Pavla continue their series of highly detailed resin upgrade sets with a range of additions designed for the Airfix 1:72 Sea Harrier FRS.1.
Item # C 72092 provides a complete new cockpit and comprises 9 parts. The casting is excellent on the review sample and the level of detail is quite exceptional for this small scale. A little surgery on the basic kit is needed before the new cockpit tub and rear decking can be installed. This features detailed side consoles and bulkhead, and is further augmented by separate sidewalls.
Into this fit a new ejector seat (also available separately as Item #S 72060), complete with moulded-on harnesses and firing handle. There are new rudder pedals and control column, and finally a nicely detailed instrument panel with HUD mount. The latter is extremely delicate, and the review sample had in fact already taken a knock in transit.
As usual with their cockpit sets, Pavla provide a very well illustrated set of instructions that include comprehensive colour notes to make the most of all the detail.
Turning to the exterior, there are 3 x upgrade sets:
U 72117 - Sea Harrier FRS.1 30mm gun pod U 72118 - Sea Harrier FRS.1 Intakes and exhausts U 72119 - Sea Harrier FRS.1 Control surfaces
Again, these are nicely produced, but perhaps inevitably don't have quite the same impact (for me, at least) as the jewel-like details in the cockpit. I found a couple of tiny bubbles on the gun pods, but they'll only take a moment to fill and the pods pods themselves should look very good, being considerably more detailed than the styrene versions. The exhausts are crisply cast, and the intakes have the blow-in doors partially open.
The tail surfaces have slightly different panel lines compared with photos I've seen of Airfix's originals, but the real change is that Pavla have separated all the control surfaces. Some careful surgery will be needed to remove the kit's fin and fit the replacement. I found the new stabilizers slightly warped, but a dip in hot water should soon sort that out.
Overall, Pavla's Sea Harrier upgrades will make a very worthwhile difference to the standard kit, and the cockpit detail is really in a totally different league altogether. It should be quite simple to install and the result should look superb with careful painting. Recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Excellent detail and casting, particularly in the cockpit set.Lows: The sample stabilizers need straightening.Verdict: Pavla's Sea Harrier upgrades look very good indeed - in fact, the cockpit is stunning for this scale. They should turn Airfix's Sea Harrier into a real head-turner.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...