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AV-8A Harrier USMC

Kinetic, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Item No. Kinetic Model Kits Item No. K48072 - AV-8A Harrier USMC
Contents and Media: 352 parts in grey plastic and 18 parts in clear; 36 photo-etched parts on one fret; markings for six aircraft.
Scale 1/48
Price: USD$43.99 plus shipping available online from Lucky Model
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: High quality moulding; nicely detailed; new wing, fuselage and detail 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:  
Recommendation:

This is another really nice Harrier from Kinetic, and easily the best AV-8A out there now. Kinetic's Harriers are well detailed, offer many useful options and alternative position parts, and provide a wealth of ordnance. Engineering appears straightforward and it should not be a difficult build. At only USD$43.99, I thinkit is a bargain too!

Reviewed by Brett Green

Introduction

 

The Hawker Siddeley Harrier is a British military aircraft. It was the first of the Harrier Jump Jet series of aircraft and was developed in the 1960s as the first operational ground attack and reconnaissance aircraft with vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) capabilities and the only truly successful V/STOL design of that era.

The Harrier was developed directly from the Hawker Siddeley Kestrel prototype aircraft, following the cancellation of a more advanced supersonic aircraft, the Hawker Siddeley P.1154. The RAF ordered the Harrier GR.1 and GR.3 variants in the late 1960s.

During the Harrier's service, the RAF positioned the bulk of aircraft in West Germany to defend against a potential invasion of Western Europe by the Warsaw Pact forces; the unique abilities of the Harrier allowed the RAF to disperse their forces away from vulnerable airbases.

 

 

It was exported to the United States as the AV-8A, for use by the US Marine Corps (USMC), in the 1970s.

The Marine Corps accepted its first AV-8A on January 6, 1971 at the Dunsfold Aerodrome, England and began testing it as NAS Pax River on January 26. The AV-8A entered service with the Marine Corps in 1971, replacing other aircraft in the Marines' attack squadrons.

Marines AV-8A/C Harriers suffered many accidents, with around 40 aircraft lost and some 30 pilots killed during the 1970s and 1980s.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Kinetic released their excellent 1/48 scale Sea Harrier FA2 in September 2014, followed by an equally good Sea Harrier FRS.1 in October 2015 then a two-seat trainer in 2017 and finally a Harrier GR.1/3 late last year.

Kinetic has now followed up with the logical next step - the AV-8A Harrier USMC.

Kinetic's 1/48 scale AV-8A Harrier USMC comprises around 352 parts in light grey plastic, 18 parts in clear and a photo-etched fret. Markings for six aircraft are included.

The new parts, also in common for last year's GR.1/3, are moulded onto a revised sprue. This includes the new fuselage halves, alternative noses and more.

 

  • Kinetic 1/48 Harrier GR.1/3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic 1/48 Harrier GR.1/3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic 1/48 Harrier GR.1/3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic 1/48 Harrier GR.1/3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic 1/48 Harrier GR.1/3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic 1/48 Harrier GR.1/3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic 1/48 Harrier GR.1/3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic 1/48 Harrier GR.1/3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic 1/48 Harrier GR.1/3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic 1/48 Harrier GR.1/3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic 1/48 Harrier GR.1/3 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Kinetic 1/48 Harrier GR.1/3 Review by Brett Green: Image
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The fuselage is presented as two main halves plus a separate alternative nose cones. The kit also includes the tall fin, the RWR fin and the original fin.

 

 

The wing boasts fine and sharp recessed panel lines, and a nice smooth surface. The old wing is included too, so make sure you use the right one!

 

 

In common with Kinetic's earlier Harriers, 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.

 

 

The 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. Photo-etched harness straps are also included.

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 photo-etched fret provides additional detail parts including scale thickness wing fences, slime lights and harness straps.

 

 

Of the 350-odd grey plastic parts, 140 are dedicated to ordnance.

 

 

You'll have plenty of additional weapons to add the spares box!


 

Markings

Decals are designed by Crossdelta and luxuriously printed by Cartograf.

Finishes are all in the green and grey disruptive camouflage scheme with four having hi-vis and two wearing low-vis stars and bars. Two of the subjects also have colourful rudder markings.

I also like that alternative national marking decals are supplied for the open blow-in doors.

 

 

Colour callouts are offered for AMMO Mig, Vallejo, Gunze-Sangyo acrylic, Tamiya and Humbrol paints.

l

 

Conclusion

 

This is another really nice Harrier from Kinetic, and easily the best AV-8A out there now.

Kinetic's Harriers are well detailed, offer many useful options and alternative position parts, and provide a wealth of ordnance.

Engineering appears straightforward and it should not be a difficult build.

At only USD$43.99, I thinkit is a bargain too!

Thanks to Lucky Model for the sample



Review Text and Images Copyright 2021 by Brett Green
Page Created 3 November, 2021
Last updated 4 November, 2021

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