Gloster Meteor NF.14
Sword, 1/48 scale
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|Description and Catalogue Number:
||Sword Kit No. SW48011 – Gloster Meteor NF.14
|Contents and Media:
101 parts in grey plastic, six parts in clear; decals for two marking options.
Available online from:
and specialist hobby retailers worldwide and online.
||High quality moulding; good level of detail; fine recessed surface textures; two-piece poseable canopy; first time this mark has been available in 1/48 scale as an injected moulded kit.
No harness straps or decal instruments.
Sword's kits are limited run but the quality of moulding, the level of detail and the finesse of surface textures would challenge some mainstream injection moulding model companies.
Sword's 1/48 scale Meteor NF.14 is a very nice limited run kit. Take your time with parts cleanup and alignment and you will have an impressive result.
Reviewed by Brett Green
Airfix's 1/48 scale Spitfire Mk. Vb will be available online from Squadron.com
The night fighter variants have always been my favourite Meteors. With their conventional mid-mounted straight wings, WWII-style camouflage, chunky framed canopy and two jet engines, they seem to best typify the brief transitional phase between traditional fighter design and the new jet-powered generation.
The prototype Meteor NF.11 flew in May, 1950.
As radar technology developed, a new Meteor night fighter was developed to use the improved US-built APS-21 system.
The NF.12 first flew on 21 April 1953. It was similar to the NF 11 but had a nose section 17 inches (43 cm) longer. The fin was enlarged to compensate for the greater keel area of the enlarged nose and to counter the airframe reaction to the "wig-wag" scan of the radar which affected the gunsighting, an anti-tramp motor operating on the rudder was fitted midway up the front leading edge of the fin.
The NF.12 also had the new Rolls-Royce Derwent 9 engines and the wings were reinforced to handle the new engine. Deliveries of the NF.12 started in 1953, with the type entering squadron service in early 1954, equipping seven squadrons (Nos 85, 25, 152, 46, 72, 153 and 64); the aircraft was replaced over 1958–1959.
The final Meteor night fighter was the NF.14. First flown on 23 October 1953, the NF.14 was based on the NF.12 with a larger bubble canopy to replace the framed T.7 version.
Just 100 NF.14s were built; they first entered service in February 1954 beginning with No. 25 Squadron and were being replaced as early as 1956 by the Gloster Javelin. Overseas, they remained in service a little longer, serving with No. 60 Squadron at Tengah, Singapore until 1961. As the NF.14 was replaced, some 14 were converted to training aircraft as the NF(T).14 and given to No. 2 Air Navigation School on RAF Thorney Island until transferring to No. 1 Air Navigation School at RAF Stradishall where they served until 1965.
Many sources, including Wikipedia, claim that the NF.14 was lengthened again by a further 17" but this is not the case. The length of the NF.14 was the same as the NF.12.*
Sword is a limited-run model company from the Czech Republic that mainly focuses on 1/72 scale kits, although their 1/48 scale range is growing.
Their latest new-tool release is a 1/48 scale Meteor NF.14. This kit has nothing in common with the old Classic Airframes Meteor NF.11/13 kit released in 2005. I will provide a comparison a little later in this review.
Aeroclub released a vacform and white metal kit around 2000, but this is the first time that a Meteor NF.14 has been available in 1/48 scale as an injection moulded kit.
Sword's 1/48 scale Meteor NF.14 comprises 101 parts in grey plastic, six parts in clear plastic plus decals for two marking options.
The grey plastic parts re moulded onto three sprues with fine attachment points. A few of the smaller parts were loose in my bag, so check yours.
The fuselage is moulded as full length including the nose and tail, split into right and left halvesThere is an insert on the mid spine that accommodates the sliding canopy when it is in the open position. This breakdown suggests that we might see a Meteor NF.12 from Sword in the future.
The fuselage has small locating pins and holes to assist alignment - nice touch.
Wings are broken down as full span lower and separate upper halves. Wheel well ceiling detail is moulded onto the inside of the upper wing halves.
There are a few raised ejector pin circles that look will interfere with fit of the wings and tail planes, so you'll need to clean these up prior to assembly.
Surface textures are crisply recessed and consistent.
Cockpit detail is nicely done with separate floor, sidewalls, bulkheads and radar equipment.
The instrument panel and radar operator's console are plastic parts with raised bezels and switches. It would have been nice to have an overlay decal with instrument dial detail but you're on your own there.
You'll have to source your own harness straps for the Hurricane-style seats too.
The wheel well looks to be well detailed with stuctural detail moulded onto the main wheel well ceilings and separate supports and detail parts.
The clear parts are acceptably thin. Two styles of windscreen are included. The windscreen is a separate part so the canopy may be posed open if you wish.
Markings are provided for two options.
They are printed by Techmod and appear to be in good register.
Accuracy and Comparison with Classic Airframes
Alistair McLean from Aerocraft has made some measurements and observations about the new Sword Meteor NF.14 on the Britmodeller Forum.
In summary, he says that the dimensions are acceptably accurate, and in particular that the fuselage length is correct (being the same as the NF.12).
He also mentions that the large bore openings for the engine intakes are a bit skinny, but they may be sanded wider for a better appearance.
You can see the Ali's post by following this link.
I have also read comments that this kit might be a warmed-over Classic Airframes NF.11/13 kit. After comparing the two kits I can tell you this is certainly not the case.
Kit breakdown and detail are completely different.
The 2005 Classic Airframes kit fuselage is supplied with a separate nose and a split upper fin. The Sword kit has a full length fuselage with full fin halves and a spine insert for the sliding canopy. Classic Airframes parts are at the top of the photo, Sword at the bottom.
Panel line and hatch detail is different between the kits with the newer Sword kit being crisper and finer.
Classic Airframes wings are broken down into seven parts while the Sword kit is a simpler full span lower wing and two upper wing halves. The Classic Airframes wheel well is a simple single part for each side - quite different from the multi-part wheel wells on the Sword kit.
Detail parts also bear no comparison. Most of the cockpit parts in the Classic Airframes kit are resin, while they are supplied as plastic parts in the Sword kit.
Regarding the length, the Sword kit fuselage is approx. 312 mm compared to the Classic Airframes kit with the shorter Mk.11/13 nose at 306 mm.
In summary then, the Sword kit is an all-new kit.
Sword's kits are limited run but the quality of moulding, the level of detail and the finesse of surface textures would challenge some mainstream injection moulding model companies. Sword's 1/48 scale Meteor NF.14 is a very nice limited run kit. Take your time with parts cleanup and alignment and you will have an impressive result.
Thanks to Sword Models for the review samples.
Text and Images Copyright © 2020 by Brett Green
Page Created 24 March, 2020
8 May, 2020
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