The Hawker Typhoon was intended to be the Hurricane's successor. Under development as the war started, the Typhoon was handicapped by its high lift (and therefore high drag) wing and its temperamental Napier Sabre engine. Plagued by exhaust leaks so serious that pilots had to be on oxygen as soon as the engine started and a weak tail structure, the Typhoon was not the outstanding fighter aircraft Hawker had counted upon developing. All was not lost, however, for the Typhoon soon found its niche in ground attack. Its ability to carry a large load of rockets and bombs, backed up by 4 20mm cannon soon made the Typhoon the favourite of ground commanders. “Cab ranks” of Typhoons patrolled the battle, waiting to be called to visit destruction upon particularly troublesome pockets of enemy troops and vehicles. Train drivers throughout Europe dreaded the sight of a typhoon coming to ruin their day. The Typhoon's legacy was carried on through the Tempest, Fury and Sea Fury.
This is another of Hasegawa's “modular” kits. Although the modular concept makes for sometimes tricky fit problems, it allows Hasegawa to exploit the market potential of several variants of the basic aircraft. In the case of this kit, it's an early production “car door” Typhoon with the bubble for the rear-view mirror in the canopy top.
The fuselage is two halves from nose to tail. The cockpit is nicely detailed and properly floorless with a good representation of the tubular framework. The only thing really necessary to dress it up is a set of seat belts. The instrument panel has raised details in the instrument faces, and a decal face is offered. Hasegawa offers this kit in both car door and bubbletop configurations, catering for the differences with insert panels around the cockpit. These have a chronic fit problem which is best solved by shimming them at the bottom by approximately ˝ mm. If they're glued in as-is, the resulting 1mm gap will land on the centreline, making the fit of the canopy difficult. The instructions indicate that the cockpit and radiator assemblies should be trapped between the fuselage sides as they're glued together. The large opening for the wings may make it possible to fit them in after the fuselage is assembled. Early Typhoons wore overall RAF interior green in the cockpit although the framing may have been painted aluminium. Later production aircraft were black above the top of the framework. The inside of the radiator housing was the same camouflage colours as the surrounding exterior surfaces rather than interior green as seen here
. The kit supplies sufficient detail to look good out of the box, but aftermarket aficianados will not be disappointed. Ultracast offers seats
, radiator face
and exhaust stacks
to dress up your kit, while Aires
offer complete resin replacement cockpits.
The canopy top and door may be posed open and there is an alternative fully closed canopy and car door. The bubble for the rear view mirror that early Typhoons were fitted with is a separate clear part that is to be glued onto the canopy. I feel that this is a substandard way to achieve this effect. It wouldn't have been that much more difficult or expensive to cut a mould for an entire new top piece and thus spare modellers the fuss of trying to make it look like one piece. Falcon offers a replacement canopy in Clear Vax set No. 31
The propeller assembly traps a poly cap between the propeller and spinner backplate. This allows the propeller to be attached to the airframe without glue.
The wings are in 3 pieces; one lower wing half from wingtip to wingtip with one piece for each upper half. The flaps are moulded shut. There are separate clear covers for the landing and navigation lights which will benefit from careful fitting. Hasegawa would have you use the faired cannon covers which would seem to be incorrect for early production Typhoons. Luckily there is photographic evidence
that they were indeed fitted to the kit subject.
If you wish to dress up the wings, Aires offers a wheel well
replacement set and Ultracast has a set of drop tanks
The tailplanes are two piece mouldings with interlocking tabs for a precise fit. The elevators may or may not be displaced on the ground. Ultracast offers replacement control surfaces
if you wish to show then deflected. Don't forget to pose the stick if you choose this option.
The landing gear struts and wheels are finely moulded and nicely detailed. In keeping with fashion, Hasegawa has moulded a flat on the bottom of the wheels, and has not chosen to bulge the sidewalls excessively. The wheels are nicely done for injected plastic, and will look good after careful painting. Those who absolutely have to replace them are well served by Ultracast, with drop-fit resin replacements
. Scale Aircraft Conversions offer white metal undercarriage legs
which appear to be direct copies of the kit parts.
I don't compare models to drawings or published measurements. When assembled it will look like a Typhoon.
Decals and Markings
This kit offers markings for two Typhoons. The box top offering is from No. 56 Sqn, which was the first to be equipped with Typhoons. This aircraft wears the definitive Typhoon ID stripe scheme necessary to prevent it from being mistaken for a Fw-190. The other option is an aircraft from 181 Sqn as it appeared during exercise Spartan in January 1943 with white ID stripes on the engine cowling panels. Some references state that the underside of the port wing should be black as well but this is not shown in Hasegawa's painting instructions.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE