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KIT REVIEW


Eduard Royal Class Tempest Mk. V Dual Combo Kit Set
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 released their first 1:48 scale Hawker Tempest kit and it was indeed a solid effort for that era.  Twenty-one years later, Eduard’s kit production technology had advanced light-years.  At the end of 2018, Eduard released a new tool kit of the iconic Tempest Mk. V Series 1 in 1:48 scale.  In 2019, the Mk V Series 2 hit the market.  By the end of the year, a Royal Class issue of Tempest was released, containing both kits, detail parts, and a book on the aircraft.  Let’s take a look.  

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While the Hawker Typhoon was one of the RAF’s most celebrated 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.  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 operational 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 the 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 Royal Class Tempest boxing contains two complete kits of the Tempest: one Mk V Series 1 (representing the configuration of the first production run of the Tempest) and one Mk. V Series 2 (the second production run of the Tempest) along with parts to build a Tempest TT.5.  The Series 1 kit comes on five injection molded polystyrene sprues containing 172 parts.  In this version of this kit, 42 go unused.  One clear sprue holds an additional 16 parts.  Fifty-seven photoetched metal parts are included on one fret (23 are pre-painted).  The Series 2 kit also 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.  More than 170 photoetched metal parts are included on three frets (about half of them are pre-painted).  Thirteen cast resin parts are included for two sets of exhaust stacks, main wheels, tail wheels, and a few other small detail parts.  The two kits share a single pre-cut self-adhesive masking set and the instruction booklet that guides both builds over 27 pages.  The Royal Class boxing also features a 112-page book by Christopher Thomas, Tempest V: An Illustrated History of the Temporary Tempest.  Markings for no less than 14 Tempest Mk. Vs come on a single, large Cartograf-printed decal sheet:

Strengths:  Over the last year, we have had the chance to review the 1:48 scale Eduard Tempest Mk. Vs at detailandscale.com.  All of the strengths we noted earlier apply here to both kits.  To recap: these kits generally dazzle.  There’s nothing here in common with the old Eduard Tempest tooling.  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 which is so intricately executed.  The surface detail on this kit is outstanding.  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.  Of course, pay attention to the version of the kit you’re building – Mk. V Series 1, 2, or the TT.5.  Various specific parts for each building option vary between the variants from gun barrel configurations, cockpit parts, and tail reinforcements plates.  Note that the third PE fret is provided specifically for the TT.5 that is based on the Mk. V Series 2 airframe.   

The cockpit 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 cast resin 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 cast resin exhaust stacks are also gorgeous and far superior to the kit’s injection molded plastic parts.  

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.  The range and scope of the 14 markings options in this Royal Class issue are fairly amazing. They cover the aircraft in WWII along with its postwar lifetime up to 1955 with the gorgeous and high-visibility natural metal, yellow, and black TT.5 schemes that adorned these target tug aircraft.  It’s a seriously awesome selection of schemes.

The book included in this set is the final piece-de-résistance that makes this Royal Class set just that more valuable.  Thomas’s Tempest V: An Illustrated History of the Temporary Tempest is a photographic journey through the history and markings of the Mk. V.  The text is excellent, well-organized, and very informative.  The photos tell a compelling narrative story just on their own and are complemented by beautifully rendered aircraft profiles including those of Tempests on the decal sheet.  This is another very high-quality publication from Eduard.  It is an excellent companion to the kits in the box.

Weaknesses:  From the perspective of an in-the-box review, there are really no major substantive critiques of this Royal Class boxing.  Do note that the flaps are integrally molded in the up-position.  Also, Series 1 aircraft had issues with the rear fuselage sometimes failing in flight, so strengthening plates were added to the exterior of the rear 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.  Also, use slow setting superglue to allow for adjustment.  If you don't do it right, they could look a little wonky.     

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Quite plainly, Eduard hits a home run with this Royal Class Dual Combo boxing of their Tempest kit.  The two kits, great detail parts, extensive markings options, and outstanding book all get very high scores, indeed.  If you’re a fan of the Tempest, this is probably irresistible (and it should be!).  For other scale modelers, the quality of this set is an invitation to a great building experience of this classic aircraft.  For those interested in adding even more detail, go to eduard.com and check out the now fairly vast range of detail sets available for the Tempest Mk. V, from landing flaps to superdetailed cockpits, rockets, an engine set, and more.  

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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