Sea Harrier in 1/72 scale: : kit review & building report of the ESCI kit
The Hawker Siddeley Sea Harrier was based on the Harrier VTOL aircraft and was modified to act as a naval jet fighter, reconnaissance and attack aircraft to be used from smaller carriers. Development started in the seventies and its cockpit was set "higher" for better pilot visibility. It first entered service with the Royal Navy in April 1979 as the Sea Harrier FRS1 and its role was mainly to provide air defence of the fleet from British Royal Navy aircraft carriers through the FAA Fleet Air Arm.
The Sea Harrier served first in the Falkland War in 1982 to protect the British Task Force. About 57 FRS1s were delivered between 1978 and 1988; most survivors converted to Sea Harrier FA2 specifications from 1988. The type was also exported to India.
The ESCI kit, no. 9030, is an old 1/72 kit but was in the Harrier series of ESCI. Released in 1984, it is still the best kit in this scale I believe despite the much later short run Xtrakit.
This kit is accurate in outline although no special stores are in the kit such as a Sea Eagle. In the ESCI kit, Sea Harrier FRS 1 decals are provided for 2 schemes of a Royal navy 899 squadron Sea Harrier. (I believe this kit was also issued under the Italeri label). The about 90 parts are finely moulded and there is a tub, seat and stick in the cockpit. Instrumentdecals are provided. The Sea harrier nose section is separate as it is part of a whole series of ESCI Harriers.
This kit will be made straight forward
almost out of the box.
In STEP 4, the intake suction doors
are all moulded closed, whereas on a ground parked Harrier the upper doors
droop open. So, the upper doors were cut open from parts #2 and #5 and
doors made with plastic cart set open.
The lower Aden gun pods in the belly fairings are also attached. This needed some White Glue to fill the gaps...
Decalling was done to prevent "silvering"
using this method...
Undercarriage was now attached and as usual with Harrier models, this needed some alignment to get all "wheels to touch the ground".
The canopy frame was painted and got 3 mirrors inside the frame. The detonator cord was already moulded in the nice kit canopy. Pylons and the two fuel tanks were added as well.
Anti-collision lights were tipped with paint and got a drop of Microscale Kristal Kleer. The nose was painted black. Some PROMODELLER wash was added with a tiny brush to emphasize a bit the dirt at the ailerons, rudder and flaps.
The model now got a protective coat
with the airbrush using Johnson
Future, thinned with 40% Alkohol.
That completed a nice 1/72 Sea Harrier.
A nice little 1/72 scale Sea Harrier
is now in the FAA collection...
- World Air Power, Journal 1991, Volume
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Created March 23, 2014