.

The Instructions

As with the Meteor update set the instructions on this set are very precise in measurements and locations. You are provided assistance in what type of engine air intake was fitted to the various aircraft used, what engine nacelles should be fitted and all the little hints that will make the Meteor look much better when completed. The images below are just two of the pages in the instruction booklet.

 

The decals

The decals provided in this set cover the following aircraft:

You also receive corrected stencils for the RAAF aircraft.

As is expected from Red Roo, these decals are nicely printed and thin. You receive two sheets, the main one with the stencils and the smaller second sheet with just the Serial numbers on them with the national markings to be taken from the kit markings.

 

Recommendation

Given that these are not often modelled it is great to see such a comprehensive set put out to not only correct the original kit but to convert it to the Woomera aircraft. The instructions are detailed with lots of reference images and the decals are good. With all of these things going for it I highly recommend this conversion for those that like colourful aircraft like these drones.

Given the various colourful schemes available if this set is used I think we should start seeing lots more on the tables of each show.

Review set courtesy of Red Roo Models.