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What is the premier Hawker Typhoon kit?


Maginot
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At the risk of being labeled lazy, more in the hope of provoking interest and debate, I thought I'd pose the question:

 

"What's the best Tiffy kit?"

 

I recently subscribed to Ian Slater's Typhoon Legacy Pty. Ltd. to support, albeit in a very humble way, an utterly grouse project. I found his channel on Spewtube some time ago and highly recommend a view or two. The whole rebuild process is fascinating and immaculately presented. The insight this project provides into early 1940s aircraft structure and fabrication processes is mouthwatering.

 

So, I have it in mind to model Hawker Typhoon 1b JP843, 609 Squadron RAF, as a kind of dedication to the project and to respond to my newly aroused awareness of this fabulous fighter.

 

I'm very interested in your opinions of Tiffy kits that you've had a crack at, available past or present. Any scale will do. I've never built one.

 

 

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You pays your money, you takes your chances ...

 

The ultimate, you-beaut best is unquestionably the Airfix 1:24 one. Not without its issues (Airfix QC at its usual less-than-good level), but a stunner. It comes in both variants, at a price that reflects its size. Not much in 1:32 apart from the old Revell one - good for its day, but now showing its age. OOP, but still available on the second-hand market. Car-door only. In 1:48, there's a choice of an equally old Monogram kit (basic, but accurate in outline; bubble top only) and Hasegawa (much better; available as either a car-door or bubble top, but the method used for mounting the canopy - either version - is fiddly and needs care, and both versions are a good deal more expensive than the Monogram one; re-released by Eduard a couple of years back), and in 1:72 you have a choice between an antediluvian Frog kit (for collectors only), an almost equally ancient Airfix one (ditto), Academy ( reasonable, I believe, although I've never actually fondled the plastic) and the new Airfix (the pick of the bunch, and readily available).

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8 minutes ago, Admiral Puff said:

You pays your money, you takes your chances ...

 

The ultimate, you-beaut best is unquestionably the Airfix 1:24 one. Not without its issues (Airfix QC at its usual less-than-good level), but a stunner. It comes in both variants, at a price that reflects its size. Not much in 1:32 apart from the old Revell one - good for its day, but now showing its age. OOP, but still available on the second-hand market. Car-door only. In 1:48, there's a choice of an equally old Monogram kit (basic, but accurate in outline; bubble top only) and Hasegawa (much better; available as either a car-door or bubble top, but the method used for mounting the canopy - either version - is fiddly and needs care, and both versions are a good deal more expensive than the Monogram one; re-released by Eduard a couple of years back), and in 1:72 you have a choice between an antediluvian Frog kit (for collectors only), an almost equally ancient Airfix one (ditto), Academy ( reasonable, I believe, although I've never actually fondled the plastic) and the new Airfix (the pick of the bunch, and readily available).

 

In 1/72 you also have the Brengun kits, in six boxings covering everything from the early 12-guns to the latest bubble top with 4-blade propellers, including the desert trials machines and even captured ones. 

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1 hour ago, Fukuryu said:

 

In 1/72 you also have the Brengun kits, in six boxings covering everything from the early 12-guns to the latest bubble top with 4-blade propellers, including the desert trials machines and even captured ones. 

You're right - I completely forgot them! Inexcusable, really, considering that there's one (a car-door, with the picture of the aircraft going surfing on the front of the box) sitting on the shelf above me as I type this!

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Aviation USK did a Early Tphoon version years ago. Better than the early Frog and Airfix kits but dated when compared with Academy. Airfix rendition would be best option.

 

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Hi

    Awhile back SH announced a future 1:32 typhoon, not sure when it will come out 

    cheers 

       jerry 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by brewerjerry
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Airfix offering in 1/72 seems to be one of their best kits to date. There are some aftermarket details in 1/72 too which might be worth getting for it.

 

Also, Eduard released one in 1/48 which seems nice if you are able to find it.

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1/72:  I have handled the Academy, and it isn't as good as the current Airfix.  Frog and Airfix did a Typhoon at about the same time (late 50s/very early 60s) but Frog replaced theirs with a cab-door version later.  The main thing with the earlier Typhoon kits is to remember that they didn't know about the bigger tail, but then the original poster isn't interested the 10th best 1/72,,,  The Airfix is the best in this scale, but is a late production aircraft with a big tail, which JP843 almost certainly wasn't.  So maybe the appropriate Brengun, but I don't know them.

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5 hours ago, Madalo said:

Also, Eduard released one in 1/48 which seems nice if you are able to find it.

it's a rebox of the Hasegawa kit, with some added PE and resin.

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The BEST Typhoon kits are the Airfix 1/24 wonders, period. All you need to build one is a bank loan, a spare room, and a couple years of extra lifespan!

 

Random comments on 1/72 Typhoons (my accuracy reference is Arthur Bentley's famous drawings, as originally published to precise 1/72 scale in "Scale Models" magazine MANY moons ago):

 

+ Czech Master resin made several variants. I know they are very highly regarded for accuracy and detail, but I've never owned one and don't know current availability.

 

+ I personally don't like the Academy kit. But it's cheap and the most noticeable faults - cartoonishly oversized canopy and over-extended, poorly-angled landing gear - are easy enough to fix (a Heller Tempest canopy is a good replacement). It represents a mid-production machine (small tailplane, bubble canopy, 3-blade prop).

 

+ Hobby Boss makes a good kit in their mostly-snap-together, "Easy Assembly" series. It much resembles the Academy, except for an even more absurd canopy, but could be massaged into a quite nice - and very quick - build.

 

+ The Airfix kit is a delight, but has some curious accuracy glitches. The fin/rudder is a bit oversized (easy to fix and helps the appearance a great deal), rear fuselage is slightly short (prolly not worth worrying about), and the wing is too thin (impossible to fix). But it's a lot of fun to build and really looks just fine. If you like "unmodified" contest categories ("OOB" - out of the box - here in the US), it has the unique advantage of being able to expose the wing gun bays within the rules! (Silly note: part B30, which sets wing dihedral whilst detailing the cockpit floor, wheel well, and radiator roof, is one ingenious bit of kit engineering, LOL...) It represents a late-production machine (large tailplane, bubble canopy, 4-blade prop). 

 

+ The Brengun kits offer every variant, are all still available, and are very accurate; they obviously went straight off Bentley's amazing drawings. Surface detail is petite and interior detail is very good, but you won't forget you are dealing with a limited-run kit. Fit can be tough, some surface features are spotty, etc. Except for panel lines dealing with cockpit access, all variants have the same fuselage moldings, set up for early aircraft. So the "fish plate" tail joint reinforcements are missing, and late bubble top variants with the larger Tempest tailplane require the entire tail to be removed and replaced; parts are provided, but the instructions don't give much guidance on this.

 

+ Finally, this old thread gets more into the weeds, especially on the Airfix vs. Brengun question:  

 

Edited by MDriskill
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There are a few smaller scale kits as well - 1/96 by Vulcan/Eagle, from the 1950s and not easy to find these days, 1/100 by Victrix, quite a recent release though you have to buy three in a box, and a 1970s 1/144 scale kit by Revell, which is reasonably accurate.

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I can certainly agree with @MDriskill' assessment, as I have all of the kits mentioned except the 1/24th Airfix kit; in addition, I have two of the CMR resin kits. My ranking, in 1/72 scale would be:

  • CMR cardoor- the best in class, but very expensive and they are no longer making kits. They kitted both the solid rear fairing and the clear rear canopy fairing variants, plus the night fighter prototype
  • Airfix Mk 1b- next best, but is only offered as a late production 1b bubble canopy  variant with four blade prop and Tempest stabilizers; length is said to be a little short
  • Brengun- compares very closely to the Airfix kit, but Brengun offer boxings of all of the variants; cardoor, three and four blade prop bubble canopy; cardoor with tropical filter. Fit isn't as good as the Airfix kit, but so far, Airfix has only released a late production Mk 1b
  • Academy- not bad, but the upper nose contour in profile view is too straight; undercart struts are too long, and canopy contours are not correct,as stated by MDriskill,  but both are easy to fix; no Tempest stabilizers
  • Frog cardoor- best relegated to collectors
  • Airfix Mk 1b- best relegated to collectors
  • Hobbyboss Mk 1b- don't have this one, so can't really comment- most likely better than Frog and old Airfix kits, and probably more like a Brengun kit so far as fit is concerned, but not quite as detailed.

See the link below for a good review of the Airifx kit and how it compares to the Brengun kits.

http://www.hyperscale.com/2013/reviews/kits/airfixa02041reviewmd_1.htm

 

Kinda depends on which Tiffy you want to model- cardoor, bubble canopy with or w/o Tempest stabilizers. (Sure wish Arma Hobby would consider doing them all, including the AI radar equipped night fighter, of which I have the CMR boxing.)

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Hi

    Wonder where chris thomas is, he would know pretty much all the kits

   think he was involved with the airfix 1:24 typhoon, not sure about the 1:72 tho' 

   cheers

      jerry

Edited by brewerjerry
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Another vote for the Airfix 72nd scale Typhoon, it's nicely moulded and detailed, the canon bays can be shown open if desired and it's hard to beat Airfix's price providing you are after a late model 'Tiffie'.

 

Regards

Colin.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, MDriskill said:

The BEST Typhoon kits are the Airfix 1/24 wonders, period. All you need is a bank loan, a spare room, and a couple years of your life!

Thank you for your comprehensive response and link, Mr. Driskill. Outstanding! Based on responses and research so far, I'm likely to choose between the Airfix 1/24 as a ceiling hanger (the only way I can keep this gargantuan) or a 1/48 kit to incorporate into a diorama.

 

Interesting that you mention the lack of 'fish plate' tail reinforcement surface detail in the Brengun kits. This likely refers to the so called 'transport joint', where the rear-most fuselage monocoque assembly, incorporating tail surfaces, was attached to the rear fuselage monocoque structure that stretches from the tubular steel cockpit section. The joint was considered to be a poor design and was redesigned on later production Typhoons and tempests.

 

ww2aircraft.net/forum/threads/typhoon-with-tempest-tailplane.48865

Edited by Maginot
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My goodness, Mr @72modeler. Thank you very much for your helpful summary ranking the kits. You certainly must like this hefty Hawker fighter. I'm developing ideas around modelling a post Normandy landing Tactical Air Force Typhoon with bubble canopy in 1/48, in a diorama depicting a forward airfield setting. If I choose the ceiling hanger in 1/24, I'll likely go the car-door canopy version.  

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7 hours ago, Maginot said:

Interesting that you mention the lack of 'fish plate' tail reinforcement surface detail in the Brengun kits. This likely refers to the so called 'transport joint', where the rear-most fuselage monocoque assembly, incorporating tail surfaces, was attached to the rear fuselage monocoque structure that stretches from the tubular steel cockpit section. The joint was considered to be a poor design and was redesigned on later production Typhoons and Tempests.

 

Not so.  The fishplates were added as a visible sign to encourage the pilots.  There was nothing wrong with the joint, and was (I believe) the same in the Tempest.  The cause of the tail failures was fatigue failure of the elevator balance weight arm, which left the tailplane vulnerable to flutter and hence catastrophic failure of the tail.   The fatigue failure was probably caused by vibration, which the pilots also complained of, and was eventually solved (or at least reduced) by rubber in the engine mountings.  The final cure for the failures was the introduction of the larger "Tempest" tailplane, free from flutter in the aircraft's flight envelope.  The fishplates were left on for morale purposes.

 

A small number of failures were reported in later service: a check made of service aircraft discovered a number of the balance weights incorrectly assembled, suggesting to me that perhaps the presence of the fishplates resulted in a lack of sufficient attention to the real solution.  They certainly have misled many commentators since.

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Thank you for the kind words, the Tiffie is a personal favorite.

 

For a ceiling-hanger, I might suggest the old Revell 1/32 kit as a good choice. Vastly cheaper and easier to build than the very complex Airfix kit, also is the "car door" version, and I reckon is accurate enough for viewing from a bit of distance.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

Not so.  The fishplates were added as a visible sign to encourage the pilots.

That maybe so, but the fact remains the joint was redesigned. Reference - engineering drawing at 4:54.

 

Perhaps you could share a reference to support your claim? I'd be interested to follow up.

 

Cheers.

Edited by Maginot
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A reference?  Pretty well every reputable work on the Typhoon in recent decades, including Mason and Thomas.  I no longer have my 1970 college course notes on aeroelastics, I'm afraid, but suspect they had more to say on control reversal and ultimate dive speeds on the Spitfire (hence the 20-series wing redesign structurally).  Look for studies on flutter and other aeroelastic effects.  I suspect the case will have been written up in the Royal Aeronautical Society Journal, in the late 40s when security was no longer a problem.  If you want something perhaps easier to find via a library, try Mason's Hawker Aircraft since 1920 page 322.  (Third revised edition 1991 - I don't know what he said in the 1961 original).   A bit of a brief summary, and he blames the Air Ministry for insisting on the fishplates.  Too brief really, he doesn't mention the dreaded word "flutter", the cause of the vibration that led to fatigue, nor the redesign of the larger tailplane.  But then he wasn't an engineer, and the book has to cover a very large subject.

 

The point about the fishplates is that whereas they may well have been considered as a "quick and dirty" way of adding strength whilst the problem was being investigated, they would not have been of any value against complete failure of the tail caused by flutter.  This would be so dramatic as to rip through the fishplates as it did the rest of the fuselage.  Note the oft-published picture of a test Typhoon which did survive and get back: the fuselage is buckled severely but the tail stayed on.  Compare that with known structural failures in service after the use of fishplates.  Flutter is a harmless sounding term, but used to describe catastrophic failure when the aerodynamics and structural characteristics of the design react to establish a resonance.  It was not understood until the early 1930s, after analysis of the failure in flight of a Parnall design.

 

I didn't watch the entire video, but if the speaker doesn't mention these things and concentrates on the use of fishplates, he's just plain wrong.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks @MDriskill. The Revell 1/32 kit looks very doable and it would twin very nicely with a HKModels 1/32 Mosquito that is two builds away, ceteris paribus (all things being equal).

 

In chasing up the Revell 1/32 kit, I also came across a comparison with the MDC resin kit that @SafetyDad mentions. As he points out, very good reviews, but I don't think I'm up to taking on a resin kit, at least not yet.

 

To digress... As you say, the price is certainly more agreeable, which is not such an issue for me now. Not that I'm rolling in moolah, you'll understand? But I'll be dead soon enough and money's not the primary variable it once was %~)) I'm enjoying a later-life renaissance and return to modelling after loosing my stash in a fire (story here if you seek a cure for insomnia). This has cleared the decks of old kits, so now I seek the best engineered models of less popular subjects, at least until my skills develop and desire for esoteric subjects becomes insatiable. I suppose the Mossie is an exception, because it's an all time favourite airframe and the HKM kit does not have longitudinal fuselage halves (que?) which I simply have to experience. I've kinda settled on 1/48 for aircraft, partly for convenience of display, partly because it's easier to build dioramas in that scale (which I've never attempted before and have a cracking idea for the Typhoon setting), and partly because I've started with the 1/48 Tamiya Fairy Swordfish seaplane that is claimed to be one of the best kits ever produced (currently in build to test this hypothesis and anyway, I just love the Stringbag). I only have a humble stash; a 1/72 Roden Zeppelin Staaken, a 1/48 Airfix Walrus and the 1/32 HKM Mossie. So I'm tempted by the 1/24 Typhoon, just to try another scale. Alas, I also have several nasty AFVs in 1/35, exclusively WW1 and interwar armoured cars, and WW2 German semi-tracks (for Dog's sake don't tell anyone). Oh, and a 1/12ish semi-scale Fokker D.VII foamie by E-flite from R/C days, assembled and hanging from the ceiling.

 

But there are so many Tiffy kits covered here that I have a lot of toing and froing to do before I decide which to secure.

Edited by Maginot
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