Friday, May 26

Build Guide 3/4: Eduard 1/48th scale Harrier Gr7/9 "Limited Edition" Kit: Paint & Decals

Today we see Andrew Perren's second part of his build of the Eduard 48th scale Harrier Gr7/9 Limited Edition kit. There are four parts to this build, and today Andrew starts to lay the paint to the smaller and the larger areas of the kit - It's all coming together in part II...

Build Guide Pt.II: 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 2/4: Build Guide - Construction
Harrier GR7/9 part 4/4: Build Guide - Finishing Touches

Today: the paint goes on - 48th scale Harrier GR7/9 part 3/4: Paint & Decals

With construction largely finished, now it was time to shoot some paint on this one. Because of the large number of things to hang off this model I decided to finish these items first so they didn’t bog me down at the end. Many of these items were resin so they all got a coat of either Tamiya grey spray can primer or the white primer filler from AK Interactive.
The bombs were first, the Tamiya grey primer looked good enough for me and some bomb data markings were sourced from an aftermarket sheet to spruce them up a little.
The Eduard “Terma” countermeasures dispenser and Sniper targeting Pod got a similar treatment although they do come with some colour etch and decals in the upgrade set.
The one-piece resin jet nozzles from the upgrade set look good under some shades of Alclad metallic lacquers – I mixed some shades from Pale Burnt metal and Burnt Iron. The blast shields are the basic kit pieces.
The landing gear also got some early finishing work done. The Eduard resin wheels were used for the main and nose gear but the outriggers are improved kit parts.
Once the small parts were put to one side I could start with the main colour scheme. The main colours are BS638 Dark Sea Grey upper surfaces and BS629 Dark Camouflage Grey undersides. These were mixed to suit my eye using Testors Model Master enamels. I also added some random lighter and darker mottles while I was airbrushing. I like to do this as it gives some life to the paint finish – especially on “boring” greys which I model a lot of.
The leading edges of the wings and tailplanes have an erosion protection tape in real life, this was represented by adding some dark yellow to the mix after masking off these areas. A darker grey also adorned the intake leading edges.
The tailplanes are still separate at this stage but a quick check confirms that they look ok in place with paint on. They won’t be fixed permanently until final construction. Note in the below photos that a small white disc has been added to the upper spine for the GPS antenna. There was a mystery square shape moulded on here which had to be removed first.
The upper colour extends forward and wraps around the canopy and windscreen.
It wasn’t until painting stage that I discovered a detail moulded on the starboard side of the nose that should not be there for RAF Harriers. It may be an artefact from the kits multi-version lineage that may be for an AV-8B which is a first cousin. Either way, I found out too late and decided to leave it there rather that destroy a perfectly serviceable paint job. There is a lot of detail nearby that would have been at risk of destruction as well. Don’t tell ok.
The drop tanks were painted as well and I gave them two different coloured noses for a bit of added interest. This is another anti-erosion measure on the real things.
So, with only the final pieces of detail painting to be done the resin FOD intake bungs were painted up and glued into place – remember I added some support cleats before painting.
The FOD guards are from Steel Beach Resin and are designed for the Hasegawa kit. They are a drop fit and don’t really require much work other than painting with some faded orange. The white and black stripes are reflective tape and canvas grab handles in real life. They were masked for the white and black decal strips for the black.
The model has also had a coat of clear gloss (Tamiya Clear Enamel) at this stage and I’ve done an acrylic panel line wash in a darker grey to make the detail pop.
The model is ready for the decals now. Here is the underside.
Because I wanted to model an upgraded aircraft from the Harrier Detachment in Kandahar Afghanistan circa 2007 none of the kit decal choices were appropriate. I wanted a subject that would fit with my chosen loadout – not that I had anything against the kit options.

During 2007, a visit to British ISAF forces by two UK page 3 glamour girls, Lucy Pinder and Michelle Marsh resulted in some nose art being applied to two of the detachments Harriers. The aircraft both also sport some serious bomb tallies which obviously varied with time.
Luckily my decal stash provided me with the markings for ZD404 33A “Lucy” from a Model Alliance War on Terror sheet which may now be out of production.
Here is “Lucy” and “Michelle” with their crews and support staff.
Rather than bore you all with the details of how and where I applied a tonne of decals I’ll just tell you how they went down. The Eduard instructions did miss some minor decals which are on the sheet so take care and use your references.

I used the kit decals for all the national markings and stencils except the codes and nose art for ZD404. The kit decals are quite solid and glossy, so I could apply them and move them without damaging them. They responded well to Daco Strong decal setting solution which I used to get them to conform and minimise silvering. Where the decals crossed a panel line they were sliced after drying with a new blade and some more solution applied.

I was concerned with some of the smaller stencils as they are always the most likely to silver so I opted to omit some very tiny markings on the pylons around the sway braces. They just weren’t worth the effort and high likelihood of silvering.

The final stage of my painting process is a matt varnish using Testors Dullcote. I apply a thinned coat (about 30% Dullcote + 70% Thinner) through the Iwata HP-CH at about 15 psi. With good technique, a silky smooth clear finish locks down the decals and dries quickly.

Part 4 will share some thoughts on final construction and finished pics.

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 last part of this story yet to come on TMN