Academy 1/72 Hawker Tempest V
KIT #: 1669
PRICE: NZ$16.99
DECALS: Two options


“The Hawker Tempest V was first built in 1942 and introduced into the British Royal Air Force in early 1944 to serve key roles at the end of the Second World War. The Tempest showed impressive aerial combat ability in fending off German V-1 “Flying Bombs” and providing air support for Allied troops that invaded Normandy, France for D-Day. It showed its versatility later on in the war, striking German ground targets as Allied forces moved across Europe. This aircraft featured Hispano cannons and a 2,180-horsepower Napier Sabre II engine that allowed it to fly at speeds up to 435mph.

“The design of the Tempest was based on its Hawker predecessor, the Typhoon. The Tempest was built with much thinner wings than the Typhoon, intended to make a faster, more agile fighter. Although problems with its engine were discovered early in its production, modifications were made that allowed this plane to be very successful at key points late in the war.” (from the kit instructions) 

After the war some Tempests saw use as target tugs, but most were melted down for scrap as the new jets replaced them in active RAF service. Just one Sabre Tempest is on display today (the RAF Museum’s TT.Mk.5 NV778) but another, EJ693/SA-I, is under restoration in the UK to fly for American collector Kermit Weeks.


I have to admit that I am a fan of Academy kits. The engraved detailing is fine, the lines are pretty accurate and the price is very affordable. The only gripe I have with them is the decals: the majority of Academy decals I’ve used peel up after a couple of months. I must say I’ve never used setting solutions, and that I am tempted to for this build.

This kit seems to be much like the others: three sprues of grey plastic and one of clear, a nice big decal sheet and the standard sheet of instructions (and warning sheet in Korean).

The parts sure look like a Tempest. The panel lines seem good, and the surface detailing sufficiently petite. The only option given is bombs or fuel tanks. The ventral step for the pilot is included, and if you use this then you’ll probably pose the two-part canopy open as shown in the instructions. It appears the gear can only be posed in the extended position. All control surfaces are moulded solid and cannot be posed without cutting/sawing them off.

The interior isn’t bad, but I’m not sure how correct the sidewall detailing is in the cockpit with knobs and things, and square section tubing. You get a floor, seat and support, rear bulkhead, control column, instrument panel with raised details, and rudder pedals (that bear little resemblance to the real thing). There is no seatbelt moulded.

The big radiator looks “busy” enough for the job, and the prop can be made to spin (the shaft is moulded to one of the fuselage halves). The wing cannon are properly staggered, with the inboard weapons represented by holes in the leading edge and the outboards as protruding barrels. These are solid, however, and would need replacing with hypodermic needles as they are probably far too small to drill out. 

The clear parts are very clear and reasonably thin. The windscreen and sliding canopy “bubble” are moulded separate to allow them to be posed open, and the underwing landing(?) lights are provided, as is the gunsight. Squadron produce a vacform canopy set for the Tempest but I don’t think it necessary unless one really desires scale thickness.

The decals look lovely on their sheet but, as mentioned above, I’ve had many problems with past Academy sheets. There are two options given, both in standard RAF day fighter camouflage: Flight Lieutenant Pierre Clostermann’s NV724/JF-E “Le Grand Charles” of 3 Sqn in July 1945, and Wing Commander Evan D Mackie’s SN228/EDM of 122 Wing in May 1945. The Sky used for the squadron codes seems a bit dark to me, but otherwise the rest of the (glossy) decals look to be in register. There’s a small amount of stencils provided, and strangely there are several options of roundel: six small with yellow surround and two without, and two each large with and without yellow. Instructions for both aircraft let you choose what is used under the wing, and Clostermann’s NV724 has the option of large or small top-side roundels.


As the type had such a high profile during the war and has always been very popular, it’s no surprise that this is the most recent of several kits* produced in 1:72 of the Tempest V, and possibly the best currently out there. If the other modern Academy kits I’ve done over the years are any indication this will go together with no problems other than the decals.

*others I can find reference to are by Airfix, Frog, Heller/SMER, Revell of Germany and Zvezda.

REFERENCES - (a great resource for anything and everything Tempest)

Zac Yates

April 2012

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