Revell 1/72 Hawker Tempest V

KIT #: 4176
PRICE: $6.00 MSRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Greg Ewald
NOTES: Needs a new canopy and probably aftermarket decals.

HISTORY

   In September, 1942, the first Mark Five Tempest took to the skies, a long and somewhat painful evolution from the early Typhoon fighter/attack aircraft resulting in a thoroughbred plane that was just a little too late.  The impressive(430+) top speed of the clipped wing monster gave it the ability to chase down pulse jet bombs (the ugly V-1) and even provide some competition for the new ME-262 jet fighter.   Interestingly, the plane was ordered into production before the first prototype had even flown, which may have been a mistake, as the plane did not live up to some of it’s designer’s intents.

    The Mark Five was produced in two lots, series one being somewhat Frankensteined  together, and series two being reinforced and with better engineering, and having established hard points.  (series one could not carry drop tanks, bombs, or rockets)

THE KIT

Sigh.  This kit was given to me as a sort of joke, as I had been bashing the Tempest on a site, and was roundly abused for daring to doubt the “best of British fighters of WW2” (their words, not mine).  I have to eat a fair amount of crow, as doing research for this kit, I did learn quite a bit about this plane, and gain a huge amount of respect for the design.  That all being said, the Revell kit is something less than wonderful, being compromised of 30 pieces of grey styrene with moderate detail and little flash (unusual for ROG). The cockpit is so simple as to be ludicrous, but the exterior detail is alright.  The clear canopy was so crazed during molding as to render it unusable, even after sanding, filling, and clear finishing per MM’s instructions:

        So another was ordered from Squadron, and sanded to fit ( I wanted an open one anyway).

     For some odd reason ,  this kit looks more like a series one plane, with the protruding cannons, etc, but they include drop tanks and rockets (no bombs)…but after reading more accounts, it turns out that cannons were intermixed in the aircraft, so perhaps it isn’t so out of bounds?

CONSTRUCTION

The 10 step instructions are big and easy to understand, and the fit of the plastic is actually quite good, almost falling together.  I did have to use some putty on the upper wing fairing joints, and the lower fuselage attachment point, but very little. If you want to add on drop tanks or rockets, you will have to notch out the bottom wing prior to assembly accordingly in step 5.Since I was building a prototype series 2, I decided not to use the rockets, but did use the drop tanks…note here: the tanks have molded in “dents” which I thought was a neat touch.  In step 9, you attach the landing gear, but the attachment point is really weak, and may need to be beefed up…there are also no actuating struts provided.  The gear doors go on without a hitch, and then you have to put the canopy on, as long as yours was workable !

COLORS & MARKINGS

 In the course of the investigation into the Tempest, I have run across some neat sites and some very interesting people…in one exchange of information, it came up that some MK5’s had been typed out as land based water interdiction aircraft, presumably for hunting down Schnellboots and the like, as well as possibly hitting V-1’s over the water, so I came up with a theoretical colouration for this plane, using the Seafire as a guide, flat aluminium white with blue on the upper surfaces.  I could not find any photos of such aircraft, so did not put on any ID numbers (if anyone out there has one, let me know !)  I did attach the drop tanks, surmising that they would be necessary for long patrols, but decided against using the rockets, so as not to drag the plane’s speed down at all.  The kit decals are awful, and require a lot of setting solutions, as well as generous applications of  Future…be sure to pick up some aftermarket !!!  Weathering was done using charcoal and coloured pencils, as well as a .01 permanent marker to set off the movable surfaces.

FINAL CONSTRUCTION

Added on the upper antennae made from stretched sprue, and the lower pitot tube as well.  The spinner hub was painted gloss red, and the plane was finished !

CONCLUSIONS

 For an out of the box quick build, this one certainly has it’s merits…if you want a more detailed version, pick up the academy kit (only 3 bucks more) and save yourself the grief of trying to accurize this one.  I can’t really recommend this kit, even though I am happy with how it turned out.

REFERENCES

    There is a fantastic website dedicated to this plane: http://www.hawkertempest.se/index.htm

  Review kit courtesy  of:  a friend with a warped sense of humour !

Greg Ewald

October 2005

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