|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New tool kit|
The Hawker Typhoon (Tiffy in RAF slang), was a British single-seat fighter-bomber, produced by Hawker Aircraft. It was designed to be a medium-high altitude interceptor, as a direct replacement for the Hawker Hurricane, but several design problems were encountered, and it never completely satisfied this requirement.
Its service introduction in mid-1941 was plagued with problems, and for several months the aircraft faced a doubtful future. However, when the Luftwaffe brought the formidable Focke-Wulf Fw 190 into service in 1941 the Typhoon was the only RAF fighter capable of catching it at low altitudes; as a result it secured a new role as a low-altitude interceptor.
Through the support of pilots such as Roland Beamont it also established itself in roles such as night-time intruder and a long-range fighter.
From late 1942 the Typhoon was equipped with bombs, and from late 1943 RP-3 ground attack rockets were added to its armoury. Using these two weapons, the Typhoon became one of the Second World War's most successful ground-attack aircraft. With the end of the war, the Typhoon quickly disappeared from RAF units.
So quickly was the plane scrapped after the war that only one complete Typhoon currently exists and was presented to the RAF by the National Air and Space Museum in the US in 1968 and is now on display at the RAF Museum.
I believe that this subject was part of Airfix's original offerings and so it part of Hornby's plans to update older subjects to newer standards, something that has been working quite well for Airfix. This one is as nicely done as earlier releases and while the engraved detail may be a bit much for some, most of us do not find it objectionable.
The interior is well done with nicely done sidewall detail and a decal for the instrument panel. A well done seat with armor plating is provided and the control stick with rudder pedals is attached to the separate wheel well piece. Also attached to this piece is the large radiator. This fits into one fuselage half when the two sections are closed. It cannot be fitted later as there are tabs that must properly fit into the halves. Exhaust are separate and can be added after painting. A pilot figure is included.
Like all Airfix kits, this one has optional gear doors to portray the plane in flight, though the stand is extra. Holes for the rockets must be opened up prior to assembling the wings. Both wings offer cannon bays that can be displayed once the access doors are cut from the upper wings. Most of us will not do this and unfortunately, it means that the gun barrels cannot be put on near the end of the build as they are part of the bay assembly. The rockets and rails are separate, which is the best way to do this. As an option, one can install a pair of bomb racks and bombs. If one wishes to use the bombs instead of rockets, there are holes just for these that will need to be opened prior to assembling the wings. The entire prop assembly can be installed once the airframe is built. A separate canopy and windscreen are provided in case you wish to pose the canopy open.
British fighters of this period are pretty lack-luster and are basically dark green/ocean grey over medium sea grey with yellow leading edge wing ID bands. Two markings options are provided with one being the box art plane from 247 Squadron in December 1944. This one has a red spinner and invasion stripes. These stripes are included as decals. The other is from 439 Squadron in February 1945 and has the standard black spinner without the stripes. The decals are nicely printed and include not only wing walk areas but also the yellow leading edge bands. I have had good success with modern Airfix kit decals and so these should work quite well. There are aftermarket decals in case the kit options are not to your liking. I fully anticipate Pavla making resin upgrade bits for this one.
I know that a lot of people are glad this one was done and if you are into the subject, or just want to upgrade your collection, this one is for you.
Thanks to me for picking this one up.
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