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Paul A H

BAe Harrier GR7A/GR9A

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BAe Harrier GR7A/GR9A

1:72 Airfix

harriergr9boxtop.jpg

One aircraft that needs little introduction to the membership of Britmodeller is the iconic Harrier. Recently (and controversially) retired from RAF/Royal Navy service, the Harrier GR9A turned out to be the ultimate development of a design that first flew as the GR1 over forty years ago. Developed in partnership with McDonnell Douglas, the second generation of Harriers to which the GR7 and GR9 belong feature a larger wing and extensive use of composites throughout the airframe. The GR9 boasts a wide range of improvements to avionics and weapon systems compared to the GR7. Both the GR7/GR9 both saw service over Afghanistan as part of Operation Herrick.

This hotly anticipated new kit arrives packed into a reasonably large box adorned with the kind of excellent artwork that has come to typify the latest generation of releases from Airfix. The kit’s 126 parts are split across three sprues of light grey plastic and one small clear sprue. The mouldings are very nice indeed, with plenty of crisp, sharp detail. Airfix’s much discussed panel lines continue to improve, with these being at least on a par with the excellent F-86 kits.

harriergr9sprue1.jpg

harriergr9sprue2.jpg

The cockpit is comprised of a tub, a three-part Martin Baker Mk. 12 ejector seat, a control column and instrument panel. No decals are provided for the cockpit instruments, but none are needed as all the parts feature very nice raised detail. The fuselage sidewalls also feature nice, raised details. In common with other Harrier kits, the cockpit fits inside a front fuselage that is moulded as a separate part to the rear fuselage. Similarly to the Sea Harrier kits, the turbine blades are moulded as a separate part and should look excellent once in place. The landing gear and airbrake bays are really well detailed bays and thanks to some clever moulding from Airfix, are not ruined by difficult to clean up ejector pin marks.

harriergr9sprue3.jpg

harriergr9sprue4.jpg

As with the Sea Harrier kits, the jet exhaust nozzles are moulded in two parts and will need to be cleaned up carefully. I imagine one of the aftermarket producers will produce some seamless resin replacements for these parts before too long. The all-moving tail plane can be posed in a range of positions and the large landing flaps, a particularly noticeable feature of the GR7/9, are provided as separate parts. Two types of auxiliary intake doors are provided – fully closed for in-flight and dropped for on the ground. The undercarriage parts are particularly nicely moulded, with the tyres all featuring bulges and flat spots. A nice selection of ordnance includes drop tanks, AIM 9L Sidewinders, Paveway IV LGBs, CVR-7 rocket pods, a Sniper STP pod and a DJRP pod. The clear parts are just that; thin and clear. Owing to its shape, the main canopy features a mould seam down the middle that will have to be polished out. The detonation cord is provided as a decal.

harriergr9decals.jpg

Three options are provided for colours and markings:

· BAe Harrier GR9A ZD433, Harrier Detachment, Operation Herrick, Kandahar, Afghanistan, 2009;

· BAe Harrier GR9A ZG506, Royal Air Force Cottismore, December 15th 2010 (this is aircraft finished in the famous Dark Green/Dark Sea Grey/Light Aircraft Grey retirement scheme); and

· BAe Harrier GR7A ZD404 “Lucy”, Harrier Detachment, Operation Herrick, Kandahar, Afghanistan, November 2006.

The decals, advertised on the side of the box as being printed by Cartograf, look excellent and include an extensive range of stencils.

Conclusion

Airfix continue to go from strength to strength with this release. Engineering and moulding looks top-notch, as does the decal sheet. This should build up into an excellent model and it deserves to sell well. Highly recommended.

bin.jpg

Review sample courtesy of logo.gif

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Good to see that Airfix are improving ! I' happy to see that they started to add raised details on the IP and consoles and I'm sure the inclusion of both smaller and bigger LERXs will make every harrier fan happy. Now what should I do with the older Airfix GR.5/7 in the stash ?

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Oohh, that does look nice. Been on my want list since it was announced. Hurry up and ship it Mr Airfix!

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oh yes this looks great im so happy they included the retirement scheme as i wanted to make a model of that for a while, though im sad about the retirement i heard the us are buying our harriers on the cheep now, is that true.

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Now we just need a /148th incarnation (with some up-to-date weapons loads pleeeaaaassseeee) so we don't have to chase around for out of production Revell / Hasegawa kits and resin add-ons.

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Very nice. Never thought of buying a RAF-Harrier, but now I'm not sure... Some nice features on this kit! Any first impressions about the accuracy of the kit?

Alex

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Seems a very nice set of mouldings with plenty potential and for £12.99 I can get two plus some spare change compared to the Hasegawa equivalent.

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Good to see that Airfix are improving ! I' happy to see that they started to add raised details on the IP and consoles and I'm sure the inclusion of both smaller and bigger LERXs will make every harrier fan happy. Now what should I do with the older Airfix GR.5/7 in the stash ?

Make them :D

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I really shouldn't add anything to my stash, but... :hmmm:

Lowered flap option, extended AAR probe, raised instrument consoles, whole lot of weapons, nice decals, Lucy...

I think I will order one :) Just realised I haven't got an aircraft from the Afghanistan war yet.

Alex

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Lowered flap option

Just remember that the lowered flap option is for in-flight only. When they are parked up on the deck, Harriers have the flaps raised. Forgetting to raise the flaps on shutdown could cost a pilot money and a week's desk duty as the Auth.

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Just remember that the lowered flap option is for in-flight only. When they are parked up on the deck, Harriers have the flaps raised. Forgetting to raise the flaps on shutdown could cost a pilot money and a week's desk duty as the Auth.

Thanks, so I put the nice pilot in and display it on touchdown ;)

Alex

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Nice one!

the Heritage resin exhausts should fit this kit.

Julien

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Just remember that the lowered flap option is for in-flight only. When they are parked up on the deck, Harriers have the flaps raised. Forgetting to raise the flaps on shutdown could cost a pilot money and a week's desk duty as the Auth.

Not to mention a slabbing!!

(Slabbing-fine of a case of beer)

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Looks impressive, saw a few at Waddington for under £11 today, but thought I'd get one from my local model shop.

Dan

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I got my first two from my LHS on Friday and it is a fantastic kit. The only minor niggle that I've found is that the PWIVs are actually GBU-12s as they lack the hardback and GPS parts that make it a PWIV. It's not a difficult fix, but to be honest unless you knew what you were looking for you wouldn't really notice in this scale. It certainly doesn't detract from what is a genuinely superb and very well priced little kit.

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Nice detail for a fairly small kit.

Think Ill get one using my Airfix Flying hour tokens when my Airfix Membership package arrives because I want do do one in the scheme of Option C on the box :)

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P1020231-1.jpg

Very nicely made one on the Airfix stand at Waddington Airshow.

I just had to have one!

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