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tropical thistle

Harrier II in Hokkaido!

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This is deja vu... stillborn What-If from 2 years ago. The build back then was more than 80% talking and less than 20% building.

Linky: http://www.britmodel...topic=234927279

Hopefully, there will be more building than talking this time round... and may be even complete the bird.

BACK STORY

FACT The GR.1/GR.3 and AV-8A Harrier is the first operational V/STOL close air support and fighter aircraft. The Harrier entered service with the RAF in 1969. Impressed by the Harrier's unique V/STOL capabilities and suitability for its own close air support requirements, the USMC ordered the AV-8A in 1970..

WHAT IF In 1982, Japan abandoned its ambitious plans to develop the indigeneous T-2 trainer into a single seat attack version due to severe cost overrun. US Department of Defense made the JASDF an offer that it could not possibly refuse - 50 low-time AV-8A airframe (together with 6 TAV-8A twin-seater trainer) for a token $1 each. The JASDF snapped up this irresistable offer, and the Harrier started flying over Hokkaido.

OPERATIONAL ROLE

The primary role is to defend the littoral approach to the northern island of Hokkaido against a potential Soviet amphibious invasion.

The secondary role is close air support. The AV-8J trains hand in hand with Cobra gunships to stem a combined arms assualt after a successful Soviet amphibious landing.

CAT 1+ BUILD The base kit is a 1/72 Hasegawa Sea Harrier FRS1. I will graft a Heritage Aviation resin nose of the FA.2 to make a AV-8J optimised for maritime role. Loadout etc. to be raided from stash.

COLOUR SCHEME TBA (this was responsible for 80% of the talk in the previous GB).

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Excellent, glad to see this one revived, your original thread captured my imagination so looking forward to seeing your progress.

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Looking forward to more colour scheme debates!

Dan

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Already half way throught the GB, it is time to ressurect this build.

Have just returned from a long work trip. And, have also found my missing Hokkaido Harrier!

Foundthebits.jpg

Well, the bits to make a Hokkaido Harrier anyway.

Better beaver away then...

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Good to see this back!

I'll chuck on my two cents worth:

*land based as Japan has no carriers

*Gull grey/white like the Spanish and Thai birds (initially) or the USMC scheme

*some sort of F.2 bluey scheme later on

*minimal change in spec

Trevor

Edited by Max Headroom

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Trevor, Thanks for your 2 cents!

I was either going for:

1) JASDF three colour camouflage for fighter bombers, a la F-4 and F-1 (since this Harrier is really the substitute for the stillborn F-1) for the land attack (anti-Soviet beachhead) version; or

2) F-2 three tone blue/ grey camouflage for a dedicated maritime strike squadron.

I'd imagine an all grey scheme is possible if the time frame is towards the end in the Harrier's operational life. That possibly calls for much mod to update the basic $1 a piece AV-8A airframe.

We shall see!

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Tropical Thistle!

One more cent..... No AAR probe initially as I believe the JASDF removed the capability from US supplied F-4's.

Of course now with the KC767's............

Trevor

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Yup, I think the Japanese were barred from armament capable of aggression by post war treaty...

They only got the KC configured 767 together with their AWACS in 1999 or 2000. One potential problem with the Harrier may be its probe and drogue system instead of the USAF standards used by the rest of JASDF.

In any case, I'd imagine the operational parameters for the Japanese Harriers to be either:

1) CAS against Soviet beachhead; or

2) maritime strike against Soviet amphibious invasion fleet in close littoral waters.

Neither really require IFR. I suppose it will be mostly likely sortie, shoot, winchester, land and rearm, off again... until either shoot down or forward position overran. So, I expect nothing really fancy.

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Numpty mode...........

Winchester??

Trevor

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Numpty mode...........

Winchester??

Trevor

Winchester is when every piece of available amunition on airframe has been expended.

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Not much to show on the Kamikaze Harrier...

I added a support for the fan

S6301388.jpg

So that the fan face could sit nicely

S6301385.jpg

And, it should look like this when everything is installed

Intakesfrontalview2.jpg

Since this is a budget Harrier (at $1 a piece), I reckon the Japanese would have plenty of money to spend elsewhere...

So, first job is add a simple radar to assist in target hunting. What could be better than buying up some surplus SHAR FA2 radar sets?

S6301343-1.jpg

Next, to get more hover performance out of the old AV-8A airframes necessary for the shoot, scoot and relaod operational parameters, the beancounters in the Japanese DEIT only authoprised a low cost fix. So, an epensive re-engine is out of the question. Fortunately, Mitsubushi's engineers copied the aerodynamic refinements of the Harrier II and came up with this

S6301363-1.jpg

The works on incorporating a LERX is still underway. The wind tunnel testing has yet been completed.

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A decision has to be made.

The camou will be a special scheme to mark the retirement for the harriers from JASDF active service in 2002. The birds had gone through an extensive mid-life modernisation in 1997-99. The peace dividend brought by the reduced Soviet (now Russian) threat was simply too attractive.

Like many political decisions that made little sense, the shortsighted politicians discounted the sunk cost of mid-life upgrade and magnified the potential cost savings of retiring the harriers. The DIET forced the Japanese top brass to accept the premature retirement of the harriers as a condition for continued funding of the all sing and dancing Mitsubishi F-2.

The little humming birds of Hokkaido will be missed.

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All these modifications make sense and are going to give this version a subtle but unique shape.

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The aerodynamic refinements from the Harrier II to improve the hover performance was an easy enough idea.

To achieve a seamless joint was somewhat more challenging...

Theairfoilongunpods.jpg

I managed this.after a few rounds of filling with CA and sanding.

At least this is moving along...slowly...

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Better get this one moving...

Got a bit sidetracked with the other whatif.

Shall be following Arnold's excellent SHAR FA3 as a guide.

First job, to get the air intake sorted out. The Hasegawa kit is not the best Harrier in this scale. There will be much dry fitting and puttying/sanding to integrate the resin nose.

After that, to get the exhaust nozzles sorted out. I intend to hollow out the kit's nozzles and add plastic card vanes.

Then, there is the cockpit. I am toying with the idea of a hovering bird, so I need a pilot. That might speed things up a little.

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Been so enjoying the Sand Shark updates I'd forgot about this one. Glad to hear you are able to lavish some attention on it as I really liked the idea of a Japanese Harrier :D

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Somewhere on the northern island of Hokkaido....NoseampFuselageplanview_zps73883eb4.jpgThis is where we start...NosewithArmourPlatingandLaserDesignator_zps7cf17d2a.jpgA close up of the SHAR FA2 nose with British made targeting laser designator added. Armour plating were also added to prolong life expectancy of pilot in the anticipated kamikaze VTOL bomb truck role.Air Intakes beaten into submission after much dry fitting, puttying, sanding and sticking my clumsy fingers together with CA.TakingShapefromabove_zps0533f0be.jpgThe little Harrier is taking shape.TakingShapefrombelow_zpsc51c9e88.jpgCan you see the white expanse near the fuselage/intake joint ? No, you can't obviously because the photo is over exposed! I assure you nevertheless that lots of plastic cards together with a healthy amount of swearing and cursing was added to bridge that gap.

Edited by tropical thistle

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While trying to shim a matching pair of LERX to my Japanese Harrier, the little puffer jet took off and crash landed onto the hard slate patio floor. So it seems the elephant ear intakes have beaten me after all. I shall not submit so easily - there is still a good week left before the dateline.

The likely outlook though is a rather busy Christmas. I only hope the weather is favourable enough for the paint job.

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Crash and burn...

30LERX_zps180d9c01.jpg

The offending mini-LERX that lead to the departure from controlled flight.

PhoenixResurrected_zps88695fdd.jpg

The Phoenix is resurrected out of the fire. Not quite in full splendor, but it will do for our purpose.

I only found out the tail fin broke and the tip was either burnt to cinders or gobbled up by my patio troll.

FootballTailfinTop_zpsfc6fb633.jpg

Fear not, the ever enterprising Japanese defense establishment has fitted a football to the tail fin top. This fairing will be fitted with ELINT and SIGINT gear.

Shall be working on the weapons since the Japanese do not celebrate Christmas.

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Did not get much done over Christmas, except take an out of focused photo (it was taken with a perfectly good Nikon, but the photographer probably had a little too much cheer..)

missiles_zps6d273f0b.jpg

I thought it might be nice to do a representative warshot for each of the maritime strike (Penguin Mk.2) and CAS bomb truck (Maverick)missions of the harrier on its farewell flight.

It is time to prep the airframe for painting if I hope to complete this GB. I need some imput from you guys for the maritime strike camou scheme,

barracudainspiredcamoflagescheme.jpg

I am quite partial to this scheme :lol: Probably aims to confuse rather than to hide.

splintercamouscheme_zps04ab4151.jpg

Trust the Germans to come up with a funkier interpretation.

Then there is the plain vanilla two tone grey.

Please may I have a straw poll, bearing in mind the relevant time frame (the vogue for camou scheme is still relatively conservative in the late 1990s).

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