Airfix 1/24 Hawker Typhoon
My favourite aircraft flown by the Allies during WWII has always been the Hawker Typhoon especially when fitted with the bubble canopy, armed with rockets and painted with full invasion stripes. I (and a lot of other people) had been hoping for a 1/32 scale kit from one of the major companies when Airfix surprised us all with this ‘slightly’ larger offering. It is a big, beautiful kit which (apart from the car door) includes just about every option you could wish for. When Brett rang and asked if I would be interested in painting a pre-production model that he was building for the next ADH ‘How To Build’ book I jumped at the chance.
The only thing that I was disappointed with was the rather basic detail on the rockets. In my opinion this is an important feature on this large kit so I was hoping for a little more effort from the designers. This shot shows all eight RPs finished with scratch-built detail added by me.
The first detail that I decided to add was a more accurate representation of the kit’s solid moulded rocket saddle plates. New brackets were made by carefully bending .010 x .040 Evergreen plastic strip to match the various reference photos I had at hand. After the removal of the moulded kit brackets these scratch-built items were glued in place. These are not entirely accurate but they’re a lot better than the kit offering.
The Weak Link Leads or ‘pig tails’ were the next detail to be added. These were relatively simple to make using plastic rod for the plugs and .355mm solder wire for the leads.
Brett had constructed the model with the engine fully exposed and painted. Both wing cannon bays were also open and complete. I painted it in this configuration with the thought in mind that I might be able to fit the engine cowling and gun bay panels over this completed work. I was wrong! But after the photos had been taken and the model was now mine the engine received a severe pruning and, with a bit of persuasion, the cowls and panels were made to fit.
Brett seemed very pleased with the result and took some more photos which he has included in his new book.
The cowling on my model doesn’t fit perfectly but that’s because it was fitted as an afterthought. I’m sure that if I had initially constructed it with the cowling closed, the fit would have been very good. A few added details seen in this shot include the dorsal whip antenna and the replacement cover plate with wire handle on the bottom of the retractable footstep.
Markings were sourced from XTRADECAL sheet no. X24-003 and represent aircraft MN131/PR-M of No. 609 Sqn., 123 Wing, 2 TAF, RAF Thorney Island, 6 June 1944. The decal instructions indicate that this aircraft had a three blade prop and a short chord tail but on careful examination of the one available photograph of this particular plane it is impossible to tell what the tail configuration is and, even though it is spinning, the prop looks to me as though it has four blades. So because Brett had already securely glued the Tempest tail in place and, in my mind, it should’ve been fitted with a four bladed prop, that’s the way it was going to be!
What a brute.
My favourite angle.