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1/32 Hawker Tempest Mk.V


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1:32 Tempest Mk.V

Special Hobby

Catalogue # 100-32049

Available from Special Hobby for € 52,10






Finally it’s here. The kit Special Hobby has had us waiting for! To be more specific: Special Hobby shared their first rough impression and intention in May 2013. I myself have been eye-balling the first sprues at several hobby shows over the last few years at the Special Hobby stall and could tell this was going to be good. It is true that Pacific Coast Models (PCM) was first on the scene with a limited run kit. Come to think of it Cees Broere and myself also reviewed this kit back in august 2013! It featured resin and photo etch parts, but lacked detail in places (like the gear doors) and was inaccurate in other places (like the wheels). Since the PCM kit includes a lot of resin and PE I thought it would be cool to compare the two. Special Hobby kits are often mistaken for limited run kits, but I have a feeling that with this new standard that image will quickly be shaken off.


One small detail: the PCM kit is getting harder and harder to find these days, so on that account alone, you might want to grab yourself a Special Hobby one. I won’t bore you with the usual background on the Tempest, since I reckon that if you’ve made it so far reading this, your interest in the Tempest is probably up to par.


Here's a look at some of the teaser shots we had to do with over the past few years :)






Special Hobby offers a pretty wide range of the more exotic subjects in 32nd scale. Yes, other scales too, but this is Large Scale Modeller J. Right of the bat I can tell you that with this kit Special Hobby has entered a whole new league. Where older kits, like the Brewster Buffalo, required persistence and a big jar of elbow grease, this kit offers decent fit, locator pins and 3d engineering.




The kit

This kit comes in two versions. The basic one (this one, for € 52,10) and the High Tech version (the other one, for € 79,90). Where the basic kit offers injection moulded plastic and decals, the High Tech kit is a very complete package with the additional resin for the cockpit, wheels and wheel wells, HGW harnesses and photo-etch.


If you do want some extra detail in places, you can also opt for separate CMK upgrades, like: resin tailwheel assembly, seat (with or without seatbelts), exhaust set, gunsight, early type wheels, late type wheels, early or late guns, control stick, etc… But take my word for it: getting allthese sets separately will cost you more money than simply getting the High Tech kit that also offers these resin parts.


Is the standard version on it’s own enough to make a stunning model? Read on…


Overall impression

The first thing that strikes is the large amount of parts and surface detail that you just wouldn’t expect on a Special Hobby kit. Rivets, fasteners and retained panel lines. All down to the detail you see on the inside fuselage halves that form the cockpit sidewalls (way more detailed than the PCM kit for instance) and the inside of the tail wheel well. Another thing you’ll notice is the leading edges at the base of the main wings are separately. This promises other versions of this kit in the near future. In many ways this kit is superior to the PCM kit. I mean: just look at the shell ejection ports of the wing. No need to cut those out anymore! The rivet detail on the canopy railing is present (not so on the PCM kit) and I can go on an on. There’s locator pins in places (not common most of their kits) and the fuselage halves dry fitted together on the main wing assembly leaves almost no seams. Always a relieve.


Fuselage halves. Note the seperate nose, which can fit a Mk.II nose in a different kit version.



Look at that surface detail:




And here:




Versus the detail on the PCM kit:



There are quite a number of parts on the sprues that you won’t need for this version (like the rotary engine front, several spade control stick choices, gun barrels and prop blades.


A look at sprue D: containing gear doors and rudder:




The rudders looks spot on, not suffering from the 'starved cow syndrome':





Sprue E: containing the nose:




A close up:




One more:




Located on Sprue H (which you'll see when you scroll down to the wheel well section) is the radiator mesh. Who need PE?




Sprue J: containing the exhaust stacks, bulkhead and parts of the wheel wells:




With delicate hollow exhausts like these, who needs resin? (Well, I might...)




Sprue B: The main wings:




Lovely rivet detail here too:




The flaps are moulded as one part with the main wings. So if you want to drop these, you'll need to operate! But then again: the Tempest usually had them raised when parked:








Sprue C, containing the tail planes, bombs and drop tanks:




Close up:




The Cockpit

Don’t expect anything basic from the basic offering of Special Hobby’s Tempest. The plastic parts that build up the cockpit are over 60! The only thing that I would recommend adding are wiring and HGW seatbelts (which are included in the High Tech kit by the way).


First shots of an assembled cockpit from the Special Hobby site:




When I compare this cockpit with the PCM offering, I see a much larger part count and detail in the Special Hobby cockpit, even though PCM includes a PE instrument panel, coloured PE seatbelts and levers and some resin parts for the rudder pedals and gunsight mounting. Looking at the crispness of all these plastic parts, I know what a bit of experienced detail painting and weathering can do in this area. I’m seriously impressed with the vast amount of parts and attention to detail.  


Have a look at the instructions for this part:




Sprue I, with most of the cockpit parts:




Close up:






Special Hobby cockpit sidewalls:




Versus the PCM cockpit sidewalls:







Wheel bay and gear

Again we are overwhelmed by a large part count. 26 parts for the main wheel well alone, followed by another 24 for the main gear itself. The option of 2 different wheel sizes for different schemes are included and I especially like the flattened tyres.


Really loving the coloured instruction booklet:




A shot of the built up gear from the Special Hobby website:




The size of the tyres and the wheelhubs appear accurate to my eye. An area where the PCM kit lacked and Barracuda resin tyres had to be bought to remedie. The geardoors are little gems with accurate detail on the insides. Again: an improvement over the PCM doors, which were basic in detail and not too accurate. The PCM kit did offer a large resin tub with crisp detail, but to be honest, I think the SH plastic wheelbay is easier to work with and about as detailed.


The upper portion of the wheel wells is moulded to the underside of the upper wing:





Sprue H: containing some of the wheel well parts:



Close up:




Look at that gear leg:




Versus, sorry, the PCM one:




Check out the inside of the Special Hobby gear door:




Versus the PCM gear door and the real thing. Note the simplified detail and inaccuracy:





And here's a look at the PCM resin wheel well. One of the sweetest parts of the PCM kit:




This is sweet too, the detail of the Special Hobby inside tail wheel well:




Clear parts

As provided in the PCM kit the external drop tank attachment points are clear and inside riveted strips come in the form of decals. As said before the canopy is just lovely. The canopy framing features delicate rivets and even some small panels at the rear, whereas the PCM canopy does not. The clarity is super, but I’ll dip them in some Gauzy agent from AK nontheless. Also included on this fret are the small navigation lights sandwiched between the elevators and tail. A detail also included in the PCM kit.



Sprue K: The Special Hobby Clear parts:




Nice clarity and rivet detail:






And again, here's a shot of the PCM clear parts:





The nicely done instructions give us no less than 4 schemes to choose from. Al presented in a 4 way view with Alclad II and Gunze paint numbers.



The decals are very nicely printed by Eduard. Great colour and registering of the printing:




I especially love the dark blue. Too often this is printed with too much cyan and magenta...




Look at those instrument faces. Zoukei Mura can learn a thing or two here...






Scheme A: Hawker Tempest Mk.V NV969/SA-A No. 486 (NZ), Sqn. RAF, Fassberg Germany, April 1945




Scheme B: Hawker Tempest Mk.V JN682/JF-Z No. 3, Sqn. RAF Newchurch, Kent, England, August 1944




Scheme C: Hawker Tempest Mk.V EJ705/W2-X No. 80 Sqn. RAF, B80 Volkel, The Netherlands, January 1945




Scheme D: Hawker Tempest Mk.V SN165/ZD-V No. 222, Sqn. RAF, B91 Kluis, Malden, The Netherlands, April 1945





Wow. Yes, Special Hobby took their time and maybe was a bit quick with announcing this kit (but there are more brands guilty of this), but it sure proves to be worth the wait. After the Yak3 that made Special Hobby raise their own bar, this kit promises great things for their future releases. The execution takes away the immediate ‘need’ for a brand like Tamiya to step in.


Four schemes to choose from, full stenciling decals, bombs, drop tanks, flattened tyres, excellent detail, …


A solid 9 out of 10.

Considering this is still a limited run kit and the basic offering, that doesn’t feel basic in any way!

Don't get me wrong: I'm not trying to knock the PCM kit with this review, just showing you how Special Hobby is stepping up to the game.


Kind regards,


Jeroen Peters


A Special thank you to Special Hobby for the review sample.




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Most excellent, Jeroen. 


No comparison between the two kits. Some say the nose is wrong on the SH kit, but I have to say I can't see where. Some folks must have eyes with micrometres built in, and HUD millimetre scales. 

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