In the immortal words of Mr Loaf, two out of three ain’t bad. The Sea Harrier FA2 is complete and has joined the virtual 800 Naval Air Squadron.
Pretty happy overall, although some bits of it were an absolute bugger to get right. The biggest of these, and a lesson I shall probably not draw upon in future, was getting the missiles mounted. The twin AIM-9L rails were such a pain. Each missile has a launch rail, which attaches to a central load rail, which in turn attaches to the underwing pylon, which I think is connected to the ankle-bone. Getting all this even vaguely in the right arrangement was very tricky.
Maybe I should have stuck to the suggested fuel tank plus AIM-120 as on the box artwork. Keep it simple, stupid!
The rest was OK. The decals are very small, but I now use Micro set to help get them in the right place and Micro Sol to get them to conform the the plastic more tightly.
I understand the use of all over grey as a low-visibility thing, but why baby blue and pink in place of the traditional blue and red of the roundels. Does it really, REALLY make a difference to visibility?
Anyway, I now have two of the three types of Harrier used by 800NAS, but the final one (the FRS1 of Falklands fame) will have to wait for another time. Although, determined not to learn my lesson on deviating from box artwork, I might keep the Sea Eagle missiles from this kit to help arm the FRS1 when I get it…
So, pretty as they are and a glorious celebration of British engineering, I feel the need for something a bit more sedate and, frankly, colourful. Toward the other end of the career of the genius that was Sir Sydney Camm, chief designer of the original Harrier, and back to propellers. There is a Sea Hurricane in the pattern waiting to land…