So, what do you do if you make an aircraft that is notoriously difficult to master, does things other ‘planes cannot do and tend to do them at low level thus reducing the chance of getting back for tea and medals? You build a two-seat trainer version. The next build off the line is the Harrier T.12.
This kit is made by Sword, with whose products I have had issues before. The fit of the pieces is haphazard, there are no alignment lugs (really useful if you are putting two halves of fuselage together), some of the components are poorly modelled, the decals are dreadfully thin and really hard to place, and so on and so on. Well, one thing I did try this time was a vacuum-formed canopy.
Normally the kit comes with a canopy moulded in clear polystyrene, which is included along with the traditional counterpart. However, many modellers prefer vac-formed ones because the plastic is thinner and clearer and better resembles the real thing. And it’s easier to see inside. However, it is a lot more difficult to use. It has to be cut from the sheet out of which it is formed, then trimmed and finally glued to the fuselage. You have to use either superglue or PVA glue as polystyrene cement doesn’t work on it. I use acrylic as it doesn’t leave any chemical haze inside, it dries clear and also fills in any tiny gaps.
Finally, I was able to use most of the decals from the “Harrier retirement” set I got a while back – all the aircraft that took part in the retirement fly-by in 2010. Of which this Harrier T.12 was one. However, more of that sad event later…