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Michael Enright

Best 1/72 harriers, all marques?

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There seem to be varying views on the interweb about this topic. 

 

The Hasegawa contribution appears to polarise things a bit.

 

Just what are the best 1/72  kits, for each version, start to finish?

 

Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Michael

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shatters    53
Posted (edited)

 

Early RAF , I would say the following.

 

GR1 - Airfix

T2 - sword

GR3 - Airfix

T4 - sword

 

Phil

Edited by shatters
Didn't read op

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Dave Swindell    431

P1127 - Airfix

Kestrel - Aardvark/Heritage
GR1/GR3/AV8A - Esci/Italeri (new tool Airfix close 2nd)

FRS1 - Esci/Italeri

FA2 - Esci/Italeri Converted

T2/T4 Sword

GR5/7/9 / AV8B Hasegawa/Revell

T10/T12 Sword

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Dave Fleming    1,318

For the GR7/9, the newer Airfix kits are the ones to go for- even for a conversion to Gr5. For the American B variants, it's a bit more subjective, the Hasgegawa kits lack detail (especially the under fuselage air brake) and It might be easier adding the requisite bits to the Airfix kit (expensive with the current price of Hasegawa)

 

For the TAV8B, the Sword kit isn't that much of an advance on the Airfix one of the early 90s, but is available.

 

For first generation, as has been said, Airfix for GR1/3/8A, Sword for the T birds and ESCI/Italeri for the FRS1s. FA2 there is no really satisfactory kit, if pressed I would choose the Xtrakit/SH one. The various conversions available for the FA2 are a bit rough.

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71chally    2,272

Don't forget Fujimi for the GR.3 and FRS.1, this is my favourite.  

It appears to be based on the Esci/Italeri kit but with a slightly different break down and runner layout.

The newer Airfix is nice, but has an issue with the fin height and shape. decals are nice.

 

If your looking at buying a number of kits the Fujimi, Esci/Italeris can be had very cheaply, just got a GR.3 for £3.50 and a Sea Harrier in a Falklands double pack with a Wessex for £7.

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Dave Fleming    1,318
28 minutes ago, 71chally said:

Don't forget Fujimi for the GR.3 and FRS.1, this is my favourite.  

It appears to be based on the Esci/Italeri kit but with a slightly different break down and runner layout.

 

 

Other way round, the Fujimi kit came first, but both were designed by the same people.

 

 

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Hook    355
3 hours ago, 71chally said:

Don't forget Fujimi for the GR.3 and FRS.1, this is my favourite. 

 

I found the intakes a quite awkward fit on the Fujimi, and the underwing inserts do not fit very well.

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

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Selwyn    1,286
3 hours ago, 71chally said:

Don't forget Fujimi for the GR.3 and FRS.1, this is my favourite.  

It appears to be based on the Esci/Italeri kit but with a slightly different break down and runner layout.

The newer Airfix is nice, but has an issue with the fin height and shape. decals are nice.

 

If your looking at buying a number of kits the Fujimi, Esci/Italeris can be had very cheaply, just got a GR.3 for £3.50 and a Sea Harrier in a Falklands double pack with a Wessex for £7.

The Airfix fin height is only an issue with the GR3,  its correct for the GR1

 

Selwyn

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junglierating    312
5 hours ago, Selwyn said:

The Airfix fin height is only an issue with the GR3,  its correct for the GR1

 

Selwyn

Just out of interest was it diff on the real thing.

Only ever saw gr3s....its my age☺

Remember 1 squadron came on board with the jumper tuckers 800😆

I was disgusted thought frs1 were bad but gr3 had divots in the nose wheel bay!

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71chally    2,272
46 minutes ago, junglierating said:

Just out of interest was it diff on the real thing.

My understanding is that there was a small fin cap extension added when the RWR was fitted to the GR.3s.

 

 

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junglierating    312

You are right so you are....can't find any pics of a mk1 with RWR.

Just assumed it was a sheet metal box job not just a fin extension.suppose it was a fast jet and not a furious palm tree....aerodynamics of a brick etc etc

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71chally    2,272

It's above the rudder top edge line and once you know it you can see the difference between the two fins quite well in photos .

According to the excellent AdHoc book of Harriers 1-4, the extension was 5".

 

 

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Dave Fleming    1,318

The RWR and fin extension was added at the same time as the laser nose (except on one trials aircraft, only aircraft I've seen with the RWR but pointed nose) - the fin was the same height as on the Sea Harrier.

 

The Airfix kit has an early sized fin but added the RWR. The kit designer was kicking himself when they realised that too late. Correcting it takes about 20 minutes with plastic card, or Freightdog did a resin replacement if you fancy that route.

 

(Incidentally, the new nose/fin were added to existing GR3s - the change in designation actually represented a change in engine. It is possible to see pointy nosed GR3s)

 

The Italeri/ESCI kits would be my second choice  - biggest issue is the cockpit and seat, the seat is based on the AV-8A one and needs the cockpit extended back and a proper MB seat fitted (Same for the Sea Harrier). AV-8As are a bit hard to find as Italeri haven't issued that version again.

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Navy Bird    8,779
12 hours ago, Hook said:

 

I found the intakes a quite awkward fit on the Fujimi, and the underwing inserts do not fit very well.

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

 

I would say they were a very awkward fit. They also have the blow-in doors moulded shut. But at the end of the day, the Fujimi FRS.1 looks pretty good (with half the Hasegawa kit and a bit of aftermarket thrown in for good measure).

 

IMG_1074.jpg

 

Cheers,

Bill

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71chally    2,272
Posted (edited)

...but boy does it look good when it's done like that!

 

BTW I just prefer the older kits generally to the Airfix one, not because of the fin. I would buy replacement seats for these, so swings and roundabouts with the work or cost of the fin.

Edited by 71chally

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Giorgio N    3,912

IMHO the choice between Esci and Airfix for a first generation RAF Harrier is not that easy. The Airfix kit has some better features (open blow-in doors, better cockpit, more correct details for an RAF aircraft). At the same time the Esci kits have other good points, for example fit and mould finesse are IMHO better. I have both in my stash and I can't decide which I'd like to build first...

Small bit of trivia: while not exactly GRs, there were other Harriers with the RWR but no pointy nose as the Spanish AV-8S fleet received the RWR at some point in their career

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8 hours ago, Navy Bird said:

 

I would say they were a very awkward fit. They also have the blow-in doors moulded shut. But at the end of the day, the Fujimi FRS.1 looks pretty good (with half the Hasegawa kit and a bit of aftermarket thrown in for good measure).

 

IMG_1074.jpg

 

Cheers,

Bill

A beautiful build,

 

Michael

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tempestfan    340

I haven't yet opened any of my new tool Airfix boxes, but the Esci kits - US specific detail issues apart - demonstrate why/ that Esci were right at the top for an all too brief period in the mid 80s. I only have a Fujimi SHar, but with all the similarities the Esci's  have  (Suntak,  I assume? ), I remember the Fujimi to be very slightly chunky compared to the Esci. Similar verdict for Airfix's "1st gen 2nd gen" kits, but I confess I always liked them. 

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Thank you again for the recommendations.

 

I have acquired an Italeri FRS.1 (with HU.5), an Italeri GR.3 and a Revell GR. 7/9.

 

Michael

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tempestfan    340

Unless I missed something, they weren't. . . . About half seem to prefer Esci and Hase for Gen 1 and 2 respectively, the other 50% the respective Airfix new tools. Which goes to show it's a crowded marketplace. And that a kit which isn't top notch may not earn its money easily. ..

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7 hours ago, Andre B said:

A bit odd to se that all newer Airfix Harrier kits where ruled out...

Hi Andre,

 

Thank you for your note of the twenty-second.

 

Michael

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Giorgio N    3,912

I don't think that the new tool Airfix Harrier kits have been ruled out. In fact the GR.7/9 kit is the best option to build this variant, Mould finesse is not as good as the Hasegawa kit but the Airfix one is still a better starting point IMHO.

The GR.1/3 kits are better than the 7/9 one, agan in some aspect the Esci may be considered superior by some (and I share this view) but the Airfix kits are perfectly valid.

The Sea Harrier is another story as the Airfix kit really is inferior to the Esci and Fujimi ones in most aspects.

As the Sea Harrier is an older tool than the GR.7/9 that itself was issued before the GR.1 and 3, this shows how Airfix have improved their products over the last few years.

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