1/48 Hasegawa AV-8B Harrier II Plus

Gallery Article by Burt Gustafson on Nov 9 2011

 First flight of AV-8B Harrier Nov 9 1978


For your viewing pleasure, here are some photos of my 1/48 scale Hasegawa AV-8B Harrier II Plus. The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) AV-8B Harrier II Plus is a second-generation vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) ground-attack aircraft. It is the final descendant of the Hawker Siddeley P.1127.  The AV-8B II Plus is primarily used for light attack missions, and is typically operated from small aircraft carriers, large amphibious assault ships and simple forward operating bases.  AV-8Bs are used by the United States Marine Corps (USMC), Spanish Navy and Italian Navy.  U.S. Marine Corps AV-8Bs have seen a lot of action, being deployed in Operation Desert Storm, Somalia, Bosnia, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom.


Click on images below to see larger images

This was an out of the box build and a challenging one, challenging because of the nasty fit problems. 

The main fit problems were:

  • fitting the main engine air intakes
  • fitting the wing to the fuselage
  • fitting the Gun and ammo pod to the fuselage

A lot of test-fitting, filling, and sanding were required to obtain a good result. The GBU-12 Paveway II 500 lb laser guided bombs are from the Hasegawa Weapons: D kit.

All paints used for this model were Model Masters and Floquil enamel paints.  I airbrushed the overall model with MM Gunship Gray and the Radome MM Medium Gray.  I hand painted the landing gear and wheel wells with Floquil Reefer White.  The GBU-12s were painted MM Olive Drab, and the AIM-9L missiles MM Light Ghost Gray.

For the model decals I used the kit decals. Hasegawa provided decals for two VMA-231 “ACE OF SPADES” aircraft. I chose the markings for Lt. Col David (Grumpy) Forrest’s aircraft. The decals were excellent, printed well, easily placed on the model, and snuggled down nicely to the model. After applying the decals, I ran a damp cloth over the model to remove any glue residue, and then airbrushed the model with a light coat of Future. I finished off the model with a coat of MM Semi Gloss Clear Lacquer Finish.

This was a difficult build because of all the nasty fit issues; this is not one of Hasegawa’s best kits, it is not a kit for beginners. Fit issues aside, cockpit and external details are good. The decals were excellent. This was no weekend project because of all test-fitting, filling, and sanding. It took a bit longer than usual to finish the model—but it is a good representation of an AV-8B II Plus Harrier.

Burt Gustafson

Click on images below to see larger images



Photos and text © by Burt Gustafson