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Hawker Typhoon Mk.Ib

Bob Laskodi


Hawker Typhoon Mk.Ib


Hasegawa's 1/48 scale Typhoon Mk.Ib is available online from Squadron.com




The main purpose of this article is not to focus on the history of the Typhoon, but instead to focus on those brave men that flew them in combat. I became involved in this project, when out of the blue, I got an e-mail from Gordon MacDonald who asked me to build the Typhoon his father flew during WWII.

Alec MacDonald was not a fighter ace (just like most WWII pilots!); he was simply a Canadian flying Typhoons on unglamorous ground attack missions. Like many WWII veterans, Alec MacDonald is now in poor health and details of his war stories are now fading from his memory. This was an attempt to document the man and his aircraft. The following history was written by Gordon MacDonald and is reproduced verbatim:

"Dad joined the RCAF in 1941 and was assigned as a training instructor in High River Alberta. In 1944 when it became apparent that an invasion of Europe was going to happen he volunteered for overseas duty as his brother was in the Army and he felt as only one son had to go overseas it would be safer in the air than the ground. While in Britain he flew Spitfires and Hurricanes, and when RCAF 438 Squadron was assigned Typhoon Mk1B dive-bombers, he was assigned to that squadron.



He was not happy as he enjoyed flying Spitfires and as the British had a habit of assigning their
Commonwealth Air Crews to least desirable aircraft, he had no choice. The pilots were afraid of the Typhoons as they had ignition problems causing fires, and their tails had a habit of falling off while dive-bombing. He did not fly the rocket firing typhoons as the British squadrons had them, but he flew the model that had four 20 mm cannons and carried two 500lb bombs.

On his first operation out of Eindhoven, Holland in December 1944 he was preparing to take off, and was given clearance to take off, as the ground was covered with powder snow they had to rely on the ATC for clearance. Once given clearance he and his wingman prepared for takeoff and half way down the runway the aircraft in front of him aborted the takeoff.

Unfortunately my Dad could not stop and ended up cutting his aircraft in half. Luckily both he and the other pilot escaped injury but both aircraft were destroyed. Not a very good way to start your operational tour. Dad went on to complete 31 missions and participated in the fly-past in Copenhagen and returned to Canada in 1945.

He stayed in the Air Force Reserve (National Guard) and flew Harvards (Texans) and P-51 Mustangs on the weekends. When the squadron made the transition to De Haviland Vampires and F-86 Sabre Jets he could not take the training as it was in eastern Canada and he was attending law school at the University of B.C.

In the book Typhoon and Tempest by Hugh A. Halliday it has a small story about him. You do not see many articles written about Typhoon pilots, as they did not generate the interest that the fighter pilots did. They did have encounters with Bf 109s and Fw 190s but unless they had the height advantage they were in trouble."



Hasegawa's 1/48 Scale Typhoon Ib


The kit (Hasegawa 1/48 Typhoon Mk.Ib) is typical Hasegawa; a high quality injected molded plastic with detailed engraving. The kit consists of 85 injected molded plastic parts that are the envy of the business in quality. The instruction sheet is typical Hasegawa, an eight-page foldout with color references for Gunze-Sangyo paints. 



After washing the parts in mild dishwater soap and letting them dry, I then pre-painted all the parts as indicated in the instructions. Starting with the interior, I built up the kit as per the instructions. The interior builds up very nicely with no significant problems but detail is a little on the sparse side (as is typical with most early Hasegawa kits).



The only major construction hurdle of the entire kit was the fitting of the fuselage inserts (J1, 2, & 4) that permit Hasegawa to offer both the early and later variants of the Typhoon with the same basic mold. As is usually the case, the inserts do not fit all that well and some puttying was needed. I chose to install the inserts so they would line up with the panel lines and the basic curvature of the fuselage. This left a small gap along the spine joins that required filling. In addition, since the rear portion of the inserts does not fall along panel lines, putty was required there also. This was the only bad mark that I gave the kit. Unfortunately, it changes the build from an incredibly easy one capable by anyone to a slightly more complex build best left to modelers with some experience at lining up parts and gap filling.

Main wing assembly and installation was flawless, without the all too typical Hasegawa wing root gap. Filing off the mold lines and dry fitting the horizontal stabilizers will also permit a flawless, putty free installation. After a quick sanding down of all the joins (no putty needed) the model visited the paint shop where it was painted, decaled, and weathered before final assembly took place.

For final assembly I installed all the landing gear components, bombs, fuselage pieces, and cockpit details. The propeller was from an old Monogram kit since Alec MacDonald’s aircraft had the four-bladed propeller. All pieces went together easily.



Painting, Markings and Weathering


The model was painted with Floquil Military Colors (enamel) in British Ocean Grey, Medium Sea Grey, UK Dark Green, and British Sky.

I used paper masks to do the topside camouflage pattern. Using my scanner, I enlarged the painting pattern provided on the instruction sheet to the correct size and then used Tombo Mono Multi Liquid Glue to coat the backside of the cutout masks. This is really a great product for paper masks. The adhesive (when dry) will not pull up paint but is fairly tacky so you can use paper masks around curves.

I then carefully lifted the edges with a toothpick to provide a slight amount of overspray. A light topcoat of Future to prepare the flat surface for decaling followed this.



Since I was doing Alec MacDonald’s Typhoon, I had to replace the kit decals with some from the spares box and a variety of aftermarket sources. I applied MicroSol setting solution and the decals responded very well to the setting solution with no permanent wrinkling.

After drying overnight, I wiped the decals off with a Polly S Plastic Prep to remove any residue and after drying I shot a very light coat of Future thinned with rubbing alcohol (50:50 mix) over the decals to seal them.

For weathering, I chose to accentuate the engraved panel lines and surface detail with a burnt umber oil wash. After spraying a mix of Future, rubbing alcohol, and Tamiya Flat Base (X-21), I then randomly applied some ground up black and burnt umber pastels with a soft brush to simulate staining and exhaust.





Hasegawa has produced an excellent model of an important WWII aircraft. It would be an extremely easy build suitable for first time modelers if not for the fuselage insert fit problems. A little careful work with that portion of the kit and you will be rewarded with an excellent model.

In closing, I would like to issue a call to all modelers to build an aircraft flown by a veteran.

The pride and joy on their face when they see “their” airplane is something that every modeler should experience.

Please feel free to contact me via e-mail and I can put you in touch with Gordon MacDonald who maintains contacts with many Canadian WWII pilots if you can’t locate any veterans on your own.




Additional Images


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Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2003 by Bob Laskodi
Page Created 24 August, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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