Airfix 1/24 Harrier GR3 [Part 5]

Part 5 concludes this 5 parter and some further observations on the entire build will be included in summary.

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SURFACE PREPARATION AND BASE PAINTING

The entire fuselage was completed and most seams and joins checked, puttied and sanded down. There will be a few panel lines that needed rescribing and a short lenght oy Dymo tape will come in handy. I had to redo some of the fasteners/rivet filling as the tape was a little too tacky and managed to rip off some.

Overall, the entire surface was then primed with Gunze Black and top coated entirely in Gunze colours equivalent to the Humbrol range. The black served as a good overall primer to receive the paint and allows for some preshading tones. Decals proceeded after a good coat of Futures was airbrushed over and left to dry overnight.

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DECALS

Airfix's decals suffered from a bad case of unaligned registry. Some handpainting was done to salvage the defect where possible but quite a good portion of the stencils in red was beyond repair. I found the decalling experience a bit frustrating during the application as the decals tend to fold under itself at the corners resulting in a bit of time wasted to unravel them. That said, they react well to Gunze setting solution and mark softener to show all the surface decals especially at the roundels.

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A bit of bent brass wire was profiled, painted and added on to represent the det cord on the canopy

FINAL WEATHERING AND FINISHING

After the decals were relatively dry enought, another layer of Futures was applied on before controlled pin washes of Oil paint in turpentine was brushed on and streaked either in the direction of airflow or under the effects of gravity. I varied the tone of the panel wash between Burnt umber and lamp black. In between the pin washes, occasional coats of futures was reapplied and also some filters were airbrushed over the entire surfave to either denote weathering fading or the effects of rain stain. This was done with either lighter shades of the fuselage colours and also variation with matt or gloss varnishes as the matt varnish has a tendency to decrease the hue intensity of the colours.

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The last few pictures were the final photgraphs taken before additional wiring and hoses were added to the engine area. This concludes the build log and I have since moved on to plan a diorama for this bird.

I will reccomend this kit to all Harrier fans. It has a great size and serves as a good platform to superdetail if you have the patience to do so. Definitely not one for the fainthearted and those who are put off by inaccurate details. The entire build took more than 3 months from the word go and though frustrating at times, its a joy to behold in the display cabinet. One more FRS1 to go!

Photo and text by Loo Chee Keong