Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier FRS.1 (PK-37) build

Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier completed.

Think I picked this Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier it up on Ebay at some point. Anyway, my first actual jet for a blog that has ‘jet’ as the first word in it’s description.

As with a lot of Matchbox kits, a very simple build, which I managed to mess up, but more of that later.

At the time of building this kit, the world is in the grip of the Corona Virus pandemic. Therefore I’m stuck at home, and getting non-essential supplies is not top priority. Plus I’m having to watch the cash flow, due to being furloughed from work. On a positive, I’m getting lots of model making done.

Anyway, on to the build, which is documented in photos.

Box Art

Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier box art.

The box art, in the very ‘Matchbox’ style.

Kit contents

Contents of the Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier.

Two sprues in the distinctive 2 colour style of Matchbox. Plus some slighty out of register decals.

Instruction sheet

Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier instruction sheet, front.

Instruction sheet, font and back. Very faded, so wasn’t a great deal of help. Lucky for me, I have the Tamiya 1/48 Sea Harrier FRS1 in my stash (see my blog post about ScaleMates), so I could refer to the instruction sheet in that kit for colours and decal placement.

Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier instruction sheet, back.

The actual, very simple build process. Not something you could get wrong….right?

The Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier build

Work in progress on the Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier. Cockpit and engine plate.

That’s it for the cockpit detail. Didn’t want to put to much effort into detailing the kit, so decided to add the pilot to the office space. As you can see, primed with Halfords car primer.

Work in progress on the Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier.

Interior spayed black with Vallejo 71.067 and some dry brushing on the simple jet intake with Vallejo Oily Steel 70.865. Also painted the pilot and stuck him on his ejector seat.

Work in progress on the Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier. Fuselage construction.

Fuselage sides stuck together and clamped with washing line pegs and masking tape.

Work in progress on the Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier. Filling gaps and seam lines, top.

This model required lots of sanding to get rid of the seam lines. The fit wasn’t actually too bad, but it did take a lot of work to remove the seam lines.

Also this is where I messed up. Trying to be smart, I didn’t follow the instructions to add the four jet nozzles, thinking they would get in the way, bad idea!

When I came to fit them after all work, including painting and decaling had been done, I discovered that they did not fit very well, the hole being too big in the fuselage. So had to do lots of extra work at the end to get the nozzles to sit on the kit.

Work in progress on the Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier. Filling gaps and seam lines, bottom.

Same work required on the underside.

Work in progress on the Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier. Masking for scribing air brakes,

Re-scribing the rear under carriage doors, using a Tamiya plastic scriber tool. I used electric tape as the guide.

Work in progress on the Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier. Masking for scribing nose wheel bay,

Same work carried out for the front under carriage doors.

Work in progress on the Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier. Checking for visible seam lines.

Using black paint to see if more work is required on seam lines etc.

Work in progress on the Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier. Wings added.

Wings on, almost ready to apply the primer.

Work in progress on the Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier. Model primed for top coat.

Primer applied, in this case, Halfords Car Primer.

Work in progress on the Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier. Dark Sea Grey added.

The Extra Dark Sea Grey applied, or in this case, which was a very close match, Vallejo 70.816 Luftwaffe Uniform.

Work in progress on the Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier. White added.

Underside painted with Vallejo 71.001 White, which covers quite well, for a white paint.

Work in progress on the Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier. Glossed and ready for decals.

Vallejo Gloss Acrylic Varnish applied before decals added. It was then followed by another coat after the decals had been applied. Incidentally, I used Micro Sol to help the decals set on the Harrier.

Conclusion

Well as mentioned above, I messed up adding the jet nozzles, so had to mess about filling the holes where the nozzels sit, and then cutting the back off the nozzels so they sat a bit closer to the fuselage.

Another thing that I should have done differently, I should have added the to wing wheel units before addign the centre landing gear. This was I could have cut down to size the central landing gear so that all wheels touch the ground. Oh well, lesson learned, I have 3 other 1/72 Harriers in the stash, 3 different marks.

The finished Matchbox 1/72 Sea Harrier

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Airfix 1/72 Spitfire PR.XIX (A02017A)

The completed Airfix 1/72 Spitfire PR.XIX in Swedish Air Force markings.
Spitfire S.31, 3 Division Flottilj 11, Flygvapnet, Nyköping, Sweden, 1949

Not sure when I acquired this Airfix 1/72 Spitfire PR XIX kit up. I obviously got it because it fits in the Cold War period.

Construction of the kit was straight out of the box.

To enhance the cockpit, seatbelts were cut from masking tape. At this scale and size of model, adding detail to the cockpit seemed a bit irrelevant.

The Airfix 1/72 Spitfire PR.XIX build

Work in progress on the Airfix 1/72 Spitfire PR.XIX kit. Painting of the interior parts.

Step 1 prime the inside areas, such as the cockpit, wheel wells etc., and then give them a coat of Hataka A025 Interior Grey-Green. I hand painted the cockpit details with various paints to hand.

Work in progress on the Airfix 1/72 Spitfire PR.XIX  kit, gluing the wings together.

Gluing the main components together, including the transparent areas where the cameras would be located in the real aircraft. Usual use of tape and pegs to hold the parts together while the glue sets.

Work in progress on the Airfix 1/72 Spitfire PR.XIX , main construction completed.

Seam line and gaps filled and sanded. For small areas I use Vallejo Plastic Putty.

For larger gaps, such as the wing roots, I use standard yellow-grey milliput.

Sanding and filling is now completed, a black paint is applied to see if further work is required.

Work in progress on the Airfix 1/72 Spitfire PR.XIX . Using black paint to check for flaws in the joins.

Canopy masked using Tamiya masking tapes and attached to the kit with PVA glue.

Work in progress on the Airfix 1/72 Spitfire PR.XIX . Model primed and ready for top coats.

Kit primed with Halfords grey metal primer paint. I was keen to get the primer on, that I had forgotten to mask the side camera window. Then when I attempted to remove the primer, I pushed the window into the body of the fuselage. I did mask the two underside transparencies, I used Vallejo Liquid Mask.

Work in progress on the Airfix 1/72 Spitfire PR.XIX , trying some pre-shading (top half).

With this kit, I decided to have a go at pre-shading. Lucky for me,, pre-shading does not have to be very accurate, as my airbrush skills are not up to precise work as yet.

Work in progress on the Airfix 1/72 Spitfire PR.XIX , pre-shading on the lower half.

The underside pre-shaded.

Work in progress on the Airfix 1/72 Spitfire PR.XIX , PRU Blue added to top half.

As this is a photo reconnaissance aircraft, it has a nice simple paint scheme. I sprayed Vallejo 71.109 Faded PRU Blue for the overall colour. The pre-shading adds a nice subtle effect.

Work in progress on Airfix 1/72 Spitfire PR.XIX , PRU Blue added lower half.

The underneath, wheel wells masked with blue-tak.

Work in progress on Airfix 1/72 Spitfire PR.XIX , final bits and bobs.

Jumping ahead, model given a coat of gloss varnish then decals applied. I used Micro Sol to set the decals, but I really need to use much more than I do, as they don’t always settle in to the panel lines. Followed by a coat of varnish to seal the decals. To add a little extra I also did a very subtle exhaust stain using some pastel chalk from a cheap set of artist pastels.

The finished Airfix 1/72 Spitfire PR.XIX

Products

During the build of the Airfix 1/72 Spitfire PR XIX I used a number of products, that you also may find useful. To start with, fillers are something every model maker requires, and the 2 that I find the best are Vallejo Plastic Putty and Standard Milliput Yellow-Grey.

For masking I use Tamiya 10mm tape and Tamiya 3mm tape plus when required standard decorating tape. I always, well nearly always, take some of the stickiness from the tape by sticking it to my trousers before applying to the models painted surface.

I also used Vallejo Liquid Mask to mask the transparent parts of the kit.

The P.R.U. Blue was Vallejo 71.109 Faded P.R.U. Blue, which sprayed quite well. The Interior green was from the Hataka RAF in Africa acrylic paint set (AS08). I’ve had mixed results when spraying Hataka paints, but that may be more down to my inexperience.

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Airfix 1/72 P-51D Mustang – USAF F-51D Mustang

F-51D Mustang, USAF Korea circa 1950

This Airfix 1/72 P-51D Mustang was one of the pair I purchased from Aldi (see previous blog post SAAF F-51D). This kit was built alongside the SAAF version.

Decals came from the same sheet as the SAAF decals. As mentioned before, I was a little disapointed with the Print Scale decals.

The decals are very thin, which is useful as they look good once applied. But boy were they a pain to use! They fold at the drop of a hat. Sadly a couple could not be used as they just curled up in to a ball!

The registration/line up of the USA ‘bars and stars’ was out. I had to purchase some extras from MicroScale decals.

It is a shame about the decals, as Print Scale do some very interesting sets. However I personally will not be buying them again.

I still have a couple of options left on the sheet I purchased (72-300), which I will attempt to use in another build, especially the RAAF version.

Print Scale Decal sheet 72-300

The actual build of the Airfix 1/72 P-51D Mustang kit (A68208) was quite easy, no real issues to name. The under carriage seems a little fragile, but this seems to be the case with most smaller 1/72 kits.

Painted the aluminium using Tamiya XF-16 Flat Aluminium thinned with Tamiya X-20A Thinner which I have to say, sprayed perfectly for me. Will be moving over to Tamiya paints when I need to buy replacements. For the black areas, I used Vallejo Model Air Black 71.057, which I actaully find sprays OK.

Anyway, lets see the finished article…

Airfix P-51D Mustang (A68208)- SAAF F-51D

F-51D Mustang, SAAF Korea 1950

Managed to pick up 2 Airfix P-51D Mustang starter sets earlier in the year for £4.99 each from Aldi.

The P-51D was still in use during the early part of the Cold War and in Korea.

Now that I had 2 Airfix P-51D Mustang’s in my stash my next step was to find some suitable decals. Came across a set by a company called Print Scale.

Print Scale have a Korean War F-51 set with a mixture of options. My next step was an impulsive purchase without doing any research on the quality of the decals.

On receipt of the decals it was surprise to see that the US ‘bars and stars’ and the Korean equivalent were out of register!

Looking at the photos on the small instruction leaflet of aircraft in Korea, the Korean markings do actual look out of register, but the US were not.

However, the set also included some SAAF (South Afirican Airforce) and some RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) markings, which all looked good.

Print Scale decals.

The build of the Mustang did not throw up any nasty surprises. Fit was generally quite good.

Only issues I had with the build were the under carriage. It was a bit fiddly and feels flimsy.

I found the kits front windscreen was not a good fit. This may be more down to my skill level.

The aerial could not be removed from the sprue tree without breaking.

A first for me with this build was using Tamiya acrylics for spraying. I will admit being really pleased with how easy the Tamiya paints were to spray. Will certainly be moving over to them when I can.

Now back to the decals, they are a complete pain to use, very thin (which is a good thing). But fold over as soon as you try to remove them from the backing sheet. Care is required applying these decals.

Hope to have a USAF version up on the blog soon.

Anyway, the result, for me, is not too bad.

The completed Airfix P-51D Mustang

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