I know, it has been a while, but I have been busy away from making little aeroplanes.
Anyway, I have completed the last of the Harriers, and with it the eight-ship set I had envisaged:
The last one is a Harrier GR.9A, the same Airfix kit I made right back at there start but without the free glue, paints and brush. In fact, it was quite interesting to compare the experience of a few months back with the experience of having made several kits in the meantime. A lot this time round went more smoothly. I still don’t understand why the intake has to be made of two halves that are difficult to keep aligned, for example, or why the exhausts have to be split.
However, I will say painting was a lot easier with the airbrush. For decals I used the Harrier Retirement set from Xtradecal (X72185 if you are interested). The set has decals for all of the 17 aircraft that took past in the final flypast of the Harrier fleet on 15th December 2010 at RAF Cottesmore. Four aircraft from 800 NAS formed ‘Cougar’ Flight, led by Cdr David Lindsay in ZD351, the last fixed-wing aircraft to land on HMS Ark Royal and the last 800 NAS aircraft to fly from a carrier flight deck. The last Harrier ever to fly from Ark was ZG477 of No.1 Sqn. RAF. I suppose they couldn’t let 800 NAS get all the glory. BTW, the photo chase aircraft, a two-seat Harrier T.12 code name ‘Satan’, was also flown by an 800 NAS pilot, Lt Cdr Kieron Steen. ZD351 has a special commemorative fin artwork, including the dates of the squadron operating the Sea Harrier and Harrier (1980-2010) and the squadron’s Badge and battle honours on the rudder.
I also took the opportunity to use a colour scheme shown with the kit and repaint the Harrier GR.7 I did earlier. It now sports a darker top surface and some nose art from the Afghanistan campaign.
So, this completes the Sea Harrier / Harrier set for 800 NAS. From now on it is strictly backward in time.
Wonder if 800 NAS will get the F-35B Lightning II? I have asked.