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HammerUK9

'What Might Have Been' - a 1/32 Harrier GR9 project.

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Evening all,

I think I'll get my metaphorical towel laid down and get a WIP thread started now :)

After spotting a Trumpeter GR7 going pretty cheaply on eBay, I had the inspiration to condense a few different project ideas into one airframe.

My dream for many years was to end up flying 4 Squadron Harriers. Since the Harriers have now been retired, 4 Sqn has been relegated to the training role and a variety of issues meant the RAF was no longer to be an option for me, the dream has had to end. So I've decided to put it into model form - rather immodestly with my name on the canopy and a little bit of noseart.

I'll be supporting the build with the Aires (or maybe Wolfpack) cockpit, possibly Aires/Eduard extras, as well as Piero's nose if it's still available (has anyone got a means of contacting him? He's been off BM for a while), all supported with a healthy dose of scratch. I'm undecided at this point whether to stick with the kit's 65% LERX or do a version with the 100% LERX.

Finally, as a little test of this forum's demographic, I'll tell you this bird is going to be named "Keelah Se'lai" :heart::blush:

Watch this space - good stuff coming soon ;)

Tim

Edited by HammerUK9

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Why not make the 'Big Wing' Harrier? The one with the all metal wing BAe designed. I can sort you some reference material if you wish...

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Hi Stormfront,

Certainly an interesting suggestion/project - I'd never heard of this one before, and having done some blitz-research on it has thrown up some intriguing information! Funnily enough, earlier I was mulling over MDD's influence over what was a very British aircraft design - there's nothing quite like the politics of aircraft design :headbash:

Thank you for your offer of supplying research information, but I think I'm going to stay away from this line of development for a few reasons:

1) I'm looking to build something that could conceivably have been operated from 2010-20. While I'm sure the Harrier might have undergone another MLU, I can't really see the Tin Wing being an operationally-active design within this timeframe, given how these projects tend to go.

2) I'm extremely unconfident about modifying an entire wing to an overly-perfectionist standard! :P

T-Bird now in the post - if I might make a shameless promotion, I bought it from Plastic Past Times' eBay shop. I know one or two people have used them before with great service. Listed as despatched within an hour of winning, but I realised this morning that eBay had set it to despatch to an outdated address :o Gave them a ring with a correct address at 9am; they managed to intercept it at the Post Office and get it readdressed. Won't be making that mistake again - thanks guys! :thumbsup:

TIm

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Well good luck with that then - I see what you're getting at in - service wise, but really the wing mods are quite easy. I modded up a 1/24 scale one for a customer...just put onthe ferry tips, and covered the lot in plastic card!

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Not to worry, thanks for the support ;)

...And the point goes to Procopious for the correct answer! :D

Came a little late to the trilogy, but finished ME3 this time last week. I still struggle to find the words.

I'm using the exceptional lithograph of Tali as the base image for my noseart. And it had to be Tali :heart:

Tim

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Got myself too excited on this project to keep it too much under wraps!

Put together version 1 of my noseart - a fit check against a line drawing shows it goes on the nose quite nicely:

SmoothedTali2.png

Anyone willing and able to do the decal printing? ;)

Should come tomorrow with a little bit of luck, then I can start planning out my build order.

Tim

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I was bitterly disappointed by 3, myself, but I loved ME2 a great deal (Miranda foreva!). This should be quite a Harrier when you've finished!

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I have no idea what Mass Effect is -apart from negatively influencing the acceleration and top speed of my Triumph- but Google was my friend:

"keelah se'lai — "By the homeworld I hope to see one day."

But I can relate more to what Uhtred used to say: "Wyrd bith ful araed". :)

Cheers,

Erik.

Living in the ancient lands of the Saxons and the Frisians, before they took on the Britons.....

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Evening everyone,

Erik, Uhtred's not wrong! I Wouldn't mind learning a bit of Old Norse one day... And as for your definition of Mass Effect - well - I think my Suzuki's rather more vulnerable to Wind Effect :P

Anyways, to the matter in hand.

I've been trying to persuade myself not to start this until the finishing touches are applied to my Sabre, but as I'm away in a B&B on my own tomorrow night, I thought a few small bits of Harrier and travel-size toolkit would be quite unobtrusive!

Starting with the Pegasus, core of the model and a (relatively) easy section to start on... :rolleyes:

1.jpg

The basic engine consists of an upper and lower half, combined fan/intake, rear turbine stage, 4x swivel rings and a crossbar. Not too bad OOB, but it's clear from photos that quite a lot of the innards can be seen by looking through the nozzles - and the kit doesn't particularly represent what's seen.

For starters, the swivel rings for the front nozzles are completely solid - these will need to be hollowed out. The rear rings will need to be sanded back to the outside of the locator grooves. The crossbar allows both front nozzles to turn in tandem (but doesn't connect to the rear nozzles :shrug: ) can be discarded - as the aircraft will be parked, the nozzles can be fixed rearward. I'm debating whether to remove the 'back plate' of the fan/intake assembly to scratch an extra fan stage - it is actually visible on the real thing. The turbine stage needs discarding - while there is something in that location, it's actually the core support and airflow guide vanes. These will have to be scratched. on the real thing, the rear-most LP compressor stage is visible in front of the front nozzles. This is not provided for in the kit, and will also have to be scratched.

Plus the usual ejector pins and seams to be sorted :)

3.jpg

Red - to be removed, blue - pin marks to fill. Green is the the turbine location, while yellow is just about where the compressor stage should sit.

Will report back in a few days,

Tim

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Evening,

Managed to find a bit of time to make some progress, pin marks filled, cold nozzles opened up and engine casings and nozzle rings sanded down:

4.jpg

Having sanded the rings to the correct diameter to mount to the nozzle, I found a plasticard insert was necessary to make it flush with the main engine case. You can just make out the insert in the left-hand ring. The front nozzles need 0.5mm plasticard, while the rear nozzles will only need 0.25mm plasticard:

5.jpg

...and the result is a flush ring that looks pretty good compared to photos - I love it when a plan comes together :)

6.jpg

I've decided not to try and put extra fan stages into the intake piece - the plastic is too thick to to cut around the existing blades with speed and confidence, and I'm not too confident in building a stage that will be completely visible!

More tomorrow,

Tim

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Well, it's a bit later than 'tomorrow,' but the next update is due :)

7_zps7d73d02a.jpg

Quickly made up the turbine stator vanes - definitely not perfect, but good enough for this model

8_zps8976dccd.jpg

Here they are in place; the insert image is the view through the real rear nozzle.

9_zps88720c16.jpg

The complete engine. Hidden just inside the intake is a plasticard disc into which I've cut lots of short slits to represent fan blades. The interior was given a coat of Alclad Aluminium. The bare exterior does look a bit sorry for itself, but as none of it will be visible I won't bother. The Pegasus is so thoroughly engineered that merely gluing it all together took over an hour! :mental:

I've got Aires' resin cockpit and landing gear bays and Eduard's exterior on the way to me at the moment, and I've started the nose section. First task is to reshape the nose. I'm using Piero's stunning build as a guide - read it if you haven't already, it's amazing stuff!

Thanks for reading,

Tim

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Thanks Stormfront :)

I've spent the last few days working off and on on the nose section. After separating the cone from the cockpit section, I first thinned the tip out to help detailing of the ARBS lens later:

10.jpg

You can also see the original FLIR fairing shape (correct, like most of this kit, for the AV-8B :( ), pre-modifications :wicked:

After measuring off some approximate dimensions from the photos I've got, it appears that the little raised area at the base of the model fairing, is in fact the correct size for the real fairing. I glued a plate of 1mm plasticard to each side of the existing fairing, and one sideways between them. A lot of sanding down later and we're left with this:

11.jpg

12.jpg

Now, compare that with the first image to get an idea of the accuracy issues :mental:

More tomorrow!

Tim

Edited by HammerUK9

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Evening,

I've been ticking along in between some exterior decorating in Essex and battling the rain to bring in a potato harvest - I live a very strange life ;)

Anyhoo, I've sanded down the putty and given the nose a quick bit of primer to check for gaps/scratches, and I'm jolly pleased with the result!

13.jpg

Panel lines and the underside RCV/Zeus are next on the list.

In the meantime, Aires' bits arrived. Unfortunately the cockpit is most definitely not a straight fit and both cockpit and fuselage walls had to be thinned down quite a bit. Furthermore, I did a bit of a silly and got the original AV-8B cockpit rather than the Night Attack version (mix of uncertainty and misleading images online), so will need to scratch myself an MFD :wicked:

I've got the cockpit tub built and painted up now as well. The top parts of the seat rails were cut off and replaced with correct scratched ones. The weathering pattern is quite interesting - based on the images I've found, the lightest bits are the crevices and the darker bits are the raised areas :mental: I think I've done it reasonable justice:

14.jpg

15.jpg

More in the week, thanks for reading!

Tim

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Hi all,

Well, in spite of the large gaps between posts, work is definitely progressing!

I've made a start upon the nose gear bay:

16.jpg

Not much weathering will be required, a bit of scraped paint and a few light stains should be sufficient.

...and I wish the panel line corrections were so straightforward! Here's a run-down on what's needed - existing panel lines are in red, correct panel lines are in blue... :analintruder:

17.jpg

The second-on-the-left panel, along with the slime-light panels, are raised in the original moulding. They were sanded down, with unwanted panel lines being filled in and correct lines marked out. I might re-scribe the slime-light panels at a later date because they are just about visible on the real thing.

Along with this WIP thread, I've decided to put together a companion PDF (which I'll attach at the end) to serve as a bit of a 'how to' in case anyone finds this work worth copying :)

Keep following!

Tim

Edited by HammerUK9

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I like this! The Trumpy kit is quite cool, but needs some work apparently.. I'm not sure about the Aires cockpits though.. Is it worth the trouble..?

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Hi Z Aviator,

The kit is indeed very cool, and would be pretty good OOB, but Trumpeter badly let themselves down by reboxing their AV-8B kit without making any GR7-specific changes (am I correct on this?) Glaring errors are the FLIR 'hump', incorrect pylons, incorrect weapons and generic decals from the USMC Harrier. The only sop to we Brits are the 4 Sqn/20 Sqn airframe-specific decals.

As to the Aires cockpit? Personal choice I guess. The OOB office isn't bad, obv. doesn't have any fit issues and would look pretty good when painted up. Especially under a closed canopy, I'm sure it would look fine The only real inaccuracy is the seat - Piero's produced a correct resin one if you don't want to do any scratchbuilding.

Your progress update for this evening:

I've finished the panel lines on the port side. Being my first time I got most of them wrong several times over, but a little patience and lot of filling has made it all better :) For this build I've found myself reverting back to Tamiya putty - as it dries much harder it's far easier to sand, smooth, scribe and thus unify with the surrounding stryene. Next step was to scribe the starboard side. However, after studying some photos, it appeared that the boarding steps are not quite in the right place or quite the right size. Being a bit of an AMS maniac on this build, I decided to move them :P

First I cut out completely the correct step 'units' - you can see from my previous work how far off they are from the default ones.

19.jpg

...and after the appropriate surgery...

20.jpg

More tomorrow!

Tim

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Well, perhaps a bit earlier than tomorrow then :)

I'm experimenting with a method of doing rivets/screws by hand - only really viable because there aren't too many alterations I'm making.

Anyways:

21.jpg

The dots were done using the tip of a cocktail stick. From images, the rivets aren't always perfectly evenly spaced along the edge of the panel. To ensure I get the correct distance from the edge of the panel, I'll run a line of masking tape across and will use that in conjunction with the dots to get (hopefully) well positioned rivets.

Modelling track for the day is

- a suitably hellish track that brightens up painstaking work no end :)

Tim

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Wolfpack Design have now released an RAF set, with 100% LERX, also a MB Seat, and a full cockpit set, available from Lucky Model with free postage, and if you set your account preferences in the right way :coolio: your purchase will have an uninterrupted journey!

Edited by Kagemusha

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This is looking very nice indeed, some subtle but effective tweaks and additions.

Al

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