Special Hobby 1/48 Tempest Mk.II "Hi-Tech"
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This is an in-box review: Molded in dark gray plastic. Many very finely molded detail parts (that will be easy to break!). Almost flash-free; clean-up will be a breeze. Surface detail is engraved panel line with fine engraved rivet detail. Nice features: Thin clear parts. The windscreen framing has the fuselage fairing molded to it so it will be harder to get glue gizzies on the clear area. A separate part for the interior of the sliding portion of the canopy frame is included and gives this part nice 3D depth. Very detailed cockpit with internal framing separate from the fuselage sidewalls that will give a nice 3D effect. The main landing gear wells are built up with several sidewall parts and should end up well detailed. The tailwheel well is well-detailed, too. There is a tab on the top of the wing where it joins the wing-root filet which promises a strong joint with minimum filling and sanding. Control surfaces are separate, but not posable. Landing gear struts are finely detailed but lack brake lines. Shortcomings: No bomb armament is included, but has rockets and clear (why?) drop tanks. The rest of this is nit-picking... The engine exhaust part outlets are flat with no dimples and could benefit from drilling out for a 3D look, however, these parts are very small and will be hard to drill. Perhaps Quickboost will come to the rescue... There is no wiring or "plumbing" on the cockpit sidewalls, but it would be easy to add with fine solder or copper wire. This is the "Hi-Tech" release with resin detail including and engine front and side with very thin cowl panels to display a partial engine. The engine bits are just sorta 2D relief but with careful painting, washes and highlighting it could be convincing. The resin also includes wheels with fine diamond tread. Photoetch pre-colored seatbelts are included, but no other photoetch parts. The kit also includes canopy and wheel masks. Decal sheet (printed by Eduard) is extensive with three RAF aircraft (2 camo, 1 aluminum..., or is it AL-you- min-ee-yum...?), 1 Pakistan (camo) and 1 India (aluminum). Instrument panel decals and comprehensive stencils are included. The 20 page color instruction booklet is clear and appears comprehensive This kit is reminiscent of an Eduard Profi-Pak kit with extra resin and photoetch features, multiple markings and the look and feel of the instruction booklet. I cannot comment on the fit and alignment, but it appears promising. Some might find it a bit fiddly with all the detail parts, but that is the price of the exquisite detail this kit offers. I look forward to a pleasurable build and doubt I'll find the need for any aftermarket bits. I think it is well worth the $60 price tag.