I am contemplating a winter project concentrating on the Harrier in its
various marks and using the excellent decals available from Sky Decals.
I am interested in obtaining views on the most accurate 1/72 scale kits
of the following marks. GR.1, GR.3, GR.5, GR.7, Sea Harrier FRS.1 and
AV-8B. Searching the internet it would appear that the choice in most
cases would be between Italeri, Airfix, Revell and Hasegawa. Any
information you can give on this topic would be useful and most
appreciated. Thanks, Derek Shaw
For the first generation Harriers, (GR1, AV-8A, GR3 and FRS1), the most
accurate ones are definitely the Hasegawa kits. The problem is going to be
getting hold of the external stores as, from what I can remember, the GR3
kit doesn't have the 100 gal tanks which are an absolute necessity.
What colour schemes are you contemplating?
As I am basing the models on what is available on the BAFRA decal
sheet. I would probably be looking at various mixes of Dark Green/Dark
Sea Grey overall for the British aircraft or Dark Grey/Grey for the
AV-8B models. Maybe a GR.5 of #3 Squadron in Nato green (upper) and
Lichen green (lower) or a GR.3 in overall grey. There are a couple more
options on the sheet but I will probably pick from this decal sheet
unless the kits have something more adventurous to offer in the way of
decals. Derek Shaw
There was only one grey GR3. It was XV738/B, the first production Harrier an
was used by IV(AC) Sqn. A 3(F) Sqn aircraft, XV809/AF, was painted in the
greens scheme that was evenually adopted for GR5s. Both aircraft were
delivered in those schemes on return from major servicing and Phase 6 mods
at St Athan in early 1984. Both aircraft had been repainted in standard
camouflage by June 85.
Correction. XV738 was repainted by June '85, probably because the scheme
was considered unsuccessful.
XV809 remained in the two-tone green scheme until it crashed on take-off
from Gütersloh on 20 May 1988.
Oops! The Sky Models (not BAFRA) decal sheet . The GR.3 is of course
not overall grey, what I meant to say was overall greys. i.e. Dark Sea
Grey upper, Medium Sea Grey lower (# 4 Squadron, serial XV 738)
Overall grey would be GR.7 aircraft illustrated on the sheet. Derek Shaw
John said the following on 23/08/06 12:13:
I've got a copy of Argus' Aircraft Archive and there's a line drawing of
the camouflage for a Harrier GR Mk 1 and T Mk2 in the Post-War Jets Vol.
1 so if you want a copy, let me know.
There *is* a standard pattern for each type. The best online reference that
I can offer is the Don Color site.
The Harrier scheme doesn't show the undersurfaces, but in that specific
case, your method of "randomly blodging paint about" seems to be a valid
course of action. The undersurface is *supposed* to be a mirror image of the
uppersurface, but from what I remember, the wing undersurfaces varied quite
radically between wing assemblies.
Not strictly on the subject, I'm working on building all four British
single seaters - ie GR 1, GR3, FRS 1, FA 2 in 1/24th scale.......
And then there's that article online where some guy did a two seat
How about the eighties Esci kit? I always heard that the Esci AV-8A/GR3/FRS1
was the best choice, with Fujimi second. The IPMS UK Harrier SIG kit list
that Harro cleverly found through the Wayback machine confirms it. My Esci
GR3 has tanks that appear to be 100 gallon.
*point* On IV(AC) Sqn!!!! XV809 was on 3(F) Sqn.
My three jets all still exist in some form or other. XV738 is on the gate
at Stafford. XW768 is on the gate at Cottesmore. ZD669 is sat in the
warehouse at Hannants!
The GR3 was - strictly speaking - two marks. Modifications such as improved
engines, INAS that actually worked reliably, secure communications systems,
full AIM-9 and countermeasures capabilities, as well as the removal of a lot
of spurious equipment such as the RAT, made the Phase 6 jets far more
capable than the earlier GR3s. They didn't gain a seperate mark number
because the GR5 was already under development.
To be pedantic, there was also a GR1A...
The first *real* Harrier was XV738. The previous pre-production aircraft
were, strictly speaking, designated P1127/RAF.
At Gutersloh we had two of these aircraft for load training. We called them
"plastic pigs" - a name which was later used for the GR5 version. Although
at first glance they looked similar to the GR1 Harrier - in that they didn't
have a laser nose - there was something "odd" about them. When you looked
closer it became apparent that they didn't have the same number of intake
bleed air doors as a production jet - and both plastic pigs actually had
differing numbers of doors. Both aircraft had dfferent control vents for the
Reaction Control System, both of which were again different from a
production jet. One pig didn't even have an airbrake. The other pig had the
airbrake, but had no nose camera ports! It seems to me that all of the
pre-production machines differed from the rest in some manner.
As for the production models, I can think of the following distinct models,
but not all of them had different mark numbers.
GR1 - basic model
GR1A - uprated engine
T2 - Trainer version of GR1
T2A - Trainer version of GR1A
GR3 - basic version with further engine uprating uprated
GR3 - added LRMTS nose and RWR fairings on fin and tailboom
GR3 Corporate fit - Added basic AIM-9 capability
GR3 Phase 6 - Full AIM-9 capability, added secure comms and countermeasures
capabilities. Removed some redundant equipment. Can be identified by the
large antenna on the spine.
GR3 Phase 6 Carrier fit - Added an INAS system that could be aligned on a
moving deck. Identified by a small fairing and antenna underneath the laser
T4 - Trainer version of GR3 with LRMTS and RWR fairings.
T4A - Trainer version of GR3 *without* LRMTS but *with* RWR fairings.
T4N - Naval version of T4A
Then of course there were the export versions... and the GR5, GR5A, GR7,
GR9, T10... no doubt there were several different fits of those marks as
Each upgrade of the first generation Harrier added a distinct improvement in
capability. I can understand that the GR1 and GR1A kept similar mark
numbers. However, the GR3 Phase 6 should really have been given a new mark
number, or "GR3A" at the very least.
As I wrote much of the 1/72 part, I suppose I should chip in!!
The ESCI kits are by far the best (The SHAR is currently available
from Italeri, and Heritage do a conversion to run it back to a GR1) -
there is some dispute about the GR1/3 nose section - reports of it
being lost whilst in the ownership of Ertl.
At the time I wrote the list, I said the Fujimi was second, I still
think shape wise it is, but the most recent Sea Harrier I got was a
pig to put together - it fitted where it touched.
The Hasegawa ones are nice, but not accurate. Well, some are nice! The
GR1/AV-8A is the original 60s mould they shared with Frog. the
GR3/FRS1 were released in 1983, the Sea Harrier has too short a nose,
and the GR3 has too long an LRMTS
Remove nospam to reply!!