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Meteor F.8

Xtradecals 1/72 Meteor F.8 Decal First Look

By Michael Abbott

Date of Review October 2010 Manufacturer Xtradecals
Subject Meteor F.8 Scale 1/72
Set Number 72057 Pros Superbly printed, 17 different aircraft
Cons What length of Intake to use not mentioned Skill Level Intermediate because of the underwing serials
MSRP (BP) £6.84    

First Look

Meteors flew in either overall High Speed Silver or a Dark Green / Dark Grey / HSS finish adorned with colourful squadron markings and that is what this sheet depicts. 17 different sets of markings for the Meteor F8 are present, all in British service. Provided are code letters, serials, badges if used and squadron bars (the latter for all but 1 option). You are required to use the kit roundels and stencils which is no great problem. Xtradecal also do some 9 options of this sheet in 1/48 for modellers of the bigger scale and deeper pockets.

Meteor F.8 Meteor F.8

I think these are printed by Microscale as other Xtradecal sheets I have seen are, and it shows, the printing is spot on with absolutely no mis-registration apparent. You can almost read the detail on some small badges, and probably could do with a magnifier.

Included are markings for Meteors from:

  • 616 Sqn RAuxAF Finningly mid1960’s camouflaged
  • 54 Sqn Odiham early 1950’s
  • 89 Sqn Stradishall, a ‘hack’ for a Venom squadron 1956, camouflaged
  • 74 Sqn Horsham St Faith 1950-51 (the only plain ‘Meatbox’)
  • 74 Sqn Horsham St Faith 1952, a speculative scheme
  • 65 Sqn aerobatic team, Duxford, December 1952
  • 1 Sqn Tangmere 1951
  • 245 Sqn Horsham St Faith 1951, used in air to air refuelling trials so will need a nose probe adding
  • 245 Sqn Horsham St Faith 1955, camouflaged, the CO’s aircraft
  • 247 Sqn Odiham 1951–52
  • 257 Sqn Horsham St Faith 1953
  • 263 Sqn Wattisham 1956, camouflaged
  • 56 Sqn Waterbeach 1953, this took part in the Coronation flypast
  • 609 Sqn RAuxAF Finningly 1957 camouflaged
  • Church Fenton station flight with combined markings for 19, 85 & 92 Sqns
  • 43 Sqn Leuchars early 1950’s
  • 64 Sqn Duxford 1957, camouflaged

There is an insert for the station flight option, part of the sheet is incorrect and this is the correction. The carrier film doesn’t have too much of a border, is not overly glossy, appears thin and being Microscale, will work well with Microset and Mircosol. The serials and flashes are printed onto one piece and so placing them should not present too great a problem except of course for the underwing serials which have to be applied over the undercarriage doors.

You will need to check the canopy option as some had the part filled canopy back, others the full teardrop. You will also need to look closely at the illustration to see which intake was used, some were extended and this is not mentioned in the instructions. What is given is a list of paints required, being Xtradecal then this is Xtracolour and Xtracrylic but they are easily cross referenced by name.

The 74 Sqn speculative scheme is shown on the RAF website history section, the only difference to that on the sheet being the addition of a small squadron bar on the intakes. This very aircraft can also be seen in the photographic archive section of the 74 Squadron Association website with the intakes off, however, if you look in the background you can see one with the bar applied to the intake so I feel it is more than speculation.

Forget USAF & USN markings, the RAF more than holds its own for colour in the 1950’s and this sheet proves it, even the camouflaged aircraft stand out, no lo-vis here then. This sheet is a must for all fans of post war RAF and Meteors.