Friday, April 27, 2012
FROG Gloster Meteor Mk.IV
As I mentioned in my post about the Grumman HU-16E Albatross, Mojave Airport was a magical place for a plane-crazy kid like me. Al's own aircraft made the place even more exciting. Al would let me sit in the cockpits of the Meteor and the Vampire, and that was a real privilege. He even let me scrub the underside of the Meteor with kerosene! How many 11-year old kids get to do that? I treasure the memories of Al and his wife Ada; they were like family to me. Al knew I liked to build model airplanes so he gave me a FROG Meteor MK. IV kit along with a FROG Vampire FB.5. I remember him telling me there weren't any models available of the exact variations of his Meteor and Vampire, and that the two FROG kits were about as close as one could get. I didn't care, they were model airplanes and I was thrilled to receive them and put them together. They were prized items in my collection, and I even refurbished the Meteor when I was in High School. I gave it a coat of silver with my airbrush, and put some new decals on it.
I should mention also that Matchbox eventually came out with an A.W. Meteor NF in 1/72 scale as well as Classic Airframes, who released a beautiful but dreadfully expensive Meteor NF in 1/48 scale. In 2006 I built a Matchbox Meteor to look like the XPJ-1 from WONDER WOMAN. I put it up for auction on EBay as a one-of-a-kind collector's item, but it didn't generate many bids. I might do another one later to match Al's white 'Mojave Meteor' from days gone past. Al painted the meteor gloss white, and put RAF roundels on it. He knew this wasn't historically accurate, but was more concerned about keeping the aircraft cool since it was kept outdoors in the hot desert sun.