Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

Sea Harrier FRS.1

Kinetic, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Item No. Kinetic Model Kits Item No. K48035 - Sea Harrier FRS.1
Contents and Media: 284 parts in grey plastic and 16 parts in clear; markings for 57 Royal Navy aircraft plus 32 from Indian NAS.
Scale 1/48
Price: USD$39.99 plus shipping available online from Lucky Model
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: High quality moulding; nicely detailed; new wing, fuselage and weapons sprues; recessed panel lines and rows of rivets; optional position flaps (extended or closed); straightforward parts breakdown; high quality decals designed by Crossdelta and printed by Cartograf.
Disadvantages: Some fine flash to clean up here and there.
Recommendation:

This is another really nice modern subject from Kinetic. It simply blows away the older Airfix and Tamiya Sea Harrier FRS.1 kits. Kinetic's all-new 1/48 scale SHAR is well detailed, offers many useful options and alternative position parts, and provides a wealth of ordnance. Engineering appears straightforward and it should not be a difficult build. Highly Recommended.

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com

 

Introduction

 

The British Aerospace Sea Harrier is a naval short take-off and vertical-landing/vertical take-off and landing jet fighter, reconnaissance and attack aircraft, a development of the Hawker Siddeley Harrier. It first entered service with the Royal Navy in April 1980 as the Sea Harrier FRS.1 and became informally known as the "Shar".

Unusual in an era in which most naval and land-based air superiority fighters were large and supersonic, the principal role of the subsonic Sea Harrier was to provide air defence of the fleet from Royal Navy aircraft carriers.

The Sea Harrier served in the Falklands War, both of the Gulf Wars, and the Balkans conflicts; on all occasions it mainly operated from aircraft carriers positioned within the conflict zone. Its usage in the Falklands War was its most high profile and important success, where it was the only fixed-wing fighter available to protect the British Task Force. The Sea Harriers shot down 20 enemy aircraft during the conflict with one lost to enemy ground fire. They were also used to launch ground attacks in the same manner as the Harriers operated by the Royal Air Force.

 

 

The Sea Harrier was marketed for sales abroad, but by 1983 India was the only operator other than Britain after sales to Argentina and Australia were unsuccessful. A second, updated version for the Royal Navy was made in 1993 as the Sea Harrier FA2, improving its air to air abilities and weapons compatibilities, along with a more powerful engine; this version continued manufacture until 1998.

The aircraft was withdrawn early from Royal Navy service in March 2006 and replaced in the short term by the Harrier GR9, now itself retired, although the intended long term replacement is Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II.

The Sea Harrier is in active use in the Indian Navy, although it will eventually be replaced by the Mikoyan MiG-29K. Although withdrawn from active Royal Navy service, Sea Harriers are used to train naval aircraft handlers at the Royal Navy School of Flight Deck Operations.*

 

 

FirstLook

 

Kinetic released their excellent 1/48 scale Sea Harrier FA2 in September 2014.

They have now followed up with its immediate predecessor, the Sea Harrier FRS.1

Both Tamiya and Airfix have offered Sea Harrier FRS.1 kits in the past, but the Tamiya is an old moulding that suffers from a number of serious accuracy problems and the Airfix kit, while dimensionally accurate, is a very basic kit with raised panel lines and some detail errors.

This new kit from Kinetic comprises 284 parts in light grey plastic, 16 parts in clear and a small photo-etched fret. Markings for all Royal Navy and Indian Navy Sea Harrier FRS.1s are are included.

 

 

Compared to the FA2, this kit features brand new fuselage, wing and weapons sprues. A number of the generic sprues are shared with the earlier release.

The fuselage is presented as two main halves plus a separate nose cone.

 

 

The old wing is included too, so make sure you use the right one! The new wing (pictured in the two images below) has an additional vortex generator on the upper surface.

 

 

In common with the Sea Harrier FA2, surface detail looks very nice, with recessed panel lines, vents and rivets over the airframe.

 

 

Moulding quality is high, with minimal ejector pin circles, seam lines or sink marks. There is only a little fine flash to clean up here and there.

Some of the moulding is really clever too, notably the one-piece nozzles. All four nozzles are connected by a rotating mechanism.

 

 

Cockpit detail is nice straight from the box, with raised detail on the side consoles and instrument panels; and excellent moulding on the sides of the ejector seat. You'll need to BYO harness straps though.

 

 

The canopy is split into windscreen and opening section. The latter features the prominent detonation chords moulded into the top.

 

 

The stressed metal effect on the nozzle blast shields looks great.

 

 

Optional parts are provided for open or closed auxiliary blow in doors; open or closed air brakes; and the control surfaces and flaps are all offered as separate parts, allowing them to be posed to taste. Landing gear doors may be fixed open or closed too.

The modest photo-etched fret provides additional detail parts including scale thickness wing fences.

 

 

Of the 284 grey plastic parts, 140 are dedicated to ordnance. There appear to be bombs and rocket pods that might relate to a possible RAF Harrier release in the future.

 

 

Relevant ordnance for the FRS.1 include AIM-120 AMRAAM, AIM-9L Sidewinder and Sea Eagle missiles plus pylons and tanks of various sizes.


 

Markings

Decals are designed by Crossdelta and luxuriously printed by Cartograf.

The model may be finished in any of the operational schemes - Extra Dark Sea Grey and White, overall Extra Dark Sea Grey, overall Dark Sea Grey and overall Medium Sea Grey.

The main camouflage variations are noted below, but thanks to the inclusion of a number jungle in various colours and sizes plus individual serial numbers, markings for all 57 Royal Navy aircraft plus 32 from the Indian NAS are actually included on the decal sheet.

  • Sea Harrier FRS.1s of 800 Naval Air Squadron based at RNAS Yeovilton and deployed on HMS Hermes, 1981 to March 1982.

  • Sea Harrier FRS.1s of 801 Naval Air Squadron based at RNAS Yeovilton and deployed on HMS Invincible, 1981 to March 1982.

  • Sea Harrier FRS.1s of 899 Naval Air Squadron based at RNAS Yeovilton, 1981 to March 1982.

  • Sea Harrier FRS.1s of HMS Hermes' Air Group, "Operation Corporate" - The Falklands/Malvinas War, Apr-Jun 1982.

  • Sea Harrier FRS.1s of HMS Invincible's Air Group, "Operation Corporate" - The Falklands/Malvinas War, Apr-Jun 1982.

  • Sea Harrier FRS.1 of 809 NAS on establishment / en route to the South Atlantic for "Operation Corporate", late Apr/mid May 1982.

  • Sea Harrier FRS.1 of ex-809 NAS as part of HMS Hermes' Air Group, "Operation Corporate", late May/mid Jun 1982.

  • Sea Harrier FRS.1 of ex-809 NAS as part of HMS Invincible's Air Group, "Operation Corporate", late May/mid Jun 1982.

  • Sea Harrier FRS.1 of 800 Naval Air Squadron, "Exercise Arctic Express", HMS Hermes, 1983.

  • Sea Harrier FRS.1 of 801 Naval Air Squadron, HMS Invincible, 1983.

  • Sea Harrier FRS.1 of 899 Naval Air Squadron, RNAS Yeovilton, 1988.

  • Sea Harrier FRS.1 of 809 NAS deployed to the South Atlantic with 809 NAS on board HMS Illustrious, 1982

  • Sea Harrier FRS.51s of 300 Indian Naval Air Squadron, 1983

  • Sea Harrier FRS.51s of 300 Indian Naval Air Squadron, 2005

 

 

Colour callouts are offered for Vallejo and GSI Creos (I believe this is Gunze-Sangyo acrylic) paints.

 

 

Conclusion

 

This is a very nice follow up to last year's Sea Harrier FA2 from Kinetic. It is now easily the best 1/48 scale Sea Harrier FRS.1 on the market today.

Kinetic's new 1/48 scale SHAR is well detailed, offers many useful options and alternative position parts, and provides a wealth of ordnance. Engineering is similar to the FA2, and I found that to be a straightforward and enorable build. This should offer a similar experience.

* Historical information from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Aerospace_Sea_Harrier

Thanks to Lucky Model for the sample



Review Text and Images Copyright 2015 by Brett Green
Page Created 16 October, 2015
Last updated 16 October, 2015

Back to HyperScale Main Page

Back to Reviews Page