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Harrier GR.7/9

Eduard 1/48 Harrier GR.7/9 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2016 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject Harrier GR.7/9 Scale 1/48
Kit Number 1166 Primary Media Styrene, Resin, Photo-etch
Pros Nice details Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $99.95

First Look

Harrier GR.7/9
Harrier GR.7/9
Harrier GR.7/9
Harrier GR.7/9
Harrier GR.7/9
Harrier GR.7/9

The AV-8B Harrier II was the second generation of US Marine Corps VSTOL close air support attack aircraft. Where the first generation of Harriers were developed by Hawker Siddeley, this second generation was led by McDonnell Douglas to apply improvements in engine performance and aerodynamic advances to create an more versatile airframe. Still powered by the Rolls Royce Pegasus engine, the Harrier II's engine produces more than 4000 pounds of additional thrust over the engines of the first generation Harriers.

Where McDonnell Douglas led the development and production of the AV-8B with BAE in support, the aircraft produced for the RAF/RN were led by BAE with McDonnell Douglas in support. The new Harrier GR5 first flew in 1985 with operational service commencing in 1990. GR7 production began in 1990 and these were later upgraded to GR9 configuration.

Here is one of Eduard's limited edition releases, this time centered around Hasegawa's 1/48 Harrier GR.7/9 kit and adding the usual enhancements only Eduard masters. Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on 10 parts trees plus a single tree of clear parts, two frets of photo-etched parts, and a set of Brassin wheels and ejection seat. This kit has the following features and options:

  • Detailed cockpit
  • Positionable canopy
  • Full intake trunks down to the Rolls engine compressor face
  • Positionable auxilary intake (blow-in) doors
  • Movable exhaust nozzles
  • Positionable stabilators
  • Positionable landing gear
  • Positionable air dam
  • Positionable speed brake

External stores options include:

  • Choice of ventral strakes or gun pods
  • 2 x 300 gallon external fuel tanks
  • 2 x AIM-9L Sidewinder

Markings are provided for six aircraft:

  • GR.9, ZD406, RN Strike Wing, RAF Cottesmore, 2009, 'Fly Navy'
  • GR.7, ZG479, IV(AC) Sqn, Operation Telic, Ahmed al Jaber AB, Kuwait, 2003
  • GR.7, ZD464, 20(R) Sqn, RAF Wittering, 2002
  • GR.7, ZD379, 1(F) Sqn, Barduffoss, Norway, 2004
  • GR.7, ZG501, SAOEU, Boscombe Down, 1996
  • GR.9A, ZG478, 41(R) Sqn, RAF Coningsby, 2006

The kit has a number of fit issues reported, mostly in the wing/LERX/fuselage joints, but nothing that some modeling skills can't overcome. The main bug in this kit is the wing itself - for whatever reason, the outer wing panels have less anhedral than the inboard sections whereas on the real aircraft, the entire wing shares the same anhedral. This too can be corrected with come careful work. The flaps are molded up though if you're going to model the air dam extended and nozzles down, you'll want the flaps down as well. The Super Harrier has Fowler flaps which extends aft and downwards quite a distance. The resulting gap is filled with another flap hinged atop of the wing to close that gap. When the flaps are down, both ailerons droop as well. In short, get some good photos like those in our Harrier Online Reference to see what needs to be done.

RAF and Royal Navy Harriers carried a wide range of stores, many of which are available in the aftermarket including Eduard's Brassin line. To date, this kit remains the only late model Super Harrier option on the market in 1/48 scale (the Monogram kit represents the early AV-8B before it received a number of visible airframe updates. With a little work, this kit still builds up into a nice model.

My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!