Sunday, May 21

Build Guide Pt 2/4: Eduard 1/48th scale Harrier Gr7/9 "Limited Edition" Kit

Today we see Andrew Perren's build of the Eduard 48th scale Harrier Gr7/9 Limited Edition kit. It features Hasegawa plastic tricked out with Eduard goodies that promise to bring great detail to the base model. There are four parts to this build, today the build starts in a great fashion. Click on to see how to get the best out of your own kit...

Build Guide Pt.I: Eduard's Harrier Gr7/9 Limited Edition Kit
by Andrew Perren
1/48th Scale
Limited Edition Kit #1166
Price: USD$ 85
Product Link @ Hobbylink Japan

Harrier GR7/9 part 1/4: In-Boxed
Harrier GR7/9 part 3/4: Build Guide - Paint & Decals
Harrier GR7/9 part 4/4: Build Guide - Finishing Touches

Today: The Harrier GR7/9 part 2/4: Build Guide
Because much has already been written about this kit since its release I made some decisions about how I would approach this build and the subsequent article here. I decided not to re-visit previous articles but to form my own opinions as I went. I treated the kit as an unknown quantity as much as possible and tried to solve any modelling issues that arose for myself. The kit is quite modular in nature which is a bit of a signature of Hasegawa kits of that era. This is obvious upon first look at the instructions and parts breakdown. I did make some changes to the order of construction to match my build style and skills. Proper planning here helps me get the result I want at the end.

As with most aircraft builds I do, the process all begins in the cockpit. I’m going for a closed canopy on this one so I focused on what could be seen through the clear canopy parts.

The resin seat is a simple build up and paint, the instrument panel receives some coloured etch and the cockpit tub gets some added details to the upper area behind the seat which was a little barren straight from the box.

The kit nose section is broken down into four pieces, left and right halves of the nose cone and left-right halves of the forward fuselage. The instructions would have you make two sections and join front to back near the start of the windscreen.
 I chose instead to make two complete left & right halves and join them together, capturing the cockpit tub in the process. I did also add a bit of lead as nose weight now just in case.

Construction can now shift to the main fuselage pieces. There is a large bottom piece which should be fitted now as well as the arms which spread the fuselage and trap the poly caps which we will insert the jet nozzles into later. I also added lower main wing sections to make sure I got a good tight fit to the fuselage sides and the bottom part of the 65% LERX.
The airbrake bay internals are also added now as well as the vertical tail.

The upper wing can be worked on now and you must choose the option of LERX (65% or 100%). I am going for the 65% on my build. Some panel line corrections will be required here as the join extends over some wings panels. There are wingtip extensions which need to be added as well. I added mine to the upper wing sections.

I must have got excited and pressed on with construction because I forgot to take pics of the already painted intake bell section I had added to the rear fuselage sub-assembly.

It was necessary to fit the nose section into the intake bell and at the same time add the upper rear deck (in red) and wing sections so that I could apply some force to bring these parts into proper alignment.

I think it went ok but if you don’t pay attention here the whole nose section can be out of vertical alignment. The outer intake pieces were also added and the seams cleaned up.

Once these major sub-assemblies are brought together you have an almost complete fuselage. My aim in doing it this way was to keep any filler work confined to under the wings where it could be hidden and to preserve as much of the upper detail as I could.

The fitment of the refuelling probe was not the best, I tinkered with the part to try and get the profile better and faired it in with white Milliputt epoxy putty.

Focus shifted back to the front office. The seat, instrument panel and coaming were added along with the main canopy frame. I also decided at this point that I would be adding some resin intake FOD guards to this build so I added some support pieces from scrap plastic to give me something to glue those guards onto later.

Of all the things that could have got the Eduard etch treatment, it would have been obvious to give you an etch HUD display. Unfortunately, they didn’t do that so I had to make do with the kit clear pieces. I painted a black frame on the outside and added some clear green to the edges of the glass for effect. The MFD display screens also got the clear green treatment as I didn’t love the way the screens looked.

It was about now that I started to put some thought into just how much I could glue in place and still be comfortable painting the model. I usually try to attach as many items that will need a good glue bond before painting and treat the rest as separate subassemblies that come together during final construction.
The resin Terma & Sniper pods were assembled and once their position was decided some brass pins provided a way to attach them after painting.

The drop tanks and their pylons were assembled

A close air support aircraft is just not complete without some things that go bang on it.

I checked some typical load outs for the last overseas deployment to Afghanistan and sourced some UK style resin GBU-49 Paveway IV 500lb bombs (4) to go on the outer pylons. These were from a French company – Lársenal and each bomb has 7 parts.

The final small items and the clear canopy parts were added and masked off ready for painting. The pre-cut masks surely came in handy here.

It’s also time for a confession, I don’t use all the Eduard etch items for things like blade antenna and such because quite frankly the benefit they provide does not outweigh the added difficulty they bring during construction. I also chose not to use the resin outrigger wheels and separate yolks because I thought they would be too weak to support the model and quite a pain to fit. It turns out my fears were justified as I broke one of the yolk parts just trying to remove the casting plug and flash from it. So, the kit outrigger gear was improved a bit and worked as expected.

Stay tuned for Part 3 where I throw some paint on it.

Thanks to Eduard for sending this kit to Andrew to Build and review – Check the kit out on the Eduard Model Accessories Website & stay tuned for the other parts of this story yet to come on TMN