Desert Storm AV-8B
Piero De Santis
Operation Desert Storm, 1991
HyperScale is proudly supported by
This is my AV-8B "Desert Storm Harrier II" in 1/48 scale.
The model is based on Monogram's AV-8B kit. I started this model before
the new "Harrier II" family from Hasegawa was announced.
I don't want go into detail about the "Harrier II" history nor do a kit
review again, just some brief note about the AV-8B during the first Gulf
War, called "Desert Storm", with special focus on the camouflages used
at that time.
Between the 1990 and 1991, the USMC deployed around 60 AV-8B in the
Arabian region, very close the Kuwait border. Some of them were embarked
on the amphibious ship class-Tarawa.
The AV-8B were all "vanilla" variant, this means no "Night Attack" or
The USMC AV-8Bs were normally painted in two-tone Dark Grey (36081)
and Dark Green (34066), but for that mission, these colours were over
painted with different shades of grey.
For the VMA-231's AV-8B, the camouflage applied was based on Light
Ghost Grey (close to 36375) and Blue Grey (close to 35237) paints, but
inside the same squadron, not all the aircrafts spot the same camouflage
I starts my AV-8B with the intention to do the VMA-231 squadron
commander's AV-8B, "01 Venom": following the Superscale's decal
instruction sheet I painted the model spraying Light Ghost Grey (Humbrol
127) over the Dark Grey and than the Blue Grey over the Dark Green
patterns... but when the decals were applied, I discovered that "01
Venom" was painted in a reverse pattern! I mean, Light Ghost Grey over
Dark Green and Blue Grey over the Dark Grey patterns.
The model almost made a "vertical landing" from the 5th floor... when
I decided to repair the problem trying to remove some of the specific
decals: having done the camouflage using enamels and applied decals over
a gloss cote of Future, I took "medical alcool" with a paper tissue and
pass it gently over some decals: with my big surprise decals and Future
cote went off without any problem for the camouflage paints.
So, I airbrushed a new cote of Future and I opted for the VMA-231's
"05" aircraft, that was painted with the pattern I used for my model.
Again this confirmed the lesson that proper research for good
documentation of the real aircraft is not a waste of time.
Now a brief list of detail parts:
cockpit was from Blackbox;
ECM pod, separated outrigger wheels and
extended IFRP were from Amraam Line;
weapons came from a Hasegawa set.
If you need information related to the Monogram kit's building
issues, please take a look to my other feature articles on this website
A special thanks goes to all the fellows of the Harrier&JSF SIG, for all
the precious information and references provide that can be found on
And thanks also to Lance Braman.
Click on the thumbnails
below to view larger images: