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KIT REVIEW


Eduard Tempest Mk. V Series 2 ProfiPACK Edition
1:48 Scale



Toward the end 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 a good kit for that era.  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 second release in their new Tempest family: the Mk. V Series 2.

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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 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 out the Second World War in Europe.

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Eduard’s 1:48 scale Tempest Mk. V Series 2 ProfiPACK kit represents the configuration of the second production run of the Tempest (Series 2).  This kit comes on five injection molded polystyrene sprues containing 172 parts.  In this version of this kit, about 40 will go unused.  Two clear sprues hold an additional 22 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 set and one decal sheet.  The full color instruction booklet organizes the build over 13 pages.  Markings are provided for six airplanes:

Strengths:  The second edition of Eduard’s new Tempest Mk. V is indeed very impressive.  This later production version of the airplane featured short-barreled Hispano Mk.V cannons where the muzzles were flush with the leading edges of the wing, smaller four-spoke wheels, and internally, a strengthened central wing spar.  The rear fuselage external reinforcing "fishplates" were deleted, thanks to internal production changes that strengthened the back end of the airplane.  This Eduard kit really does appear to capture all of these features quite accurately.
All of the other kudos and accolades that were heaped upon the Tempest Mk. V Series 1 kit (see our previous review HERE) apply in this case as well.  But to recap:
Overall size and shapes appear to be very accurate.  The surface airframe detail is excellent, featuring crisp and restrained panel lines.  There are a mix of raised and recessed screw, rivet, and fastener detail and all are 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 late war and postwar markings and I do love the invasion stripes on two of these airplanes.  Of course, you’ll have to paint the stripes themselves since they are not offered as decals.  However, the natural metal scheme really has my attention…

Weaknesses:  I cannot offer any substantive critiques of this kit.  However, do note that the flaps are integrally molded in the up-position.  Also, this kit includes the new Sprue G – but I don’t really know why the drop tanks were cast in clear plastic.

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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 Series 2 is outstanding.  If you’re the kind of scale modeler who wishes to add even more detail, check out a Brassin cockpit, a Löök instrument panel, and Big Sin sets. 

Sincere thanks are owed to 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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