Italeri 1/48 Typhoon Ib
|NOTES:||Reboxed Hasegawa kit|
A Tale of Two Typhoons: A tribute to F/L Peter Roper
Peter Roper then (Manston, 1944), and now (Canadian Aviation Heritage Centre, 2015)
Squadron Leader Peter Roper, a Montreal (Canada)
doctor, flew Hawker Typhoons Mk.Ib (late) during WWII. While flying TP-X (serial
number MN137) on night patrol, he experienced engine trouble and belly-landed
short of the runway at West-Malling on March 06, 1944. TP-X was damaged beyond
repair (DBR in RAF lingo) but F/L Roper was relatively unharmed. On June 07,
1944 (D-Day+1), he 'borrowed' the personal aircraft of Group Captain Denys
Gillam, code letters SA-Q (serial number MN125); F/L Roper was "itching to get
in the fray" as he was not, ex-officio, part of ops; quote: "I was his assistant
in charge of all operations for 20 Sector, including 123 and 146 Wings; I flew
with him as his No. 2 on a few occasions and he said I could fly his aircraft if
needed; he was away at a conference on D+1, so I assumed his agreement." "Shot
down by flak near Villers-Bocage (Calvados, France), picked up by local French
and German S.S., hidden and succored by locals until recaptured. Joined up with
Patton's 3rd Army on August 04; rejoined 198 Sqdr. as F/L in Holland in 1945."
View the comprehensive CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) interview,
conducted on the 70th anniversary of D-Day:
TP-X was built strictly OOB, except for the custom decals. More on the decals later.
SA-Q, on the other hand, was built using the following aftermarket items:
1. Eduard 49 684 Typhoon Mk.Ib Bubbletop S.A. 1/48 scale detail set for ITALERI 2734
2. Quickboost 48468 1/48 Hawker Typhoon Seat w/Safety Belts
3. AMLM 49 015 Hawker Typhoon Mk.Ib/Late Camouflage painting masks
5. Master 1/48 Air Master Series 48083 Hawker Typhoon Mk.Ib late type cannons
6. CanMilAir custom decals (invasion stripes painted; decals used for proper positioning)
Other after-market items available are numerous; entirely up to you. After-market RPs are a must, as the kit-supplied rockets are adequate but, just like the cannons, will inevitably fail the "prototypical" test. As well, resist the temptation to use resin cockpits, as none could replicate the true tubular cockpit structure of the actual Typhoon cockpit, and the kit sub-assembly, when "dressed up" with some of the cockpit components of the Eduard 49 684 detail set, is a real winner. And, best of all, it fits!
Essentially, the Italeri 2734 is a rebox of the Hasegawa Typhoon Mk.Ib Bubbletop 9060 (JT60), minus the 4-bladed propeller. An excellent review by Tom Cleaver can be found here.
SA-Q only: I prepared the leading edges by simply removing the kit cannon fairings with a fine saw, and followed the Air Master instructions. "Drill proper holes (3.70 mm) ...": I used a new 9/64" bit, and enlarged the resulting holes slightly to a snug fit with a rat tail file. Attach cannons with a generous amount of cement, and carefully adjust according to instructions. Any slight imperfection remaining once the cannons are attached can be sanded down, and the supplied flanges will make quick work of finishing the cannon 'task' with most satisfactory results. I 'painted' the cannons and flanges using Vitry Ultracolor (France) nail polish, color #19, thinned with Tamiya Lacquer Thinner (thinned paint is too thick; the fine details on the cannons would be 'lost').
Note the hollowed Air Master cannons feature. And those flanges: difficult to improve upon.
No matter how hard one tries, OOB no match for Air Master cannons
The PE cannon flanges were attached to the leading edges using generous amounts of, you guessed right, Future floor wax. Et voila!
Spent shell chutes
TP-X: OOB. SA-Q: I carefully hollowed these out with a fine chisel and fresh X-acto blades. A word of caution: as the cannons are attached after the invasion stripes are painted, make sure that the cement used to attach said cannons does not run inside the lower wing and ooze out through the 8 opened chutes; to play it safe, cover these chutes with Tamiya masking tape (I learnt the messy way!)
Eduard 49 684 detail set
The interior set is promoted as 'self-adhesive'. Hmm. The only adhesiveness was the occasional annoyance of any of its components to stick to one's fingers. Future floor wax, and in generous doses. And the levers, well-intentioned conceptually, have an almost negative usefulness/aggravation ratio. I managed to install two red #31 fuel cocks, using CA, before moving on. I did not use any of the seat components, as I installed the excellent Quickboost 48468 1/48 Hawker Typhoon Seat w/Safety Belts (painted appropriately) in lieu of the kit-supplied seat. The compass and its table are a very noticeable touch, as are the throttle controls. Rudder pedals add-ons? Only your hairdresser will know. The 'exterior' set provides nice wheel wells details. Other components used were the canopy slide guide, radiator intake meshing (#s 50 and 56), brake lines, landing gear doors details, and the gun-sight mount (a word of caution: when removing the kit-generated instrument panel hood, leave 1/16" on each side to facilitate its installation from above; do not even try to rig this part from below as suggested by Eduard). I added a chin pad to the gun-sight, using malleable putty adhesive.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
After smoothing the Tamiya Fine Surface Primer with a soft cotton cloth (airflow direction), both models were painted the same (just as they probably were at the factory):
· Undersides: Tamiya XF-83 Medium Sea Gray 2 (RAF)
· Upper base: Tamiya XF-54 Dark Sea Grey
· Upper camouflage: my own brew of Tamiya XF-58 Olive Green and XF-61 Dark Green
Earn your stripes: Two reasons NOT to use the kit-supplied invasion stripes:
1) these are 10mm wide; they should be 9mm; does not sound like such a big difference save that, over a full panel of 5 stripes, the accumulated total is 5mm (3/16"); that translates to 9 scale inches! … and 2) they are DECALS! Earn your stripes the honest old-fashioned way by painting them. There are numerous web sites on how best to accomplish this important task. I must confess that TP-X was completed using the correct high visibility CanMilAir decals; a question of learning curve and expediency; conclusion: I will NEVER use decal stripes again.
Planning the painting of both aircrafts, I had decided to use the yellow leading edge stripe decals. These went on beautifully, thanks to the good people at J.& J. (read Future floor wax).
AML camouflage masks are as prototypical as one could hope. I compared their coverage with drawings contained in 'Camouflage & Markings, RAF Northern Europe 1936-45', Number 4, pages 81, 83, and 85. I suspect this publication was the source document for AML. When applying masks to the 'fish plate' area of the tail, make sure to also cover the fuselage band area, as Sky-colored decals are not sufficiently opaque to remain the correct color when applied over the darker camouflage paint. Highly recommended as is, unless you prefer non-prototypical fuzzy edges to the darker paint outlines. Your call.
Both TP-X and SA-Q are commissioned models. Hence, custom decals were produced by CanMilAir, a London (Ontario) supplier of exquisite renditions for RAF/RCAF models in any scale. I used their invasion stripes for positioning the masking tape. Consult William Burns' extensive and informative web site: www.canmilair.com
· Hawker Typhoon: The Combat History Richard Townshend Bickers. ISBN 1 85310 908 8; Airlife Publishing Ltd, Shrewsbury, England, 1999
· Camouflage & Markings RAF Fighter Command Northern Europe 1936-45 James Goulding and Robert C. Jones. No ISBN number; Ducimus Books, London, England, 1970-1971
· Typhoon/Tempest in action Aircraft Number 102 Jerry Scutts. ISBN 0 89747 232 2; Squadron /Signal Publications, Carrolton, Texas, USA, 1990
The Canadian Aviation Heritage Centre is the only museum located in Québec (Canada) dedicated to the restoration of historical aircrafts, the preservation of aviation artifacts, and the commemoration of those who made significant contributions to Quebec and Canada’s aviation heritage
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