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ESCI 1/72 Sea Harrier FRS.1 - Finished


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Hi folks,

 

Finished the Sea Harrier in time for Christmas and in 2022 - 40 years after the Falklands War. ZA175/004 of 801 Naval Air Squadron, FAA, as she might have been for a CAP mission during 1982. She's carrying two AIM-9L Sidewinder Missiles, two 100 gallon auxiliary fuel tanks and a 1000LB Air-burst bomb (960 Airburst fuse, or might have been 947 or was it the 942? - sorry, I need @Selwyn here to put me right) which FRS.1 Sea Harriers lobbed into Stanley Airfield before carrying on with their CAP missions. They also used standard 1000LB bombs, but earlier in the conflict I believe.

 

However, I digress. The AIM-9Ls and bombs are Eduard, and I've added a brass Master pitot tube, finished with Alclad Polished Aluminium. The Martin Baker Mk.10 seat is a modified PJ Productions resin seat with Tamiya tape belts and a 5amp fuse wire firing handle. The i/p is a 'cut up to fit' Kits World 3D decal.

 

Paint is Xtracolor gloss enamels (EDSG/MSG mix), Airfix and Xtradecal markings, Winsor and Newton UV Acrylic matt/satin final coat.

 

Some weathering (not my forte); wear on the front of the engine intakes and fuel tanks showing the original white underside paint and some staining on the upper wing from the oil vent. The one colour photo I've seen of ZA175 in action shows that the RN crews kept it very clean.

 

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y4mlbfLsB-6hc7Sl95rr6baTaxlMUaH1XMwKGQKh

 

I'm going to do a RFI, but need more details, so not till Jan 2023 (I hope).

 

Thanks for looking and support along the way.

 

Happy Christmas!

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  • Johnson changed the title to ESCI 1/72 Sea Harrier FRS.1 - Armed and ready for CAP
25 minutes ago, Johnson said:

Hi folks,

 

Finished the Sea Harrier in time for Christmas and in 2022 - 40 years after the Falklands War. ZA175/004 of 801 Naval Air Squadron, FAA, as she might have been for a CAP mission during 1982. She's carrying two AIM-9L Sidewinder Missiles, two 100 gallon auxiliary fuel tanks and a 1000LB Air-burst bomb (960 Airburst fuse, or might have been 947 or was it the 942? - sorry, I need @Selwyn here to put me right) which FRS.1 Sea Harriers lobbed into Stanley Airfield before carrying on with their CAP missions. They also used standard 1000LB bombs, but earlier in the conflict I believe.

 

However, I digress. The AIM-9Ls and bombs are Eduard, and I've added a brass Master pitot tube, finished with Alclad Polished Aluminium. The Martin Baker Mk.10 seat is a modified PJ Productions resin seat with Tamiya tape belts and a 5amp fuse wire firing handle. The i/p is a 'cut up to fit' Kits World 3D decal.

 

Paint is Xtracolor gloss enamels (EDSG/MSG mix), Airfix and Xtradecal markings, Winsor and Newton UV Acrylic matt/satin final coat.

 

Some weathering (not my forte); wear on the front of the engine intakes and fuel tanks showing the original white underside paint and some staining on the upper wing from the oil vent. The one colour photo I've seen of ZA175 in action shows that the RN crews kept it very clean.

 

y4mG_n1-fayZ2PSa4kOOka8ERVwQvE6TK1zG9MWy

 

y4my6HF_4h38BgHAxCOVJByUJVHcVjZjuI-zOOiY

 

y4mblCWvq8adnmIhdP5r_OgNFZ6DnP16HS9PJjEE

 

y4mpTrGGRzoY4guDXJLnj6oFrzRaZq-16uPZasM7

 

y4mRrMnkkd2_QXEeK17VMcBtelz4b4XvO9lXEI0S

 

y4mTC5XEkVbMSFdlwuzY7cO0ZqLte32ptrt3yRRu

 

y4mlbfLsB-6hc7Sl95rr6baTaxlMUaH1XMwKGQKh

 

I'm going to do a RFI, but need more details, so not till Jan 2023 (I hope).

 

Thanks for looking and support along the way.

 

Happy Christmas!

 The Nose fuze on your bomb is as depicted a No 952 Air burst fuze. in real life it would also have a No 947 backup impact fuze in the tail pocket as well. If your jet is depicted as on deck ready to go on CAP the sidewinders would  be fitted with the yellow noddy caps which would be removed after engine start.

 

Selwyn

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Somehow I completely missed this until now, hence the like-bomb.  That’s a really fine result, and I had to go back and check the scale; I really don’t know how you 72nd guys do it.  I’ve had a notion to build a Harrier, this gives me more impetus.

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It looks great! I love surface finish and you've kept the detail nice and sharp. Like others above, I've long held the notion of building a 72nd Falklands Shar, but I'd be over the moon if mine turned out like this. Great work, the extra attention to detail shows.

 

Andy

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2 hours ago, Selwyn said:

The Nose fuze on your bomb is as depicted a No 952 Air burst fuze. in real life it would also have a No 947 backup impact fuze in the tail pocket as well.

Thanks Selwyn, 947 will be added.

 

2 hours ago, Selwyn said:

If your jet is depicted as on deck ready to go on CAP the sidewinders would  be fitted with the yellow noddy caps which would be removed after engine start.

Have them in the Eduard set and will be there for the RFI.

 

2 hours ago, Winded Penguin said:

That  .....really is a lovely result 👍

2 hours ago, Winded Penguin said:

I'm most definitely going to add a Harrier to my stash soon.

Many thanks WP. The ESRI kit is good, the only FRS.1 SHAR worth making in 1/72. But it did need a bit of work, especially in the cockpit area. For an easy, really great 1/72 Harrier, the Airfix GR.3 is very good (but should have bombs). The GR.1 and GR.9 are also supposed to be very good, but not made them yet (in the stash).

 

2 hours ago, amos brierley said:

Super result.     🥳

Thanks Amos, although it's taken since June, I've enjoyed the build immensely!

 

1 hour ago, mark.au said:

That’s a really fine result, and I had to go back and check the scale; I really don’t know how you 72nd guys do it.  I’ve had a notion to build a Harrier, this gives me more impetus.

Cheers Mark. If you need any further encouragement to build a Sea Harrier, do read Nigel (Sharkey) Ward's 'Sea Harrier over the Falklands - A Maverick at War' or David Morgan's Hostile Skies - My Falklands Air War.

 

48 minutes ago, bigbadbadge said:

Fantastic work Charlie a stunning SHAR , what a beauty.   A cracking finish  too.

Thanks Chris, an enjoyable build, and now glad it's done and looks OK. I want to do a bit of a diorama for the RFI. Have to see how that goes!

 

26 minutes ago, Lord Riot said:

You’ve brought an ancient kit up to Kinetic/Hasegawa standards, amazing!

Thanks m'lud! Despite being now pretty old, the basic ESCI kit provides a fantastic starting point. It's accuracy of shape and restrained panel lines are as good as anything coming out now. And the crispness of the u/c details is still excellent. The 30mm gun pods are a bit undernourished, but just about acceptable.

 

4 minutes ago, Ngantek said:

Great work, the extra attention to detail shows.

Thank you Andy, hard to know when to stop sometimes!

 

Cheers everyone!

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Having effectively finished the Sea Harrier, I wanted to display her 'on deck', being readied for a CAP mission on HMS Invincible. I wasn't sure whether to start a new WIP thread or continue here. After all, what I'm about to embark on isn't exactly 'Aircraft Modelling', but the end result will hopefully be an Aircraft RFI so, unless our moderators advise otherwise, I'll proceed.

 

As Selwyn helpfully pointed out, the AIM-9L Sidewinders need their yellow protective caps. I'm not about to slice the front of the missiles off as Eduard suggest, so a bit of drilling was in order;

 

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In due course this will be painted yellow and slipped onto the missile.

 

Notable items of deck hardware on HMS Invincible were the yellow Vickers deck handling tractors. Air Graphic Models have helpfully produced this in 1/72;

 

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Looks pretty good. A bit of flash and some air holes (voids), but they can be dealt with. A bit trickier will be the wheels which are bar tread and tractors on Invincible in 1982 had a standard road going tread pattern. It's not as if they were going 'off road' with them! Another mod will be to remove the water tank on the front, presumably added to de-salt the aircraft but not there in 1982.

 

And some crew to do the work and a pilot to fly the CAP;

 

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These should keep me occupied over the New Year!

 

Cheers,

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  • Johnson changed the title to ESCI 1/72 Sea Harrier FRS.1 - Deck Equipment
12 hours ago, bigbadbadge said:

I'm waiting for one of the Air Graphic Models Wasp kits,

I'm watching out for this one as well Chris. Air Graphics do a Wasp conversion for the Airfix Scout, but looking at the resin parts I thought that they were a tad crude. Hopefully the new Wasp will use more up-to-date 3D printing.

 

11 hours ago, Zippo the Zipdrive said:

IMHO FRS.1 is the best looking Harrier

Absolutely agree Zippo.

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My Guardian Angels in the IPMS Harrier SIG are watching over me and have come to the rescue, pointing out some of the modifications needed to make the Air Graphics Vickers Mk2 Deck Tractor resemble the tractor used during the Falklands Conflict. Most critically, I hadn't spotted that the entire raised rear deck is different.

 

So even more surgery on the kit than I'd anticipated, but I like this sort of work. Some are mods to restore the tractor to an earlier 1980s state, and some to remove some pretty gross errors, such as lowering the wheels and changing the tread pattern (which are not entirely Air Graphics fault as they were offering an improved version of the kit originally produced by Model Alliance).

 

Here are a few of the mods required;

 

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Out with the razor saw and the dust mask tomorrow!

 

Cheers,

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22 minutes ago, Johnson said:

My Guardian Angels in the IPMS Harrier SIG are watching over me and have come to the rescue, pointing out some of the modifications needed to make the Air Graphics Vickers Mk2 Deck Tractor resemble the tractor used during the Falklands Conflict. Most critically, I hadn't spotted that the entire raised rear deck is different.

 

So even more surgery on the kit than I'd anticipated, but I like this sort of work. Some are mods to restore the tractor to an earlier 1980s state, and some to remove some pretty gross errors, such as lowering the wheels and changing the tread pattern (which are not entirely Air Graphics fault as they were offering an improved version of the kit originally produced by Model Alliance).

 

Here are a few of the mods required;

 

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y4mH0bdUlSwWGMF98g0Oj72qiJ_ZoCzbCWz_Mev3

 

Out with the razor saw and the dust mask tomorrow!

 

Cheers,

 

Geez, will there be anything left of the original tractor? 🤣

 

Loving the work, keep it up,

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

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5 minutes ago, Pappy said:

Geez, will there be anything left of the original tractor? 🤣

It did occur to me that scratch building a boxy little tractor might be easier!

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Just now, Johnson said:

It did occur to me that scratch building a boxy little tractor might be easier!

 

Grandad's axe!

 

I am sure it will turn out great,

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

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  • 2 weeks later...

More work on the Air Graphics Vickers deck tractor.

 

As I was working thoughts kept going through my mind such as 'is this really worth the effort?', 'silk purse from a sows ear?' (the accuracy and quality really leave an awful lot to be desired...) and that old joke 'if you want to go there, I wouldn't start from here'. But in 1/72, aside from scratch building - possible but difficult - this seems the only option. So on we go.

 

The raised rear decks have been completely removed;

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Plasticard inserts for the re-profiled front fenders. The insert was held with blue tac while glued firmly in place with cyanoacrylate glue/talc mix.

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New plasticard detail for the rear decks added.

 

I couldn't resist trying the tractor crew (another Air Graphics set, seems quite good) out for size;

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Bollards added to the deck, trial fit with the modified wheels and does the driver fit?

 

Grey primer (Mr Surfacer 1200), second application. Most of the resin bubbles and other errors have been fixed.

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Wheels positioned with blue tac to see how they look, they are supposed to be at an angle! Four wheel drive and steering. I've drilled holes to represent the numerous bolts on each wheel (15 on each). Small storage box added to rear LHS. There are more parts and details to be added, but beginning to look acceptable I think.

 

Next up, some yellow paint. Supposed to be BS381C:356 Golden Yellow, Humbrol 154 Insignia Yellow looks close enough, maybe with a dash of red?

 

 

 

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  • Johnson changed the title to ESCI 1/72 Sea Harrier FRS.1 - Air Graphics Deck Tractor

'evening all,

 

My initial attempts at a golden yellow finish weren't that successful. I'd read that getting a good yellow finish was difficult but not experienced it first hand.

 

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The yellow was dull as the above pic (taken in daylight) shows. A result (I now know) of using grey primer. Quite by chance I was reading patmaquette's thread on building an Eagle powered Tempest and he used a pink primer before the yellow underside. I'd quite forgotten that trick - worth a try!

 

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Poor photo, out of focus, sorry. But it does show the pink colour primer that I wanted (simple Humbrol enamel matt white with a dash of red mix).

 

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A much better golden yellow. You live and learn. Thanks Pat!

 

Tomorrow, Alclad II Aqua Gloss and some decals.

 

Cheers,

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  • Johnson changed the title to ESCI 1/72 Sea Harrier FRS.1
  • 2 weeks later...

Various specialists were usually to be seen around SHARs before and after each mission. These are Air Graphics figures. The Carrier Deck Crew are pretty good, very well sculptured. The Tractor Driver and Crewman, were not quite as finely modelled.

 

Another important figure to have on the deck, the pilot! This is the very nice Aerobonus (Aires) 'British Sea Harrier pilot, Falklands War, 1982.

 

Here they are, pre-paint;

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With a Mr Surfacer 1500 primer coat;

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And painted. I mostly used Tamiya acrylics, brush painted. The tractor crew surcoats (blue) were Winsor & Newton Galeria Acrylic - Cerulean Blue, and the electrician (green) was Hobbycraft green Art Acrylic, with a bit of Tamiya XF-5. Aires recommend Grey-Blue for the pilot, but this is incorrect. Both Royal Navy and RAF pilots wore olive drab immersion suits.

 

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Thanks for looking, back soon, hopefully with a finished Deck Tractor.

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  • Johnson changed the title to ESCI 1/72 Sea Harrier FRS.1 - Deck Crew & Pilot

A bit more progress. A ladder. OK, it's not much, but it's essential if the pilot is to clamber into his Sea Harrier.

 

I looked at the AM brass photo etched products available but they seemed a bit 2D for my liking. The only alternative was to scratch build...

 

Basic parts - Plasticard and stretched sprue;

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Assembled with TET. Checked for fit and size against the model. I had no dimensions for the ladder, so had to go by reference to photos. Some adjustments were needed.

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Sea Harrier ladders had a hard life with lots of wear, so weathering was essential. First I sprayed the ladder with Alclad II aluminium, then a coat of hair lacquer and finally red Humbrol enamel paint. The idea is to scratch off the red paint to leave the aluminium that the ladder is made of, like the wear that it would get in real life with crew and pilots climbing up it.

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I've never had much success with this method but (thinking about it 🤔) I figured I needed to soften the top layer of red and the underlying hair lacquer. So into a pot of hot soapy water.

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I gently rubbed the red paint with a toothpick, and the red top coat came away in a controlled way.

 

And that was what I wanted.

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Happy with that!

 

More deck equipment to come shortly. Thanks for looking.

 

Cheers,

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  • Johnson changed the title to ESCI 1/72 Sea Harrier FRS.1 - Ladder

Finally the Vickers deck tractor is finished.

 

If you've been following this (slightly meandering) Sea Harrier build you may recall that the tractor, obviously an essential item of deck equipment on HMS Invincible, started out as the Air Graphics resin kit of the later version.

After quite a bit of surgery, and some modification (the Air Graphics kit isn't the most accurate nor the best quality) I have something that resembles the little bright yellow tractor that pushed and pulled the Sea Harriers around on HMS Invincible in 1982.

 

Just to recap, the mods needed were;

  • remove the water tank from the front left fender.
  • change the tyres from bar tread to road tread.
  • lower the wheels and re-profile the front wheel arches.
  • remove both rear decks and add deck structure details.

Vickers Deck Tractor No.1, 81RN81, HMS Invincible, Falklands TEZ, 1982;

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A few technical details;

Weight about 7 tons, 3500cc Diesel engine. 4WD and 4 Wheel Steer, so enough oomph to handle a Sea Harrier on the deck. One sold into civilian use (from HMS Ark Royal) had been deliberately locked in first gear (there are two gears), presumably to prevent servicemen from going too fast on deck and risking toppling into the water!

 

Back soon with even more deck stuff. Thanks for looking in.

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  • Johnson changed the title to ESCI 1/72 Sea Harrier FRS.1 - Deck Tractor - Finished!

Scratched a couple of FOD guards, based on photos;

 

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There's only one more piece of equipment needed, the tow bar;

 

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On Invincible these were painted green, over the yellow, but quite battered, so yellow showed through in many places. An interesting bit of scratch building coming up.

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