Box art picture of the sprues picture of the decals

Airfix Sea Harrier FRS1 xz459 from HMS Hermes.

Project start 2022-05-16

While working on the Hasegawa Sea Harrier FRS1 xz458 from HMS Invincible, which had been started without proper preparation, I ran into an Airfix kit of the same subject. Being a new, fresh kit, the decals were certain to be much better than the rather yellowed set from the old Hasegawa, and included markings for a more interesting subject in Medium Sea Grey and Barley grey, so obviously, it had to come home with me. Having new decals is all good and well, but that did leave me with one Sea Harrier too many, so I decided to build it in parallel with xz458, as xz459, which is mostly what I'd originally intended for the Hasegawa.

I guess that particular Shar was a bit of a character; it got pulled out of a training unit for actual combat, ended up with non-standard markings, made a name for itself doing a job more commonly associated with the GR3 (attacking stuff on ground or water, in particular the Argentinian supply ship Rio Carcarana), survived the conflict to be chopped in half and converted to an FA2, and then survived the retirement of the type to live in the museum at Tangmere. I'll be using the stencillng decals and 1000 lbs bombs from the Hasegawa for this build, while sending a pair of Sidewinders the other way.

The fuselage is closed up, and there's been quite a bit of work the various sub-assemblies.
Rather disappointingly, the canopy does no have the MDC engraved in. This is odd, since other recent Airfix kits do have this feature, and even the thirty years older Hasegawa has it. I'll just have to do without I suppose. More annoyingly, the spur on the rear of the canopy is just sort of dangling there at the rear, connecting the canopy frame to thin air. I'll have to patch this, as it just looks silly.

I fixed the spur by adding a small piece of 0.5x0.5mm plastic strip between the tip of the spur and the rear plate with Clearfix, and later, filling the triangular gap this left with more Clearfix. Once painted, this should do the job.

The fuselage has been buttoned up. A quick view at the office, before the canopy went on:
The seat is the resin part I found with the Hasegawa kit; unlike that kit, the Airfix made it easy to install, so why not.
The kit is has now also mostly passed throught the paintshop, despite resistance from the airbrush, which kept clogging up on me. Some sort of gloss coating has yet to go on; I may end up doing a single coat of varnish by hand, rather than multiple coats with the airbrush, if only to save time.

All done..

Together with the Hasegawa kit mentioned earlier, that was built in parallel.

Finishing materials:

Motip primer overall
Hu123 Extra Dark Sea Grey overall
Alclad 'light sheen' varnish

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