I’m not sure how I’ve missed out on building Eduard’s 1/48 Tempest Mk. V kit. Since returning to the hobby in 2006, I’ve built all sorts of kits. Good ones and bad ones. Easy and difficult. And my focus has generally been World War II single engined Allied fighters. With an emphasis on inline engined aircraft. Especially if they’re RAF.
Yet I’ve missed out on the Eduard Tempest. Until now.
After a recent commission build of a Tempest Mk. II conversion, I started reading up on the type, as well as its predecessor, the Typhoon. (Which spurred a build also…) And the more I read, the more fascinated I became with this brute of a fighter plane.
I suppose a small factor in not building the Tempest was listening to the advice of another modeler I know. About the time Eduard released their Limited Edition boxing of the kit- seems like I recall it was 2013- a friend said “Oh, that’s Eduard’s reboxing of someone else’s plastic. It’s no good.” If I recall correctly, the price point was a bit higher than I had in mind for a new kit at the time, so I set it aside.
I should have known better. I should have asked the question I normally ask, which is “Oh, tell me how your experience was building the kit.” That usually reveals that not only have they not built the kit, they’ve not even seen it, instead relying on some comment somewhere on some forum by some guy….
So to set things straight from the start- this is Eduard’s kit. Not a rebox It is older. It is worth building. It will be enjoyable. Trust me.
There are several boxings available. Early boxings were plastic only, and included a one piece canopy. Later boxings added resin, photoetch, and a two piece canopy. The 2013 released added even nicer resin, more photoetch, and more decal options. Any of them can be built quite satisfactorily right from the box. Even the basic plastic cockpit is decent enough, especially given that the cockpit opening is so small that it is difficult to see much in it.
For this build, I used kit no. 8074, which was a later boxing of plastic only, though it did have the two piece canopy.
The cockpit is fairly simple and a bit flat. Hawker fighters had a very prominent “cage” type framework in their fighters. In Eduard’s Tempest kit, the basic plastic parts present this as slightly raised detail for the sidewalls and floor. It’s not anything to write home about, but it works with some good painting, dry brushing and a wash. I did replace the kit seat with an Ultracast seat, as that is really the only prominent feature that can be seen readily from the cockpit opening. The entire unit forms a tub, which I set aside once complete.
The fuselage goes together without any fuss, despite the lack of alignment pins. Surface detail is recessed, though a bit shallow and not as sharp as Eduard’s more recent releases. With the prominent radiator intake in place in one fuselage half, the fuselage was closed up and the seams sanded down. A bit of filler was needed here and there to totally remove the seams, but there were no gaps. (Although I do advise sanding down the mating edges a bit, as there are a few ejector pins marks.)
With that sorted out, I inserted the cockpit tub into the fuselage, and it fit perfectly.
The wheel wells are glued into the bottom wing part. I painted and weathered those before joining them up to the wing. The upper wings fit nicely, though as with the fuselage, some filler is needed to fully remove the seams.
The wing to fuselage fit was generally good. It is quite tight at the leading edge, where it has to slide under the aft part of the radiator. But it will go. The join at the fuselage and the trailing edge of the wing is not quite as good. There aren’t any bad seams, but it does seem to fit a bit off- almost offset just slightly. (This has been the case on both my Tempest builds.) However, it is quite simple to fill the area, sand it down, and rescribe.
The tailplanes need a little bit of cleanup work to get a good fit, but with a few minutes effort, they go on quite nicely with only the need for a little Mr. Surfacer to seal the gap. As is my usual practice, I added on the forward windscreen, stuffed the various openings with bits of moist paper towel, and prepared for paint.
When it comes to paint schemes, I won’t lie…. the Tempest was a lot like the Model T. Henry Ford said it came in any color, as long as it was black. Tempest Mk. Vs were pretty much Ocean Gray/Dark Green over Medium Sea Gray. The aircraft letters and serials varied, and a few may have had some additional art, but generally there was not a lot of variety. (Although if you love black and white stripes you’ll love Tempests!)
I chose a scheme for W/Cdr Roland Beaumont’s aircraft, prior to D-Day. Aside from the standard colors, the spinner was yellow, and the aircraft had the black and white recognition stripes that most Typhoons and Tempest wore prior to D-Day. The stripes consisted of four black stripes of 12 inches width each, and three white stripes of 24 inches. I decided to paint the undersides Medium Sea Gray first (Tamiya XF-83), and then do the stripes. To make sure that the gear doors were properly painted, I taped them together on their inner faces, and setting them in the gear wells, I held them in place with the tape used for masking the stripes. I painted the entire area white, then added in appropriately sized strips of tape to mask off the white areas, and then painted the black stripes. It came out looking pretty good.
After masking off the undersides, I painted the uppers Ocean Gray (Tamiya XF-82), and followed up with Dark Green (Tamiya XF-81), done freehand with the airbrush. A heavily thinned XF-82 was used to neaten up the edges. Finally I masked off the Sky (Tamiya XF-21) fuselage stripe, and painted the yellow wing leading edges and spinner.
After applying a gloss coat, I began the decal process. As there weren’t too many markings, it didn’t take long. For the roundels and fin flash, I used the kit decals. For the aircraft codes and serials, I used decals from Eduard Limited Edition (kit 1169) boxing, as they looked a bit better.
The kit was finished up with a panel line wash, and some airbrush fading and shading, weathering powders, and a coat of Vallejo Satin Varnish.
I was really happy with the result, and the build was a lot of fun. I’m kicking myself for not building this kit sooner. I do plan to build several more though! The kits can be found on Ebay, and if you keep your eyes open, you can get one for $20-$30. Be patient and you can find a bargain. I highly recommend it!