1/48 Monogram AV-8B Harrier

Gallery Article by Leander Niederhauser

 

When I ordered this AV-8 I never knew what would be in the box. The image looked new, and the companies printed on the box were Hasegawa (under this name the kit was sold) and Revell. When I then finally opened the box, I found the well known "old" Monogram Harrier. So I don't want to write too much about the construction. Others have done it much better than I could do. You find the most complete and accurate guide here: http://www.kitparade.com/features00/harrierlb_1.htm Thank you Lance!

 

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Because I was often in Skopje, Pristina, Ohrid and Sarajevo just after the Balkan war, I saw a lot of IFOR, SFOR, UN, KFOR ... marked helicopters and airplanes. So it was always my wish to build a bird with these markings. 

During the research for decals for my Harrier I found the Twobobs sheet AV-8B, Plus, Night Attack. They also include an IFOR bird. My choice then was easy. These decals are very good to handle, and they are very sharp printed. It's really an improvement for the otherwise not so accurate Monogram Harrier. Beside, they deliver you a set for about 5 complete aircrafts. I heard that Hasegawa will release an AV-8B+ NA Harrier (1/48) in mid 2003, so I will for sure have use for all the spare decals.

My AV-8B has repositioned beacon on the top, scratch built antennas and weapons out of the Hasegawa weapons kit. According to Lance's description, you have to sand and scribe quite some areas. I have done them all, and now my Harrier looks close to my reference photos. I also scratch built the radar antenna in front of the nose wheel. I think it came out quite well.

To detail the Harrier, I also ordered the Eduards AV-8B photo etched parts. Unfortunately most of the parts (or my parts?) are much too big to use. But there are some very nice improvements, like the HUD or the canopy handles, so that you would buy it anyway.

Painting was done with JPS, Tamiya, Gunze and Humbrol colours. I wanted to see if problems arise when I use different brands on the same model. The answer is: NO! Except that you always need to know which thinner goes for which paint ..

The base had to be an aircraft carrier, because my reference photos show the HMM-264 No 50 on one. I used a black rubber piece, normally used to cover tables or shelves. The tie down points comes from Flightpath and can be ordered here:
http://www.djparkins.clara.net/fltpath/fpmaster.htm
In the USN Carrier Deck Set are a lot of useful things, if you want to build a carrier based aircraft. I can recommend it.

That's what I can tell about my Harrier. I hope you enjoy this interesting bird.

Leander Niederhauser

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Photos and text by Leander Niederhauser