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Another Harrier GR.3 - Transfers!


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Hi Folks,

 

I'd like to join this important GB if I may. Important in historical terms, and important to me as I was involved (in a minor way) as a young MOD cartographer making maps for those at the other end of the Atlantic.

 

Yet another Harrier. They seem popular which is unsurprising to me and the GR.3 is missing from my collection.

 

So without further ado... the very nice box art;

 

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A box of un-butchered (yet) plastic...

 

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And some aftermarket additions. The Pavla seat looks very nice, And if only the AIM 9L Sidewinders in the kit actually looked like those on the box. So some Eduard resin/brass replacements to hang on the pylons, 

 

y4mQXCo7c1QW63rXh9GrZOg1SuxAz2Vs1tfhMQDb

 

Great - I can start cutting!

 

Cheers,

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  • Johnson changed the title to Another Harrier GR.3!

Day 2 with the build and in trouble already.

 

Not so much with the kit (more on that later) but the Mk9 ejection seat, used in a Harrier GR.3 circa 1982.

 

My plan is to use the Pavla Mk.9 seat I've had in the stash for many years (and now OOP I fear) which does look like the MB Mk.9A seat 'for early Harrier' from The Ejection Site;

 

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Which, to my untrained eye, looks a bit different to the Airfix (kit) seat and the Mk.9 seat here on Britmodeller;

y4m1KZHYxhkfffhMOj6ORKHhSuuFFAAJHRGdhwLz

 

And very different to the Mk.9 on Martin Baker's own website;

eject9.jpg

(this is a linked image from the MB website used for reference)

 

Possibly @Selwyn @st george or @Harry Lime (who were involved in previous Britmodeller discussions on the MB Mk.9 seat for the Harrier GR.3) may be able to advise? Or anyone more knowledgeable that me - which is most people.

 

Cheers,

 

 

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1 hour ago, Johnson said:

Day 2 with the build and in trouble already.

 

Not so much with the kit (more on that later) but the Mk9 ejection seat, used in a Harrier GR.3 circa 1982.

 

My plan is to use the Pavla Mk.9 seat I've had in the stash for many years (and now OOP I fear) which does look like the MB Mk.9A seat 'for early Harrier' from The Ejection Site;

 

y4mnt-C2us1Gum7NOYF4jGw4Ei2LcZiJOakmKfG9

 

Which, to my untrained eye, looks a bit different to the Airfix (kit) seat and the Mk.9 seat here on Britmodeller;

y4m1KZHYxhkfffhMOj6ORKHhSuuFFAAJHRGdhwLz

 

And very different to the Mk.9 on Martin Baker's own website;

eject9.jpg

(this is a linked image from the MB website used for reference)

 

Possibly @Selwyn @st george or @Harry Lime (who were involved in previous Britmodeller discussions on the MB Mk.9 seat for the Harrier GR.3) may be able to advise? Or anyone more knowledgeable that me - which is most people.

 

Cheers,

 

 

There were three standards of seat used on the Harrier GR1/3 and T2/4

 

Front seat GR1/3

Front seat T2/4 

Rear seat T2/4

 

They were basically the same Mk 9 seat but the main visual difference was the height of the canopy breakers each side of the headbox, check your reference pictures!

 

The images shown in your post. 

First image is a Harrier seat it has the long combined harness straps fitted to Harrier and Jaguar around 1981 and the headbox strap stowage points  introduced on both aircraft after 1983. 

Second image is a looks like a Jaguar GR3 seat  with the Jaguar only modified headbox and it doesn't have the Personal Equipment Connector block  (PEC) on the left side of the seat, and the CLL (RAF Coltishall) monogram is a bit of a givaway as well!

The third  picture is a Harrier seat between 1981 and 1983, it does not have the right hand PEC mounting or  headbox stowage points fitted. 

Prior to 1981 the strap system was different so this strap system is inappropriate to the GR1 Harrier.

 

The Neomega seat depicts the  Jaguar GR3 seat with the very modified headbox, so also very inappropriate for the Harrier.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Selwyn

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Thanks @Selwyn.  But you lost me on the last point;

 

18 minutes ago, Selwyn said:

The Neomega seat depicts the  Jaguar GR3 seat with the very modified headbox, so also very inappropriate for the Harrier.

 

Neomega? Not heard of them, though a Google search tells me they do resin seats.

 

Did you mean the Pavla resin seat I posted?

 

y4mk2_ZQHyDukhdray1fhxqN3sILqV7TSdFcVUSk

 

So, no good for my Harrier, I should save it for my Jaguar and modify the Airfix kit seat.

 

Cheers,

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3 hours ago, Johnson said:

Thanks @Selwyn.  But you lost me on the last point;

 

 

Neomega? Not heard of them, though a Google search tells me they do resin seats.

 

Did you mean the Pavla resin seat I posted?

 

y4mk2_ZQHyDukhdray1fhxqN3sILqV7TSdFcVUSk

 

So, no good for my Harrier, I should save it for my Jaguar and modify the Airfix kit seat.

 

Cheers,

Sorry pavla seat. Neomega did a 1/48 seat with the same issues!

 

Selwyn

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On 4/21/2022 at 5:06 PM, heloman1 said:

Looking good, you can't beat a Harrier build and the Airfix kits are good.

 

Colin

 

Thanks Colin! It looks like a very nice kit,

 

Moving on from my ejection seat dilemma (I've got the Czech Master Kits resin Mk.9 on order) I've been doing a bit of work. This was a couple of days ago, some dry fitting to see how things went together;

 

y4mRIrGRWpAVPm87X40iEYa421Huyt2lzzzLcRHF

 

And today, a bit of paint (Xtracolor Dark Sea Grey) on the internals. Not terribly interesting yet, but I thought that I should register some progress;

 

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Needs to dry then i/p decals and Dark Green paint for the stbd intake. Instructions say Dark Sea Grey, but I don't think so.

 

Not being that familiar with the Harrier (seen lots - age has some advantages) any advice, suggestions, criticisms most welcome.

 

Cheers,

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Posted (edited)

'evening folks,

 

Progress report. Almost a week and not moved on much, lots of real life around.

 

The cockpit. And more importantly, the instrument panel (i/p). I'm fortunate to live not far from the excellent Boscombe Down Aviation Collection. If you get a chance it really is worth a visit. And there they have a real GR.3 cockpit!

 

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Which I sat in. It's quite small. As always I wish I'd taken more pics, might have to go back...

 

Now the point of all this is a bit of a comparison between the real thing and the Airfix GR.3's cockpit. And I'm afraid Airfix didn't come out too well. Maybe it's because I've just completed a quite amazing Eduard MiG-21 in the STGB, but it's a bit half-hearted Airfix.

 

y4mZ_fyblrqW8mpwwlAOMeG8Lcu2yGDtDLKY9d4_

 

I suppose it's better than nothing, but the decal doesn't bear that much resemblance to the real thing. And it didn't fit! The decal is quite a bit larger than the plastic i/p base it was intended for. A bit of surgery, cutting it into 3 bits helped get it on the panel. The side panels needed similar treatment. I'm sure I made another Airfix kit recently where the i/p didn't fit, may have been the Bf109E-4.

 

y4mB0p_ZBJ5hLjgYNfHeH3DuX7bmjvL49dakigAu

 

I also painted the RR Pegasus engine compressor blades as they and the cockpit tub have both to go in before the fuselage closes. The i/p doesn't look too bad. Once the seat is in and a few scuff marks have been added I think it will do.

 

And talking of seats...

 

y4mIJj6BLdPLSgpEkFLn_4q2NXHouP5gG0dKqBe9

 

The CMK (Special Hobby) seat arrived. Looks OK but is it right for a 1982 GR.3? I'm going to seek the assistance of @Selwyn again, I have trouble getting to grips with the intricacies of the Harrier Mk.9 seats. What do you think of the CMK seat Selwyn?

 

Back soon(er) I hope with fuselage progress.

 

Cheers,

Edited by Johnson
Need help with the ejection seat!
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The compressor fan looks great, as does the cockpit.  It’s the sum of all these little things that make the whole - so far good.

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'evening Folks,

 

More progress, the fuselage halves ready to be joined;

 

y4mQUYisVQfu9s8SfigeKQwhVkk0Ims8gaKvV7I7

 

Nose wheel bay finished in Xtracolor light aircraft grey, a dark wash and matt coated. The cockpit (dark sea grey) got a similar treatment. Not sure whether those bits on the port side should have been black?

 

And I did remember to put the compressor fan in, which, having looked at the Britmodeller GR.3 Walkaround - well worth a visit, I repainted very laboriously with Alclad metallics (jet exhaust, steel then aluminium highlights + a dark wash for the base - no wonder this is taking so long!!) And it looks little different! But I did manage to eradicate the silver specs on it from the previous dry-brushing with Humbrol silver.

 

y4mzEPsFXA-sLPwBcLbHkgUzjf8lyYd-9-wAROXW

 

y4mENrcCd0ps9eVJGqBaCBX_2tJUWKm24C4dm7ZB

 

The fuselage went together well but I then noticed that I hadn't included the box for the wheel bay and airbrake (read the instructions? :fraidnot:). This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The part (A2) that Airfix would have you join to the starboard fuselage needs considerable fettling to fit. It also goes in fine through the top (where the wing will join) but didn't protrude far enough down, the lips on either side needed quite a bit of thinning to get it flush with the bottom of the fuselage. I think following the instructions would have been even more painful. Not visible in the photo, but I've run a thin bead of cyano/talc mix along the seams, top and bottom, to hide the join.

 

Next on the wing assembly which went together well but (as with the wheelbay box) the mating surfaces needed a bit of attention to get a flush fit to the fuselage top. And you can see the gap either side underneath!

 

From the top the view is good - I am starting to enjoy this kit despite the odd complaint. Bit of cleanup needed but really not too bad at all.

 

y4moyB1CHOzRkIQOlKMYI0MiuG-8IsxrTZM9AYg5

 

At the back Airfix have used a novel method for adding the elevators and tail fin. But (I know very little about Harriers) I suspect that the gap indicated shouldn't be there. My plan is to separate the elevators so that I can eliminate the gap and add them later which will make painting and masking the area much, much easier.

 

Cheers,

 

 

 

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'evening folks,

 

I thought that I was almost ready to start painting and then I looked at the Harrier GR.3 build of  @Enzo Matrix, and the extended tail fin he's fitted. Apparently The Airfix fin is about 4" (1.41mm @1/72) too short, not something I could ignore despite my determination that this was to be an OOB build.

 

y4mKk0wuxfEuHCcW0rqxn7Kq_oDSUWqHVsgqiMRM

 

A relatively easy fix, I sliced off the top of the GR.1 fin that comes with the kit and grafted it onto the GR.3s fin. The join was filled with Cyano/talc mix which hopefully will give a smooth join for painting.

 

Windscreen fitted, next get painting.

 

y4mZu5mPnIgM7OnN-PG1BKe4ae_L-HVqkj6SUBko

 

Thanks for looking. Comments, suggestions etc welcome as always.

 

Cheers,

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'evening folks!

 

Hope you're having a great weekend!

 

So, having cut the grass, walked and brushed the dog, I got some work done. Now ready for some paint, all masked and bits of foam and blu tack stuffed in where the paint isn't supposed to go. The New Ware canopy masks were OK(ish), I had to add strips of mask to get full coverage. I'll stick to Eduard in the future. The weird contraption at the back is so I can hopefully hold it and apply the paint in one go. We'll see.

 

y4mMr1P8iBV9D1Orz1efAvvcSGaRuDKrItWUi5K0

 

A bit late, and a bit knackered to start painting now. So paint tomorrow. It's supposed to rain anyway. ^_^

 

Cheers,

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I'm just catching up Charlie, and it's nice to see how a few tweaks are really improving this Harrier :thumbsup2:

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3 hours ago, CliffB said:

nice to see how a few tweaks are really improving this Harrier

 

Cheers Cliff, it's a very nice kit.

 

According to some reliable BM sources, the only real issue with the kit is the height of the fin, which I fixed and can thank Enzo for the info.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been a while, but finally got some paint on;

 

y4m4sTr4R2y7tUG0awI_KbeC5mCbUEqSYaIjAL7R

A coat of Xtracolor Dark Sea Grey.

 

What really took ages was making and applying the masks. I scanned the Airfix camo diagrams, enlarged them to 1/72, cut them out and applied them to the model with blu tack sausages.

y4m3qEL2O05lDWWzVqqhCjMQ35PdObaV7TZhxP9V

 

y4mMxe1lHSMFz1rQP9-6Kp9WjiJ6N8b5jaLodqSZ

 

And today, airbrushed the Xtracolor Dark Green;

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Right now the paint is a bit soft still. Masks off tomorrow, the Big Reveal!

 

Cheers,

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  • Johnson changed the title to Another Harrier GR.3 - Masks and Paint

The de-masking went OK :phew:, tiny bit of overspray (stbd wing centre near the fuselage) but I'll fix that.

 

y4mb1RdYJnudgkjtssypftEzf3H7ZvwjIiYYZqlB

 

This evening it's work on the gun pods.

 

I've replaced the wood bungs at the front with holes, as @Selwyn recommended in Falklands Warrior - Harrier Gr.3 - RFI (nice build!) and opened out the backs as can be seen in the BM Harrier Walkaround. I'm also wondering about the GUT9 and GUT10 stencils on the GR.3 in the RAF museum, should I add something similar to the gunpods? Can @Enzo Matrix help, or Selwyn? (Sorry chaps, you're the only Harrier armourers I know!). I have also asked this question in the Cold War section.

 

Back soon(ish).

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Johnson said:

The de-masking went OK :phew:, tiny bit of overspray (stbd wing centre near the fuselage) but I'll fix that.

 

y4mb1RdYJnudgkjtssypftEzf3H7ZvwjIiYYZqlB

 

This evening it's work on the gun pods.

 

I've replaced the wood bungs at the front with holes, as @Selwyn recommended in Falklands Warrior - Harrier Gr.3 - RFI (nice build!) and opened out the backs as can be seen in the BM Harrier Walkaround. I'm also wondering about the GUT9 and GUT10 stencils on the GR.3 in the RAF museum, should I add something similar to the gunpods? Can @Enzo Matrix help, or Selwyn? (Sorry chaps, you're the only Harrier armourers I know!). I have also asked this question in the Cold War section.

 

Back soon(ish).

 

 

Answered in the cold war section.

Selwyn

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'evening folks,

 

Friday update. Sorry, boring pics. Bits and bobs that need painting, lots of them...

 

y4mpMddgmUhAZ3JjJTrW4oPUIRpx_c2U7Qz2bqZl

 

top left - canopy masked and sprayed.

 

top right - undercarriage parts sprayed Light Aircraft Grey. Dreadful photo, I’ll try to make them more interesting.

 

Bottom left - Bits 'n bobs. U/C doors, air brake, outriggers all waiting for some Light Aircraft Grey. Which went very wrong on one of the outriggers, had to get the paint remover out (bottom right). I'll have another go tomorrow.

 

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Spot the difference!? Dark Sea Grey resprayed in areas where the Dark Green got a bit carried away. I also stripped paint from the pitot tube which will get some Alclad steel and polished aluminium. The GR.3 nose is going to challenge me. The laser aperture on the nose needs painting, and the camera window on the side, which is another thing I'm struggling with, how to make it look like a window? But I did find a really useful YouTube video on the Harrier GR.1 and GR.3 noses, amazing what's out there!

 

 

I followed, in fact used directly, the Airfix camo pattern for this Harrier (XZ133) but rather late in the day can see it differs in places from the real plane which hangs from the rafters at Duxford. This brought me much grief and hand wringing, but another website with photos of XZ133 through the years shows the camo changed as it got repainted.  Felt much better :phew:.

 

I started this build a bit indifferent to this Airfix GR.3 but as I learnt more about Harriers I have come to really appreciate the kit, it's accuracy and construction. And the Airfix Harrier GR9 is supposed to be even better! We need a Harrier STGB (there probably was one that I missed).

 

Back soon with, hopefully, something a bit more photogenic and interesting.

 

Thanks for looking in!

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Eduard AIM-9L Sidewinders. A bit better than the ones Airfix supplied. Which just goes to show how fussy we've become.

 

y4m8xQkGUIvyJQ1y25xmqchxMIIlKH-WZmkFKdGl

 

Not carried on many missions by GR.3s (just one?)

 

Although generally similar, searching the web revealed a plethora of different finishes and markings. So these were finished pretty much as Eduard suggested; main body and fins in Xtracolor RAF Light Aircraft Grey. Front section; the seeker tip in grey, Alclad Polished Aluminium and then Alclad Steel behind that.

 

The rest of the model is painted and I can start on the decals :D.

 

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I opted for steel front (cold) jet nozzles. There is much debate on Britmodeller as to whether they should be painted green or steel :hmmm:. The photos I did find pointed to steel... I'm great at getting these things wrong only to find out too late! They will get a matt finish and some brown/black weathering for the rear (hot) nozzles. They were little sods to 'dry' fit when trying them before any paint, so I can expect problems. Maybe a bit of washing up liquid to ease them in?

 

Cheers,

 

 

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  • Johnson changed the title to Another Harrier GR.3 - Sidewinders!

'evening folks (those still up)

 

A long day straining my eyes trying to get decals in the right place. And stuck down. They were surprisingly obstinate for Airfix decals, which are usually pretty good. These were a bit unyielding and prone to silvering but played ball after I'd boiled them :wicked:. Seriously, they needed very VERY VERY hot water to soften them, plus copious amounts of Microsol.

 

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All done and even some entirely fictitious RAF Wittering markings on the gun pods. They might have been there and nobody will see them again anyway. The canopy is just balanced there, it will eventually be open.

 

Thanks for looking. Comments, criticisms, suggestions all welcome.

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  • Johnson changed the title to Another Harrier GR.3 - Transfers!

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