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'1/24 FA2 Sea Harrier Conversion'

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  • 9 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Hello chaps,

Since the last update for this build was nearly 2.5 years ago, I'd better pull this one back from the dead considering I started this build when I was 17 (I am now 23) and I'd like to have the cockpit finished before I die. I can leave the boring fuselage assembly for my lucky offspring. Some of the pictures are a couple of years old as I do not like to update this build until I feel like I have completed a 'chapter' in its construction so might be a little rough around the edges...

Next on the list of jobs was the HUD.

After staring at some great reference pictures from Dave T and others, I finally managed this...



It's constructed in 4 separate pieces. The main HUD unit with projector lens, the glass 'holders' that sit either side (secured using PVA so if they're knocked off, it will not damage them) and the Up-Front control panel that sits on the front. The HUD camera sits on top of this too. Heritage Aviation's resin seat is a placeholder.

Not happy with this, and trying to stick to the philosophy of creating and assembling parts of this cockpit so that they look as if they're separate instruments bolted together onto one frame, I decided to extend the HUD backwards.

Here is a photo for reference:


I believe this is one of Dave.T's. I found this on google so I hope you don't mind me sharing. Once again, thank you very much.

This is my effort...



The main difficulty was not the actual construction. Instead it was alignment and proportion issues, the kind that sap enthusiasm for a project but are still very important.

The next issue was getting the super-thinned IP shroud to sit tightly around the HUD unit.

Covered very quickly in one of my previous posts, the kit IP shroud had any moulded detail sanded off...


...and then thinned to almost transparency with a dremel.

You can see in the last HUD picture a large gap running down the side of HUD unit. This was filled by glueing a strip of styrene and sanding flush...



...this will give a nice tight fit.

In parallel to the HUD and IP shroud, I also started work on the control column.

Firstly, the base was constructed from some styrene rod, bent and detailed in accordance to my references...


...before milliput was sculpted on to form the fabric cloth that covers its entry into the flooring.

Next, the hand grip was made from another small length of wider styrene tube that slides over the thinner column...


...and more milliput was sculpted on, trying to take into account the ergonomics of the real article.

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Each part was then primed to show up any flaws...






...before being painted and detailed.




A quick note. I have decided to just use plain old clear plastic for my HUD projector lens. The real thing has a iridescent sheen to it but I think replicating this through paint or tinted plastic would look out of scale and not necessary.

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The IP shroud itself was next on the list.

Here's a shot of the front of the cockpit, including control column, IP, HUD and IP shroud so you can all see what I am trying to build...


...still a long way to go. Lots of smaller instruments hanging off and sitting on top of the shroud.

The warning lights running around the bottom of the shroud are made from very small squares of plastic strip...


...stuck to a larger strip of styrene and then detailed with lead wire and small plastic circles (representing bolts and washers)


A larger instrument, to the right of the IP and just out of shot in the picture is also made from layered sheet styrene...



...before being dry fitted with blue tack to check for fit issues and to make sure proportions and measurements were correct.


This will sit to one side and await paint, placards, knobs and switches.

A similar process is repeated on the port side...


...with the pilots control panel being roughed out and dry fitted before awaiting paint and further detailing. Each instrument usually has its own set of placards drawn on Adobe Illustrator. It's time consuming and quite irritating but it means if you look hard enough, every switch and knob has it's own corresponding white word next to it. Just like the real thing!

Attention is then turned to detailing the top side of the shroud with certain areas being made from beer can metal.

There is a mounting bracket close to the left side of the HUD that is made from sheet metal that I wanted to replicate cleanly and sharply...


...so using a sheet of metal, I scored a net...


...and created a former out of stryene to help bend the steel accurately...


Unfortunately I do not have any clear pictures of the real instrument shroud for you to see as all my information on this area of the aircraft is collated from many different images but I will try to use what I have to show you.

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The final unpainted shroud:







The 2 pieces of styrene sheet are a fabric(?) covering that hides the rear part of the instrument panel. It is held down by Velcro and I assume makes access a little easier...


...it has a strange purple/brown colour and I will be mixing some colour swatches soon.

Here is another reference photo showing the other side...


The assembly was then treated to a lick of black...



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...and finally some detail painting and wiring...









And just for fun, a side-by-side comparison...


It's by no means perfect but I think the cramped, confined, busy-looking nature of the FA.2 cockpit is starting to come through a little. There is still a bit of cabling to do and a couple of small instruments and ducting to be made, but it's getting there.

I hope this update has been worth the wait and I hope to be getting some more done soon, although you all must know by now that they may come once every leap year! Thanks!

P.S Check out my modelmaking website at www.jakecanmake.com to see the stuff I actually get paid to do! Cheers!

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Hey Jake, welcome back and congrats on your degree :thumbsup:

Lovely detail work on the shroud and HUD. The comparison shots show just how close to the real deal everything looks.

Let me know if you want any irridescent film. I have some swatches in a number of different hues which I could send you.

Good to see you back on the SHAR. I'll set a reminder for 2014 to tune in for the next update :woot.gif:



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Thank you for the kind replies chaps, really helps!

Hey Jake, welcome back and congrats on your degree :thumbsup:

Lovely detail work on the shroud and HUD. The comparison shots show just how close to the real deal everything looks.

Let me know if you want any irridescent film. I have some swatches in a number of different hues which I could send you.

Good to see you back on the SHAR. I'll set a reminder for 2014 to tune in for the next update :woot.gif:



Thanks again Geedub, always a pleasure to see your comments and glad you're enjoying it. Your builds have given me a lot of pleasure and a huge amount of knowledge, much of which I'm now using!

I was in two minds about the irridescent film. I remembered you putting it to good use a couple of years ago on your SU27 and I actually read the thread again. I decided against it in the end as I think any attempt to replicate it would just look out of scale as it's such a subtle effect. In smaller scales I like it along with techniques like drybrushing however I just feel 1/24 doesn't need the clever tricks needed to bring out details.

I'll have to think about it.

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