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Hasegawa 1/48 Harrier AV-8B II Plus

The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) AV-8B Harrier II is a second-generation vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) ground-attack aircraft. An Anglo-American development of the British Hawker Siddeley Harrier, the Harrier II is the final member of the Harrier family that started with the Hawker Siddeley P.1127 in the early 1960s. The AV-8B is primarily used for light attack or multi-role missions, and is typically operated from small aircraft carriers, large amphibious assault ships and simple forward operating bases.

The British Aerospace Harrier II variant of the AV-8B was developed for the British military. The AV-8B is used by the United States Marine Corps (USMC), Spanish Navy and Italian Navy. The TAV-8B is a dedicated two-seat trainer version. The Harrier II and other models of the Harrier family have been called “Jump Jets”.

The AV-8B was extensively redesigned by McDonnell Douglas from the earlier AV-8A/C Harrier. It has a new wing, an elevated cockpit, a redesigned fuselage, and other structural and aerodynamic refinements. The number of hardpoints was increased from five to seven. Later upgrades, which resulted in the AV-8B(NA) and AV-8B Harrier II Plus, added radar and night-attack capabilities.

British Aerospace joined the improved Harrier project in the early 1980s. Since corporate mergers in the 1990s, Boeing and BAE Systems have jointly supported the program. AV-8Bs have participated in numerous conflicts, providing close air support for ground troops and performing armed reconnaissance, proving themselves versatile assets.

US Army General Norman Schwarzkopf named the USMC Harrier as one of the seven most important weapons of the Gulf War. The aircraft took part in combat during the Iraq War beginning in 2003. The Harrier II has served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan since 2001, and was used in Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya in 2011.

Italian and Spanish Harrier IIs participated in overseas conflicts, in conjunction with NATO coalitions. American and Italian AV-8Bs are expected to be replaced by the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II.



The Kit:
This Hasegawa 1/48th scale Harrier AV-8B II was basically 4 months in the making. Major parts and sub assemblies were ready to be painted, but other model kits came on our queue, and it was stored in a corner of a display case with a piece plastic to protect it from dust.

There were some fitting problems from wing sub assembly to fuselage in which A+B PC-7 epoxy was used to fill in the gaps.

The model comes with well defined panel lines, rivets have the proper depth to deal with paint, decals, gloss coat, sludge wash and final dull coat. The cockpit has for my personal taste well defined knobs and switches that with a toothpick will end up great..

I’ve never seen a Harrier in person but I can imagine that this aircraft hovering should be quite a sight. So to break the monotony of gear down and save some display real estate, I decided to go gear up with this Harrier.

Colors and Markings

The colors used on this builds were, Testors Model Master Acryl Light Ghost Gray, Acryl Dark Ghost Gray. The markings included were for the Italian Navy but I wanted a Marines Harrier, so Super Scale Decals came to the rescue with their set # 48-947 Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Besides the little fitting trouble found on the wings assembly and fuselage, the kit as a whole came together very nice with no major fitting headaches. I highly recommend this kit but be aware that Epoxy or Elmer Glue should be used to work with the gaps. They are simply hard to reach with a sanding stick should you decided to use putty. Here is my secret weapon for those hard to reach gaps.

George Collazo
George Collazo

George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.