1/72 Airfix Hawker Typhoon Mk IB

As a fighter-bomber, the tough, heavily armed Typhoon was the scourge of any German ground forces in Normandy trying to maneuver towards the front. This kit, representative of Airfix’s new generation of products, made for a very satisfying build. When given a choice I will always choose the livery that includes invasion stripes, as I have done here. I have also always liked the British grey-and-green camouflage scheme, so all in all I am very pleased with this handsome little aircraft.

One of the skill elements that still eludes me is the panel-line accents. Tamiya’s Panel Line Accents are good, but I usually balk at having to do the line-by-line wiping and touching up that is required at the points where I have touched the brush to the lines. A dark wash can also work well and is faster, but I find I run into two problems with that: 1) if I leave it on too long or make it too dark, it just makes the whole surface look darker and dirtier than it needs to be, but 2) if I make it too thin or start to wipe off excess too soon in order to avoid Problem 1, then it barely accentuates the lines at all. That is what has happened here!

Just recently saw this photo for the first time. Note the paint detail on the stripes.

In the photos I have imagined a Typhoon just taxiing to its take-off, armed with rockets for ground attack. The massive nose structure and large, four-bladed prop really stand out in some of the shots. I have left the canopy open for the taxi, partly to account for the fact that the pilot figure — which I like and which is not the same Airfix pilot as in so many of their kits — has his oxygen mask hanging below his chin for the moment. As I have described in previous posts, the spinning propeller is achieved with a small leaf blower I use expressly for that purpose. Since I am already shooting with a very low shutter speed to increase my depth of focus, the movement of the propeller blades is captured beautifully. The staff car is by Ace Models, and the ground crew are of course Airfix.

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