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AV-8B Harrier Plus /
Night Attack

Resin Conversion and Detail Set

 

AMRAAM Line

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: 48-101 AV-8B Harrier Plus / Night Attack Resin Conversion & Detail Set
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 23 parts in off-white resin
Price: USD$22.00
Review Type: FirstLook, Preparation and Test-Fitting
Advantages: Accurate and complete; options for either Plus or Night Attack Harriers; excellent casting quality; sharp engraved detail; clever planning of larger parts to minimise cleanup; major variant transformation for donor kit.
Disadvantages: Major parts will require some test-fitting, trimming and filling (ie a little initiative over and above the instructions); some modellers may wish to scribe kit panel lines to match engraved detail on resin parts.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended to experienced modellers

 

Reviewed by Brett Green
 


HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Squadron.com

 

FirstLook

 

AMRAAM Line produce a range of 1/48 scale accessories for modern US and British aircraft. They have also released two conversions for Revell-Monogram's 1/48 scale AV-8B Harrier - a Harrier Plus/Night Attack conversion, and a Harrier GR.5/GR.7 set.

Tonight we will examine the Harrier Plus conversion. It is somewhat surprising that this subject has not been kitted by a mainstream kit company. The latest version of the Harrier looks very purposeful with its new nose, additional ordnance and 100% LERX.

ARAAM Line's conversion comprises 23 parts in off-white coloured resin. All the parts are perfectly cast with crisp engraved detail. The main parts are the new 100% LERX section for the forward wing and the two optional noses. These parts are ready to use almost straight from the box. What appears initially to be a large casting block on the LERX will actually slot inside the kit wing and act as reinforcement, while the noses just need a little trimming of three smallish pour stubs.

 

 

Detail parts included in the set are:

  • extended tail spine

  • instrument panel

  • in-flight refuelling probe

  • various scoops

  • chaff and flare dispensers

  • ECM pod

  • lift fence

  • replacement outrigger wheels

These are effectively all the parts needed to build either the Harrier Plus or the Night Attack Harrier.

Instructions are supplied on a single sheet of A4 paper. One one side of the sheet text suggestions for construction are called out over eight steps, with two captioned exploded view diagrams on the reverse side. The instructions are okay, but this conversion will need some more "tweaking" to the kit parts than the text suggests. The diagrams are a little vague about the exact location of cutting lines. The universal rule of "measure twice, cut once" really applies here!

 

 

Preparation and Construction Tips

 

The conversion parts look great in the box, but I wanted to find out how they fitted.

The AMRAAM Line conversion requires some surgery to the kit wings and fuselage prior to assembly. Careful preparation of the kit parts will be the key to a smooth project. As part of the review, I made the modifications to the kit parts. Some of my observations might be helpful to other modellers:

 

Tip 1: Preparation of Kit Fuselage

The kit nose must be cut off to accommodate the resin nose for either the Night Attack or the Harrier Plus. Firstly, note that the cuts are in different places for the different noses. I am going to build a Harrier Plus, so I needed to make the more complex cut further back along the nose.

Despite taking my time and using a razor saw in a mitre box, I botched this cut. The result is that I will need to add some putty at the top of the nose join at the front of the instrument coaming.

 

 

I bevelled the inside surface of the kit nose mating surface to minimise any chance of a gap along the main join. Apart from my poor cutting job at the top, the fit was otherwise very good.


 

Tip 2: Preparing the Wings

I used the resin LERX as a template to determine the cutting line on the upper wing. The line was marked with self-adhesive Dymo tape, which acted as a guide. I scribed the line several times before switching to a scalpel. This cut was more accurate than my attempt at the nose!

 

 

Although the instructions do not mention it, the preparation of the wings is not finished yet. The lower wings must also be modified by removing the tips from the extreme inside leading edges.

 

 

In addition, the "spurs" on the lower wing root of the fuselage halves must be removed and smoothed.

 

 

As mentioned above, what initially appears to be a large casting block on the LERX will actually slot inside the kit wing and act as reinforcement. However, some plastic will have to be removed from the leading edge of the mating surfaces of the wing to permit the resin LERX to slot in.

It will be helpful to tape the wing halves together and test-fit the whole wing assembly.

 

 

As an alternative to this method of preparing the wing, it is also possible to glue the wing halves together before making the initial cut, thus removing the excess plastic from the upper and lower wings with a single cut.


 

Tip 3: Final Adjustments

The resin LERX should form a "saddle" above the forward jet nozzles. After removing the plastic from the kit fuselage sides, my wing assembly was a gap-free, drop-fit in the top of the fuselage.

 


 

Everything Else

When you have made it this far, everything else should be relatively simple. The only additional cutting is the spine. Check the location of the cut carefully against your references!

 

 

Conclusion

 

AMRAAM Line's Harrier Plus / Night Attack Harrier conversion will require plenty of care, lots of test fitting, trimming and probably some putty to be successfully completed. Some experience with resin conversions will be a definite advantage.

With due time and care, however, the modeller should be rewarded with a very accurate and quite unique representation of the ultimate American Harrier.

Highly Recommended to experienced modellers.

Thanks to Luca from AMRAAM Line for the review sample


AMRAAM Line accessories and conversions are available online from their website
or enquiries may be directed to their email address
amraamline@hotmail.com

Also check Piero De Santis' AV-8B Harrier Plus Construction Feature


Text and Images Copyright by Brett T Green
Page Created 14 October, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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