The impressive airframe of the Tempest never fails to impress. Itís often called the ultimate piston engine fighter a title that is probably shared with its very close relative the Sea Fury. Originally called the Typhon II, the Tempest resulted from a desire to improve performance at altitude of the Typhoon by introducing a laminar wing into the design. Despite trying to address the problems with performance at altitude, the Tempest like the Typhoon excelled at mid to low altitudes. Along with its excellent range, speed, ailerons with spring-loaded tabs offering excellent roll rate, great visibility from the cockpit, the punch of four 20mm cannons and ability to carry up to 2000lbs of ordnance, the Tempest proved an extremely effective combat aircraft. The Tempest was typically fitted with two 1000 lb (450 kg) bombs or eight 60 lb (27 kg) rockets. When fitted with under wing fuel tanks, the Tempest could loiter for up to 4.5 hours. It was feared by all that was within its range of operation whether ground targets or the emerging jet powered aircraft. Hubert Lange, a Me 262 pilot, said: "the Messerschmitt Me 262's most dangerous opponent was the British Hawker Tempest ó extremely fast at low altitudes, highly manoeuvrable and heavily armed."
Opening the box itís immediately obvious how good the moulding are and the quality of the detail. Eduard leads the way in respect to how the execute fine panel lines and detail. Thankfully everything is bagged, just as well as there were quite a few items that had detached from the sprues during transportation. The parts do seem keen to remove themselves from the sprues, so be careful when handling. Contents include:
5 x grey platic sprues
2 x clear plastic sprues
1 x small fret of pre-coloured photo etched items
1 x paint masks
1 x sheet of decals
1 x A4 20 page instruction manual.
The cockpit area is made up from around thirty plastic parts and almost the same number of photo etched parts. There is additional raised detail on the inside of the fuselage in the cockpit area as well as in the tail wheel well. As is the norm with Eduard ProfiPACK editions you have a choice of how you represent the instrument panel and side consoles. You can use the pre-coloured PE parts supplied, use the excellent detail moulded on the plastic parts or use the decals. There are two types of gu/rocket aiming sightsSeat harness is included on the PE fret. There is a well of detail to be found with the parts supplied, more than enough for most modellers.
The canopy is beautifully clear and the separate windscreen means you can display the canopy open, so you can better see the cockpit detail Eduard has gone to great lengths to supply you with. The canopy is fitted onto a grey plastic sill
The fuselage comes as two halves; thankfully Eduard has decided not to complicate things by including open panels. This being a Tempest Mk.V series 2 means there are no strengthening fish plates that were a feature of the early Tempests. Rowan [Merlin] mentioned that the plates presented a potentially a tricky feature in his review
of the series one Tempest. The plates in the kit were made from individual PE parts. Not the easiest way to represent the plates even for a seasoned modeller. Thankfully this is not an issue with this release. The parts for the chin radiator number eleven plastic parts and two or four PE parts depending on which version you are building. The exhausts look good, there are two pipes blending into flattened exhaust outlet. There are two types of propeller again which you use depends on your marking choice.The rudder is separate and has noticeable raised lines to represent the rib tape as the rudder was covered in canvas.
The lower wing is a full span one piece part. The two upper halves of the wing have some good raised detail in the roof of the wheel bay. There are additional parts to create the walls of the bay and parts of the retraction gear. The ailerons are separate and presumably positionable. The elevators are separate and are also one piece.
The undercarriage has two choices of tyres and hubs depending which marking option you go for. Dunlop is moulded onto the walls of the tyres. The main landing gear leg is one piece as is the complex looking activation arm, but they are impressively detailed as are the inside of the gear doors. The inside of the bays will look impressive once itís assembled. The anti-shimmy rear wheel and oleo are made up from four parts.
Armament consist of the short cannon barrels which are fixed to the inner part of the small separate section of the leading edge. There are two types of rocket projectile provided: with rails or without. This release requires you to use the projectiles with rails. The rocket and rails are one piece and look very good. The stabilising fins are separate and these attached to the rear of the rocket. There are even photo etched parts replicating the rocket motor fuse. No bombs are supplied, but there are a couple of drop tanks. Curiously made from clear if somewhat hazy plastic.
There are masks for the windscreen and canopy as well as the wheel hubs, wing walkways along the wing root and the ID lights.
The large sheet of decals is printed by Cartograf and as you would expect the quality is superb. There are no invasion stripes included. There are quite a few stencils to apply and there is a separate guide in the instructions
There are six marking options with this release including:
JN862, No. 3 Squadron, No. 150 Wing, RAF Newchurch, Great Britain, June 1944
JN803, No. 486 (RNZAF) Squadron, No. 122 Wing, B.80 Volkel, the Netherlands, October 1944
NV994, No. 3 Squadron, No. 122 Wing, B. 112 Hopsten, Germany, April 1945
NV994, No. 3 Squadron, No. 122 Wing, B.152 Fassberg, Germany, June 1945
NV708, flown by W/Cdr. John Chester Button DSO, DFC, CO of No. 123 Wing, RAF Station Wunstorf, Germany, 1946/ 47
EJ865, No. 80 Squadron, No. 123 Wing, RAF Station Wunstorf, Germany, October 1947
All except one of the marking options is painted dark green with ocean grey on the upper surfaces with medium sea grey on the under surfaces. NV708 is left bare metal or painted aluminium. JN862 and JN803 sport invasion stripes. JN862 has a couple of very narrow band on the spinner and thankfully this comes as a decal.
The A4 sized instruction booklet takes you through the build process clearly. Just pay attention to the variations with some of the aircraft depicted. It might be worth highlighting the relevant sections before you start building. Gunze Sangyo paints are used for reference, but its simple enough nowadays to cross reference these with your favoured paints.
This is such an impressive release from Eduard and possibly an early contender for model of the year. The quality of the recessed and raised detail is exemplary and the amount of detail included in the cockpit and main wheel wells is superb. You do wonder how this could be bettered by resin after-market products. In fact most modellers would be content with the Weekend Edition when it arrives such is the detail in the plastic parts. Checking the Eduard website this release costs just under £30 which is amazing considering the price some Companies charge for their constantly re-issued kits dating back from the 1970ís.