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Gary Brantley
44 articles

...from 1989, Monogram McDonnell-Douglas AV-8B Harrier II

November 16, 2021 · in Aviation · · 14 · 1.7K

The F-102 is my most recent finished model and when it went to the airport, it was accompanied by another photo-virgin, this AV-8B Harrier II. Done in Marine markings, she was built during the spring of 1989. It was the fourth model I completed after returning to the hobby. By that point, I had learned that a gloss finish was required for decals, and a flat for a final coat. At the time, I had an hour off for lunch each day and one day after wolfing down a sandwich, I proceeded to finish-coat the model. I was using Testors Glosscoat and Dullcoat lacquers back then, in the little spray cans. In my hurry to finish the model, I laid on the Dullcoat much too heavily and it melted small divots into the enamel paint. Arggghhhh! And then there was nothing I could do about it then. ?

Over the many years since, I had never taken a single image of the Harrier. I remember modifying the rear exhaust nozzles so that they could be rotated down just like the two front nozzles. The rear main landing gear, when installed per directions, results in not touching the ground by a slight amount. That point, along with the botched paint job, kept her away from a camera lens all this time. As far those LG, we'll just say the pilot is preparing to take off. ?
Now however, I find that its not that bad, and I wanted to see how it would look at the airport. Hence these pics! ?

Thanks for stopping in and taking a look at my work from back in 1989! Hey, didya spot the upside-down star? ?

Reader reactions:
8  Awesome

14 additional images. Click to enlarge.

14 responses

  1. Good memories - I also built this old Monogram kit my first year back into the hobby! Looks nice with all that natural light on it.

  2. Love the photos, Gary@garybrantley, especially #13-15. At first I thought it was a real Harrier. You get great results from your photo shoots at your local airport. If you hadn’t pointed out the goof ups, I would have never noticed as the plane looks fine to me. Kudos on the emojis too.

  3. Turned out really great, Gary!
    The Harrier/AV-8 is such a cool looking plane and I find the US markings suiting it a lot!
    Great job on this!

  4. To me it looks great, Gary @garybrantley
    Since the nozzles are facing down, your remark stands. Just the beginning of a take off.
    Although it is barely noticeable.
    Nice job.

  5. @gkittinger, @eb801, @fiveten, and @johnb ...thank you gentlemen for the wonderful comments! ? Back in the late '80s, my son Carson and I went to an airshow in Waco, Texas. One of the featured attractions was a Marine Harrier, almost just like this model. We were among a group of spectators standing quite near when the pilot spooled up that engine. Man, oh man, what a shrill, loud whine it emitted! I'm "recalling" that sound now when I look at this model...about to take off! ?

  6. Nice build! They really are loud!

  7. Great shot, your Harrier looks great outside! I had to look twice for the upside down insignia...?

  8. That looks great, Gary. Well preserved too!

  9. Nicely done Gary, even with the minor hiccups she looks good. I've seen the Harrier demonstrated several times over the years and according to my wife it's her favorite A/C to watch. She always calls it a Hawker Harry, oh well, at least she enjoys the shows.

  10. @v1pro, @ssgt, @j-healy, and @tom-bebout ...Thanks for your kind comments guys! The old Harrier (Harry? ? ) did photograph much better than I expected. Having lived with her and her faults for all these years, I can't not see them, but they don't look as bad as expected. Apparently, I "free handed" the canopy paint from the looks of it, and forgot about any inside color on that part! Learn and live! ?

    I should have taken pics of her years ago. Lesson learned-I still have a Monogram P-51D (from 1989-90) and an Apache helo (from early '90s) that have never been photographed either. 'Bout time they got some love too! ?

  11. Gary, @garybrantley
    These are some fantastic pictures, and I didn't notice the upside down star right away, until you had mentioned it, then I had to go look for it. Ditto for the main gear wheels. (just sayin 😉 )

    I don't think I have any models from back in 1989, as I didn't return to the hobby until sometime around 1995 or so. I quit building in 1983 when I started wearing Army Green for Uncle Sam. Man the time has sure flown by. Where did it go ?

    Each time I see a model of a Harrier, I remember the very first time I saw one fly at an airshow down in Titusville sometime in the late 1970's or very early 80's. The USMC pilot put on a great show, and at the end of his routine, he made the plane "bow" to the crowd. I thought that was the coolest thing ever, to watch a plane take off vertically and then transition into level flight. The Marine pilot had to have upset the airport grounds maintenance crews, because he hovered the jet over a grass portion of the field, and promptly blew away a LOT of the turf. It reminded me of a scene of the tornado in the Wizard of Oz, only my ex wife didn't show up looking for the ruby slippers..

    I still have this Monogram 1/48 jump jet in the stash. One of these days. I'll drag it out and get it underway. Thanks for sharing this one with us. I definitely pressed the "like" button. Your pictures always look so cool, having an actual airport as a photo shoot background is the ticket.

    This model you built a long time ago looks good to me. I'd be proud to have it on display in my collection as is. You did a great job with her...

    • @lgardner Hey Louis, thanks so much for your comments! And, for the good chuckle from the ruby slippers quip! I too recall that the Marine pilot whom we saw in Waco made the aircraft bow after his demonstration. Must've been standard procedure for air shows. I would love to see you build your Monogram Harrier kit Louis. Get that thing out and go to town man! ? And yes, you're so right, having access to the airport is a wonderful advantage for me. I hope that lasts as long as I do...?

      So, thanks again; I really appreciate the support and encouragement. It helps get me back to the bench! ?

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