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Hawker Tempest - Valiant Wings Publishing

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The Hawker Tempest
Valiant Wings Publishing


The Tempest started life as an improved Typhoon, and was referred to as the Typhoon II, but in the process of squeezing more performance out of her, a new specification was created, and the Tempest was born. Five prototypes were ordered with different engines including various marks of the Griffon, Sabre and Centaurus, with varying degrees of success.

This book covers both the gestation of the prototypes through to success or failure, various side-projects that weren't taken up, the eventual entry into service, various colour profiles, with lots of very interesting photos throughout. Just for this alone, the book is well worth a look. There is however more - we're not even half way through the 144 pages yet.


The second section of the book details and discusses the available kits of the Tempest in every scale, from the old to the new, with a verdict of each one at the end. Boxtops and sprue shots are included for them all, and the section makes for interesting reading, as well as illustrating how plastic models have come on over the years. Following this section are a selection of builds, including three in 1:72, and one in 1:48 of the Eduard kit that was recently re-released to a buying frenzy. The quality of the builds is excellent, and the photography includes some in-progress pictures too, to help the modeller avoid some of the pitfalls.


The following section is very much the type of content I like to see in books, as I have a terrible memory for the details. It's only a short section at 7 pages, but it shows the differences between the various marks and variants, including the contra-prop equipped Griffon engined Mark III LA610, and ducted spinner Mark V NV768. Very, very useful to people like me that don't live and breathe Tempests, in order to get our versions straight.


Chapter 9 is the "In detail" section, and covers 38 pages of photos, drawings and diagrams of the Tempests innards, sufficient to satisfy the curious as to what made her tick. It covers the variations and Marks, and is a mine of information, with every photo or drawing captioned with additional information.

The Appendices are just as useful, and cover the following:
  • Kit list
  • Accessory list
  • Decal list
  • Production
  • Bibliography
The final treat is inside the back cover, where you will find a four panel double-sided set of plans in 1:48 that cover the Mark V and the Mark II in great detail, including plenty of cross-sectional profiles to help with gauging the shape of each one.

The book is written by Richard A Franks, who will be known to most of us for his work in the hobby, and to this modeller at least, it has all the information I will need to do justice to my Eduard Tempest when I finally get around to it. At £17.95 it represents great value, not least because it caters directly to the modeller, and isn't just focused on the aircraft in isolation.

Very highly recommended.


Review sample courtesy of

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That looks interesting, Mike. Aeroplane Monthly's current issue has the Tempest as their 'Datafile' which is making me think of building one - would you recommend the Eduard 1/48th?


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Aye... I reviewed it a wee while back here. It could be tricky to find one now though :hmmm:

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Perhaps I might get lucky at Yeovilton on Saturday!

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