iModeler Review: 1/72 Airfix Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR1
Airfix continues the march of turning out industry-standard kits that are economically sound, providing the modeler with the most enjoyment for their hard-earned money. Their most recent release is the Hawker-Siddeley Harrier GR.1.
Presented in the now-typical red box with lovely boxart, the kit is on four grey sprues and one clear sprue. Marking options are provided for two aircraft, with full-color profiles for each included in the instructions:
• Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.1 XV748, No.1 (F) Squadron, Royal Air Force, England, September 1970.
• Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.1 XV785, No.20 ® Squadron, Royal Air Force, Germany, June 1971.
Extensive stenciling is included on the Cartograf decal sheet, which appears to be in perfect register. The clear parts did not have any apparent flaws in my sample.
The cockpit is comprised of a two-part tub, a four-part Martin Baker Mk.9 ejector seat, a control column, instrument panel and gun sight/HUD. The fuselage sidewalls have nice, raised details. The gear bays are all very nicely detailed as well. The main gear and airbrake bays are molded as a single part.
The wings are comprised of a single upper span and separate port and starboard lower spans. The flaps and ailerons are molded in place, albeit as part of the lower wing. Fuselage detail is a combination of recessed and raised connotations, with the recessed lines being much less trench-like than many of Airfix’s earlier offerings. In fact, the panel lines seem to be the most refined on this kit, than any of the “new” Airfix kits.
One issue with past Harrier kits has been how to depict the auxiliary engine-intake doors. With the engine shut down, they fall open under gravity but those at the top of the intake fall at a steeper angle than the lower ones - which are essentially closed. Airfix have supplied two sets of intake doors - one molded to depict the engine under power and the other to depict the engine shut down. The jet exhaust nozzles are molded in two parts, in a manner which should allow for easy clean up.
The landing gear are all very nicely detailed for a subject in this scale. An oil wash will bring the detail to life. The wheels all have slight bulges and flat spots molded into them. I think the pictures speak for themselves. Separate outriggers are provided in case you wish to finish the model with the wheels up.
Included ordinance is as follows:
• Four pylons
• Drop tanks
• Matra rocket pods
• 30mm ADEN cannon pods
Another improvement over previous releases is the size of the sprue-gates; the attachment point of each part to the tree. This kit demonstrates much smaller, less “clunky” sprue gates, which is welcome. Particularly with some of the smaller, more delicate parts, this improvement will lessen the chance of damage during parts removal.
All in all, I think that this release is the most refined 1/72 kit that Airfix has released since being taken over by Hornby.
• Much more refined panel lines.
• Options for intake doors.
• Bulged, flattened wheels.
• Sprue gates are more delicate than previous releases.
• Overall detail of kit is excellent.
• Cartograf decals
• Decal instrument panel.
• Only two markings options provided for.
• There is a trace amount of flash present on many of the parts, which should clean up easily.
My thanks to iModeler for the review sample.
23 additional images. Click to enlarge.