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Smeg’s Hawker Tempest Mk V (Revell)

To celebrate the Centenary of the Royal Air Force, welcome to our first year-long Group Build. With the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service on 1 April 1918, the RAF is the oldest air force on the planet, so there is plenty of scope in the Build. Anything RAF-related goes … aircraft, vehicles, boats, personnel, you name it.
Runs from 1 January to 31 December 2018.
Ryan B.
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Re: Smeg’s Hawker Tempest Mk V (Revell)

#11

Post by Ryan B. »

You're a brave man, and it's looking good so far. I tried to build this once but couldn't figure how to correct the too tall/narrow tail.

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smeg1959
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Re: Smeg’s Hawker Tempest Mk V (Revell)

#12

Post by smeg1959 »

OK, to paraphrase Stig O’Tracy from the Monty Python “Piranha Brothers” sketch, I’ve transgressed the unwritten law. We are now a fortnight into 2019 and my final RAF GB entry is only now approaching completion (assuming I can amass the decals I need from the spares box). Indeed, I had to review my last posts here to see where I’d got to prior to the Restive Season. So, before Dinsdale Piranha nails my head to the floor or a coffee table, here goes …

As Ryan pointed out, the tail isn’t quite right. I have to admit to copping out here, as I simply sanded the excessive ribbing down re: Chris Ellis’s 1973 suggestion. And, unlike Uberlight who did an amazing job re-scribing his MHM/ex-Crown Tempest, I resigned myself to the clean-up that I’d done pre-Christmas. Other than the odd straight line using a ruler for stability, I’ve sadly never quite got the hang of scribing. So next step for me was the masking and painting, and with invasion stripes and a fuselage band, there was plenty of scope for me to screw this up completely!

Having recently gone through a respray of red over green only to end up with brown (more of that another time), I carefully considered my order of paint application. First up was obviously the white, courtesy of Mr Base White 1000. I masked the wings with normal yellow Tamiya tape and the fuselage with Tamiya’s white flexible tape. At this point, I thanked the RAF gods for their choice of invasion line width and, for that matter, the Sky-coloured fuselage band. In 1/144, almost exactly 3mm … one of the standard widths that Tamiya tapes come in. OK, the white invasion stripe immediately behind the cockpit is a scale 4mm thick requiring two pieces of white tape, but that was straightforward enough. To ensure consistency of width, I first applied tape for the outermost band then abutted a second piece of tape against it, and so on. Once all the stripes were masked, I removed those where I needed to spray either Sky or black.
Hawker Tempest Mk V - RAF JN751 (10).jpg
The Sky band was done first using Lifecolor UA095. Once dry, this was masked over with the 3mm tape to protect it and all the black stripes airbrushed using Tamiya XF1. I left these for a day, masked over them then sprayed the lower surfaces with XF83 Medium Sea Grey. Another day to cure after which I masked the lower surfaces with XF82 Ocean Grey. At this point, I encountered a potential disaster. As I’ve said in other posts, there’s something odd about all of the bottles of XF82 I’ve used to date in that it dries almost semi-gloss, no matter how well it is mixed. No big deal as the lot with get the Matt Clear treatment at the end BUT this time, a sizeable area on the starboard side of the fuselage and the starboard wing did not dry, even after sitting aside for a day and blasting the area with air from an electric heater. OMG, I thought, please not another Vickers 432 situation.

Not finding anything on the ‘Net regarding acrylics that fail to cure (plenty on enamels, but we all knew that), I threw up my hands and risked buggering everything by applying a light coat of TS80 Matt Clear. After all, acrylics dry from the outside inwards, so I could have been sealing off the acrylic’s access to oxygen which might prevent it from ever curing. Well, for a change, the Modelling Gods were on my side and the TS80 repaired the surface. After yet another day, I tested the surface and it showed no signs of the lower paint layer remaining uncured. Phew!

Whilst all this was going on, I had rescaled Eduard’s profile using Illustrator, then traced around each of the Ocean Grey areas. These I colourised and used the Opacity filter to fade out the original profile. Work really nicely to give a series of masking templates. To simplify things for my post-Christmas brain to assimilate better, I even indicated which templates were (P)ort, (S)tarboard or (W)ing!
Hawker Tempest Mk V - RAF JN751 (Masking).jpg
I printed the page, cut the templates out and attached them to some wide Tamiya tape stuck to a small piece of glass, after which I traced around each with my trusty No. 10 scalpel blade. Each mask was pried off and stuck to the model.
Hawker Tempest Mk V - RAF JN751 (12).jpg
A coat of XF81 RAF Dark Green and a nervous wait to remove all of those myriad pieces of tape. The result? You be the judge …
Hawker Tempest Mk V - RAF JN751 (13).jpg
Hawker Tempest Mk V - RAF JN751 (14).jpg
Should add that the photos above were taken after a couple of minor touch-ups to the Dark Green and the black. Oh, and in removing the tape, I did bust off three of the four “cannons” on the wing. I countered this by carefully drilling (with my Clexane hypodermic again) four holes and gluing in lengths of fine brass rod. The rod was primed and coated with a gun metal concoction I made using aluminium and black acrylics. Not shown here, I also painted the spinner yellow (XF3) and set it aside to be affixed at the end.

One more major item to go, the undercarriage. As Uberlight will attest, the ex-Crown main undercart is pretty ordinary. Let me assure you, the Revell parts are not much better. I can handle each one being a composite of door, leg and wheel but geez, look at what you’re given …
Hawker Tempest Mk V - RAF JN751 (15).jpg
I can add a bit of detail to the legs (there is an actuator that comes out at around 30 degrees), but those bloody excuses for wheels? Eeeek! Methinks a bit of work needed here. And embarrassingly, a further delay. I swear before the Modelling Gods that this isn’t going to migrate to the Shelf of Shame. Promise …
OTB ...
GB13 - Late 298 (Aeronavale), Bf109E-3a Strela (Bulgarian AF), ČKD LT vz.38 Praga (Slovakian Army)

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smeg1959
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Re: Smeg’s Hawker Tempest Mk V (Revell)

#13

Post by smeg1959 »

OK, before I start, let me say that this is my last entry for the RAF GB. I wrote the text a few days ago but couldn't upload it via my mobile phone. Unfortunately, I've fallen at the very last hurdle again ... more at the end of this post.

Knowing that I was well and truly in the Red Zone for this GB, I pulled my finger out and created the replacement undercarriage a couple of days ago. As the inner wheel well doors in the kit were quite reasonable, I took the “closed door” parts from one of my F-Toys’ Tempests and trimmed them to leave me with the two main doors. These were painted to correlate with photos of Tempest doors having invasion stripes.
Hawker Tempest Mk V - RAF JN751 (27).jpg
I then took the two Revell composite things and cut the doors away to leave me with two half-profile wheels. Given the mismatching centres, I took a drill bit and removed these. Some careful sanding and I had me a pair of plastic “donuts” … the outer halves of the tyres. Using a hole punch and 10-thou plastic card, I cut four disks of the same outer diameter as my donuts and a pair of disks of the same diameter as the holes. I made four impressions on each of the smaller disks to roughly match the appearance of Tempest wheel hubs. Two of the larger disks were glued onto the back of each donut and shaped to match the curvature of the tyre. Each of the wheel hubs were then glued in the centre of each tyre.
Hawker Tempest Mk V - RAF JN751 (28).jpg
Several times during this procedure I craved a more comprehensive selection of bits and bobs in my spare parts box. Then I saw that Brengun had released a detail set for the P-38 which included resin wheels and thought, “Hey, guys. You’re doing such a great job with resin sets, PE etches and vacform canopies for a range of 1/144 aircraft. What about some wheels?” Yes, I know Brengun do such things but, to date, these have been for the Herc and several airliners, with Armory chipping in with wheels for some extra large modern-day Soviet aircraft. Just a thought.

Anyway, back to reality. The wheels were secured to some brass rod. A second slightly thinner rod was then glued next to the first to approximate the arrangement on the Tempest’s undercarriage, whilst a small section of piano wire was glued at an angle to simulate the actuator arm. Not perfect by any means but a helluva lot better than Revell’s sorry excuse. The undercarriage was secured to the model, a few details picked out (e.g. exhaust pipes with good ol’ rust brown) and frame lines painted on the Revell canopy (surprisingly clear, if predictably thick). Canopy attached and masked with Maskol, the aircraft got its TS79 coat prior to decaling.
Hawker Tempest Mk V - RAF JN751 (29).jpg
Hawker Tempest Mk V - RAF JN751 (31).jpg
Did I say decaling? Roundels and tail flashes easy enough – spares from an F-Toys’ Tempest filled the void nicely. Serial numbers and black wing walkways also straightforward using the standard DIY approach. But appropriately sized sky-coloured “R” and “B” (Ronald Beamont, not Rhythm and Blues)? David asked me about just these earlier in the build and I replied in the positive, assuming my stock of sky-coloured RAF lettering would pass muster. But no! All my lettering is either a scale height of 18” or 30”. The former is spot on for a Spitfire but most Tempests featured 24” lettering. To complicate matters, it appears that the lettering on Beamont’s Tempest was a non-standard 21” (this is based on measurements made by yours truly on wartime photos).

Options? Can’t find any 21” sky letters (which should be around 3.7mm high for 1/144), even trawling through all the 1/72 and 1/48 scale sheets in the Hannants’ catalogue. Having applied the F-Toys’ roundels and flashes …
Hawker Tempest Mk V - RAF JN751 (33).jpg
… I did a “suck it and see” application of an 18” letter and, nope, looked way too small. I contemplated the DIY approach but my experience with light colours is that they are almost transparent when printed on clear stock. Yes, they would work applied over white but only two-thirds of each rear letter lies on a white invasion stripe. Black, ocean grey and/or dark green? Forget it. In the event that I can’t source the 21” variety, I might have to go with Mark I’s 24” lettering. Which, of course, I’ll have to order from O/S, thanks to the scarcity of anything locally. Methinks I’ve been down this route once or twice before at the end of a Group Build. And we all know what happened then, don’t we? Yes, the smegging Shelf of Shame! Damn and blast! :evil:
OTB ...
GB13 - Late 298 (Aeronavale), Bf109E-3a Strela (Bulgarian AF), ČKD LT vz.38 Praga (Slovakian Army)

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ajmm
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Re: Smeg’s Hawker Tempest Mk V (Revell)

#14

Post by ajmm »

Ah fear not Smeg - my Hurricane will join you on the dreaded shelf!

And anyway that’s one good looking Tempest.

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