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Hawker Tempest Mk.II/F.2 Silver Wings (KPM0228) 1:72


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Hawker Tempest Mk.II/F.2 Silver Wings (KPM0228)

1:72 Kovozávody Prostějov




The Hawker Tempest was a development of the Typhoon, originally called the Typhoon II, it was envisioned to solve all of the issues that bothered its designer, Sir 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 considered as candidates to power the aircraft were the Centaurus, Griffon and Sabre IV, and initially the Rolls-Royce Vulture, which was terminated early in the design phase, leaving the three options going forward and necessitating substantially different cowlings for each to accommodate their differing shapes.


The Mark V was the leading option and was split into two series, with the Series 1 having the Sabre II that had a similar chin intake to the Typhoon and many Typhoon parts, while the later Series 2 used fewer Typhoon parts and had their cannon barrels shortened so they fitted flush with the leading edge on the wings.  Because of the impending entry into service of jet-engined fighters, the initial order of Mk.IIs was fairly low, even though it was intended to fight in the expected Pacific Theatre after Germany surrendered. There were over 400 made, many of them fitted with a tropicalised filter just in front of the canopy, which became a de facto standard later in the production run.  After the war they saw action in the Malayan emergency, and some were later transferred to the Indian Air Force, with more finding their way into Pakistani service, with the last of them flying until 1953.



The Kit

This is a new 2021 line of toolings from KPM of what was the pinnacle of piston-engined fighters, the Hawker Tempest.  As is usual, they have produced a number of boxings that vary in decals and parts, giving the modeller plenty of choice which one(s) to get.  The kit arrives in a small end-opening box, and inside are three sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, decal sheet and A5 instruction booklet, with the decal options printed in colour on the back of the box.  Detail is excellent for the scale, and clever engineering has resulted in a modular kit that can squeeze additional versions from the plastic just by swapping out some of the parts.










Construction begins with the cockpit, which is slightly simplified because the real one is a mass of tubular frames and no traditional floor to speak of.  The floor part has the foot trays and rudder pedals moulded-in, to which the rear bulkhead is joined along with the seat and control column.  The seat supports are a little soft, but as they won’t be seen this doesn’t matter one bit.  The triple-faceted instrument panel is a single part with a stunning level of detail for the dials and instruments, and a separate gunsight to which you’ll need to add a small slip of clear acetate, with the sizes given alongside that instruction step.  The cylindrical engine cowling as next, consisting of three sections plus a toroidal lip part, and two more parts depicting the Centaurus engine, which again is well-detailed but mostly hidden by the central disc and later the prop.  It is locked inside the nose cowling and put to one side until the fuselage has been mated, which is next.  The cockpit, instrument panel and tail wheel with bay are all trapped inside the cockpit, with the addition of a small trim-wheel on the port interior, and here the detail is a little soft too, but as it is painted black and inside an extremely cramped cockpit with small opening, it’s unlikely to matter much unless you have a very small endoscopic camera that you carry round with you for annoying your fellow modellers.  After the glue is set, the nose and fuselage are mated, and attention turns to the wings.


The wings have two inserts in the leading edges at the wing-root, which are made from separate parts with three making up the starboard side, and two the narrower port side.  The lower wing is full-width, and has two upper halves that trap the main gear bay walls, the three landing/recognition lights in the underside, and the twin cannons in the leading edges, which have slots already cut for them, then it’s time to fix the elevators, both comprising a single part each.


The inner Landing gear bay doors are triangular in shape, and fix to the inner edges of the bays, while the retractable tail wheel bay has a pair of curved doors to the sides.  The main gear legs are a single part each, with a retraction mechanism added low-down on the leg, a captive gear bay door, and a single-part wheel with hub detail moulded-in.  The wheel detail is excellent, having block tread and sharp four-spoke hub detail that defies the scale and moulding limitations to this modeller’s eye.  Outboard of the main gear legs are a pair of small additional doors, which can be posed correctly by referring to the scrap diagram nearby that shows how everything should look from the front.  In between the gear bays is a small ovoid panel, an antenna and the crew boarding stirrup, after which the four-bladed prop is made up from a moulded blade set that is sandwiched between the back plate and spinner cap with a short moulded-in axle fitting through a hole in the nose to glue or leave loose at your whim.  The canopy is provided as two parts, with a separate windscreen glued to the front of the ‘pit, and the canopy opener either butted against it for a closed canopy, or pushed back to allow access and that wind-in-your-hair experience during flight.  Red marks on the diagrams show where the parts should fit against the fuselage, and there are a pair of optional bottles on the aft deck for you to use or lose after checking with your references.


The Tempest was a capable fighter-bomber, and often carried a an additional war-load for targets of opportunity on sorties or extra fuel if it was a long mission.  KP have supplied a set of eight rockets on their rails, two bombs on slim mounts, or a pair of fuel tanks for you to use if you wish.




There are three decal options in the box, and all are wearing the paint-free option that became fairly common of the period toward the end and following WWII when camouflage wasn't considered important.  From the box you can build one of the following:






Decals are printed in-house and have good registration, colour density and sharpness, with a very thin carrier film cut close to the printing.  In addition to the seatbelt decals there is a decal for the grille that covers the tropical filter, which you can apply if you need to.




Another great release from KP with excellent detail, plenty of choices of load-out, and other extras that rounds out the package.  You also have spare parts for a Mk.VI on the sprues and a pair of five-spoke wheels, just in case that’s of interest.


Highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of


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Looks like a good model.  Unfortunately the Tempest didn't have a laminar flow wing, wasn't designed specifically for low level attack but as a fighter (though unsuitable for particularly high-level work with the engines chosen) and the Vulture had been abandoned with the Tornado (or rather, vice versa).  Lovely aeroplane, though.


Apparently Sydney Camm didn't want the elliptical wing, believing it more expensive to make and didn't offer any genuine benefits over a straight centre-section with tapered outer panels, but the RAE talked him into it.  (I imagine a very polite version of "Do you want us to tell the Ministry this is a promising fighter or not?")  RAE generally knew what they were doing, but my lecturer at Bristol reckoned Camm was right.  However it does look prettier.

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