BAe Harrier GR.3
Piero de Santis
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Here is a BAe Harrier GR.Mk.3 (serial XV778 code 16) from 1 Squadron,
Royal Air Force based at Wittering, during a deployment in Norway for a
NATO winter exercise in the 1988.
This aircraft was also used earlier in the Falklands War. All RAF GR.3s
were fitted with a transponder under the nose. Very importantly, this
particular aircraft was also fitted with the “Blue Eric” ECM package in
place of an Aden gun pod.
RAF Harriers have been Artic warriors for many years. They have
fulfilled the role of simulating close-air-support against a
“Soviet-block” invasion of the Baltic region. This type of mission
involved air-to-air refuelling missions.
The Harrier GR.3 subject in 1/48th scale (and the SHAR
illustrated in a my previous article) is not well covered by the
model-market, so I decided to use the same construction process this
Monogram’s AV-8A for the fuselage, wings,
undercarriage, intakes, nozzles, airbrake, cannons pods, cockpit tube
and canopy clear parts.
Furthermore, I decided to use the LRMTS resin nose
included in the Missing Links conversion set: this piece has a better
shape than Airfix’s, and included the transponder bulge.
SNEB rocket pods were borrowed from Heller’s Etendard and the CLBS pod
under the belly is from Flightpath’s SHAR detail set. I add the IFRP.
The Harrier GR.3 used a Martin Baker Mk.9 ejection seat. I saw many
suggestions about the availability of this seat in 1/48 scale. Usually
the wording is something like this – “Paragon, Xtraparts, Noemega and
other provides a Mk.9…”.However, beware! This version of the Mk.9 seat
is only applicable for the Jaguar GR.1/3. RAF Harrier GR.1/3s were
fitted with a Mk.9 seat having a completely different headrest cushion.
I took the appropriate head-cushion from an Airwaves Mk.9 metal seat,
and I fitted it to a resin Paragon Mk.9. I then added some tubes and
tags. Finally, this is an accurate Harrier GR.3 ejection seat!
Instrument panels, wing fences, antennas and other small details came
from Airvawes’s etched sheet for the Harrier GR.3.
I rescribed all the panels and rivets on the model.
I decided to install the Rolls Royce Pegasus engine. I took one from the
Tamiya Sea Harrier. I built the interior vanes , the access panels and
detailed all the engine. In the end it looked great!
In early service, the RAF Harrier GR.3s were finished in
Dark Green, Dark Sea Grey and Light Aircraft Grey. At the end of 1970s
Dark Green and Dark Sea Grey were used in a new wraparound scheme.
The RAF deployed in Norway were painted with “washable-white” over Dark
Green or, as an alternative, over Dark Sea Grey.
I used Humbrol-164 Dark Sea Grey enamel over the entire model, then
masked the model and sprayed Humbrol-33 Flat White. Black-ink was used
for the panel lines.
Many photos show that the white paint was usually very dirty. The white
also frequently flaked off in patches, revealing the original camouflage
underneath. I duplicated this effect on the model.
Decals are from Airfix’s GR.3 kit and the spares box.
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Model, Text and Images Copyright ©
2001 by Piero de Santis
Page Created 31 August, 2001
04 June, 2007
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