1/48 Tamiya BAe Sea Harrier FRS.1 – Build Log

27th May 2014

And onto another of my favourite modelling moments, when you get to smear oily muddy wash all over your lovely paintwork…

Here she’s had a good dose of Flory Dark Dirt wash, I’ll leave that for an hour to totally dry before removing 99% of it with a moist paper towel.




After the wash had dried, most of it was removed and I’m really pleased with how the panel lines turned out. They don’t stick out like a sore thumb, but have taken enough wash to create a bit of contrast.

There’s also a bit of wash left on the surface to create some subtle highs and lows in the tone, this will be more evident after I seal it in with some clear coat.

As you can see the blue 006 side numbers and the wing roundels look a bit dayglo, next job is to turn down the wick on those colours!




Here we are after spraying heavily thinned Tamiya Flat Black over the side numbers and wing roundels. It should be just enough to tone them down so that they don’t look like something out of a Fisher-Price play set 😉




Next job was to give her a coat of Humbrol Matt Cote (the old style one you thin with white spirit, not the new acrylic based ones). As I always maintain, I love Humbrol Matt Cote for a flat finish, it goes dead flat and dries fairly quickly too.

The next stage of weathering is to use chalk pastel dust to add some streaking and general wear to the surfaces. Applying a flat coat here gives the chalk pastel dust something to grab onto.

Here you can see the flat coat with the chalk pastel dust applied here and there.

I did about 3 or 4 iterations of applying chalk pastels, sealing it in with Matt Coat and repeating. The clear coat heavily affects the way the chalk pastels look so by rinsing and repeating you can tune the weathering to your liking. On the ailerons I overdid the weathering, so on one pass I blew it over lightly with Dark Grey (X24) to knock it back a bit, then applied a flat coat to see how it looked.

One thing I find is that black chalk pastels work fine, but I always have trouble using the lighter grey ones. The light grey always seems to dissolve into the clear coat no matter how lightly I build it up, so although I used quite a bit of light grey shading here you won’t see it in the end result…




With the weathering mostly done it was time to get SHAR XZ451 back up to a glossy finish as she would have had in the Falklands.


Now for some unknown reason I nearly always find myself experimenting on a “live” build. Why I do it I do not know, but rather than testing on a bit of scrap I can’t help using some random new technique or product without testing it first. Here’s an example 😉

For the gloss coat I thought I’d give Humbrol Gloss Cote a try (again the turps or white spirit thinned one). The first two coats went on very smoothly but remained very flat and dull after drying. So in order to try and gloss things up a bit I decided to spray with a thicker mix using less white spirit. Oh dear. After trying this the SHAR got a dose of the dreaded Sandtex, the lovely smooth finish ended up like sandpaper. Time to put her to one side and go to bed.



Armed with fresh eyes and a clearer head, I gave the SHAR a good couple of coats of good ‘ol Klear in order to build up a decent level of protection on the surface for the forthcoming sanding session.

Once the Klear had dried I gave the surface a light sanding with Micromesh to get rid of the majority of the rough texture, once the surface was looking almost smooth I gave it another couple of coats of Klear to build up a layer thick enough to sand without worrying about sanding down to the paint.

With this final Klear coat dry she had a final sanding with varying grades of Micromesh  (4000 then 6000 then 8000). Finally I gave her a good going over with 12000 grit Micromesh and she’s starting to shine like an ’82 SHAR 😀



I’ve still got a few touch ups to do on the bodywork, but at this point I’m calling the paintwork pretty much done.


Next update: time to start working out where all the bits left in the box go 🙂


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I write this blog for fun, to share what I've learned, and to share my builds with you. If you like what you see here please leave a comment, and head over to facebook and like my page!

Cheers - Rich

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