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AV-8B+ Hasegawa 1/48 with loads of extras

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After about 6 months on the bench, this one has landed in the display case. Hasegawa's AV-8B has fought me many a time and I finally completed one. This is the AV-8B+, extensively detailed and finished as a VMA-311 bird. From what I can tell, the VMA-311 birds were fairly freshly painted spanning 2010-2013 and subsequently forward deployed in Afgahnistan. My aim was to portray a deployed bird heavily sortied, but in good condition.


Having been defeated many times with the troubling fit, I decided to make this effort count and added everything I could. The cockpit is Aires. The stores are Eduard Brassin and the aiframe got Eduard photoetch. The decals are Aviation Design "Dark Harriers". The decals performed well, but have many color errors, and as best I can tell only have a single side for many stencils that should be on both.


The aircraft was finished with black basing technique and then Model Master Acryl paints. The exhaust stains were airbrushed. Most other weathering is from oil filters and effects with a scattering of other tried and true techniques.


So on to the pictures. Please share any comments or critiques, I'm always happy to hear thoughts and areas to improve.














I had an event with the canopy and some putty. The canopy frame needed to be blended to the fuselage and the solvent/fumes leaked through the tape I had protecting the canopy, crazing the area. I patched as best I could with polishing and future, but it still wasn't perfect. So I stashed a folded map on the dash to make this area a little less apparent.


I also found in many pictures that the front panels under the forward canopy appear to be frequently removed, presumeably for maintenance, so the rivets were picked out with a silver pencil.




The AGM-65 and GBU-38 are both Eduard Brassin. I picked them up to find the weapons I needed, but pleasently found them to be so far superior to kit weapons I would have happily bought them either way.








I depicted the jet loaded for a mission and one of the standout extras I kept seeing in pictures were the loaded countermeasures dispensors. I put in the silver and blue for flares and chaff, with a few empty canisters.






The front gear bay is often open on parked birds for access to circuit breakers. I initially planned to use the Aires kit for this, but found it impossible to fit, so I scratchbuilt the bay.













Edited by ESzczesniak
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What a great build and thank you for posting and sharing your work. Came out great.


I have several of these Harrier kits in my stash but have been hesitant to start it after hearing of difficulties in building. I am glad that you mentioned using the Aires cockpit set but you never mentioned how difficult it was to use. Did you have to grind away alot? Seems to be pretty common for their sets. Obviously you had trouble with the landing gear bay. Also, thanks for the heads up on the Eduard weapons as they do look good on line.



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Thank you all for the kind comments! And apologies for not posting for a while.


Addressing the note about the Aires cockpit, unlike most of their stuff, it fit well.  Only removing some sidewall raised details and light sanding.  They even had some positive locating references keyed in to make sure it was in the appropriate for/aft position.  I had read others experiencing the HUD mount being too tall to fit under the forward canopy.  I erred towards shorter when assembly this, but had no problems personally. 


The wheel wells, as I mentioned, were another story.  I am convinced you would have had to actually just cut out a portion of the forward fuselage walls and use the resin pieces as the outer walls.  I quickly realized there was no way in hell this was happening and moved on to another plan.

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