Eduard 1/48 Tempest II (early)
KIT #: 82124
PRICE: $59.95
DECALS: Five options
REVIEWER: Tom Cleaver


The Tempest, which was first called the Typhoon II, was Sydney Camm’s response to the shortcomings of the original Typhoon fighter, most particularly the Typhoon's unexpected deterioration in performance at high altitude due to its too-thick wing, by replacing that with a thinner laminar flow design. As the design began to significantly diverge from the Typhoon, it was renamed Tempest; it became one of the most powerful fighters of World War II and was the fastest single-engine piston-engine aircraft of the war at low altitude.

Sydney Camm always had his next design in mind when developing his current project, and the Hawker design team had already planned out a series of design improvements by the time the Typhoon prototype first flew. The result was the Hawker P. 1012, otherwise known as the Typhoon II or Thin-Wing Typhoon. In March 1940, Hawker engineers investigated the new laminar flow wing developed by NACA in the United States. Using this data, the maximum thickness of the Tempest wing was set at 37.5% of chord versus 30% for the Typhoon's wing, reducing wing root thickness by five inches on the new design. The wing planform was changed to near-elliptical to accommodate 800 rounds of ammunition for the four 20 mm Hispano cannon.

As with the Typhoon and Tornado, different powerplants were proposed for the design. Six prototypes were built: a single Mk.I, HM599, powered by a Sabre IV; two Mk.IIs with the Centaurus IV radial; a single Mk.III with a Griffon IIB and a Mk.IV with a Griffon 61; and a Mk.V with the Sabre II in an installation similar to that of the Typhoon. Ultimately, the Mk.V prototype flew first The Tempest II was subject to repeated delays due to its Centaurus engine, but was persisted with, while continued problems with the Sabre IV ended the Tempest I, while the decision to use the Griffon in the Spitfire stopped further development of the Tempest III and IV. The Mk. V, which had the least difficulty with its engine due to the work on the Typhoon, became the main type produced.

The Tempest II benefitted from examination of captured Fw-190s, which led to it and the Grumman F8F having the most closley-cowled radials of any Allied fighters. The Centaurus engine was closely cowled and the exhaust stacks grouped behind and to either side of the engine; air outlets with automatic sliding "gills" behind that with the carburetor air intakesin the inner leading edges of both wings with an additional oil cooler in the inner starboard wing.

The first Tempest II, LA602, flew June 28, 1943, powered by a Centaurus IV with a four-blade propeller. The second, LA607,had the enlarged dorsal fin associated with the Tempest and flew on September 18. The first major problem experienced was serious engine vibration, which were cured by replacing the rigid, eight-point engine mountings with six-point rubber-packed shock mounts. The four blade propeller was replaced with a five blade unit before a more finely-balanced four bladed unit was adopted. Problems with engine overheating, poor crankshaft lubrication, exhaust malfunctions and reduction-gear seizures delayed production. The eventual solution was the “tropicalized” modification with the installation of an air filter and intake in the upper forward fuselage, just behind the engine cowling, using a louvered outlet just ahead of the fuselage gas tank; this was retroactively fitted to earlier Tempests in F.B. II production and was original after the first 50.

In September 1942 contracts were signed for 500 Tempest IIs to be built by Gloster but because of priority being given to the Typhoon, a contract of 330 Tempest IIs was allocated instead to Bristol, while Hawker were to build 1,800, a switch that further delayed production. The first Tempest II came off the Hawker line on October 4, 1944; the first six production aircraft joined the prototypes for extensive trials and tests.With the end of the war in sight, orders for the Tempest II were cut or cancelled: Bristol production stopped after 50, and Hawker eventually built 402 in two production batches: 100 built as pure fighters, and 302 F.B. II fighter-bombers with reinforced wings and wing racks capable of carrying bombs of up to 1,000 lb or eight RPs.

The Tempest II had the best performance of the series, with a maximum speed of 442 mph at 15,200 ft, climb rate to the same altitude of 4.5 minutes compared with 5 minutes for the Tempest V, and service ceiling of 37,500 ft. All production aircraft were powered by a 2,590 hp Centaurus V driving a 12 ft 9 inch Rotol propeller. The Tempest II would have formed the fighter component of Tiger Force, a proposed British Commonwealth long-range bomber force based on Okinawam, however the Pacific War ended before they could be deployed.

By October 1945, a total of 320 Tempest IIs had been delivered. The aircraft were sent to squadrons in Germany and India. A Tempest II flown by Roland Beamont, led the flypast at the London Victory Celebrations of June 8,1946. The sole combat use of RAF Tempest IIs was against guerrillas of the Malayan Races Liberation Army during the early stages of the Malayan Emergency.

Roland Beamont:

Wing Commander Roland Prosper "Bee" Beamont, was an RAF fighter pilot and experimental test pilot during and after the Second World War. He was the first British pilot to exceed Mach 1 in a British aircraft in level flight (P.1A),and the first to fly a British aircraft at Mach 2 (P.1B); he was also the first British pilot to fly supersonic when he exceeded Mach 1 in the XP-86, which became the first public acknowledgement that the Sabre was transonic.

Following his service in the Battle of Britain flying Hurricanes in 87 Squadron, Beamont was seconded to Hawkers as a test pilot, where he was involved in the development of the Hawker Typhoon. He returned to active service and commanded 609 Squadron during their initial deployment with the new Typhoon fighter. He pioneered the Typhoon in ground attack. Leaving 609 he returned to Hawkers and participated in the tests of the Tempest V, later taking the Tempest into operational service and commanding the first wing during the summer and fall of 1944. Attacking a train in Germany on October 12, 1944, he took a hit in the radiator and was forced to crash-land. He was a POW until the end of the war.

In June 1945, he was given command of the first Tempest II wing at RAF Chilbolton, and would have taken it to Okinawa as part of Tiger Force that fall to participate in the invasion of Japan had the surrender not occurred in August.


The Eduard 1/48 Tempest II is the same kit that was released this past May by Special Hobby. It does not have the Special Hobby resin parts, but does have the standard Eduard photoetch set in this Profipack release. Decals are provided for six different aircraft, all “early” by serial number, but two are early aircraft later tropicalized like the late production aircraft.

Surface detail is superb, as anyone familiar with the Tempest V kit will know. This time, the upper wing does not join the lower wing part with a seam through the flaps, which greatly aids construction without having to lose surface detail filling the seam through the flap.


This kit assembles in a manner similar to the Eduard Tempest V kit. The kit maintains the Eduard reputation for being “fiddly,” and care must be taken throughout the construction to insure all sprue nibs and any minor flash are cleaned off the parts, since they fit very precisely. That said, the end result is worth the extra effort taken during construction.

The fit of parts is really tight. Also, there are a lot of small parts on the sprues, and they have really delicate sprue gates attaching them to the sprue. It is very easy to knock one off unnoticed while cutting another part off the sprue, with that small part disappearing forever, to drive you nuts when you come to the point in the instructions where you are directed to attach it. “Where the @#$##@!! is it?!” you will be crying. HANDLE THESE SPRUES WITH EXTREME CARE.

The only really difficult part of separating parts from the tree involves the side frames for the cockpit, which are scale thickness and very fragile. I finally learned to cut them off with toenail cutters, which did not put any stress on the delicate part and resulted in it coming off in one piece.

The plastic instrument panel with decals will fit better than the photo-etch pieces when it comes to shoehorning the assembly into the fuselage. If you use the photo-etch, you do not need to was time with the photo-etch levers and other small detail, since none of these will be visible in the cockpit once assembled.

The final difficult bit is the wing sub-assembly. When you assemble the parts of the wheel well into the upper wing, DO NOT attach part E79 (the inner gear door retraction mechanism) to Part E48 (the inner gear well bulkhead) as the instructions would have you do. Save that part and attach it with tweezers (it’s easy) once you are at final assembly and putting the landing gear and doors into position. Otherwise, you are guaranteed to knock off the retraction mechanism. Also, go through the instructions and find all the parts that should be attached inside the wells and do them now. DO NOT WAIT till you come across that instruction later - you’ll likely have knocked the part off the sprue by then.

The wing assembles easily. The trailing edge joint runs right along the trailing edge of the flap, rather than through it, so there is no joint filling, sanding and rescribing necessary. The wing fits to the fuselage easily. If you are careful with the fuselage and wing sub-assemblies, you won’t have to use any gap filler, and you won’t lose any of that beautiful surface detail.

The horizontal stabilizers and the control surfaces are easy to assemble and their tight fit means you won’t need filler here either.


The kit provides the markings for Tempest II MW835, in the markings it carried in the fall of 1945 when Wing Commander Charles H. Dyson owned it. This is the same aircraft Beamont used in the summer of 1945, though when he had it the lightning flash was not painted on the fuselage. I decided to do the airplane as it was with Beamont, which meant doing the standard SEAC white markings, and using his initials “R-B”, which I got from the Tempest V kit.

I first painted and masked the white SEAC markings on the cowling, and tail surfaces, then painted and masked the Sky fuselage band, and finished with the yellow wing leading edges which were also masked. I then pre-shaded the model with NATO black, then did the standard Temperate Land Scheme with Tamiya XF81 Ocean Grey, XF-82 RAF Dark Green and XF-83 Sea Grey Medium.

The decals are thin, but opaque, and went down under an application of Solvaset, melting into the surface detail without problem.

I gave the model an overall coat of clear “flat,” then attached the landing gear and posed the canopy open and attached the prop.


This is a really nice kit. It is currently listed as “sold out,” at the Eduard store, but there is now a second release of the kit as the “late production” version, with everything the same except for different decals. (A quick google showed several early kits available for sale. Ed)

I think the Tempest II is my favorite Hawker piston engine fighter. It has an elegant look to it. This is the easiest-assembling Eduard kit after the new production Fw-190 series. Take care in getting the parts clean, take your time in assembly, and you won’t lose any of the beautiful surface detail and you will have a really nice model. Highly recommended to anyone with some experience building a complex kit.

Tom Cleaver

18 November 2021.

Review Kit courtesy of Eduard

Copyright All rights reserved. No reproduction in part or in whole without express permission.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Review Index Page

Back to the Previews Index Page