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Hawker Tempest Mk.V - 1:32 Special Hobby Standard Boxing

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Hawker Tempest Mk.V
1:32 Special Hobby Standard Boxing




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. It is finally here. the Hi-Tech boxing was recently reviewed here. While the oodles of resin and photo etch are eagerly awaited by some modellers, their are those who do not like all of the aftermarket parts and just want a standard kit. With this boxing Special Hobby are catering to this market. The other upside to this is that the kit arrives at less cost to the modeller.  The basic plastic is the same as the hi-tech kit with crisp surface detail is crisp,  tiny recessed rivets of two sizing's, and nice restrained engraved panel lines throughout.











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 are all built up and added to 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. 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.





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 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, along with clear wingtip and tail lights.




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, 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, and two doors that have a bulged centre to accommodate the tyre.




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. 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. There is to be a CMK resin set if you wanted a little more detail with less work. An 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 ?. 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.

There are four 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:


  • NV969 / SA-A No. 486 [NZ] Sqn RAF, Fasberg, Germany April 1945. Personal machine of Sqd Ldr Warren "smokey" Schrader,
  • JN862 / JF-z, No.3 Sqn RAF, RAF Station Newchurch August 1944. Full invasion striped carried. 
  • EJ705 / W2-X No.80 Sqn RAF. Vokel, Netherlands Jan 1945, (only under fuselage stripes carried)
  • SN165 / ZD-V No. 222 Sqn RAF, Malden, Netherlands April 1945





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.

A lovely kit from our friends at Special Hobby, and well worth the wait . It is good that the company have realised there is a market for a kit without all of the photo-etch 

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

Very highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of



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