/ Sea Harrier Detail Set
HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com
u m m a r y
|Contents and Media:
||14 parts in butterscotch-coloured
||USD$17.99 from Linden
||Addresses some serious problems of
the Airfix kit; depicts dropped auxiliary intake doors; perfectly cast (ie no
imperfections); simple assembly - replaces kit parts
||Imposing casting blocks; Airfix kit
will still need some help in other areas.
||Recommended as an essential aid to
building an more accurate Airfix Harrier or SHAR
Airfix should be applauded for venturing into the
otherwise barren territory of 1/48 scale post-war British military
aircraft. However, the inconsistent quality of their kits over the last
decade has been widely noted. For example, the Spitfire 22/24 and Seafire
kits are up to the standard of current Japanese releases, but the
Buccaneer has earned a fearful reputation for its fit problems.
Airfix's original 1/48 scale Harrier and Sea Harrier date
back to the early 1980s. The outline of these kits was accurate but panel
lines were raised, detail was sparse and fit was far from perfect. In
1997, Airfix released a Sea Harrier FA.2. In common with the real
aircraft, this kit was an updated version of the earlier Airfix FRS.1 release.
The result was a hybrid model with finely engraved panel lines on the
fuselage, but raised panel lines on the wings and tailplanes. New fit
problems were introduced too, especially around the intake join.
Heritage Aviation have addressed the worst of these problems
with their 1/48 scale Harrier/Sea Harrier Detail Set. This set is designed
for the Airfix kits.
Heritage Aviation's Harrier/Sea Harrier detail set
comprises 14 parts in butterscotch coloured resin. The contents include
replacement intakes, jet nozzles, main wheels, tailplanes and drop tanks.
The intakes are the highlight of the set. Dropped auxiliary intake doors
are a feature of these parts. These doors are almost always open on unpowered
The tailplanes are also very useful. They feature scribed
panel-line detail and vertical rubbing plates that are missing on the kit.
Check your references and take care not to damage these rubbing plates
when removing the parts from their blocks - they do look like resin waste!
The jet nozzles, drop tanks and main wheels are also major
improvements compared to the kit parts.
All parts are nicely cast with no pinholes on the surface or waste
material. However, they are cast onto big solid resin blocks. Patience and
a fine razor saw will be essential to successfully remove these
I was curious to test the fit of these parts against the
Airfix FA.2 Sea Harrier kit.
I dipped one intake in water (to eliminate airborne resin
dust) and used a fine razor saw to remove the part from its block. There
is no gap whatever between the block and the mating surface of the intake,
so I took special care to keep the cutting edge of the saw hard pressed
against and parallel to the block.
stopped regularly to check that my cut was even, and to remove the resin
slurry from the cut. Less than ten minutes of patient sawing freed the
intake from its block.
One front and one rear jet nozzle is moulded to a single
casting block. I cut this bock in two so that I would not accidentally
damage the second nozzle while cutting the first. Removing each of the
nozzles was a fast task.
The intake and nozzles were cleaned up and lightly sanded
before being test-fitted to the Airfix FA.2 Sea Harrier fuselage. The
picture below shows that even without glue the fit of the nozzles is
excellent, but a little packing may be required at the top of the intake
where it meets the fuselage side. I will also thin the fuselage where it
meets the back of the intake. This area can be plainly seen through the
dropped auxiliary intake doors.
Once these minor adjustments have been made, the new resin
parts will greatly improve the kit.
Airfix's 1/48 scale Harrier kits have a number of good
points. They are accurate in outline and they are also the only game in
town if you want to build a British Harrier/SHAR.
Heritage Aviation's detail set will improve these kits in
areas that really do need help. It should also be noted, however, that the
cockpit in the Airfix Harrier/SHAR kits is very bare, and will benefit
from scratchbuilt detail or an aftermarket set.
Thanks to Linden
Hill Imports for the review sample
Heritage Aviation Products
are available from Linden
Hill Imports' website
Review and Images Copyright © 2001 by
Page Created 27 November, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003
Back to HyperScale Main Page
Back to Reviews Page