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Mike

Hawker Tempest Mk.VI (SH32055) 1:32

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Hawker Tempest Mk.VI (SH32055)

1:32 Special Hobby

 

 

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The Tempest was a development of the Typhoon.  Originally called the Typhoon II, it was intended to solve any and all of the issues that bothered its designer Sidney Camm.  The main difference was a much thinner wing which reduced drag and improved aerodynamics of the laminar airflow.  The wings could accommodate 20mm Hispano cannons that packed an enormous punch, and lent itself to the low-level attack role that it was designed for.  The engines envisioned to power the aircraft were the Centaurus, Griffon and Sabre IV, and initially the RR Vulture, which was terminated early in the design phase, leaving the three options going forward and necessitating substantially different cowlings to accommodate their differing shapes.

 

The Mark VI was the last development of the series, with a Mk.V acting as the basis from which the first prototype was constructed.  It sported the more powerful Sabre V engine, which due to its need for more cooling meant that it had additional intakes in the wing roots for the carburettor, and the oil cooler was fitted behind the radiator, with most already carrying tropical filters from the factory for service in the Middle East, but probably also with an eye on the assumed end of the war in Europe and the ongoing fighting in the Pacific.  It also had improvements to its flying surfaces that made it more agile, and an adapted, strengthened rear spar to better stand up to combat stresses.  Because of the introduction of the Meteor and other jet-powered designs, the Tempest was the last new piston-engined aircraft to see service with the RAF, although the Sea Fury, a close relative, saw action in the Navy until jet engines could be trusted to spool-up fast enough for a go-around on an aborted carrier landing.

 

 

The Kit

The original 1:32 Tempest moulds from Special Hobby in 2016 caused a stir and made a lot of people very happy, starting with the Mk.V, the Mk.II and now the Mk.VI completing the production variants, and leaving only a few prototypes unkitted.  Only 142 of the Mk.VI were built, but if a job is worth doing, it's worth doing it well so here it is.  The sprues you'll find inside the box are mostly identical to the original Mk.V that we reviewed back in 2016, which is why you'll notice the old logo on some of the photos.  There's no point in retaking those, especially as the server is a bit full at the moment.  My sample also had received a little bit of chaffing damage to the surfaces of the fuselage during transit, which although it will easily buff out, looks a little ugly in photos, so enjoy these pics of an undamaged article instead :)  This is the standard issue of the kit, so doesn't have the additional parts of the Hi-Tech boxing, which may please some folks that aren't keen on resin or Photo-Etch.

 

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The new sprue contains new parts for the cowling and radiator housing, as you'd expect for a variant with a different engine and cooling layout.  It also includes a complete new prop, wing leading edge inserts for the aforementioned intakes, and a new rear-deck for the cockpit area, which has a few different details to the original.  As a welcome addition, you receive another sprue that contains a full set of rockets and rails that weren't originally supplied with the first boxing, and have been available separately as an accessory set from Special Hobby for a while now.

 

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Construction is very similar to earlier boxings until you get to the building of the engine cowling, which uses the new parts that are backed with a pair of separate troughs that support the exhaust stubs later on.  An insert is fitted to the top inner lip, and then backed with the radiator part, with pseudo-translucent diagrams showing where these parts fit within the cowling.  The exit ramps at the rear of the tunnel are new parts too, and are joined by the cowling flap that is posed open or closed by the use of a long or short actuator rod that attaches to the roof of the air way.  The wingroot intakes are assembled with their internal structure, and in the case of the larger starboard one, a radiator face is added inside, after which they're both inserted into the wing leading edges before the fuselage and the new nose are all brought together and the rest of the build continues as per previous editions.  This aircraft lends itself so well to a modular approach to tooling due to its many engines, and even if Special Hobby don't tool the prototypes (which might not sell all that well anyway), someone could always produce an aftermarket set to fulfil any need out there.  The exhaust stubs are from the common sprues too, and are made up from top and bottom halves that result in a deep hollow exhaust, which as it has weld-seams in real life, shouldn't take too much cleaning up.

 

The new cockpit rear deck has mounts for a pair of bottles that are stored behind the pilot, and these are found on the common sprues.  Under the centre wing, there is the bulged fairing, with its front hatch moulded closed.  The new prop is made up on the back-plate, with pointed and angled tipped blades on the sprue, of which you're to use the pointed ones, although the drawing makes at least two of them seem to have angled tips, that's just an unfortunate by-product of the angle at which they are drawn.  Use parts G17 and all will be well.  The prop spinner fits over the top, and the short axle on the rear of the back-plate fits into the socket in the cowling.

 

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The rockets by this time had become a weapon of preference for the Tempest, so their inclusion is good news.  Each one is built up with the body to which the four rear fins and half of the warhead are added, the fins having wedge-shaped based to fit neatly into the slots in the rear.  The rails are each a single part, so once you've made up all eight, all you need to do is add some short command wires from your own stock, and they're ready to go.  The decal sheet includes all the stencils for them, and at the end of the instruction step a painting and markings diagram takes you through the process.

 

 

Markings

Late and post-war RAF aircraft were often uncamouflaged, as per the box top, but happily our friends at Special Hobby have been diligent and picked out some interesting options for this boxing.  There are two silver options, one of which has some patchwork grey parts added, while the other two options are camouflaged for service in Iraq and Egypt.  From the box you can build one of the following:

 

  • NX201/JV-U "Poppet" No.6 Sqn, RAF Deversoir, Egypt 1949
  • NX135/V No.6 Sqn, RAF Deversoir, Egypt 1949
  • NX126/GN-A No.249 Sqn, RAF Habbaniya, Iraq, 1948
  • NX179/B No.6 Sqn, RAF Deversoir, Egypt 1949

 

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The two main decal sheets are printed by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas.  The stencils for the aircraft are printed by Eduard and are bagged separately with the stencils for the rockets, which are printed by AviPrint.  These are both sharp and colour dense, and as most of the decals are single colours, there's no registration issues to discuss.

 

 

Conclusion

The last of the RAF's piston-engined fighters, and a good-looking aircraft into the bargain.  A good, straight-forward edition to complement the Hi-Tech boxing that contains all the trimmings.  If you're on a budget, would like to pick-and-choose your aftermarket, or just don't use it, then this is the one for you.  Who would have thought that we'd have three injection moulded Tempests in 1:32 a few years ago?

 

Very highly recommended.

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Review sample courtesy of

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