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

19th March 2014

The first bit of this build has so far revolved around trying to work out how to approach it. Because of the general naffness of the kit it has been tricky to know where to start.

To take my mind off the problems I was going to face I decided to build the wings…


Ok, maybe “build” is a bit of a grand term – “stick them together” would be more accurate.

In any case I have to apologise for the poor state of my pegs, I didn’t realise how un-photogenic they were 😉 One is rusty and another is snapped in half. I must nip down to Poundland and get some show-biz grade pegs.



With the excitement of gluing the wings fading into just a distant memory it was back onto dry fitting the parts to work out a way forward with the build.

The kit comes with a removable panel on the top of the fuselage that you can remove to see the engine. Two problems here, first the panel is a terrible fit – not only with gaps around the edges, but also it doesn’t sit flush with the fuselage, and the other problem is that the engine isn’t worth seeing. Ok, the engine could be tarted up with some wiring and scratch building but I’m aiming to build this OOB so I don’t have that luxury.

Decision made – the panel is going to be glued in place and blended in.



Next up, some work on the part of the engine that will show. I’m starting to think that this kit is actually a re-box of a Fisher-Price model – just look at the locating lugs for the engine intake!

There’s no way they are going to survive it to the end, they soon fell to the Mighty Exacto.



And here we are lug-less and polished…




I gave the engine a coat of Mr Metal Color MC213 buffable Stainless Steel. The wheel wells of the fuselage and the intake got a coat of Humbrol 196 Light Grey enamel. The humbrol enamel is called Light Gray but it’s more like Dirty White. The intakes are supposed to be white but I went for a slightly duller shade because I’m going to be doing the body quite dark and I don’t want the intakes to shine like Bon-Jovi’s teeth…




I gave the fan an ink wash and left it to dry…



Once the ink wash had dried I decided that I didn’t actually like the Stainless Steel finish, it looked a bit to bright and not like fan metal (Titanium I guess?)…

Time for a U-turn so the fan blades were painted Tamiya flat black XF-1.



With Mr Metal Color you don’t need to prime in black (or any other colour) before you use it, the reason I chose black was that I had a cunning plan for painting the fan blades.

My cunning plan was that I would spray the fan blades matt black, and then shoot Mr Metal Color Iron MC212 over the blades at an angle so as to leave the front vertical face of the blades black…

As you can see in the photo below this was what my 8 year old would tactfully term as an “Epic fail”, and the blades ended up Iron coloured on every face. I put this down to the fact that the buffable metalizers travel absolute miles and stick to anything within a 5 mile radius. I reckon the paint vortexed over the blades and stuck to the face of the blades as it flew past.

Never mind, the colour is far better and a bit of ink wash will give it a bit of contrast 🙂



Time to dirty up the air intake – I want this SHAR to look like it’s been in the wars…



Maybe a little bit grubbier than I’d anticipated, but I’m happy with the effect… By the way, I gave the intake a coat of Humbrol Satin Cote to seal it in and give it a bit of a sheen.

The metalizer is being left bare and uncoated. One thing I’ve found with buffable metalizer if that if you’re not decaling over it, and you’re unlikely to touch it just leave it uncoated and it will look 10 times better than if you clear coat it.



Ok, onto the cockpit the detail here is mainly noticeable by its absence… There is a control column to add to the mix, but it’s not really going to turn around the fortunes of the cockpit.



I masked off the wheel wells which have already been painted and gave the cockpit a coat of flat black XF-1 with a bit of pre-shading in the area that will be above the console.



Then a bit of Tamiya XF-53 Neutral Grey over the black to achieve the desired cockpit colour…



In the following shot you can see I’ve got the engine fitted… The air intake is CA glued onto the engine so that it stands about 0.5mm away from the engine to create a small gap (and add a bit of interest to it). In the photo you can see the white blobs of PVA glue also holding the intake on. I’m paranoid that one of these days something I CA glued will crack off, so I usually back it up with a bit of PVA to absorb any shocks and knocks…

Also you can see that the nozzle locating lugs on the side of the engine have gone! I winkled out the linkage that connects the nozzle axles and binned it, the nozzle lugs cut off and CA glued in place to stop them rattling…



And finally for this update I masked off a horizontal line where the top of the consoles go and sprayed a good thick coat of neat XF-1 below this point.

The tub is dry fitted in the picture below, the black paint is there to totally dull down what is below the tub so that hopefully when Sharkey is installed and the canopy is on you won’t see anything below the “interesting” bit…


Next update – finishing the cockpit and closing up the fuselage…

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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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