Administrators James H Posted August 26, 2014 Administrators Share Posted August 26, 2014 1:24 Hawker Typhoon Mk.1BAirfixCatalogue # A19002Available from Airfix for £99.99 If anything could be classed as a 'main event' at a model show, then the test shot sprues for the 1:24 Airfix Hawker Typhoon which were on show atScale Model World 2013, Telford, in November last year, certainly is the epitome of that statement. You would have had serious difficulty in getting anywhere near the plastic, such was the continual throng of modellers crowding out the Airfix stall. Some perseverance and the occasional rigid elbow eventually got our website team in to get the all-important photos. This looked to be a model like no other. Yes, Airfix are the original stalwarts of 1:24 model aircraft, with their last release, the Mosquito, being released in late 2009. However, something was very different with this new kit. In fact, something that I'm pretty sure hasn't been seen on an injection-moulded kit before. That difference was the stressed metal surface that this model sported. Yes, something that we see on practically all metal skinned aircraft, now reproduced with amazing authenticity on a plastic model kit. The Typhoon was a large and heavy fighter plane, and in 1:24, it really is no shrinking violet. It also has a very large box in order to accommodate the rakes of plastic within. I quite like the design of Airfix's packaging. It's got great artwork that harkens back to the time when this was a big selling point for us when we were young. It's extremely bold and almost shouts 'buy me' at you as soon as you see it, and the glossy gorgeousness also carries the four varied schemes on one edge. The back of the box not only carries those 4 scheme profiles again, but also superbly realistic digital renders, in heavy weathering. You also get a potted history of the Typhoon and a map of operational Typhoon bases in June/July 1944. There are also some impressive CAD renders of the model too. Lifting that substantial lid does immediately blow away any idea about this being a sturdy looking box. It simply isn't. In fact, it's quite flimsy and twists easily. There are no separators in there either, as you get in some Trumpeter releases, so the sprues are free to bang around a little. Several parts had come adrift from my sprues, but were thankfully undamaged. Sprues aren't all individually packaged, with many sharing their tough polythene bags. These are sealed up using heat. I'm not a fan of sprues being bagged in multiples, but the packers have had the good sense in ensuring that those external surfaces are facing away from each other. I don't know if that's by accident or design, but it pleases me. Of course, the clear sprues are separate. Inside their bags, these are wrapped in foam, and within that, what looks like kitchen/toilet tissue paper. As well as the two clear sprues, there are SIXTEEN others, all moulded in light grey styrene, and these are generally packed in bags containing two each. There was never any doubt that this was going to be a complex kit to look at, so we'll do our sprue-by-sprue and see what this kit offers the builder, who no doubt will want to see all those details that they either saw at Telford SMW2013, and those little touches which do so promise to set this kit above all others in its class. Many sprues in this release are quite narrow, but also long. That's a little quirky, and I suppose makes them a little easier to package into this behemoth of a box. It makes the photos a little awkward, so we'll have to compensate with many close-up shots. SPRUE A Airfix has apparently designed this model so that it more or less constructs in the same manner as did the real aircraft. I'm not going to approve or disprove that statement, but the construction sequences are quite unusual and may seem to back that up. We'll look at the sequence at the end of the sprues evaluation. That construction does start with the cockpit and wing spar joint assembly, and this sprue contains more than a few of those key, initial components. The most obvious parts here are the tubular sidewalls for the cockpit. These sure give a sense of scale to proceedings. Airfix have properly captured the impression of the various tubes being riveted, plated and bolted together. Definition of that detail is generally excellent, but like many parts on this sprue, there is a little flash here and there, and more annoyingly, there are a few seam lines that will need paring before you start. Another thing I notice on this model generally are the number of very visible ejector pin marks. The side frames do suffer from these, but they have been placed on the exterior side of them, so won't be seen when the model is assembled. I am reliably informed that the majority of these marks are designed not be seen when the model is built, despite the beautiful levels of detail existing around these anomalies. Another example of this are the marks on the forward bulkhead/firewall. There are no marks to be seen on the engine bay side of this superbly detailed part (resplendent in wiring, connector points, raised rivets etc), but the reverse does have pin marks. The upper two will be hidden by the two-part fuel tank, and the lower will be in the shadows of the foot well. There are two short, sub wing spars on this sprue, and pin marks exist on one face of them. These are mated to the larger main spar, so I can say that Airfix do seem to have thought this out with the modeller in mind. That oil tank assembly is a little odd, with it being literally sliced in half. Having said that, the seam will be easy to remove due to no other detail causing you a headache here. Other parts on this sprue include the oval bulkhead to the rear of the cockpit (with integral tubular braces and excellent connection point detail). Other parts on this sprue are the footboards, rudder pedal bar, and various other cockpit parts; both major and minor. This kit also supplies a pilot, and the forward and back parts of his torso/legs are moulded here. The arms and head are separate. Airfix have designed their pilot so he properly interacts with the control column etc, and his feet do indeed reach the pedals! Seatbelts are spread between this sprue and sprue L, and look very reasonable. I would still opt for an HGW set though. SPRUE B I think the reason for long, narrow sprues is clearly defined here when we see the two key wing spars for the Typhoon. They are long! In fact, each measures approximately 330mm (over 13 inches), and these aren't even the full span of this model kit. There are clear connection points on here that tie in with the addition of the cockpit module, and even though I keep harkening to the detail levels, I really need to. Those spars are a combination of strut, plate, tube and rivet, and they look incredibly realistic. Under a coat of Alclad, and with an oil wash, they will no doubt look indiscernible from the real thing. If you like to see a well-moulded and highly detailed instrument panel, then the one Airfix provide will not disappoint you. Despite being almost a 'triptych', this areas is moulded as a single piece, with nicely raised bevel detail, and switches/selectors etc. Those instrument faces are moulded as holes, so the glazed section can fit to this from the rear. There has been some criticism of the depth of those clear lenses, so if you wish to use the Airfix approach, you could actually grind them down a fraction and re-polish them. This is where I really do begin to question why they included a clear part at all. Individual decals are supplied for this kit, and unlike the Tamiya approach where they are printed face side down, these are standard in approach, meaning they sit ON TOP of the glass, and not below it. Unless I'm missing something, that part didn't need to be clear. I'd apply the decals to the instrument faces, once that rear plate has been installed. A drop of Micro Crystal Clear will then replicate the lens. Perhaps at this juncture, it's a good time to mention the excellent Airscale set of instrument decals that are available, including Typhoon-specific cockpit placards. This set is designed specifically for this release. This sprue is another myriad of internal cockpit parts, including sidewall panels and integral cabling, control consoles, quadrants, seat parts and numerous other tubular framing parts. Again, a little flash will need to be removed here and there, and some seam lines paring down too. SPRUE C Onto a nice, large sprue now. Apart from a set of neatly moulded, weighted wheels with a little simplified hub detail, this sprue more or less contains the parts for the massively powerful 24-cylinder Napier Sabre engine. If you so choose, you can build this with an optional miniature electric motor tucked away within (bought separately), and there are various options available to the modeller when it comes to displaying the engine itself. These are highlighted in the first pages of the manual. For me, I feel it sacrilege to not show the engine when complete. The kit allows you to model the engine with the electric motor completely hidden within, and not affecting the finished result, or you can opt to just cowl the area over and not show the engine at all. As you'll imagine, the engine itself isn't a quick build in itself, and this highly detailed area of construction contains around 60 to 70 parts, but my very quick estimation. The Napier was quite unusual in appearance, and those ignition distribution conduits and their associated leads are neatly moulded too. A little flash again, and some seams will most definitely need to be removed too. There is some very neat slide-moulding trickery on the separate exhaust stubs too, with each one having a neatly hollow end, as well as weld seams. As well as the engine and ancillary parts, you will find some very fragile-looking plumbing here too. . Needless to say, flash is present, and those infernal seams, but the latter aren't really too bad here. Just take your time when it comes to shaving them away. Dual packing of sprues didn't pay off here as one connector hose has broken away from the sprue. SPRUE D A real mish-mash of parts here. Undercarriage doors are provided as an external plate, with a separate interior section that has tabs that locate into the slots on the undercarriage legs. A very small sink mark can be seen on the exterior of one door, and that will need to be filled and sanded back. Of course, one of the most characteristic parts of the Typhoon design was the enormous chin intake. This is broken down into several parts, as is the actual exterior cowl (on another sprue). There are also a couple of optional intake parts for the forward section of the intake. One is a simple framework that sits in front of the filter, and the other is a plate grille. There are actually two types of the latter on the sprue, but I can't see any use mentioned of the plainer part. The rest of the sprue is taken up with yet more sections of plumbing, and also parts for the main undercarriage/tail wheel, including various actuators and tanks that reside in the main gear bays. Looking at the sprues and the instructions, I really would be hard-pressed to see what else you'd need to add, maybe apart from the odd section of lead wire. Remarkable. SPRUE E Only one part here, but it is, er, pretty important! For the first time, we see something containing that rather impressive stressed metal skin; the lower bottom wing panel. Depending on how you intend to display your model will then depend on which holes you need to open up from within this part. Stage 90 (yes, 90!!!) graphically shows which holes are intended for the various tanks and ordnance. If you fit the electric motor, then you will need to open up another hole. This is also true if you decide to mount on a stand. I can't understand why Airfix didn't include the stand as standard. It used to be in the other 1:24 releases. For those of you that saw the test sprues at SMW2013, you were no doubt awestruck by that stressed metal rendition. Some of you will have seen photos on other forums etc., and I imagine you felt that same way. To have the parts here in hand, and experience it again has certainly not dulled those first impressions. This is a seriously nice piece of design work, impressively carried off at the tooling and moulding stage. The surface is resplendent in various bumps and bulges, subtly accommodated between various riveted lines. The whole effect is extremely authentic, and hopefully will set a bench mark, not just for Airfix, but also their competitors. Other surface detail is no less nice. The rivets, which divots, are very small and just right to my eye. Panel lines are superbly neat and narrow, and not at all too deep, and numerous screwed and riveted plates are perfectly executed. Cartridge ejection chutes are also moulded 'open', and the Hispano cannon fairings are separate entities. There is a little flash present again, around the internal opening of the gear bays, and also in the landing flap areas. Nothing at all to worry about, and I imagine you could remove it in less than a minute. SPRUE F This sprue mostly concerns itself with the wing interior detail, including the gun bay areas. Airfix has designed this model so that the lower wing panel (Sprue E) is attached to the completed cockpit and engine section. On top of this, you now add the various internal wing spars and ribs, forming the wheel bays and gun bays. Detail across these is astounding, with riveted plates, wiring, and even the leather grommet in the spar, through which the Hispano pass. You have a real sense that the designer was extremely passionate about his work here, because if a lot of this was missing, you'd still be impressed with the result. Other detail on the spars includes strut sections with domed rivets, and even a pouch/wallet item in the wheel bay area. When the spars and ribs are added, a ground plate is then added to the gun bays, consisting of structural elements and mounts for the cannon. Those cannon are very impressive in their sheer size, but unusually, the muzzles aren't hollow moulded! I can't understand why at all, and certainly not in a release of this importance. You can of course drill them out yourself, or wait until Master Model release a set of replacement barrels with recoil springs. The latter are moulded in situ here and look as good as you can expect to get them. After all, they will mostly be enclosed with the fairings anyway. Those cannon fairings are moulded as halves. That in itself doesn't sound like an issue, but Airfix have moulded the shape within so that it fits the recoil spring. That would normally means that you would have to attach them to the model and then remove the seams. On a big model, it can be awkward. I suggest opening the interior up a little and building them off the model. You can then slide them into position when the seams are history. Other parts on this sprue include the ammunition boxes and separate belt feeds and rear spars which form the face onto which you will add the flaps etc. SPRUE G There are THREE spinner options available here, including those for both three and four blade propellers. Two back-plates are separately moulded to cater to these, with internal face detail. You'll be hard-pressed to see it when assembled though! Hubs for both types of prop are supplied as front and back parts too, but this is nothing unusual for a large-scale model. A third of this sprue is taken over with various fuel tanks, including the wing leading edge tanks. All tanks are two part affairs, and seams will be easy to remove. Of course, filler cap detail is there the rib-capping strip that fits over the main wing tank. The real drying shame is that you won't see any of this detail except through the odd chink in detail within the gun and wheel bays. Still, you will know it's there, and that's what counts in my book. The remainder of sprue parts are taken over with the bomb bodies, external fuel tanks and the rocket mounting rails. Bombs and tanks are moulded as halves, and you will need to take care when removing the seams on the tanks, due to raised detail that gets in the way of a clean joint. SPRUE H This model comes with two types of tail-plane. Firstly, the standard chord tail-plane is of course present, but also the later, wider chord type that is commonly referred to as the 'Tempest tail-plane'. Normally, this sort of inclusion would have been very difficult to implement in kit form due to the difference required for the fuselage slot. The difference here is that Airfix has designed the vertical fin and lower section to be separate parts. On this sprue, you will find the parts of the fin that will allow you to attach the original, short-chord tail-plane. I am reliably informed that the fin section fits effortlessly to the fuselage. That lower wing section, as I mentioned, wasn't full span. Here we have the lower, outboard sections of the wings, which appear to attach along a panel line. These are tabbed to aid alignment, and of course, that delicious stressed skin is very evident. A wing spar which extends past the centre section of the wing also gives the tip addition some rigidity. As the upper wing is pretty skeletal, Airfix have chosen to adopt a better system of representing the roof of the main gear bays instead of simply moulding it to the inside of the upper wing panels. This gives a far better representation for the modeller, allowing perhaps a little extra wire etc. to be added before the wing is closed up. There are wiring boxes and wiring itself on these parts, accompanying the wing structure detail. As well as the multipart gun bay covers which also exhibit that stressed skin relief, a second set of main gear bay doors are provided, as single parts, allowing the modeller to pose his model 'wheels up' with no problem. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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