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Mike

Hawker Tempest Mk.V - Hi-Tech 1:32

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Hawker Tempest Mk.V
1:32 Special Hobby Hi-Tech


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The Tempest was an attempt by Sidney Camm's team at Hawker to "fix" the Typhoon's shortfalls, which although they were few were important enough for them to throw a lot of time and money at them. As far as attempts go, it was pretty successful, but it left us modellers with a fairly confusing array of designs that look substantially different from each other, let alone the Tiffie.

The over-thick wing of the Tiffie had resulted in too much drag, so this was ditched and replaced by the new Laminar Flow aerofoil as demonstrated by the then new Mustang, which necessitated an exceptionally smooth riveted finish to maximise the benefits of the design. Because they were to be fitted with engines that were experimental at the time, the Ministry insisted on a number of different engine fits to prevent delays re-engining the airframe if one type was delayed or terminated. This led to a the differences in the front end, from the Mk.I with a Spitfire-like nose, the Mk.II with a Fury-style nose, and the V which had the more recognisable Typhoon-style nose. The V was the first to receive approval from the Ministry and after the IV had engine problems the V became the main initial variant, and after the Tornado was cancelled the Mk.II went ahead with its Centaurus engine and cylindrical cowling.

In service the Tempest Mk.V was found to be an excellent aircraft, and was the fastest prop-driven fighter of WWII at low altitude. It was also rugged, and could take punishment, and could be thrown around the sky by a competent pilot despite its thin wing. It was responsible for downing a number of jet-powered Me.262s and had an exceptional kill to loss ratio.


The Kit
We've been waiting for this one for quite some time, as Special Hobby's designers have been doing their best to get it right, so delays have been inevitable. It is finally here, and on opening the long box it is evident that there's a lot of good stuff in there. the Hi-Tech boxing includes some extras over the "standard" boxing, so if resin and so forth isn't on your radar for whatever reason, you might consider the less expensive, simpler boxing. The content listing makes for enticing reading if you do like your aftermarket though, as you'll not need much on top of what's in there.

8 x sprues of grey styrene
1 x clear sprue
29 x resin parts
1 x HGW fabric effect seatbelts
1 x Photo-Etch (PE) fret
1 x acetate film for the gunsight
1 x vinyl masks
3 x decal sheets including stencils
1 x glossy colour instruction booklet


So yes, rather nice overall, and the resin parts are kept together in two ziplok bags that are stapled to a card insert along with the other Hi-Tech parts. Incidentally, there are also going to be some resin exhausts coming from CMK which will be available shortly under the code Q32239. The sprue diagrams also show a lot of unused parts on the sprues, some of which are there because they are superseded by resin in this boxing, and some from the other proposed versions that have already been discussed on the forum in the Rumourmonger section here, a thread that began after the initial announcement by Special Hobby way back in 2012. First impressions are excellent, and there has been some definite improvements in Special Hobby moulding techniques when comparing them to their older issues. The surface detail is crisp, with lines of tiny recessed rivets of two sizings, and nice restrained engraved panel lines throughout that will look grand under paint.

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Construction begins with the cockpit, which was fabricated on a tubular framework with removable panels to aid maintenance. The rib-work is replicated inside the fuselage halves, which have a nice finish, and inside this the cockpit frames are built up with additional parts adding to the detail. The rear bulkhead, pilot's back armour and the rudder assembly with resin small parts are all built up and sandwiched within the frame along with the four-part instrument panel, which has decals for each of the faces, broken down between the facets of the panel. The gunsight is made up from resin, PE and acetate sheet, which should give an excellent level of detail to the finished item. The kit seat is supplanted by a resin item that just oozes with detail, and you have a set of the superbly designed HGW fabric seatbelts with PE furniture to give what I consider to be the most realistic belts currently on the market. Of course they are delicate parts, but with some care, and with the aid of this larger scale, they can be built up in fairly short order to stunning effect. The fuselage closes up around the finished cockpit and a three-piece tail-wheel bay for the fully-retractable wheel to be placed there later.

With the fuselage complete, you'll notice a large part of it is missing from the leading edge of the wings to the prop. This is a separate section that will allow SH to get the Mk.II to market, and whether you build it in sequence or add the halves to the fuselage before closing it is up to you, as both methods have merit. Assuming you follow the instructions, there are a pair of backing plates for the exhaust stacks, which are marked L & R for your ease, plus the big chin-scoop radiator panels, which are all styrene parts with some lovely crisp moulding doing justice to the mesh. The part count here is high, and you get the central tubular duct into the bargain, with an optionally open or closed shutter at the rear of the assembly. This section is then put to one side until the wings are added later on.

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The gear bays are built up from individual panels within the lower wing, and all the roof detail is crisply moulded into the upper wing, with plenty of small parts to detail the large expanse within, and including door actuators, plus some stub ribs. The upper wings complete the bays, and then it's time to put it all together into a recognisable airframe shape. The wing root leading edge has a pair of two-part inserts to be installed before it is added to the two-part fuselage assembly. These inserts will be replaced by carburettor and oil cooler intakes in the forthcoming Mk.II, in case you were wondering. The tail fin has a separate two-part rudder, and the elevators have separate flying surfaces that can be posed, although the ailerons and flaps are all moulded into the main wing. Canopy rails and a rear deck cover are added around the cockpit opening, and some resin cannon fairings of either the long early type or shorter later type are added to the openings in the wing along with clear wingtip and tail lights.

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With the airframe ostensibly complete, the landing gear is inserted into its mounting points in the gear bays, and these are quite sturdy-looking, with extra details added to complete the job. Two types of wheels are supplied in styrene as well as resin, with masks supplied for the hubs, and some very nicely detailed bay doors attached on the outboard and inboard perimeters of the bay. The tail wheel has a two-part yoke with a choice of styrene or resin anti-shimmy tyre, which also has its own masks, and two doors that have a bulged centre to accommodate the tyre.

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The canopy is two part, which is thin and clear, although most canopies are improved by a dip in Klear or the new AK Gauzy canopy enhancer. One of the two gunsights fits into the windscreen before it is glued in place, and the canopy can be set on its rails at any point in its slide position, as it is able to be left mobile according to the instructions, so I'm guessing it clips to the rails. Pretty cool, but I can't test that without completing the rest of the model! More masks are supplied for the canopy and windscreen, with the former being frame masks, leaving you to cover the large compound curved area with liquid mask or tape. The prop is made up from four keyed blades that fit into the boss, with the spinner hiding all that away. There are spare set of blades on the sprues, but don't use those accidentally, as they're the wrong shape for this boxing. Exhaust stubs are included in the box, and each one is made of upper & lower parts to give you a hollow opening. They are nicely moulded with a little flash around the stacks, but remember that exhausts often has weld-lines, so check your references before you sand it all smooth. As already mentioned, there is to be a CMK resin set if you wanted a little more detail with less work. A big PE aerial and base are added to the fuselage spine, and you're off to choose what to hang off the shackles.

Bombs or fuel tanks Sir? There is a note in green saying that the tempest usually just carried tanks, but 33.Sq have been pictured with bombs under the wings. The tanks and their pylons are two parts each (the pylons were clear, and so are the parts), and decals for the tank, and for the sides of the pylon too, which is nice. The bombs are more complex with two halves each, a two-pair stabilising ring and four stabilising vanes, plus two-part pylons with two anti-sway braces each. Each option fits into different holes under the wing, so take care drilling them out during construction. There also seem to be two rows of four depressions in the surface of the wing, which looks like rack mounts for rockets, although those aren't in this boxing.


Markings
There are five markings options out of the box, and all share the Ocean Grey/Dark Green camo over a medium Sea Grey underside, and yellow leading edge strips. As is often the way with Czech companies, the colour call-outs are in Gunze, but they have also provided codes for the new Alclad II enamel range on this occasion. From the box you can build one of the following:

  • Series I JN751/R-B No.150 wing, RAF Castle Cambs, April 1944 – Yellow spinner, Sky fuselage band and full D-Day stripes.
  • SN129/SA-M No.486 (NZ) Sqn., RAF B152 Fassberg, Germany, May 1945 – Black spinner and Sky fuselage band.
  • SN228/EDM, No.122 Wing RAF, B152 Fassberg, Germany, May 1945 - Black spinner.
  • NV724/JF-E, No.3 Sqn., RAF, Copenhagen, Denmark, June 1945 - Black spinner.
  • NV994/JF-E No.3 Sqn., B112 RAF Hopsten, Germany, April 1945 – Black spinner.

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Those last two were Pierre Clostermann's ride with several of his kills achieved in her before he was injured and forced to belly-land at his home base. The decals are supplied on three sheets of a bright blue paper, which throws the appearance of the colours out a little bit in proximity, and looks a little brighter in the flesh. They are printed by Eduard for them, which was my suspicion from the colour of the sheet before I read the legend. Register, colour density and sharpness is good, although on the roundel sheet there were a few white dots that looked like dust motes that got trapped under the carrier film. Although it doesn't show in the picture, there are very slight micro-bleeds of the dull red centres into the white, but as you'd have to be looking VERY hard, it's barely worth mentioning.

Conclusion
A lovely kit from our friends at Special Hobby, and well worth the wait while they solved any issues. Detail, content and markings options have all hit the sweet spot, and the extras in the Hi-Tech boxing are well worth the cost. I foresee a lot of 1:32 Tempests on the forum soon, and I can't wait to see the Mk.II. Definitely a scale breaker for this 1:48 modeller. How long can I resist building it?

If you can't wait until yours arrives, you can read the instructions online here.

Very highly recommended.

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Review sample courtesy of

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Got mine a couple of weeks ago, and agree, it's a stupendous kit.

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Got mine a couple of weeks ago, and agree, it's a stupendous kit.

Show off! :tease:

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'The tanks and their pylons are two parts each (the pylons are moulded in clear, oddly'

I believe they were clear in reality.....

Mick

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Mike

I have not seen anyone directly compare this with the PCM kit. Any thoughts?

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None that are particularly lucid I'm afraid John, as I've not seen the PCM kit myself either. Sorry :shrug::crying:

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'The tanks and their pylons are two parts each (the pylons are moulded in clear, oddly'

I believe they were clear in reality.....

Mick

He's right you know! Well you live & learn :blush:

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Photo from Large Scale Planes

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None that are particularly lucid I'm afraid John, as I've not seen the PCM kit myself either. Sorry :shrug::crying:

No need to be sorry Mike. Best answer you could have given - I can now justify adding a Special Hobby one to the PCM one already in the stash to do a comparison - purely scientific interest you understand :whistle:

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That does look like a rather nice kit full of lovely parts, the resin looks spot on and a great touch should you use it.

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No need to be sorry Mike. Best answer you could have given - I can now justify adding a Special Hobby one to the PCM one already in the stash to do a comparison - purely scientific interest you understand :whistle:

Agreed! What more excuse valid reason could you need? ^_^

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It is a stunning kit. Once I clear the bench, this is at the top of the list.

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Make sure you post pics as you go Tim - I'm sure a LOT of folks will be looking forward to seeing it :)

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Interesting review Mike. Have you started on it yet?

I'm holding out for the Mk.II but finding it hard to resist this version.

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- purely scientific interest you understand :whistle:

Yes of course - all my x-thousand kits or whatever "happened" from scientific interest :bleh:

IIRC, the first hundred or so Series 1 airframes used centre fuselage sections originally built for Typhoons, that had a different (higher ?) location for the wing pick up points, necessitating little domes on the wing roots. Anything in the kit to cater for this little nit which I really don't want to pick ?

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