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SaminCam

A Pair of Jump Jets: Harrier GR.3 and F-35B

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I've been pondering what to make next and decided it was time to have a go at some jets. The harrier is one of my favourite aircraft, it just has a punchy, no nonsense sort of elegance and I also like the full wrap camouflage scheme. The new tool airfix kits I've made (Spitfire Mk1, Henikel He-111, Bf109e) have gone together without too much hassle so decided to stick with what I know with this one, supplemented with the eduard etch bits and pieces. I find the B-version F-35 a fascinating aircraft, I've not exactly fallen in love with its lines but can see it growing on me. I decided to build these kits up in parallel as I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast them, both in terms of the aircraft itself and as Airfix v. Hasegawa. I'm still learning loads with every new kit I make and these will be the first models without props that I've made since about 1998 - looking forward to it!

 

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The airfix harrier is the best in 1/72 IMO and builds up well but be aware of the airbrake insert needs work to fit flush or it will be bellow the surface and there is gaps on the wing roots, I used  0.5 mm plastic card in these. Otherwise is a good build.

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Thanks @neil5208 and @Steve Coombs. Not got much done on this yet but the tail fin was something I'd seen highlighted elsewhere and I've had a go at reshaping it. I cut off the top and replaced with plastic card. I drilled 0.5mm holes in the remaining fin and replacement tip and reinforced the join with a little dowel. Think that will do! Cheers, Sam

 

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Looks spot on. CMK do a flap set for the gr3 with a replacement vertical tail which I have for my next gr3.

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Made a bit of a start on the cockpit:

 

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I've added a few bits and pieces to the back panel which was blank ootb - not sure we'll be able to see much of this but adds some interest to the region behind the seat. Colour wise I've looked at photos of GR3 cockpits and the closest colour match I have was XF82 Ocean Grey. On top of this I've misted on some XF83 Medium Sea Grey to lighten a touch and highlight the raised areas. It looks a bit darker in real life than the photo below, oh, and I put some masking fluid on the areas where the etch will go to help them stick to the plastic.  Having let that dry I've then added the first of the etch which looks pretty neat. Next steps will be a bit of brush painting on the ejector seat and to pick out some of the boxes on the back panel. Thanks for looking! Sam 

 

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Hi San,

 

I'm building this model as well. Mines only a quick oob build as my build rate has been dire recently. Yours is looking fantastic thus far though! I'm having some issues with the intakes on mine, they are not sitting flush. Think I've messed it up somehow, just wanted to give you warning.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Dazz

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Harrier cockpit is nearly there and things going ok so far. The etch bits and pieces went on without too much hassle and although it won't all be visible I enjoy the fine detail work so don't mind the extra effort! The ejector seat was sprayed rubber black and the green was mixed up from khaki and cockpit green. I've also made a bit of a start on the F35 cockpit and will try and get some photos up of that later. Happy modelling!

 

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Lovely work so far!

 

Cheers,

 

Andre 

 

 

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Made a bit of a start on the F-35 this weekend as well. It's the first Hasegawa model I've made and my initial reaction has been positive - there's lots of plastic in the box and the detail, on the main fuselage and wings especially, looks great. The plastic is a bit harder than airfix, not better or worse, just different. They also don't ask for the cockpit construction in step 1 (sacrilege!) but I did these parts first anyway as I want to try and build this and the Harrier up in parallel. The sides of the ejector seat looked a bit plain, especially as these will be quite visible so first step was to add some detail to the ejector seat with plastic card, stretched sprue and a bit of wire. 

 

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Then I sprayed the tub and console xf54 dark sea grey, masked it and then sprayed xf85 rubber black - this seem to match reasonably well with the photos I've seen. Next I added a gloss varnish followed with some decals and checked that it fit into the upper fuselage part (it does, very well). The photo below also shows the Airfix Harrier pilot (left) and the F35 pilot (right) - these are supposed to be in the same scale! Airfix seem to have children flying their Harriers, in position he just doesn't look right and sadly Bob will be joining his brethren in the spares box! On the other hand Hank looks pretty good flying the F35, especially as I've now given him some arms and I'm planning on modelling the Lightning II coming into land with wheels and jet nozzle down and lift fan open.

 

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Final photo shows Harrier and F35 side-by-side. Neither of them are going to win beauty contests but as I said at the start I think the Harrier has a no-nonsense, utilitarian elegance which the Lightning II has somewhere in its genes as well. Thanks for reading this far! Sam 

 

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Edited by SaminCam
Typo

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Slightly slow progress here as I've been away with work but did manage to move the F35 along to about the same stage as the Harrier. I've painted the pilot and he looks pretty good in the 'pit which is just dry fitted for now. There's quite a lot of white to be painted on intakes, wheel bays, etc so this was all done before the two halves were fixed together. The top and bottom halves were then glued together with no drama at all - they fit together very well and I don't think any filler will be required at all. Next I'll get back to the Harrier and add the etch bits and pieces before priming and pre-shading. Thanks for looking! Sam 

 

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Got some work done on the Harrier over the weekend. The cockpit is finished and I've masked it up as best I can. Next I attacked the seams with filler and sandpaper and you can see the paint I sprayed down to check for imperfections which have been sanded back for a second attempt - nearly there! There are a few bits and pieces of etch added including rails for missiles and fuel tanks, protectors on the exhausts and bases for little vortex generators / aerials (???) on the nose, behind the cockpit and on the fin. For the mesh grills behind the airbrake I ground out a recess with a micro drill so that the grill could be embedded a bit more in the fuselage. It's not been a 100% success but looks better than having them sitting proud I think. I found the pylons didn't fit particularly well so they've had some filler as have the gun pods on the belly. Next step is to prime the whole thing in matt black and then I'll no doubt spot a few more imperfections that need sorting... Cheers, Sam

 

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1 hour ago, SaminCam said:

... little vortex generators / aerials (???) on the nose, behind the cockpit and on the fin.

 

Off the top of my head, the small antennae above and below the nose are for the IFF, the larger for VHF.

 

1 hour ago, SaminCam said:

For the mesh grills behind the airbrake 

 

These are chaff/flare dispensers and were a later (post Falklands) addition. IIRC they *DO* sit proud of the fuselage. Certainly worth a check of photo references.

 

Progress looks great Sam - you will of course have to build a VAAC one day to link them! :winkgrin: 

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Both are looking really good so far 👍🏻

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Matt black (xf85 rubber black to be more precise) looks pretty cool, makes me want to paint the underside of a Lancaster...

 

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My better half is working nights this week so getting lots of modelling done! The next step with the Harrier is a new technique for me. I've marbled the base coat with quite heavily thinned acrylic matt white, sprayed on with a 0.15mm nozzle and low pressure. I've tried to let the undercoat show through around the panel lines and hopefully once I've sprayed a few thin coats of Dark Sea Grey I'll be left with a slightly weathered, mottled finish. I'll then have to repeat the exercise once the camo pattern is masked. I know this is a fairly common technique but in particular I liked the look of  @Kitchen Modeller's recent Bf110. The key seems to be getting the consistency of the paint and compressor pressure right, it was a bit trial an error here so you can see in places its splattered a little, overall I'm fairly happy though. Finally a warning, if you're doing this take some breaks, it took me around an hour and a half and when I stopped my hand had completely seized up, I had a claw for 5 minutes!!! 

 

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Marbling looks spot on Sam - going right up to the panel lines as you've done is the best approach I think - well worth enduring the claw :) (that made me lol) It does take a long time to do this but the next few coats will take no time at all - remember to heavily thin the finishing coats which will give you more control - and be frugal with the layers - let it dry and decide if it needs more paint - very easy to obscure all the hard work..!  This is going to look awesome :)

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@Kitchen Modeller thanks John! First coat is down, I'm using xf-54 dark sea grey thinned roughly 50-50 here. For a very weathered look this looks pretty nice but I'm going to keep going, probably a bit thinner on the next coat and see where we are. Cheers, Sam

 

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It’s close... another light coat and you’ll be there..! Remember that the clear coats, washes and weathering will tone everything down so you can afford to leave it starker than you think. Great job so far 👍

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Bit of a slog but got the Harrier masked up for camouflage, all done with Tamiya tape. I've also re-pre-shaded emphasising the panel lines and marbling in-between. Couple of coats of dark green to go down next, fingers crossed!

 

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Very nice progress - whether by accident or design, you've picked out the two best kits in that scale for your subjects!

 

Interesting pre-shade technique as well.

 

Alan

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@Alan P, thanks Alan, there was a bit of reading around before making the decision and so far I'm really happy with the airfix and Hasegawa offerings!

 

Got the dark green (XF81) down and then all the tape off and she's looking ok! There's a few bits to be touched up here and there and then I'll gloss varnish to protect it up to this stage. I think the marbling effect has worked well with the dark sea grey - the effect just shows through but as John @Kitchen Modeller says above I'll have to wait until the varnishes and weathering are on to see the final result. With the dark green the variations aren't quite so clear - I had to put down a couple of coats of XF81 to get it dark enough and in so doing lost some of the pre-shading. I guess if I'd started with a slightly darker shade of green it might have worked better. Anyway, I'm happy with where I've got to and think she'll pass as a fairly hard working early 80's GR.3.

 

Next its time to do some experiments on how to finish the F35 to get the shiny grey effect (it's called Have Glass, right?) - any tips greatly appreciated, I've got a P-51 paint mule to mess around with... Cheers, Sam

 

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