Airfix has a range of models in their range but from a personal level, their take of the GR9 Harrier is one of their better efforts.
The kit is quite small, however, there is plenty of detail and options provided by this smart kit from Airfix.
As models go this one does not take too much effort to build out of the box. Things are also made slightly easier by the fact there are not hundreds of tiny decals to add.
That said Airfix certainly could do something to improve the clear parts. The canopy supplied has a horrific seam line that needs dealing with.
Aside from that, it goes together quite well without any major issues. Harriers tend to be a challenging build, there is the issue of getting the undercarriage lined up. This certainly can test the most patient of people but with a little care can be done.
The kit can be bought as a stand-alone or you can find it within the Airfix Starter Kit range. It is not too expensive, Amazon sells the kit for less than £20 including shipping. So that’s the Harrier, paints, glue and also brushes for a very reasonable price.
In summary, this kit from Airfix offers a bit of challenge but is not overly complex and can be built in an afternoon.
Airfix Harrier GR9 1:72 Build Process
There are not a lot of steps in the build process. You start off with building the cockpit and putting the nose of the aircraft together. There is not a lot of detail in the cockpit but there is scope and plenty of aftermarket products should you wish to go that way.
After this is made you start with the main body of the plane. Here you need to make some decisions and decide where to drill holes depending on your own desired finish. Either way, this part of the build time should be spent studying the plans.
On this project, the issue of the undercarriage was resolve by installing it much earlier in the build process. Also, all the small parts, not the clear ones though, were added to the model. Some filling was needed. There is an awful issue with the top and the underside some gaps needed to be dealt with.
While in most cases filler helps, for this build ‘Spru Goo’ was used. This is a much better material and far easier to sand and blend as it is plastic.
All of the other parts, the bombs, fuel tanks etc were now built. To help with painting these small holes were drilled and the parts places on a toothpick.
Painting The Airfix Harrier GR9 1:72
Painting the model is good fun. It’s not a complex colour scheme and as it’s quite small making the painting simple. First, the entire model was airbrushed flat black using Tamiya paints. Then slowly layers were build-up using a range of greys to help with bing out a bit of texture.
The wheel bays and undercarriage were given a blast of ‘offwhite’. This is paint from Vallejo Model Colour and once thinned it sprays really well.
All the weapons were sprayed black and again the layers of grey built up. Once they were dry they were added to the model. The wheels go together really well. They were sprayed with the Model Master off white. A very thin watered down black was used to ‘flood’ the rims. Doing this makes painting the tyres easier and gives a good clean finish without the need to mask.
Once dry the wheels were added. Finally, the clear parts were added to the nose and top of the Harrier. For this PVA glue was used as t dries clear and will not damage the paintwork.
Airfix Harrier GR9 1:72 Conclusion
This kit from Airfix is one of my favourite models on the market. While they do a larger scale it’s miles off in terms of quality and detail. Generally speaking, this model is a fun build that will not break the bank.
Harrier GR9 1:72 Gallery Completed Model
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