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

29th May 2014

Things are really motoring along with the SHAR build now, and I’m really happy with the speed things are now progressing…






Right up until the point where I found these lurking in the parts box…

















Yes, The nozzles…

As is the way with this kit, they will form the basis of a set of nozzles…


The Harrier has four nozzles, the front two are known as cold nozzles because they get fed with cooler air from the front stages of the Pegasus engine. The rear nozzles are known as hot nozzles, funnily enough because they get the hot exhaust gases from the final stage of the engine.


I’m going to start with the hot nozzles…


Here’s one of the hot nozzles dry fitted together. I considered gluing in some styrene shims to close up the gaps, but reckon I can just linish the halves down so that they join better.



As you can see there is a locating peg inside the nozzle that I presume is used to help locate the nozzle on the rotating pins of the engine outlets.

Since I removed the rotating element from the engine I wont be needing that feature so the pin can go, along with the inside wall of the nozzle.




Here the two halves have had the inside face removed, and the vanes have been opened up a bit.

The intention here is to open up the vanes enough that I can get a flat needle file in between them after the halves have been glued together.




Linishing a nozzle. Just a case of gently rubbing the nozzle back and forth on the sanding stick until the mating face of it is flat and smooth…




After opening up the gaps between vanes and a good linishing the two halves are glued and left overnight to go totally hard.




Now onto the cold nozzles. These are particularly horrid – the lower vane doesn’t even have a gap at the bottom and is moulded into the rest of the nozzle…




The cold nozzles are a slightly different affair to the hot ones.

On the  left is the unworked half, and on the right is one that I have opened up.

The opening up was done with a combination of scalpel, 1mm plastic chisel, razor saw and small flat needle file.

You can see evidence of the razor saw on the right hand side where I went through the back of the nozzle. Not to worry, this won’t be seen when installed.




The main thing at this stage is to make sure that once the halves are glued together I can still get the needle file between the vanes to hone them down.





One of the cold nozzles glued and pegged…





Something I found handy when working these parts was to put them on a bed of white tack. This stops them skidding all over the cutting mat when you’re trying to fettle them.




With the glue completely set it’s time to start honing the nozzles into shape.

Here is are the hot nozzles, on the left is the before and on the right is the after.

Still work to do on the right hand one but looking much better than the original.

The vanes were thinned by taking meat off the edge at the exit of the nozzle, the rear edge being left thick. This is to give the illusion of thin-ness. If I tried to file the vanes to be the same thin-ness all over I’m sure they’d break.




Here you can see that inside a finished nozzle the vanes are still quite thick on the inside.




It was much the same for the cold nozzles, just a case of filing, scraping and sanding.

The cold nozzles are difficult to fit into the fuselage, so as you can see on the right hand side one I chamfered the edge to allow them to be easily installed. The chamfered edge is hidden when the nozzles are fitted.





And finally after about 4 evenings of scraping around, the finished nozzles looking a great deal better than standard.




And once again onto some paint 🙂

Here the heat shields and hot nozzles have been given a coat of Mr Metal Color Buffable Metalizer. A base coat of Iron with the darker colour you can see being Dark Iron.

The cold nozzles will be done separately as they are painted in the fuselage colour…




Next stage a bit of makeup from the Tamiya Weathering Master kit (burnt blue and burnt red).




The heat shields still didn’t look quite right so I free-handed some Tamiya Nato Brown (XF-67) over them to give them that browny rusty look the heatshields seem to have.





The starboard heat shield installed.

I used PVA glue for this, Phil mentioned using PVA for attaching weapons and it makes perfect sense to use it anywhere you need to bond paint to paint.




And finally for this update here’s the nozzles and heat shields installed…


I decided to fit the nozzles at a 30 degree angle to add a bit of drama to the look of the model. Straight back they looked a bit boring and angled fully down they looked a bit odd.



Next update – undercarriage and weapons 😀

Thanks for visiting!

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *