Flightpath 1/24 Harrier GR.3 Conversion and Detail Set First Look
|Date of Review||1997||Manufacturer||Flightpath|
|Subject||Harrier GR.3 Conversion and Detail Set||Scale||1/24|
|Kit Number||Primary Media||Resin|
|Pros||Fantastic conversion and detailing of the original Airfix GR.1 kit.||Cons|
|Skill Level||Advanced||MSRP (USD)||Approx $80.00|
[Editor's Note] Since the time this review was originally written, Airfix has re-released their 1/24 Harrier kit, this time with the GR.3 nose included. In any case, this detail set will still dress up any GR.1 or GR.3 kit with all of the photo-etched parts that are included. If you are building a GR.3, the choice of the new kit nose or the beaut that is included in this set is still up to you.
The original Airfix 1/24 Harrier kit, while not bad for its age, is definitely the early RAF GR.1 version. The Harrier GR.3 has a more distinctive profile and proved its worth during the Falklands War. While the Airfix kit can be converted to the GR.3 with a little work, there were far too many areas that needed attention to achieve a contest contender.
Enter Flightpath. Anyone who has ever used one of David Parkin's detail sets knows that he is nothing if not thorough. My first exposure to Flightpath was in obtaining the Detail Set for the 1/32 Revell Tornado. This set virtually rebuilt the entire aircraft! When I heard that he was releasing a conversion for the 1/24 Airfix Harrier, I was excited!
Trying to find this set in the US was next to impossible, so I hopped onto the Internet and ordered the set from Hannant's website (excellent service, I might add!). What arrived was a smallish box that contained three resin pieces, a number of white metal parts, and three huge frets of photo-etch!
The first photo shows the three resin parts - the GR.3 nose in the middle, with the two cluster bomb bodies on either side.
This second shot shows the white metal parts, including: two AIM-9L missile bodies, forward and aft main gear struts and wheels, tail and ECM fairings, ejection seat cushions, and numerous small cockpit details (still in the bag).
The last shot shows the three photo-etch sets. These provide everything from a cockpit tub to ejection seat frame, from engine nozzle vents to intake bypass doors, and from missile fins to bomb fins. What is especially innovative about this set is the instructions. Parkins has provided color-coded diagrams to differentiate PE parts, white metal parts, and kit parts in the assembly process. This saves a bunch of interpretation time! Bravo Flightpath!
This detail set is a great piece of work, and should not be difficult for a modeler of at least intermediate skills. If you omit the nose and tail fairings, this set will also allow one to accurize the Airfix kit as a GR.1 as well. I highly recommend this set, especially if you are an Harrier buff.
You can see their full line-up of products on the Flightpath website.