Aviation News Vol 4 Num 5 8 August - 21 August 1975
A NEW MIRAGE AND A REBUILT TYPHOON
TWO NEW KITS FROM FROG
We are very pleased to see that at least one kit manufacturer has realised that there was another Typhoon apart from the bubble-canopied version. Agreed that this saw more service than the earlier 'Cab-door' machine but both were equally important. Now, Frog have re-released their model of this aircraft and it appears to have had a great deal of additional work done on it. In fact it is probably an entirely new mould but some of the inherent faults in earlier Frog kits have shown through.
Although basically a very good model, and certainly one worth getting for the version of the Typhoon provided, it has distinct touches of the over-thickness malaise that has plagued many models from this source in the last few years. Most of the new releases have overcome such things as thick trailing edges, over-scale undercarriage doors and the like but they have reappeared on this model. The Typhoon was a thick, 'chunky' fighter-bomber but it did not have three-inch-thick wing trailing edges and the, undercarriage doors were made out of sheet aluminium and not planks of wood!
At the same time Frog mould makers have overdone the strengthening plates fitted to the rear fuselage just forward of the tailplane. The rudder has acquired a simulated canvas covering and we thought that the exhaust stubs were not large enough.
All of these points can, however, be overcome with a little extra work. Wing trailing edges can be carefully filed down, the tail strengthening plates can be rubbed down with wet and dry paper and so can the marks on the rudder.
On the plus side, Frog have detailed the undercarriage wells and put the correct type of cannon barrels on for the particular machines modelled. The underwing rockets are also accurate and the remainder of the surface panelling neatly tooled.
Two aircraft are featured in the decals sheets. These are for the two most illustrated squadrons using the Typhoon, Nos. 609 (coded PR) and 56 (US) Squadrons. The decals are well done and in the case of the No. 609 Sqdn aircraft, R7855, coded PR:D, flown by Flying Officer Lallemont, is provided and has his personal emblem on the cowling.
Both the Mirage and the Typhoon come in the Frog Red series costing 55p.
Aviation News Vol 4 Num 5 8 August - 21 August 1975
Oriental storm and desert illusion
The two most recent 1/72nd scale releases to reach us from Frog offer immense contrast in subject matter and a dearth of originality, representing the Hawker Typhoon Ib and the Dassault-Breguet Mirage III which are both already well established in the kit catalogues. While we cannot imagine many modellers commenting, "Ah, just what is needed", these are both good kits and there are some saving graces.
In so far as the Typhoon is concerned, the kit depicts the earlier version with the framed canopy and is not a re-issue of the previous Frog kit of this type. The kit consists of 33 parts, moulded in a dark blue-grey plastic which has no relevance to the actual aircraft colouring but would now seem to have been standardised by this company for its kits — why not a nice neutral light grey if it is necessary to have a standard colour for plastic? The surface detailing, which is mostly of the fine raised-line type, is neat and looks well, although the fabric texturing of the rudder is rather heavy-handed. The cockpit interior is naked apart from a seat and a pilot figure to occupy this, considerable supplementary work therefore being necessary in this area. The undercarriage may be assembled either extended or retracted and if one opts for the former some interior detailing is visible inside the wells. The cannon are moulded integrally with the upper surfaces of the wings but look quite well, and there are eight rockets to be mounted under the wings if so desired, the attachment point holes for these being only partly formed so that the wing undersurfaces may be left clean if the rockets are not to be fitted. The decal sheet is excellent and provides markings for one example operated by No 56 Sqdn and another flown by No 609 Sqdn, colour scheme details being provided on the bottom of the box.
The Typhoon is a good basic kit with no pretensions towards the super-detailed but adequately capturing the massivity associated with this Hawker welterweight, but even taking into account the escalation that is hitting kit prices, this would seem to be somewhat overpriced at 55p in the UK and rather better value is, in our view, offered by the Mirage kit, which, with 39 component parts and again moulded in dark blue-grey, has the same UK retail price of 55p. Representing basically the Mirage IIIE, this kit may also be completed as a Mirage IIIO of the RAAF, the decal sheet, which is really first class, offering markings for a camouflaged example operated from Butterworth in 1972 by the Australian No 3 Squadron. The Markings for the Mirage IIIE are also attractive, these being applicable to an example operated by Escadron de Chasse 1/3 Navarre based at Nancy.
While by no means in the super-detailed category, this kit reproduces the quite complex contours of the Mirage very well, the concave leading edges of the wing being particularly well reproduced. External stores include two different types of fuel tank and two rockets. □
F J Henderson
Air Enthusiast 1975-10 vol.09 no.04
NEW to YOU?
FROG. Hawker Typhoon. 1/72nd scale. Price 55p.
HERE we have another Typhoon kit, but this new one from the Rovex team is not a rehash oftheirearlierkit buta new re-tool. The model is especially welcome on two points, one is that it's the first Mk. 1b with the car door type cockpit entry in 1/72nd scale, and secondly it is seemingly accurate when compared with our drawings by Geoff Duval.
What does detract from this otherwise finely moulded kit, are the heavy rear fuselage strengthener plates, the raised ejector chutes on the wings, and the sackcloth finish on the rudder. A vigorous rubbing with wet and dry, however, can soon put matters right. Ribbing inside the wheel wells is also rather heavy.
Otherwise fine detail panel lines are well evident and the two cockpit vents on the port side are prominent as they should be. Trailing edges need refining, otherwise the model can look rather 'heavy' even for a'Tiffie1.
Assembly is straightforward, and no filler is needed at any stage. For the discerning specialist the usual comments to most kits apply - replacing undercarriage doors, refining edges, etc., all of which will give little concern to the keen enthusiast who will find the Frog Tiffie an excellent base for modifications.
The canopy is also well-moulded and although the frame lines lack absolute definition, there are no problems in painting it. Decals, as usual, are good, although the dull insignia red is perhaps too dull, the choices offered are for an aircraft of 609 Squadron RAF Manston, Kent, 1943, as flown by F/O RAF Lallemant of 'A' Flight, and a 56 Sqn. RAF machine at Matlaske in 1943. Register of decal colours in our case were good, and so were the colour scheme guides on the box though we have heard commentthat 56 did not carry Rocket rails.
Alternative parts are restricted to eight rockets moulded integrally with the rails.
Scale Models, October 1975
Frog's new Typhoon
Despite its importance to the RAF, especially during the later war years when it proved to be such a devastating ground attack aircraft, the Hawker Typhoon has been poorly represented in 1/72 scale. Until now only two kits, by Frog and Airfix, have been available in this scale — both produced many years ago and neither doing justice to this sturdy fighter-bomber. Of these two, in spite of having a wing that was too thin in section and not having cut-out wheel wells, I always had a preference for the Frog kit. To me, the Airfix model never looked correct, even after extensive modifications. Thus, while the Zeros, Mustangs, Bf 109s, Wildcasts, Thunderbolts and Buffalos continued to flow from the manufacturers, those of us who wanted a Typhoon had to make the best of a bad job.
Frog has now released a Typhoon kit to replace the earlier one, this time an early "car-door" entrance type with the long transparent hood, which makes a nice change from the usual "bubble" hood version. As there is a lot of information available on the Typhoon it should have been possible to produce a near-perfect model, but sadly this kit needs quite a lot of alteration to reproduce that true 'Tif-fy' look.
Although my work at Gloster Aircraft Ltd during the war years was mainly on the Meteor jet fighter programme, I got to know the Typhoon at close hand. Typhoons were very much part of our lives then because the big Hawker fighter was the main production type at the Gloster factory at Brockworth until the Meteor replaced it. Some 3,300 were built by Glosters at a rate of 45 a week and throughout each day Typhoons used to whine melodiously overhead on test. Their shape and sound was instantly recognisable at any range. Much more recently I had to produce some large scale drawings of the aircraft and got to know the geometry of it intimately.
Frog's new model looks incorrect from certain angles, although individually the main components seem to be reasonably accurate in shape, with some reservations. The trouble is that the model has several degrees of wing incidence, whereas the Typhoon is rather unusual in not having any incidence at all — the wing aerofoil datum being parallel to the engine thrust line. Presumably, the thick-sectioned, cambered .wing gave sufficient lift at 0 degrees in level flight and ample lift at take-off with the tail slightly raised, at which the wing would be at several degrees of incidence.
Because of having incidence this model has the wing fillet set too low on the fuselage ,and this in turn affects the fuselage sections at this point (they should be elliptical). To correct this I cut the fillet away from each fuselage side, from about half the wing chord back, leaving the forward part of the wing fillet/joint still on the fuselage. The rear part of the fillet, removed from the fuselage, was then cemented on to the wing root. The wing fillet cut-out for the wing lug has to be cu horizontal to permit the wing to be cemented in the revised position, using the engine exhausts as a datum. Any holes in the fuselage were then filled and the wing fillet was then faired onto each fuselage side. Before cementing the wings in their position the fuselage cross sections were improved by filing to a more elliptical sehape. The fuselage is a little too wide in plan view between the wing and tailplane, but this cannot be corrected without filing away the surface detail.
The four 20mm cannon on the model are the original unfaired type, which look more impressive than the later type, but on my sample the mouldings were rather indistinct and I preferred to cut these off and replace them with the excellent cannon in the Matchbox Hurricane kit (which will now become a Mk IIB or Mk IID). Faired cannon, if required, can easily be made from stretched sprue. Incidentally, the first faired cannon on a Typhoon were those on Wg Cdr Roland Beamont's PR-G R7752. Wg Cdr Beamont had his cannon faired by using standard Spitfire units adapted to fit the Typhoon's cannon installation and this was used some six months before the production-type fairings became a standard fitment on Tiffies'.
Surface detail on the model is satisfactory, but the wing trailing edges require filing down to lessen their thickness. The propeller spinner is rather too big: the fuselage should curve down to match the spinner contour, but because the spinner is too large the top line of the engine cowling has insufficient curvature forward of the exhausts. The Tempest and Typhoon had identical contours around the radiator and engine cowling, and this Typhoon should match Frog's excellent Tempest Mk V in this area. If this model were converted into a late series Typhoon with bubble hood and four-bladed propellor, Frog's Tempest propellor could be used with the nose shape filed down to match.
The excellent transfer sheet gives markings for two early Typhoons, one from 609 Squadron based at Manston and the other from another famous unit, 56 Squadron based at Matlaske — both during 1943. The Dull Red in the markings is a bit too dark, but the Sky letters look very accurate. Frog's colour guides on the back of their boxes are always a delight to the eye and are well worth keeping as accurate colour references. This one on the Typhoon box is splendid, and how nice it is to read the accurate colour names (for example, just Sky, instead of Sky Type S or duck egg green, or duck egg blue!)
With modifications this is certainly the best Typhoon in 1/72 scale to date. It costs 55p.
AIRCRAFT ILLUSTRATED 1975-10
This month's colour subject
Although acquiring a reputation as a fighter of dubious reliability during the early stages of its career, the Hawker Typhoon overcame an inauspicious service debut with maturity to enjoy widespread acclaim as one of the Allies' most potent weapons — a close-support fighter destined to turn the tide in many a land battle and overturn many land warfare concepts. The heaviest and most powerful single-seat, single-engine warplane envisaged at the time of its design, the massive, rather bulbous Typhoon makes an excellent modelling subject and has received more than adequate coverage in so far as model kits are concerned, maintaining a presence in the catalogues these many years past.
The earliest of the Typhoon kits were products of Frog and Airfix, both to 1/72nd scale and the latter being still available, Frog having recently replaced its offering with a completely new kit for the Mk IB, this being easily the best available in this scale and recommended with confidence. Some years ago. Monogram produced a very fine 1/48th scale Typhoon Mk IB and this, again, is still available. It is a kit that belies its age and is unlikely to be bettered in the foreseeable future.
Continuing up the scales, we have a 1/32nd kit from Revell which is one of the best in this company's large scale series. The Airfix and earlier Frog kits represented, as also does the Monogram kit, the "bubble" canopy version of the Mk IB, whereas the Revell and later Frog kits depict the version with the earlier framed canopy and car-type entrance door.
Depending entirely upon your scale preference, you can safely buy the Revell, Monogram and current Frog kits, all three being included in the respective current catalogues, and these should be readily obtainable wherever their manufacturers' products are distributed.
F J HENDERSON
Air Enthusiast 1976-06 vol.10 no.06