1/48 Hasegawa Hawker Typhoon 1b Tropical

by Phil Mead

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In 1943 Winston Churchill ordered three Typhoons be sent to the Middle East for trials. The Typhoon was modified for tropical service by the addition of an auxillary air intake under the wing centre section and this was used for takeoff and landing.  This feature was later included on the Tempest MkVI which was used in Egypt in the 1950s.  451 Squadron RAAF based at El Daba, Egypt was given the task of trialling these aircraft and all 19 pilots that flew them were impressed by their capability.  Certainly better than the Hurricane MkIs they were flying. 

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Apart from the well documented "cockpit insert drama" I found the Typhoon an easy kit to build.  I filed away the upper fuselage before and after the insert at a fine angle till is was the same size.  Eduard prepainted seat belts were added along with a scratch built compass which is very prominent and some extra detail under the rear of the canopy.  The major modification was the scratch built air intake under the wing (image 06).  Techmod of Poland provides decals for this unusual aircraft (48044) which are thick but two coats of Micro Set/Sol settled them down OK.   

I used Humbrol Middle Stone and Azure Blue with Gunze Dark  Earth.  I don't like the texture of Humbrol paints but I think that for RAF schemes their colours are more realisitic, particularly Ocean Grey but not Azure Blue.  The Azure Blue looks more like coloured photos I have when weathered.  Weathering was achieved with a few drops of Testors Radar Tan and USN Light Grey in Dullcote Laquer with lots of airbrush thinner.  Most colour references for this aircraft show a black spinner but I believe that this is a wrong interpretation of a back lit photo.  Compare the two photos on page 24 of  "The Typhoon and Tempest Story" and see what you think.  Remember that the Desert Airforce even painted the spinners of captured German aircraft RED. 

I would thoroughly recommend this kit to any one with average modelling skills who can use a needle file.

Phil Mead

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Photos and text by Phil Mead