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BAe Harrier GR.3

by Piero de Santis


BAe Harrier GR.3


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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 time:

  • Monogram’s AV-8A for the fuselage, wings, undercarriage, intakes, nozzles, airbrake, cannons pods, cockpit tube and canopy clear parts.

  • Airfix’s GR.3 kit was used for tail fin, RWR cone, pitot and drop tanks.

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.

Happy Modelling!



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Model, Text and Images Copyright © 2001 by Piero de Santis
Page Created 31 August, 2001
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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