More Hawker: 1/48 Eduard Tempest II, Pakistan 1949
Arriving too late at the end of WWII to see any real combat, the Hawker Tempest II proved its mettle in the Far East and Middle East circa 1948. When the British left India in 1947, the bulk of the remaining RAF Tempests left behind were distributed between India and Pakistan. However there was one last Tempest RAF unit based near Singapore that flew Mk.II’s as late as June 1951. They were part of the British anti-guerrilla campaign against communists in what is now Malaysia.
Royal Pakistan Air Force
The Hawker Tempest Mk.II was Pakistan’s first military fighter and the last Tempest to remain in active service. The country received about 45 total between 1948-49 from India (RIAF), right when the Royal Pakistani Air Force (RPAF) was created in late ’47. An initial batch was sent to patrol the north west areas of Pakistan while the Kashmir War was heating up on India’s border in 1948. Pakistan was short on pilots at the time so the RPAF enticed about 70 veteran Polish pilots and ground crew to come over and fly these Tempests until new Pakistani pilots could be trained. The last RPAF Tempests were withdrawn from service in 1956 but a few were used as target tugs until they were all scrapped by the end of ’58.
I chose to model white T, A139 (ex-RAF PR809), of the 14th Squadron received by the RPAF in late ’49 as part of 24 RIAF Tempests freshly overhauled by Hawker. It appears this plane was repainted along the way with the addition of the long white “T” and upgraded roundels. I found only one photo of the “T” markings but no further information other than looking at various color profiles of A139 without it.
In early 2021 Special Hobby teamed up with Eduard and incorporated their soon-to be-released new tool Tempest II sprues in SH’s “Hi-Tech” boxing. All the plastic was moulded by Eduard but the SH kit features some very nice CMK resin parts including proper treaded wheels, etch and masks. It also had the RPAF A139 decals I wanted. The kit sold out in a flash. Several months later Eduard released their own ProfiPACK Tempest Mk. II (Early) with the exact same sprues but no resin parts or PRAF decals. This is the kit I used for this build.
Turns out Tom Cleaver was one of the first to post a build of the SH Tempest II and had a leftover set of the very RPAF decals I was looking for. He was kind enough to send them to me. Thanks Tom@tcinla once again!
Wouldn’t you know? Midyear 2022, Eduard added these very decals plus many more markings to their “Ultimate Tempest” kit. Same sprues plus new decals and an extended PE and mask set but that’s it. The Special Hobby “Hi-Tech” kit with the resin parts and the RPAF decals is also available once again.
Everything is included in this kit to build an early or late production Tempest II plus a few parts that fit Eduard’s Tempest V series. It’s all superbly moulded and up to the quality we have come to expect from Eduard’s recent releases. The big dif between the two Mk. II series is this: late production Mk. II’s featured hard points for bombs, rockets, gas tanks and changed up the antenna mask. Staggered block tread tires were installed post war, but Eduard does not include these tires in their Tempest kits unlike Special Hobby. Eduard’s exhaust stacks are moulded closed and beg to be replaced. Same goes for the leading edge gun barrels that are too tiny to drill out.
BarracudaCast: late main wheels - block tread
BarracudaCast: allerons and elevators
BarracudaCast: seat with belts
Eduard Brassin - exhaust stacks
Master Model - brass gun barrels and pitot
Typical Eduard high quality moulding and precision parts. Just follow the instructions to the “T” and watch those itty bitty parts. Study a few build threads before you get out the glue.
I wanted to show some chipped paint. First I sprayed Alclad II aluminum lacquer on the cowling ring and other places where I wanted the chips to show.
Then I followed up by spraying cheap water based hairspray, decanted, over the cured aluminum lacquer. After a full cure I airbrushed the entire plane Tamiya flat black instead of doing my usual preshading.
Then I sprayed light gray squiggles on top of the black.
Next I applied the desert camo topside and azure blue undersides using very thinned Vallejo Air acrylics. The kit's black decal walkways aren’t great so I masked the area off and painted them instead. That’s when I went to work with a sharpened tooth pick to expose the chipping. Mind you this was my first time using the hairspray method and it worked, although I could use some more practice next time to dial it in. Once satisfied, I followed up by protecting everything with a coat of Alclad clear gloss lacquer and moved to the next step.
To put it bluntly, these are the worst Eduard decals I’ve ever used. Thin enough that you can see through the the black walk way stripes if you hold them up to the light. The red in the stencils and in the lightning bolt are actually halftones printed over white and yellow and are out of register so I chucked them as well. The black stencils were over inked and blurry looking. I used a few and gave up.
There’s a lot of excessive carrier film that needs to be trimmed away which I should have done more of. The Special Hobby RPAF roundels and markings are also thin so I assume Eduard printed them for SH. These worked well enough but I could not get them to settle down on the wings no matter how much Micro Sol I used while trying to push them into the panel lines with a tooth pick. Other than that, no problems.
This is a heck of terrific model and another clear winner from Eduard, except for those decals. I would have built this Tempest II as part of the Hawker 100 group but I was already well under way when Erik@airbum announced it. I’m currently working on a Hasegawa Hawker Typhoon Mk.I that will have to do instead.
(Wow, I finished 8 models in 2022, an all time record!)
Thanks for looking everybody.
5 additional images. Click to enlarge.