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Tempest Mk.II Hi-Tech (SH48214) 1:48


Mike
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Tempest Mk.II Hi-Tech (SH48214)

The Last RAF Radial Engine Fighter

1:48 Special Hobby

 

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The Tempest II was one variant of the Typhoon replacement, both penned by Sir Sidney Camm.  The Tempest was split into a number of parallel sub-projects to prevent it stalling in the event that any of the possible engine options ran into difficulties or were cancelled.  The Tempest II was designed from the ground-up to be powered by a radial engine, and ended up using the Centaurus that had originally been destined for the failed Tornado project, that  initially caused some teething troubles until the engine mounts were replaced and some other tweaks made.  The aircraft was very similar to the well-known Mk.V from the firewall back, but with the huge cylindrical cowling it bears more than a passing resemblance to a Sea Fury.  Due to the state of the war as it reached service, the initial orders were successively cut back, even though the aircraft's massive power delivery and more streamlined front section resulted in a faster aircraft.  Under 500 airframes were eventually built, some as pure fighters, while the rest were converted to fighter-bombers, as the needs of the war shifted once the Allies dominated the skies.

 

In service the Tempest Mk.II was found to be an excellent aircraft, and was the fastest prop-driven fighter of WWII at low altitude, even faster than its sibling, despite the heavier Centaurus engine, which was more than compensated for by the missing weight and drag of the chin-mounted radiator. It was also rugged, could take plenty of punishment, and could be thrown around the sky by a competent pilot despite its thin wing, and some airframes were converted for use as fighter bombers.  After the war the surplus airframes were sold to other nations after their retirement, with some lingering on as target tugs into the 50s.

 

 

The Kit

This is a reboxing of the Eduard kit with some additions in the shape of resin parts to turn it into the Hi-Tech edition we have here.  It arrives in a dark blue themed box with a painting of a British Tempest II on the lid, plus profiles and details of the included resin on the sides.  Inside are six sprues in two shades of blue-grey styrene, two clear sprues, a Ziploc bag of resin, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) seatbelts, a sheet of kabuki tape masks, a large decal sheet, and a glossy instruction booklet with spot colour and full colour profiles at the rear.

 

Anyone that has seen the initial Tempest kits from Eduard will know the quality of the mouldings, and some of the sprues in the box are from the original Mk.V, while two in a slightly different shade are from the forthcoming Eduard Tempest II, complete with exceptional detail that includes rivets, cowling fasteners, and fine engraved panel lines.  The added resin improves the detail in the engine compartment, which allows the modeller to open up the port side of the engine to expose the Centaurus engine, plus the additional resin wheels with thick chunky tread on the tyres for rough field operations.

 

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Construction begins with the pilot’s seat, which is assembled from back with two side parts, plus the adjustment mechanism that is fixed on the right, with the PE lap belts added, leaving the shoulder harness until later.  The seat is fitted to the rear bulkhead, which has the floor slotted into it, the rudder pedals and the control column put in place, complete with the three-faceted instrument panel, which has four instrument decals applied once it is painted.  This fits to the front of the sidewall frames, which both have additional details glued on, plus the cross-member that supports the compass, which also has its own decal.  The frames, cross-member and front bulkhead are added to the sides and front of the cockpit, and the instrument panel installs on two pegs on the cross-member along with the port side console.  You can’t close up the fuselage just yet, and the choice of open cowling requires the engine side and resin front to be assembled, plus the spacer and drive axle stub, which can be left loose so you can spin the prop.  If you’re leaving the cowling closed, there is a styrene engine front and spacer that takes its place.  To pose the cowlings open, the port side of the fuselage is removed carefully following the panel lines, which allows the crisp detail of the resin to show through.  The fuselage halves need a little paint in the cockpit sides, plus a few small parts in the port side, and a bit more paint in the tail wheel bay and its two-part bay former, then you can glue them together once your choice of resin engine or styrene front is inserted.  The closed cowlings don’t need the panels cutting out of course.

 

Attention shifts to the wings, starting with the wheel bays, the roof of which is moulded into the underside of the upper wing halves. The bay walls are boxed in with individual panels, plus a few ribs and stiffeners, all of which is painted in interior green on both sides, with a splash also applied to the full-width underside of the bays and the radiator intakes, which also have a radiator core inserted into the starboard wing root. The wings and fuselage are brought together and joined by the front cowling lip, which also gets the interior green treatment, and in the top of the nose, just forward of the canopy, a choice of a solid panel, or a louvered intake for the filters fitted to tropical-converted airframes.  The tail of the beast has the fin moulded-in, to which you add the rudder and the elevator fins and flying surfaces that are all able to be posed deflected if you choose.  The ailerons are also posable, and are made up from two parts each, one in each wing as you’d expect.

 

If you look at the cockpit aperture it is way too large at this stage, until the sill insert is added along with a number of parts on the rear deck and the gunsight under the front edge.  It’s insert time now, with a pair of clear nav-lights in the wingtips, a pair of leading-edge inserts for the twin cannons, their tiny barrel stubs, and finally the exhaust stubs peeking out from behind the cowling on each side.  They’re not hollow tipped, but at that size no-one will really notice.

 

The tail wheel is first to be added, using either the resin one, or a two-part styrene alternative, slipping it between the yoke, which attaches to the strut, then inserts into the depression in the bay roof.  The bay doors are attached to the sides with small tabs, and an actuator fits in the rear of the bay behind the wheel.  The main gear has the same choice between smooth styrene wheels and knobbly resin wheels with some serious detail.  These slide onto the axles of the struts, and have the captive gear bay door glued to the opposite side, then the completed assembly slots into the bay roof, and would benefit from some brake hoses from your own lead wire supplies.  The retraction struts are fitted later, along with two additional bay doors.  While you’re fitting the wheels, you fit the identification lights, two tiny clear parts behind the spent cannon brass chutes, another in the mid-fuselage, and two tiny parts under the fuselage level with the wing leading edge.  The crew access stirrup and a short aerial are arranged around the trailing edge of the wing, then that big prop is made up.  The prop offers a choice of blade types for the various decal options, which are both trapped between the back-plate and spinner cap before they are slipped over the drive-shaft.  The open cowling variant gets its two resin replacement covers, plus three tiny resin clasps, and a curved support for the top one, which has a scrap diagram showing you the correct angle that they should be opened to.  You also get the choice of open or closed canopy that uses the same parts, beginning with the windscreen glued to the front of the cockpit, then the canopy with a separate frame can be glued closed against the windscreen, or slid back to get a better view of the interior.  The final airframe elements are a couple of gear-down indicator lollipops that glue into their depressions in the inner wing panels.

 

You have another choice ahead of you, which is to have a clean aircraft, one loaded with additional fuel tanks, or a set of eight unguided rockets, four under each wing.  The tanks and their short pylons are all moulded in clear, and there is a decal for the side of each pylon.  The rockets have separate tails, and a detailed guide to their correct painting, each one glued into its own set of slots, which you should probably have drilled out from the inside earlier.  Remember that one.

 

 

Markings

You get a generous five decal options on the large sheet, with a wide choice of colour schemes and operators.  You also get a sheet of kabuki tape masks for the canopy and wheels, plus all those tiny lights in the underside of the wing.  From the box you can build one of the following:

 

  • HF-X, MW774, No.183 Sqn., RAF Chilbolton, August 1945
  • 5R-V, PW533, No.33 Sqn., RAF Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1949
  • EG-X, PR733, S/L R E Mooney, CO of 16 Sqn., RAF BAFO Fassberg, West Germany
  • T-, A139 (ex PR809), No.14 Sqn., Royal Pakistan Air Force (RPAF)
  • M, HA557 (ex MW704), Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF), late 1950s

 

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Decals are by Eduard, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas.

 

 

Conclusion

What a highly detailed kit!  Only made better by adding some rather nice resin parts and a well-appointed decal sheet.  The Tempest II didn’t get a fair shake of the stick in service, so make sure you buy a lot of them so they get some belated prominence.

 

Very highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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Nice looking package. The green looks a bit light on the decals, maybe it's just the image. Speaking of decals, are they normal decals or they removable top carrier film type? 

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6 hours ago, Tbolt said:

Nice looking package. The green looks a bit light on the decals, maybe it's just the image. Speaking of decals, are they normal decals or they removable top carrier film type? 

They’re standard water slide decals, and the green may be a bit light in the scan of the decals. Possibly ;)

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5 minutes ago, Mike said:

They’re standard water slide decals, and the green may be a bit light in the scan of the decals. Possibly ;)

 

Great, thanks Mike.

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Posted (edited)

Any idea when Eduard are going to be releasing this one if it's a joint product design between SH & Eduard?

Edited by treker_ed
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1 hour ago, treker_ed said:

Any ides when Eduard are going to be releasing this one if it's a joint product design between SH & Eduard?

VERY soon.  That's all I know. :)

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8 hours ago, Mike said:

VERY soon.  That's all I know. :)

Hope so! Looking forward to it - It's kind of the missing link from Typhoon-Tempest-Fury line. I have A Hasegawa rebox (Italeri) Typhoon, followed by the Eduard Tempest V, followed by the Airfix Sea Fury, and it's really nice that you can see the evolutionary changes from one to the next, and having the Tempest II will really show how it got from the Typhoon/Tempest line into the Fury once they are all lined up on a shelf. 

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