While wrestling with the Tamiya 1:72 Sky Ray’s decals and my inability to apply rudimentary paint schemes, the second Airfix 1:72 Harrier kit arrived on my doorstep. It is the AV-8A version which I plan to do in the Spanish Armada scheme. Although I had begun preparing the Meng British Mk.V Male tank kit for construction, labeling and sorting all of the sprues for more handy access, I set it beside my bench and broke into the Airfix kit, recalling the fun time I had with the previous one. Not only is it turning out to be basic fun modeling, I feel a bit of affection for it since I made friends with the first one.

The Sky Ray is almost finished. I put all the decals on and applied a matte finish overall. It lacks only the landing gear which is near completion. I will have it finished this weekend. For a gaudy paint job, it looks pretty 60s outrageous. Anti-camo.

One aspect of the Airfix kit that I particularly like is the quality, color and workability of the plastic. It is hard enough to hold tough under modifications and  general building assaults but is soft enough to be easily cut, grooved and sanded. And, I like the off-white grayish color under my bright desk lights. As one of the Vagabonders pointed out Airfix is an outstanding modeling value. The kits are awfully or generally (depending on when they were produced I guess) good, with good fit, good details and shape, and at under $20 USD for the smaller ones, excellent values for your modeling buck. I’m currently looking seriously at their 1:72 B17G with ground support equipment. For around $50 USD you get an outstanding and detailed B17G along with four other models. By making a suitable hard stand, one could have many enjoyable modeling hours and produce a fine, classic WWII scene. I would likely find some 1:72 scale WWII figures to populate it, but in any event, that kit has moved up on my want list.

So far I haven’t touched the airbrush while modeling the Harrier. I seem to enjoy brush painting, especially in the smaller areas and subassemblies. I’m learning to put many parts together and paint the details afterwards. It is working out pretty well. As I did with the first Harrier kit, I filled the wing to fuselage gaps with stretched sprue taken from the kit’s trees, glued in and softened with Tamiya Extra Thin. Slicing the standing proud parts with a new scalpel blade then using progressively finer sanding sticks the gaps have mostly gone. There is little that is quick or easy when dealing with seams and gaps. 

Now, I will be moving on to attaching more parts as I approach canopy masking and doing the overall paint scheme of white and light gray. I’m going rather slowly, taking my time, doing things mostly right, enjoying the experience of just plain modeling. I did make rudimentary seat belts with small strips of soft foil from an old scalpel blade package, but that will likely be the only concession to any scratch built parts.

Herewith, a few in-progress photos from the iPhone:

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