1/24 Airfix BAe Sea Harrier FRS-1

Gallery Article by Richard Baines

 

This year Airfix released an update of their famous Hawker-Siddely Harrier in 1/24 scale. Because I wanted to get this kit done fairly quickly, and to assess the kit, I built it 'straight from the box'. The only reference material used was a cross-section of the Sea Harrier I found in a magazine article that my dad had. The main thing I disliked about the kit was the lack of new parts for the upgrade. I felt that Airfix could have spent more time on the cockpit seat and the undercarriage wheel-wells (only the front one was upgraded). The best new innovation was the instruments - the marks were recessed, so just paint and wipe the excess!  

 

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The engine remains the same, I painted the front part of mine Humbrol Metalcote Bronze (now obsolete). This was the colour of the engine in the cross section I had, although now reseach shows it to be different. My only frustration with this kit was the exhaust nozzles. They are supposed to turn together, and mine were fine, just a bit stiff. Later on though parts inside broke so I've just glued them down. The kit really is big, and I compared it with a 1/72 Harrier and it looked huge (note the faint silver plane in the picture above).

For anyone making this kit beware of the front undercarriage - whatever the instructions say, put it in place before you cement the wheel well. I had to wait 2 weeks for a replacement and then open up the fuselage! When I make the GR3 variant of this kit I will superdetail it, putting little extras in such as the black box panel opened out and maybe even a small motor to power the turbines.

Richard Baines

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Photos and text by Richard Baines