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The Hawker Tempest

by Richard A. Franks

Valiant Wings Publishing
Airframe and Miniature No.4, Second Edition

S u m m a r y

Publisher and Title:

Valiant Wings Publishing
The Hawker Tempest
Airframe and Miniature No.4
by Richard A. Franks

ISBN: 978-1-912932-01-6
Media: 160 pages in A4 Portrait mode, many photographs and walkaround ones, colour profiles and model details.

GBP£18.95 plus shipping available online from Valiant Wings

and stockists worldwide.

Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Detailed and comprehensive look at the Hawker Tempest with an extra 16 pages in the second edition. Great historical B&W photos, good line drawings and current walk around photos. Dedicated modellers section.
Disadvantages: None noted.

A great, should have, reference for modellers of all scales interested in the Hawker Tempest aircraft, especially with the new Eduard releases.

Reviewed by David Couche

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com



The release of new 1/48 Hawker Tempest Series I and II kits by Eduard over the last year, along with the lovely 1/32 Special Hobby release has seen the need for Valiant Wings Publishing to update their out of print First Edition book. This fourth book in their much-acclaimed series,  “The Hawker Tempest: A Complete Guide to The RAF's Last Piston-engine Fighter”, is back by popular demand. It now contains over 160 pages packed with vital information that no active modeller and Tempest enthusiast should be without.



In addition to the original content, the new Second Edition contains:

Extra kit builds - Eduard 1/48 Mk V Series I by Steve A. Evans & Special Hobby 1/32nd Mk V by John Wilkes. These have been specially commissioned for the book

  • New kit reviews

  • A new stencil diagram

  • An extra 16 pages of content in total

  • Specially commissioned new front cover artwork by Jerry Boucher

The book is A4 sized, on high quality glossy paper and is quite weighty. I do apologise for some of the grey areas on the sample pages but the size and quality of the binding gave some scanning problems…bad for reviewing but good for those who purchase this book!



This book contains a great wealth of period photographs of the Tempest in action during WWII, post war service and in general service for several nations that flew them. The photographs selected are all clear and crisp in nature, with details clearly visible. There are quite a number of coloured profiles produced by Richard Caruana, illustrating the varied schemes of the Tempest and in liveries of the nations that also used this versatile aircraft. Complementing the photos and profiles are numerous line drawings taken from Flight Manuals of the Hawker Tempest.



The contents are broken up into nine separate chapters, grouped into two distinct sections:


Airframe Chapters

  • Evolution – The Sabre Tempest
  • Evolution - The Centaurus Tempest
  • Projects
  • Camouflage & Markings
  • Colour Profiles
  • Survivors

Miniature Chapters

  • Hawker Tempest Kits
  • Building a Selection
  • Building a Collection
  • In Detail: The Hawker Tempest


  • Tempest Kit List
  • Tempest Accessory List
  • Tempest Decal List
  • Tempest Production

This book has been specifically written for the modeller so the opening preface and chapters give us the history and development in detail of the Tempest covering the different engined versions with the Sabre and Centaurus engined versions aircraft. The preface is 8 pages of historical information including which units flew which versions etc with some excellent accompanying photographs of great detail. The evolution of the Tempest versions covers 18 pages with numerous photos and line drawings to complement each other.



The Technical Description section of the book, being 39 jam packed pages, covers the airframe quite comprehensively from nose to tail. The cockpit and engine section.is jam packed with photographs, technical drawings, excerpts from Tempest Flight manuals and photos of restored examples. These sections have provided that special emphasis for details that will be of most interest to modellers.

The Camouflage and Markings section (19 pages) provides schemes used by the RAF in the various theatres and stages of the war. Included are schemes for the nations that had procured the airframes for their services such as India and Pakistan. There is a comprehensive explanation for each of the countries camouflage and colour schemes. It then moves into 8 dedicated pages of Richard J Caruana produced colour profiles as well as many other interspersed through the pages giving you, the modeller a great range to reference your builds from.

The final chapter is one on Survivors. This is a list and look at the Tempest aircraft that still survive today in various museums etc. A good guide if you want to hunt down and go and see a real aircraft.

This brings you to the end of the general sections and onto the more modeller specific sections as a series of Miniature Chapters.


  • Valiant Wings Publishing  The Hawker Tempest Review by David Couche: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  The Hawker Tempest Review by David Couche: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  The Hawker Tempest Review by David Couche: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  The Hawker Tempest Review by David Couche: Image
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The first of these chapters is a look at Hawker Tempest kits. This 20 page section looks at a range of more popular kits in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 scales from some of the major manufacturers such as Academy, CMR, Eduard, and Special Hobby and many others in a good deal of detail including how the model parts are presented such as wings, fuselage, tailplanes, propellers and canopies as well as decal schemes provided.

The next section on ‘Building a Selection’ section of the book of 27 pages with many photographs of stages of construction, covers the specially commissioned kit builds, showing construction of the following;

•           Academy 1/72 Tempest Mk V by Libor Jekl
•           AeroMaster 1/72 Tempest Mk V by Libor Jekl
•           Special Hobby 1/72 Tempest Mk II by Libor Jekl
•           Eduard 1/48 Tempest Mk V by Steve Evans
•           Eduard 1/48 Tempest Mk V Series I by Steve Evans
•           Special Hobby 1/32 Tempest Mk V 'High-Tech 2' by John Wilkes

The next mini chapter is one of ‘Building a Collection’. This is a series of annotated isometric 3D line drawings by Wojciech Sankowski detailing the differences between the various development and production airframes of these Tempest series. This is a detailed section of 7 pages with drawings within it. You will not be needing to find any more details on any specific version and variant in other reference material as it is so comprehensive.

Following along then is the ‘In Detail: The Hawker Tempest’ chapter of 40 pages of excellent visual references for these version incorporating walk around photographs from surviving aircraft in museums, historical photographs from flight and maintenance manuals as well as still more isometric 3D drawings, especially of the many versions of the engine cowls. Information in this section is presented in itemised sections such as cockpits, engines, wings and so on. Again, incredibly and comprehensively detailed.

Finally we hit the Appendices, again specifically for modellers, lists all Tempest kits available, 2 pages of them, 3 pages of aftermarket accessories and a further 2 pages of aftermarket decals produced in all scales.

It’s good to see that there is also a bibliography including all previous book titles for the Tempest so you may chase up further information for your references.

To finish up this great book is a gatefold section of drawings in 1/48 scale by Jacek Jackiewicz on heavy non-glossy paper with full drawings of an Mk VI, Mk V and the Tempest II. Not only do we have comprehensive tradition 4 views but we are supplied with sectional views for the Mk V and the Tempest II which are very useful at times.





This book has been deliberately produced for the modeller, providing an absolute wealth of reference photographs and detail, profiles and anything else one could wish for to produce and accurate, and even different, Hawker Tempest. With an Eduard Tempest Series 2 nearly at the top of my “to build” pile, this book will be my go to reference. I can’t recommend this highly enough to all wishing to build a Hawker Tempest in any scale.

Thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for the sample.

Review Copyright 2019 by David Couche
This Page Created on 30 September, 2019
Last updated 30 September, 2019

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