I must admit to one thing. I had started making a kit at 1/72nd before I started this blog, as the blog idea post-dates the model making idea.
So, this is the last in the series of aircraft flown by 800NAS (to date), the British Aerospace Harrier GR.9.
First thoughts are that this will probably be replaced with a far better achieved model towards the end of the process. I just wanted to get “one on the board”, as they say.
The kit itself is excellent. The moulds and the plastic formulation being used these days allows for much finer detail than those kits I remember from my youth. The parts are sharply defined with crisp panel lines and most things fit together extremely well. I love that you have the option to have flaps up or down, refuelling problem deployed or stowed, canopy open or closed. Much of this in my younger days would have been in the realm of major modification to get right. The detail inside wheel wells and the multi-position airbrake are excellent. For as we know, one cannot fully deploy the airbrake on the ground. Nice touch.
The range of weapons is impressive but there are no options other than “take it or leave it”, but I filled the rails with what they supplied (Sniper targeting pod, DJRP recce pod under the body plus a fuel tank, AIM-9L Sidewinder, CRV-7 rocket pod and Paveway IV bomb under each wing). IMHO ruins the lines of a pretty plane and makes it look like it is carrying heavy shopping home from Tesco, but reasonably true to what they do fly with.
It comes with markings for an aircraft of 800NAS, so that was another worry dealt with.
On the down side, there are things that need more attention – mainly from me. The exhaust pipes come in two halves, there is a strong seam between them I should have filed away. The joint between the intake and the body isn’t quite tight, so there are gaps around the extra inlet doors that I haven’t filled and smoothed. I also bogged up the glueing of the canopy so there is a frosty area near the back that should be clean.
Finally, I used decal fix to get the decals to conform properly – I should have washed this down later.
So, not a bad start. I have pre-ordered the Airfix Sea Harrier FA.2 which is released later this year. I will make sure I do a better job of it!