Monday, 16 September 2013

HS Harrier GR. 1 - Airfix new tool 1:72 (build review)

I have made a start on the new-tool Airfix Harrier GR. 1. Like most aircraft kits the first few steps are building up the cockpit, and the Harrier is no exception. The cockpit tub area is made up of 8 parts, 4 for the tub and 4 for the bang seat, there are also 6 decals for this area 4 in the tub area and 2 on the seat. I have added some harnesses from some left over brass etch.

The cockpit tub and intake channels are fitted into the fuselage halves which are then brought together. My last few Airfix new tools have involved a fair bit of fettling to get the cockpit nicely seated without fouling the fuselage halves..and this one is no different. I must be doing something wrong. I wasted some time by painting the rear of the cockpit and the lower part of the intakes on the sprue when it would be perfectly possible to spray these areas in situ..they do in fact make up the forward undercarriage bay, which unless you are careful will have a big seam across the middle which will be difficult to fill and file..

Stage 12 of the instructions indicates that one of those "bumps" on top of the fuselage should be removed. It doesn't appear to be present on the GR. 1 but is on the GR. 3 according to the pics I've been looking at, although its not on Caruana's scale drawings in McLelland's monster Harrier book from Classic. Talking of which there seems to be a relative dearth of decent reference on the GR. 1 - even in this 330-page tome..apparently according to 'Fred' on the Airfix Tribute forum this surplus 'bump' was only on later GR.3s [Snoopy nose and a few pointy nose] and it is a cooling outlet for the 12KVa AC generator. It would be the rearmost on the starboard side. The two front outlets are for the GR1 & 1A only.In addition for the GR.1 & 1A there is only one aerial behind the cockpit, on the starboard side.

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