Hasegawa 1/48 Typhoon IB '181 Squadron'
KIT #: 09311
PRICE: €24 when new
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Spiros Pendedekas


No. 198 Squadron was formed at Rochford on 1 June 1917 with Avro 504K biplanes to teach pilots elementary night flying and later a comprehensive night flying course for home defense pilots. It disbanded at Rochford in September 1919, but reformed on 8 December 1942 at RAF Digby as a fighter squadron equipped with the Hawker Typhoon.

From March 1943, 198 Squadron joined 609 Squadron at RAF Manston where it provided fighter-escorts to the twin-engined Westland Whirlwind fighter-bombers on sorties into continental Europe. Over the next nine months 198 Squadron and 609 Squadron were the only Typhoon units to operate full-time on escort duties for RAF and USAAF bombers and long-range fighter sweeps (code-named "Ramrods") over France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

During these operations the squadron used long-range Typhoons, each equipped with a cigar-shaped 45 imp gallon fuel tank mounted below each wing. In these roles the unit was very successful, becoming one of the top scoring Typhoon units. During this time, most of the other Typhoon units began to be equipped with bomb racks or RP-3 rocket rails and had started training to carry out ground attack operations in preparation for the cross-Channel invasion.

After building up a score of enemy aircraft destroyed, the squadron changed role to ground attack at the beginning of 1944, when the Typhoons were fitted with RP-3 rockets. In January 1944 the squadron became part of the Second Tactical Air Force's "123 Airfield" (later known as 123 Wing), partnered with 609 Squadron.

The squadron lost several of its pilots during this reorganization to bring them into line with 2nd TAF's established strength requirements, and the ground crew echelon was completely changed. Morale slumped for a short while, but soon picked up as the squadron became familiarized with its new role. In March 1944 the 123 Wing moved to an "Armament Practice Camp'' (APC) at Llanbedr in Wales, before moving in April to RAF Thorney Island in preparation for D-Day.

After the landings the squadron was heavily involved in fighting around Caen using the rocket-equipped Typhoons against tanks and enemy positions. In July it moved to France and followed the advancing troops into the Netherlands and eventually moved to Wunstorf in Germany in May 1945. On 15 September 1945 the squadron was disbanded.

The RAF's top scoring Typhoon pilot was 198 Squadron's John Robert Baldwin, who claimed 15 aircraft shot down during 1942–44. Baldwin became Commanding Officer of the squadron in November 1943 and relinquished command in April 1944. He continued his association with 198 Squadron and ended the war as a Group Captain commanding No 84 (Typhoon) Group.


This is yet another version of the venerable Hasegawa series of quarter scale Typhoons, which first hit the market in 1999. For a look at the kit contents, as well as a history of the airplane, please read the kit preview here.


I started with the cockpit, attaching the side frames and rear bulkhead onto the floor (which has a tubular construction), then attached the rudder pedals and the 3-piece instrument panel (which includes the distinctive looking inclined side mini panels. The good looking seat received seat belts made from masking tape, with their buckles done with a fine tip silver pen. Cockpit basic color was Hu78 (for the English cockpit green), with black instrument panel, side consoles and stick grip. The supplied main instrument panel decal was applied, whereas the side consoles were dry brushed with silver and had some red and yellow paint knobs done with a 10/0 brush.

The 2-piece radiator was also assembled, painted black and heavily dry brushed with silver. Its front housing top half was painted underside color, whereas its bottom and all rear housing was painted “cockpit color”. After painting the fuselage visible sidewalls with cockpit color, I joined the fuselage halves, trapping the cockpit and radiator (together with its top front housing) in between.

It was then wings time: I attached the top wing halves onto the lower half, paying attention to the guns for good alignment (they are split in halves, together with the wing halves), then attached the wing to the fuselage. Thankfully, fit at the wing roots was very good!

The 2-piece tail planes were then assembled. After seeing a few reference pics clearly showing drooped elevators, I decided to separate them as to pose them dynamically: I thus patiently ran the back of my hobby knife into the engraving, applying light pressure, until the elevator got separated from the stabilizer. In order to deal with the hollowed innards that emerged, I glued some sheets to the stabilizers’ hollowed areas, whereas the elevators were treated with liquefied styrene. After sanding everything smooth, I attached the stabilizers to the fuselage, but left the elevators aside, to be attached at final stages

It was only then that the well-known Hasegawa upper cockpit wall inserts that account for the bubble canopy version were attached. They were a tad longer, so they had to be sanded down. Their fit was not perfect, with a longitudinal gap appearing at both the front and rear anti glare areas. Applying symmetrical pressure to the parts, so the complete gap would disappear, would result in them not sitting flush to the fuselage: their rear part would "bed" deeper, and it would be hard to fill and sand that recessed area smooth. On the other hand, the front gap had to close, as otherwise the windscreen would sit too narrowly: I had no choice but to clamp together only the front part of the inserts and pray that the rear area would not “bed” in, which, to my joy, was what more or less happened. The rear gap was treated with liquefied styrene. The distinctive canopy single railing that had inevitably been sanded off during the rear gap treatment process was replaced with a suitable piece of stretched sprue.

The model was then filled (not in that many places really, fit was generally good) and sanded smooth, the gear doors were tacked at their positions and we headed to the paint shop!


I first applied Hu127 Ghost Gray at all undersides, masked it off, and applied Hu128 compass Gray on topsides (for the Ocean Gray), which was subsequently coated with Future. Since the camo lines observed at the Typhoons tended towards “hard”, I formed the camo pattern with strings of tack. Then with my airbrush at “fine” settings, I applied Hu30 Dark Green, carefully spraying at the tack edges at certain angles, in order to create an almost (but not totally!) hard line. Upon removing the tack strings, a nice, tight camo pattern emerged (together with some green oversprays that had to be treated - the price to pay if , like yours truly, are lazy masking the gray top areas!).

The external wing leading edges were masked and sprayed Hu154 yellow. After a coat of Future, I proceeded to decaling.

I used the kit decals, in order to represent 198 Squadron’s “TPQ”, as it would stand by the end of summer 1944. The particular Typhoon survived to have only underwing and under fuselage stripes by the end of summer, and then lost the underwing stripes but kept the under fuselage stripes. Since I hate painting b/w stripes, I joyfully used the kit supplied decal that accounts for the underfuselage striping. Typically for Hasegawa, the decals not only took centuries to detach from their backing sheet (despite soaking them in hot water), but also exhibited that “ivory” shade at the white areas (b/w stripe areas and the smaller “Q” letter bilaterally of the engine cowling). They adhered excellently, though, and snuggled down to every detail! A coat of Future sealed them.


The correct exhausts for the “TPQ” were drilled out for extra realism, painted with Testors Burned Metal and attached into position. The leading edge mounted landing lights had their “lenses” painted chrome and the surrounding inner area “cockpit color”. The elevators were attached “drooped” at this time, as well (with the control stick having been attached accordingly“forward”).

The MLG struts were attached to their corresponding (dragged) doors. I could not resist adding brake lines from stretched sprue, in a pattern inspired by viewing seasonal pics. Then all landing gear parts were attached. The MLG legs stand prominently fore at a distinctive angle and it is a good idea to have a "gear down" side view handy (of the many net-available) in order to render it correctly.

Upon glue curing, I attached the 2-piece weighted main wheels and the single piece tail wheel, which I tad “weighted” by sanding, in order to look homogenous with the prominently weighted mains. All landing gear parts, including wells and door innards, were painted Testors Steel, oleos were highlighted with a fine tip silver pen and tires were painted black. A hefty black wash deepened all details and gave the whole area a well used look. Of note is that the assembled MLG is quite flimsy and sensitive to mishandling, so some extra care there will do no harm whatsoever…

The 3-piece nice prop was assembled, with the handy poly-cap trapped in. It was painted black with yellow tips (it is true that “TPQ” profiles exist, depicting the spinner red or, more rarely, sky: while this might have been the early case, at the end of summer spinners were painted black, in order to be less visible). The wing pitot and underside antenna were attached and accordingly painted at this time, as well. I did not attach the famous rockets, not even their pylons, as they compromised the Typhoons' aerodynamic lines a lot ( I would love to add the kit supplied good looking bomb pylons, but they would - most probably - be wrong for the 198 Sq Typhoons).

Since those Typhoons were real work horses, I decided not to be subtle in weathering. I thus started by applying an allover black wash that brought out all surface details. The wash was heavier at the moving surfaces' hinge areas and fuel caps, where, before fully dry, was spread aft with a 10/0 brush, towards the direction of the airflow, resembling grease/oil leaks. Then a dark brown/black dry pastel application followed, mainly at places where soot, dirt or grime would accumulate and certainly at most of the undersides! Finally, some chipping was done with silver dry brushing at wing roots black walk areas and prop blades leading edges, before the model received its final satin - almost matt coating.

The gun sight had its base painted black and attached. The transparencies (including the landing light covers) had their well defined frames hand painted with a 10/0 brush and attached with tiny amounts of styrene glue, the resulting mini gaps faired with white glue. The main canopy was a tad narrower than the cockpit opening, but, surprisingly, when pressed into position, it was spread wide by the rear anti glare curvature just enough to sit properly! So, all I had to do was to glue and hold the canopy in position for several minutes until the glue set!

The wingtip lights were affixed with Clearfix and then carefully painted with Humbrol red and green clear paints. The under-fuselage identification light had its innards painted chrome and its circular cover affixed with Clearfix as well, before calling the typhoon done!


This is a very good kit of the iconic Typhoon with correct general shape and good fit. Detailing at key areas is very good, instructions are clear and decals behaved well (with the drawbacks of relative thickness and the white represented as ivory - the latter affecting only one of the two specific kit schemes).

Whereas parts count is not that low, a good number of them cater for the rockets ordnance, so it is not a complex kit, its only “complication” being the not perfect fit of the famous Hasegawa inserts that account for the bubble canopy version, resulting in a gap that has to be specifically treated in order for the windscreen to fit but also for the rear insert area not “bed” lower than the surrounding area. This issue can be successfully handled by an average modeler.

Aftermarket of all kinds exists, being plentiful and impressive. Eduard have also reboxed all versions in 2017 and 2018, with their amazing assortment of goodies inside (PE, resin, masks, very interesting schemes and so on), but their editions are of the “limited” kind and are not too easy to find nowadays (2022).

I had an extremely pleasant time building this kit, which, apart from the added brake lines, was an out of the box (OOB) build.

Whereas Hasegawa hasn’t reissued any version of the kit since 2012, they can still be found at good prices. If you fancy building a Typhoon and own one of these kits or come across one, you are warmly advised to do so: an imposing model of the iconic fighter/attacker will result for sure.

My sincere Thanks to Tom Cleaver for providing valuable info on my specific plane’s camo evolution.

Happy modeling!

Spiros Pendedekas

11 July 2022

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