Minicraft 1/144 Hawker Tempest V Kit First Look
|Date of Review||July 2011||Manufacturer||Minicraft|
|Subject||Hawker Tempest V||Scale||1/144|
|Kit Number||14646||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Simple build, nice details||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$10.95|
Even before the Hawker Typhoon started rolling off the production line, Hawker engineers were already working on the Typhoon II design. While the Typhoon was a very capable design, the engineers were not happy with the Typhoon's wing which looked good on paper, but proved to be too thick. Instead, Hawker engineers were looking at the wing of a colonial fighter, the laminar flow wing of the P-51 Mustang.
The early Tempest (as the Typhoon II would become) was similar in appearance to the Typhoon, but incorporated a number of other engineering improvements. The hunt was on for the ideal powerplant and the Tempest I received what would become the problematic Napier Sabre IV. Tempest II received the radial Centaurus engine (the navalized Tempest II would become the Sea Fury). The Tempest III and IV received Griffon engine variants while the Tempest V received the Napier Sabre II. The Tempest V would become one of the RAF's leading fighters later in World War II with its excellent handling, four 20mm cannons, and provisions for external stores.
Minicraft has re-released the Crown 1/144 Hawker Tempest V kit and this is a nice little gem. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on one parts tree plus a separately packaged clear canopy. Molding is clean and layout is very simple.
Construction starts with the fuselage halves (no cockpit interior as you won't see it through the canopy in this scale) and you have your choice of a full propeller or just the spinner (to simulate a running engine). The horizontal stabilizer slips through the tail and the fuselage slips onto the one-piece wing. You have a choice of displaying the model gear up or gear down, different parts are provided for whichever option you select.
Markings are provided for two examples:
- Tempest V, unknown, 150 Wing, R-B, 1944
- Tempest V, EJ865, 80 Sqn, W2-Y, 1947
This is a nice kit that will go together nicely and provide a quick project to add to your scale flightline. This is another nice installment in Minicraft's growing line of scale aircraft.
My sincere thanks to Minicraft Models for this review sample!