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Desert Storm AV-8B

by Piero De Santis

 

AV-8B Harrier
Operation Desert Storm, 1991

 


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Background

 

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 "Plus" versions.

 

 

Colours and Markings

 

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 pattern!
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.

 

 

Construction

 

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.

 

 



 

References and Acknowledgements

 

If you need information related to the Monogram kit's building issues, please take a look to my other feature articles on this website about Harriers.

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 their website: http://harrier.hyperlinx.cz/ .

 

 

And thanks also to Lance Braman.

Happy Modelling!

Piero
 


 

Additional Images

 

Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

 

Modelling the Harrier I and II
Osprey Modelling 1
Author: Glenn Ashley

US Price: $17.95
UK Price: 12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date: September 25, 2003
Details: 80 pages; ISBN: 184176647X
 
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Buy it from Osprey Publishing

 

Model, Images and Text Copyright 2004 by Piero De Santis
Page Created 27 February, 2004
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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