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Gene

AV-8A : FINISHED

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Now with a nice brass ring to use as a pattern, it occurred to me to apply strip styrene against the interior. The butt ends were liquid glued to give a continuous styrene ring. With the pattern and part still together, the ring was glued to the wheel surface (again with liquid styrene glue). When dry, the brass ring was lifted off leaving a nice round rim that could be further sanded down thin just proud of the surface giving a nice paint guide and representation of a wheel rim.

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Main landing gear info is scant and what lurks beneath the wheels is a mystery to me. One very basic side view drawing I've seen seems to indicate the double scissor link in the Revell kit is pure imagination (or perhaps one of those copyright infringement indicators Revell was so famous for). So in the end I'll give it my best 'wag' and move on - time's running out!

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Ha, I really am enjoying watching this. That landing gear came on a treat!

 

I always thought that the Harrier despite its almost unique capabilities has been almost entirely overlooked.

 

Nice work and what a subject. ;)

 

Ian :)

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Thanks again Ian! It has been a revelation to me to see how this kit responds to a few tweaks here and there; as I once read in a very old review, the basic forms are there and with a bit of modeling it seems to come alive like a seed sprouting.

Also agree with you, the Harrier seems to be a bit overlooked as a model and as a significant fighter aircraft configuration. The significance of being able to take off and land on a tennis court and then go nearly sonic with a payload and then evade attack with 'viffing' techniques seems to have escaped inclusion in modern jet fighter design (and the follow-on design was to be Mach 2 capable). There is some Vertical Landing being incorporated, but they don't appear to have the Harrier's viffing capability. Imagine those capabilities in an UCAV where human G-loading is of no matter - they would 'fly like a butterfly and sting like a mad hornet' - to paraphrase a famous boxer! In short, yes, I feel the Harrier is nearly as significant to combat aircraft capabilities as the Wright Flyer was to flight!

Anyway - back to the task at hand. There seems to be a large tube between the aileron and flap, so that was accomplished with a piece of thin wall stainless steel tube and then the flaps have been cut to be posed dropped as for take-off.

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A few more minor details to the wing. The outrigger housing also contains the wing's Reaction Control Valves (RCV) to provide attitude adjustments when in the hover mode. They occur on the top and the bottom of the housing. All the views I have of this area are just glancing shots without any real useful detail, so again, they are just my best guess. Also added where some wing root lights so well illustrated in Pete's earlier photos. They must have been an AV-8 mod appearing later in its career; it is not difficult to find '8As with and without the light. It was a fun detail to add.

So finally I ran out of useful 'detached wing' work and was able to attach the wings to the fuselage. I better make sure the air tank is charged - I sense it will be coming out very soon now!

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Yes! Just about ready to do some serious painting, but there are still a few details to finish up. Each end needed to be closed up with some minor enhancements on each.

The screen just aft of the tail's RCV is an odd piece of miniature expanded metal screen that I found in my junk pile and have no idea where to get more. It was nice to use in the Waldron punch because the ends did not wiggle loose as a woven wire screen would.

The AV-8A inherited the side-shooting nose camera of the GR.1. It always appeared to me to be an awkward application, but there it is (it was dropped from the AV-8B and from the '8As that were converted to '8Cs). The nose pitot was made up of telescoping stainless steel tube. Now it is time to get on with the canopy!

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Crikey Moses...I love all the tweaking you've done on this. Who would have thought you could make a damned fine Harrier out of that old kit. Great stuff...Haggo would be proud :)

 

Cheers Matty

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Thanks Matt! Some dogs don't respond well to a little training, but this one seems to respond!

Works proceeds on the scratchbuilt canopy, but no joy yet! Been trying to fabricate a new, but it is an ordeal, etc.

So in the mean time I'd diverted to embellish the Arden gun pods. The original intention was to work them over and then mount after the belly was painted. All the trial fitting seemed to indicate this would be okay, but alas, one last trial fit showed that there would be some filling required after all. Thought it best to go ahead and mount them now.

Canopy is still waiting----

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The kit canopy mics at 0.05" average or in 1:32 scale, 1.6 inches. It also has some distortion and the frames are molded in, but subtle. Also molded in and maybe a bit too subtle is the windshield wiper. It is tempting to use the kit canopy, but since I want to display the canopy closed, the interior detail will be difficult to view with out doing some canopy rework.

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With the intention of using Squadron's Clear Thermoform 9003, a Plaster-of-Paris cast was taken of the interior of the kit canopy. After drying, shaping and sealing the plaster cast with Future, I 'smashed' the first canopy over the plaster plug, trimmed it and white glued it to the plug. This was done to compensate for some of the 'trimmed' thickness resulting from using the interior surface to create the pattern.

I was anticipating the next pull (okay, smash, I don't have a vac) would bring the canopy surface up to norm. (Pulling down over an exterior mold impression would leave me with a oversize canopy that would be very difficult to trim to fit). After 5 attempts (that is, destroying 5 sheets), I finally got one that was acceptable, not perfect, but acceptable enough to continue - also I had used up all the sheets in the package!

The new canopy appears to have an average thickness of 0.015" or 0.48" in 1:32. Half-inch thick Plexi might be closer to appropriate and on the model it certainly lets in more light and makes it easier to see into the cockpit.

Now on to add framing and details and the 'Future'---

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In an attempt to apply an 'explosive chord' to the canopy, I messed-up the canopy's finish and had to strip its Future coat to begin all over. In the meantime the inboard pylons and fuel drop tanks were modified to resemble the ones frequently found in USMC photo refs.

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In my impatience, I originally tried to simply fold a wire and attach to the interior of the canopy with Future. This would have worked if I had perfectly bent the wire to follow the contours of the canopy. It is amazing how much spring there is in a very tiny wire!

Then the thought occurred while recoating the cleaned up canopy that the old plaster pattern with its first layer of clear canopy could be used to put some real pressure onto forming the wire to the canopy's contours. It worked well enough to get pretty good surface contact all around the wire and for the Future to wick and join wire to canopy. The wire gauge is a bit too thick and should be flat, but that's going to have to be another time and another project! I'm too far behind as it is.

Good news, the model in now in the paint process with some belly color applied! Yahoo!

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Thanks Pete, much appreciated and special thanks for the pics you have posted!

Finally got a good paint session in. The camo colors called out in the AV-8 Harrier (Aerophile Extra Number 1) by James Wogstad & Jay Miller for the bottom was FS 36440 Light Grey, and for the top surface camo pattern of FS 36118 Dark Sea Grey and FS 34079 Dark Green.

First painted was the underside camo color using Model Master 1730 FS 36440 Light Gull Grey. Next the topside was started with a base of Model Master 1741 FS 36320 Dark Ghost Grey and then oversprayed in a semi-blotchy fashion the camo grey of Model Master 1723 FS 36118 Gunship Grey ( out of the bottle, the FS 36118 was just too dark). Paint names change, but the FS references matched-up.

A thin card pattern was used for the camo transition. It was held roughly an eighth of an inch off the surface to help in establishing a 'fuzzy' transition. The final color being Model Master 1710 FS 34079 Dark Green.

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