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1/48 AV-8B Harrier conversion to TAV-8B "VMAT-203"


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Yes I am back at it again another difficult build while I await some parts for my Sunken Hellcat.

 

To my disappointment no kit exists in 1/48th other than the British T2/T8 trainer by Kenetic. Some reaserch revealed two conversion kits so I ordered them both. Here they are...

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Kit on the left is North Wing Models and on the Right CMK both have their pros and cons.

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NWM

-More parts that deal with parts specific to the TAV-8B 

-Horrid decals correct markings but I could print better clarity

-Canopy is vacuumed formed very poor quality

- Low quality surface detail

 

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CMK

-Does not cover all parts needed for conversion

-Great surface detail

-No decals

-All parts are very detailed

-Canopy is salvageable but low quality

 

Side by side comparisons 

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NWM vs CMK

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Here are the canopies this just screams "work" to fix this mess. The top right canopy on the carrier sprune is the canopy from the Kinetic T8. With that, so I purchased two kits the Kinetic to pick parts and the main kit Hasagawa AV-8B II Plus U.S.M.C Attacker.

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I am all about crazy detail so I have sourced detail sets to compliment this build. Ill do some scratch building as i go its hard to tell at this stage what is needed.

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Landing gear bay detail set

 

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CMK-Flap detail set

 

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Armory-weighted wheels 

 

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Eduard-Exterior detail set

Eduard-Nozzle replacement set

 

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Variety of two seater canopy masks we will see what fits the canopy selection.

 

So starting the build I am looking at the canopy just cant get past it, it will make or break this build. I decided to go with CMK canopy. I cut the canopy into the front and aft sections so I can display it in the open configuration. You can see here on the front wind screen the CMK has a haze to it not sure why. So I dipped a corner in some Future wax and it appeared to clear up the problem good old Future to the rescue.

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Left wind screen is untreated right pilots canopy was dipped and dried. I am pretty happy with that outcome.

 

Next ill move to figuring out the fuselage allot of fitting and decisions to be made.

Edited by Night Owl Models
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Part of my planning is to recreate this scene using Reedoak figures I am not very skilled at cutting up and manipulating figures but ill have ago at it to get them as close as possible to the photo.

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Reedoak 1/48 US Navy modern fighter pilot standing 

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Cutting and repositioning the arms and legs but maintain a natural pose, we'll see how that goes any tips would be appreciated.

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Arrrg full stop I just noticed that the CMK forward fuselage is short of the required length to mate to the nose section. To correct this I'll have to cut off the section forward of the tape and mate it to the CMK part. I may also be able to use the Hasegawa kit. I can't believe CMK missed this.

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The nose cone is a smaller diameter no way I could put it directly on the CMK-gray part. Plus it's missing the contours and coping for the windscreen.

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Very nice idea. Will follow your build. A twinseater Harrier is since long time on my to do list too :thumbsup:

Regarding the CMK conversion, they call out to use the Hasegawa kit parts V3 and V4. They are part of the Hasegawas RAF Harrier GR Mk.7.

As the cockpit section (part C1 / C8) is on all 1/48 Harrier kits from Hasegawa the same, I suspect, the nose section from any Hasegawa Harrier should fit to the CMK parts....

 

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Nice! I fell in love with double seat Super Harrier as soon as I saw one. Unfortunatly only on tv. The huge cockpit section looks almost out of place on such a small aircraft, and yet it fits.

Excellent idea with the scene. I'm quite sure You'll pull it off. Weren't Marines wearing some boot covers when boarding aircraft? I seem to remember reading it somewhere.

One more thing... aren't the boarding steps on starboard side? At least on single seaters they are... I wonder how the boarding procedure works.

I'm glad I have no need for a Harrier. I have no need for a Harrier. Do I need a Harrier? Oh maaaaan. I'm off to find one Thank You very much 😉

 

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On 9/5/2021 at 6:36 AM, Thadeus said:

One more thing... aren't the boarding steps on starboard side? At least on single seaters they are...

 

Canopies open to starboard side, so I don't think crew could board on that side? Single seaters' canopies slide backwards.

 

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On a side note, at first sight I thought the crew member in the front seat had forgotten his pants and was boarding with just his G-suit on from the belt down :action-smiley-081:

G

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How I love crazy conversions! It's mind over matter the whole way and when you are finished you taste the sweetness of victory against all odds.

I am rooting for you, you can do this no matter what the model throws at you, in the end it will conform to your will! 👊

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On 9/3/2021 at 11:47 PM, Seaknight said:

Very nice idea. Will follow your build. A twinseater Harrier is since long time on my to do list too :thumbsup:

Regarding the CMK conversion, they call out to use the Hasegawa kit parts V3 and V4. They are part of the Hasegawas RAF Harrier GR Mk.7.

As the cockpit section (part C1 / C8) is on all 1/48 Harrier kits from Hasegawa the same, I suspect, the nose section from any Hasegawa Harrier should fit to the CMK parts....

 

My local hobby store had a RAF Harrier in stock and because ime such a good customer I get my 10% off then an additional 5% for being a veteran so the purchase is not too painful.

 

Out of curiosity I am going to compare the two Hasagawa kits and see what the differences are besides the nose configuration.

 

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Here are the only two kit differences.

 

So it's apparently I'll have to remove the pod off of the nose cone.

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The upper wing fairing for the GR7 is the same at the TAV-8B. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

A few weeks have gone past over the time I have removed the pod, filled and reshaped.

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There are also sensors parts on GR7 nose on the underside that need to be removed as the pods won't be used.

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Problem has arisen 

If you look at the side profile matching the windscreen up with the curve on top of the nose it means raising the windscreen. Didn't see this before arrrg!

 

It gets worse on the side to side matching.

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So I am starting with filling the gap this is compound curve so it will take some careful sanding and shaping.

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Dave, You ARE a glutton for punishment.  But, you do finish up well, extremely well.  So I am sitting down and watching this one and learning, though perhaps not as painfully as you are learning.  Kind regards, Dutch

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