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BAe Sea Harrier FRS.1 XZ457, 1/72 Airfix, Falklands War '82


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One of the two Sea Harrier models I managed to finish this week - 1/72 Airfix BAe Sea Harrier FRS.1 XZ457 "14" of 800. Naval Air Squadron, HMS Hermes Air Group, Falkland Islands, May 1982.

 

Airfix SHAR kit is a total disappointment. If you think that wide panel lines are its biggest drawback, you are wrong - this kit has so many different issues that it could cover 5 other kits with them! Although it's easy to assemble, it takes a lot of work to fix all the bugs and it still won't look as good as the old ESCI! 

 

Airfix, it`s time for a new SHAR, at least as good as your GR.9!!!... :blahblahblah:

 

I`ve used Eduard PE set (poor), Pavla resin air intakes (horrible! - don't buy them EVER) and exhaust nozzles (awful), Pavla resin gunpods (even more awful, horrible and innaccurate), Pavla resin MB.10H ejection seat (poor), Aires Quickboost outriggers for FA.2 (nice) and Master Pitot tube (nice). Decals are from the kit and they are the best part of the whole set. Painted with Gunze Mr.Color (333 EDSG, brightened).

 

A couple of photos taken in daylight:

 

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And now a few photos taken in artificial light:

 

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Thanks for watching! :penguin:

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Sounds like you had the issues with the aftermarket not the kit so what were the issues then 🤔

Nice rendition btw😃

I happened to be plane captain of that Cab back when she was 715 on 899 NAS  mid 90s....well shared with Mr Stokes on the other watch 

Edited by junglierating
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14 minutes ago, KevinK said:

 

That one's actually pretty good - it's a completely unrelated and later kit.

John Geigle had one on his shelf in Vancouver....

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She came out looking very nicely! The effort around the front windshield does certainly change the "look" for the better in my opinion. I do hope we see you tackle an FA.2 as well now knowing where most of the issues are and how to adress them.

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Alex, I think there is a slight problem with your reasoning.
If you say that the Airfix Harrier is problematic and you also used some bad aftermarket sets, then how come your model looks so good?

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3 hours ago, Luka said:

Alex, I think there is a slight problem with your reasoning.
If you say that the Airfix Harrier is problematic and you also used some bad aftermarket sets, then how come your model looks so good?

 

Lot of hard modeller's job?

 

Alex, gratulations!

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Thanks for your comments, guys!

 

I forgot that the WIP is on the forum here:

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235072750-172-sea-harrier-frs1-x-2-airfix-vs-italeri-comparative-assembly/

 

I should wrote about the kit issues (only those that I've noticed), but I don't know if my English will be good enough too write it right. But let's try:

- panel lines are much too wide, and not always correct;

- fin under fuselage is too small in hight and has wrong shape (it's end should be more curved);

- radar cone is too long and has wrong shape;

- cockpit is too short (should be few mm longer to the back, so the ejection seat should be few mm back) and it's edge is about 1,5 mm too low;

- windshield's lower edge should be much more straight and it ends too low, so the windshield has wrong shape;

- air intakes should be a little wider and not so high - Pavla's replacements are not better in shape and they spoil insides of intakes that's why you shoul avoid them;

- elevators have good size, but wrong shape on leading edges (you should fill up and rescribe the panel lines at the ends and correct leading edges);

- the radar rays detector at the front of the fin is to thin and too short;

- gunpods are wrong, but they replacement from Pavla are also wrong and are hard to fit correctly;

- fuel tanks are oval, not round;

- Sidewinder's rails are much too small (much too short and should be higher);

- main gear leg is about 1,5-2 mm too high;

- front gear bay is too shallow;

- there are not any outriggers bays under the wings; the outriggers itself are a joke and really need replacement or improvement;

- some of the air scoops are missing.

 

That's all I remember... I think that "Harrier SIG guys" could make this list longer. I've tried to make as many improvements to this kit as I could, but still I'm not very happy about it... But decals were really good! 😉

 

About month ago I've realized that I have Airfix SHAR FA.2 in my stash. I wanted too sell it ASAP, because it's almost the same kit (except fuselage with almost the same issues, new wings top and some AMRAAMs), but now I have so much experience, that I want to build it immedietaly! 🤪 I will try to force the same improvements to the kit (mostly handmade), but won't use Pavla gunpods (I will take those from Italeri FRS.1 kit), nor Pavla intakes (waste of money and work), nor Pavla exhaust nozzles (I will use Aires Quickboost, which are much beter in detail). And I will buy Aires Quickboost outriggers for sure! I hope, that it will look like Sea Harrier FA.2. 😜

 

My advice - if you want to build good looking Sea Harrier kit - go for Kinetic in 1/48. If you want it in 1/72 - go for old ESCI kit (reboxed from time to time by Italeri) or even old, simple and cheap Hasegawa, which is maybe not so accurate as ESCI, but still much better than Airfix!

 

Just few more words about "new" Airfix Harriers - you should avoid their 1/72 Sea Harriers FRS.1 and FA.2 only! Their new 1/72 GR.1, GR.3 and GR.7/9 Harriers are different, much better kits!!!

 

Thanks for your attention!

Alex

 

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Alex, congratulations on your stunning build, I never served on Shar’s but worked very close to them during my time on the RN carriers. In my humble opinion you have been able to get the best from the kit.

 

I’m interested in your comments about the kit, I have one of these and the FR2 I hope to build. Thank you for sharing your experiences with the kits. 
 

Wafu.

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