Welcome to Cold War Gamer, a blog I am using to record my Cold War wargaming projects. These range from fictitious Cold War hot projects to historical conflicts that took place around the globe throughout the Cold War era, all modelled and gamed in 20mm. The blog includes links to various resources useful to the Cold War Gamer.

My current projects include: Central Front; British & Soviet. South African Border War; Angolans and South Africans. Soviet Afghan War; Soviets and Afghans

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Review - Models 1/72, Airfix Harrier GR3

The Harrier is another of those Cold War design icons a bit like the BMP. The Harrier's role in RAF Germany was to provide Close Air Support to 1 BR Corps and it did this from dispersed hides in the German country sides making it relatively immune from the predictable Soviet onslaught onto the NATO airfields. The Aircraft was designed in the 50s and the GR1 entered service in 1969 with the modeled version, the GR 3, entering Service in the mid 70s with an uprated engine and the addition of automated tracking and target lock on through laser designation both on and off board.

At £13.95 it's not the cheapest representation of this platform, but it is readily available. Other options include Hasegawa, Italeri and Matchbox check out Scalemates for a fuller list. There are a variety of after market accessories provided for the older kits although I have yet to find anything specific for this platform. The kit is supplied with decals for two aircraft based on Number 1 Squadron in UK supporting UKLF and Number 4 Squadron in Germany supporting 1 BR Corps.

I fancied doing mine as a 3 Squadron aircraft and managed to get hold of a set of their 2012 centenary celebration decal set. 3 Squadron operated the GR 3 from March 1977 - March 1989. The decal set is superb it not only includes the squadron markings but all the roundels as well, with the kit supplied markings and some thought you could probably press out 2 - 4 Harriers. In addition 8 Colour A4 sheets show how to mark up the many aircraft that the markings are supplied for. If you do WW2, Cold War and Modern Brits you would get a lot of use out of this set, very useful.

The model is a much uprated and retooled version of the original Airfix GR 3, crisply molded and very straight forward to assemble, with an excellent solution to the wheels up wargamer option and a variety of alternate parts, these are the source of my only complaint. I think the kit can pretty much be assembled as a GR1 or GR3, I say I think because there is nothing that tells you. Equally their are two settings for the airflow control ducts at the back of the air intake but nothing to tell you when these would be open or shut. Minor grips really for what is an excellent kit.

My final point is common to a range of aircraft kits and manufacturers, why are aircraft which have a primary role of Close Air Support and or Battlefield Air Interdiction, always supplied with a pair of drop tanks and some sidewinder missiles and only a single option for munitions more appropriate to Close Air Support (CAS) or Battlefield Air Interdiction (BAI). The Harrier had 5 hard points and could deploy a number of the following items of ordnance:
After market munitions options are provided by a range of manufacturers including Hasegawa which offer a selection of US ordnance that was also used by the UK including the laser guided pave II systems. However I quite fancied the BL 755 CBU which was included in the Airfix RAF/NATO Weapons kit along with versions of Laser Guided Munitions, the kit was released in 1992 and is OOP but occasionally pops up on eBay.

I wanted to represent an aircraft from the mid to lates 80's from Germany so have used Tamiya XF-24 as a representation of BS 638 Medium Sea Grey and Tamiya XF-27 to represent BS 641 Dark Green.  Decals used were from the kit with selected items from the aftermarket decals set for No 3 Squadron. The aircraft was airbrushed using Tamyai XF-24 over a preshade of black. The disruptive pattern was added using Tamyai XF-27, the Canopy exhausts and jet nozzles were completed using, Vajello Black Grey.  As ever they are mounted on CorSec engineering flight stands, which I have a plentiful supply of, so I am just buying the mounting pegs now @ $0.55 a shot, which is both cost and time effective.

Nice Kit 


Brit Modeller Harrier GR1 very similar kit quality

No comments:

Post a Comment