Hawker Tempest V
by Cameron Lynch
Roland Beamont joined the RAF with a short service commission in January 1939.
He served with 87 Squadron in France where he was credited with a Do 17 three days after the start of the Battle of France before transferring back to England. He was then credited with a Ju 88, two Bf 110s, another Do 17 and a Bf 109 during the Battle of Britain.
In late 1941, after duty as a test pilot with Hawker Aviation, Beamont began flying Hawker Typhoons operationally with 56 Squadron and then 609 Squadron. In October 1942 he was made the commander of 609 Squadron. In 1943 he returned to Hawker as a test pilot on Typhoons and Tempests before being promoted to Wing Commander (at age 23) and was placed in command of the first Wing of Hawker Tempests (150 Wing) in March 1944.
150 Wing was closely involved in providing air cover over Normandy during the early days after the invasion in June 1944. It was in the aircraft portrayed (JN751/R-B) on June 8th (D+2) that Beamont was credited with shooting down a Bf 109G west of Rouen.
150 Wing was shortly thereafter to spearhead the defense of southeast England against V-1 missiles during the summer on 1944. During this time Beamont was one of the top scorers against the V-1s and was credited with destroying 32 of them. After moving to Holland in August 1944, Beamont was shot down by flak while attacking Rheine airfield on October 12, 1944. He was captured and remained a POW until the end of the war in Europe.
Beamont finished the war with 6 confirmed kills, 1 shared, 1 probable, 2 damaged and 32 V-1s. Beamont subsequently retired from the RAF and joined Gloster as a test pilot. He later worked for English Electric, British Aerospace Corporation and later Panavia. During his test piloting career he flew the prototypes of the Canberra bomber, the Lightning interceptor and flew the Tornado on its first flight.
This is the 1/48 resin Pend Oreille Model Kits Tempest V, and was used for a review in the IPMS/USA Journal in early 1997 before the Eduard kit was available.
The kit consists of two hollow cast resin fuselage halves, a solid one piece wing, a ziplock bag with a bunch of resin pieces, another ziplock bag with a bunch of white metal pieces, two vacuformed canopies, a substantial sheet of decals and ten pages of photocopied instructions. The kit was warp free and without voids and minimal bubbles. Mold alignment was good so there weren’t any nasty steps to clean up.
All panel lines are subtly scribed.
The only major fault out of the box was that one wing is slightly thicker than the other. This is a problem that has been observed on two separate POMK Tempests so it wasn’t unique to mine.
The kit went together in 9 very quick steps with a very complete cockpit. The only thing missing were seat belts, so I used a set of True Details etched British harnesses.
The only seam problems on the kit were at the bottom of the radiator and the trailing edge of the upper wing roots. Everything else was quick and by the numbers without undue surprises.
An unfortunate problem that I had when I started to paint were some “fisheyes” that appeared on the primer coat and which refused to dry after several days, despite having washed the whole kit with cold soapy water prior to painting to rinse off any mold release. I tried a dozen different solvents from lacquer thinner to Bleche-White tire cleaner in an attempt to remove the offending substance without success. I ended up removing the offending areas of resin with a chisel blade in an X-Acto knife and then filling the removed areas with gap filling CA glue.
I used stainless steel tubing from Accurate Detailing for the cannon barrels and an insect pin for the dorsal radio antenna.
Probably 80% of the time spent on the kit was in painting. Three colors plus the invasion stripes, spinner, sky tail band and yellow leading edge required a vast amount of masking.
The model was painted with PollyScale acrylics. The decals included in the kit were printed by MSAP of Canada and although a little bit thick and milky looking, they settled down beautifully with a little MicroSol. They were opaque enough that they weren’t affected by the contrasting invasion stripes they were applied over, which is an impressive accomplishment. The quality and quantity of markings in the POMK exceed most injection manufacturers.
Unfortunately for POMK within 18 months of releasing their kit Eduard came out with their excellent injection kits which are considerably cheaper and have the advantage of being styrene and not resin.
The POMK kit holds up well, but I must admit that the wing lost its dihedral over time, looking more like a limp Corsair than a Tempest. Given a choice now, Eduard is the only game in town. Also I have subsequently learned that the aircraft modeled was in fact a Series I Tempest and featured the longer Hispano 20mm cannons with fairings extending from the leading edge of the wing.
Model, Text and Images Copyright ©
2000 by Cameron Lynch