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KIT REVIEW


Eduard Tempest Mk. V Series 1 ProfiPACK Edition
1:48 Scale



In the latter years of WWII, the British developed one of the fastest and most lethal airplanes of the conflict: the Hawker Tempest.  In 1997, Eduard put out their first 1:48 scale Hawker Tempest kit and it was indeed a good kit for that era.  Fast forward 21 years, and Eduard’s kit production technology has advanced light-years.  At the end of 2018, it was time to revisit this airplane, and Eduard released a new tool kit of the iconic Tempest in 1:48 scale.  Here, we sit down with the first release of their new Tempest family: the Mk. V Series 1.

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While the Hawker Typhoon was one of the RAF’s most notable airplanes of WWII, the Typhoon’s performance was poor at both high altitude and high airspeeds.  Hawker engineers, led by Sydney Camm, developed a Typhoon variant in 1941 that incorporated a thinner, laminar flow wing design first known as the Hawker P. 1012 or Typhoon II.  The wing was redesigned into a near-elliptical shape with a 43-foot span and wing surfaces were very purposefully flush-riveted to optimize laminar flow.  It was also designed to incorporate 800 rounds of 20 mm ammunition for four Hispano cannons.  Additional internal fuel tanks were added.  Yet, the heart of the new design was the powerful Napier Sabre IV powerplant.  The accumulated changes prompted a new name, and the Typhoon II became the Tempest.

Six prototype Tempests were built as a single Mk. I, two Mk. IIs, one Mk. III, one Mk. IV, and one Mk. V variant.  Each example featured a range of different airframe and powerplant configurations.  Delays with the other prototypes saw the Mk. V first take to the air in September 1942.  Tempest flight tests validated the new design that indeed overcame the Typhoon’s performance shortcomings.  By 1943, a production line for the Tempest V was established in Hawker's Langley facility.  Low rate initial production fed airplanes into an extensive service trial program at Boscombe Down.  By April 1944, the Tempest was ready for combat.

From about 10,000 feet down to the deck, the Tempest was the fastest low-altitude propeller-driven aircraft of the war.  Tempests flew fighter sweeps and reconnaissance missions.  Leading up to D-Day, Tempests frequently flew into northern France, Holland, and the Netherlands to attack virtually everything:  German airfields, radar installations, ground vehicles, coastal shipping, and “vengeance-weapon” launch sites.  The high-speed performance of the Tempest made it an excellent interceptor of the V-1 buzz bombs.  Tempests brought down no less than 638 V-1s inbound to England.  In September 1944, Tempests supported Operation MARKET GARDEN and by the end of 1944, their missions were generally focused on systematic destruction of northern German railways.  By 1945, the Tempest had begun to accumulate kills against the Me 262, and by the end of the war, the airplane had accumulated an overall kill-to-loss ratio of 6.5 to 1.  What had started out as a redesign of the Hawker Typhoon produced a definitive contribution to close the Second World War in Europe.

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Eduard’s 1:48 scale Tempest Mk. V Series 1 ProfiPACK kit represents the configuration of the first production run of the Tempest (Series 1) that were distinguished by their protruding cannon barrels from the leading edge of the wing.  This kit comes on five injection molded polystyrene sprues containing 172 parts.  In this version of this kit, 42 of these parts will go unused.  One clear sprue holds an additional 16 parts.  Fifty-seven photoetched metal parts are included on one fret (23 of them are pre-painted).  There’s also a die-cut self-adhesive masking sets and one decal sheet.  The full color instruction booklet organizes the build over 13 pages.  Markings are provided for six airplanes:

Strengths:  Eduard is known as one of the best producers of 1:48 scale injection-molded aircraft kits, from their range of WWII Spitfires, Fw 190s, and Bf 109s.  This new Tempest kit is stunning, and as outstanding as their Spits, 190s, and 109s indeed are, I think this Tempest could be the best of them all.  This thing dazzles.

There’s nothing here in common with the old Eduard Tempest tooling.  This is a completely new entity.  Overall size and shapes appear to be very accurate.  The surface airframe detail is excellent, featuring crisp and restrained panel lines.  There are also a mix of raised and recessed screw, rivet, and fastener detail is so intricately executed.  The surface detail on this kit is jaw-dropping.  The ailerons, rudder, and elevators are separate parts and can be positioned as desired.  The canopy can also be positioned opened or closed.  The full span, single-piece lower wing ensures you will get the correct dihedral.  Test fits of the fuselage and wing halves look to be flawless.

The cockpit is outstanding and builds up from a combination of injection-molded and photoetched metal parts.  The level of detail and intricacy that come out of this combination allow for the production of a small masterpiece here (though Eduard has already released a Brassin cockpit set which is even better [see below]).  All the elements of the cockpit are just wonderfully represented, from the control column to the throttle, rudder pedals, seat, and surrounding airframe structure.  The shoulder harnesses and lap belts are pre-painted and feature ultra-fine stitching and shading details.  I have pretty good eyes (still) and I was squinting to make out some of those pre-painted details.  The pre-painted instrument dial faces have been treated with Eduard’s “raised glass effect.”  It works very well.  If you’re not into photoetched parts, alternate decals for the instrument faces are provided.   

Scale modelers will also be very impressed by the fidelity of detail in the main gear, main gear wells, and tail wheel wells and gear doors.  You can read the “Dunlop” imprimatur on the main gear tire sidewalls.  The structures of the main gear wells appear to be very well represented, only lacking wire bundles or plumbing.  The main gear themselves and their retraction cylinders and other struts are very nicely detailed and crisply molded.  Further, ejection pin marks are out of the way and won’t be bothering anyone.  Other smaller details are to be commended, too, including the exterior lights and very nicely printed decals that represent the straps on the drop tank pylons.

The markings were printed by Cartograf.  As expected, colors are accurate, vibrant, and in perfect register.  Carrier film is thin and quite well restrained.  The print fidelity, including for the finest airframe stencils, is excellent.  I also like the choice of schemes represented here.  There’s a mix of RAF and Royal New Zealand Air Force Tempests, and I do love the invasion stripes on three of these airplanes.  Of course, you’ll have to paint the stripes themselves since they are not offered as decals.  

Weaknesses:  From the perspective of an in-the-box review, I cannot identify any truly substantive critiques of this kit.  Do note that the flaps are integrally molded in the up-position.  Also, early Tempests had issues with the rear fuselage sometimes failing in flight, so strengthening plates were added to the rear of the fuselage where it mated with the tail assembly.  In this kit, these plates are represented by lots of little photoetched metal parts.  Besides the fact that these parts are pretty fiddly, I suggest measuring out and making your own placement guide for them since the kit does not provide anything to assist in the regular, symmetrical placement of these plates.  If you don't do it right, they could look a little wonky.      

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Eduard continues set the bar higher and higher with its new tool kits, and their new 1:48 scale Tempest Mk. V is outstanding.  In looking at the sprues (and also by reading the monthly Info Eduard newsletters), this kit is the first in a family of 1:48 scale Tempests.  We can’t wait to see the Tempest Mk.V Series 2 which is next.  If you’re the kind of scale modeler who wishes to add even more detail, there’s already a Brassin cockpit, a Löök instrument panel, and Big Sin sets that have been released.  It’s great to see an aircraft such as the Tempest Mk. V see such treatment in 1:48 scale.  This kit looks like an instant classic.     

We extend our sincere thanks to everyone at Eduard for the review sample. You can visit them on the web at http://www.eduard.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EduardCompany/.

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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