By John Kerr
John brings us news of the new 1/48 scale Hasegawa "Teardrop" Typhoon while he is actually building it. John will finish the text and add images when the model is completed.
Thanks to the likes of TAMIYA, Hasegawa, Eduard,
Accurate Miniatures et al, military WW2 aircraft modellers in the ‘90s have
revelled in a glut of newly tooled 48th scale kits.
missing from the seemingly unending list of new 48th scale WW2 releases in
recent years has been the Hawker Typhoon.
Hasegawa came to the rescue of Typhoon fans in late 1998 with a new
tooled kit of the first production Typhoon, commonly referred to as the “Car
Door” canopy version.
Hasegawa released two versions of the later production “Teardrop” canopy
Typhoons (one with a three blade prop while the latest release has a four blade
Typhoon Mk.IB kit I’m building is Hasegawa’s release number JT60
(“Teardrop” canopy and three blade prop).
are provided for two aircraft. The
first aircraft is named “CHINA BRITISH” from No. 247 Squadron with serial
no. MN316 and ZY B codes, this is the box-top scheme resplendent in fuselage
and wing wraparound D-Day invasion stripes.
The second aircraft is from No. 183 Squadron with serial no. JR128 and
HF L codes.
initial impressions after opening the box, cutting out most of the parts,
cleaning up the sprue tags and dry-fitting the major parts were rather mixed.
HURRAY, at last, a new Typhoon kit !
Those wings looks great, as does the interior parts and rockets.
BUT “hold the phone Batman”, look at those insert plugs for the
fuselage. YUK !
I’m not a big fan of inserts. Why
? Because we all know they rarely
fit perfectly. Hasegawa’s
Typhoon has a cockpit insert into each fuselage part as the fuselages are the
same for the Car Door and Teardrop kits. The
inserts (parts G1 and G2) are not exactly small as they measure approx. 5 x 1.5
cms. On my kit, the fit of the
insert into the right fuselage was excellent, in fact it was almost perfect.
However, the left fuselage insert was not as good.
gone to the trouble to tool a new Typhoon, perhaps Hasegawa could have (and
should have) molded separate whole fuselages for the Car Door and Teardrop thus
avoiding the dreaded inserts. Now
this is not meant as a “Hasegawa flame” but surely full fuselage parts are
not too much to ask, especially after Hasegawa gave us separate fuselages for
the almost identical Bf109 G-6 and G-14 (short tail for the G-6 and a tall tail
for the G-14).
you can deal with the fuselage inserts, the kit looks great and features nicely
molded parts with a mixture of fine and heavy detail. The cockpit is one area where the detail is very fine and
looks good straight-out-of-the-box. The
only change I made was to substitute a KMC resin seat (with molded harness and
lap belts) from their set designed to update the Monogram kit.
you’ve assembled and glued the cockpit in place there aren’t many parts
left to make up the overall airframe (sans canopies, rockets, undercarriage
legs and doors). The fuselage
halves go together well, except I found were the front of the left insert ended
there was a slight gap which required filling and sanding.
The rear vertical seam of each insert also had to be filled and sanded.
wings are a simple three-piece assembly. There
is a one-piece lower wingfoil plus left and right upper wings - their fit is
excellent. The wheel wells are
quite deep and only require painting and a wash to look very convincing.
managed to progress as far as matting the fuselage and wings.
If built straight-from-the-box you’ll probably end up with a gap at
each wingroot (just like me when I attempted to dry-fit the two sub-assembles).
To overcome the gap I inserted a few “fuselage spreaders” (plastic
sprue cut to the right length) towards the front, middle and rear of the
wingroot. The fuselage was widened
just enough to reduce the gap.
a suitable “spreader” (aka “spacer”) is simply a matter of lateral
thinking combined with some trial and error
off a piece of plastic sprue from one of the kit’s frames,
to the approximate length (be a bit on the long side),
and/or sand and dry-fit the spreader - repeat until it starts to spread the
the spreader ends are angled to fit flush against the inner fuselage side,
the slightly widened fuselage to the wingfoil (eliminating the gaps),
spreader into place and allow it to set thoroughly,
glue the fuselage to the wingfoil and clean up the seams.
reserve my opinion on the overall quality of the kit when it is complete.
Certainly the fuselage inserts are a big disappointment and are perhaps
unacceptable in a kit produced in 1998/99 (in my humble opinion only).
wingroot gaps were also surprising, however these were easily taken care of
with fuselage spreaders.
modelling to all !
the South Australian Plastic
Copyright 1999 by John Kerr.