Superscale 48-765 for AV-8B Harrier II

Units: VMA 223, 231, 311




Scott Van Aken

Though pleased with the AV-8A, the USMC was looking for an aircraft that could carry more ordnance, farther and faster. The end result was basically a new airframe, the AV-8B. Much of the design work on this version was carried out by McDonnell-Douglas and was adopted by Bae for their later generation Harrier GR.5/7/9 aircraft. Basically speaking, it got a lengthened fuselage, a revised nose section with a taller canopy and new, larger wings. An uprated Rolls Royce engine was also part of the package and even the exhaust ducts were altered. In fact, I dare say that probably less than 5-10% of the original remained unchanged!

Those that are not familiar with funding will wonder why not a whole new designation. Well there was money in the budget for an upgraded AV-8A but not for a whole new aircraft! Same thing happened regarding the F-84F which had almost nothing but landing gear in common with the F-84E or F-84G!

This particular sheet has three aircraft on it and enough common markings to do two of them. The first plane from VMA-231 is in the two greys as used in Desert Storm. It is replete with shark-mouth and Arabic markings on the nose as well as a symbol for 54 missions.

The next two aircraft from VMA 311 and VMA 223 are in the older green/grey color scheme.

There is only one kit for the AV-8B in 1/48 and that is the Monogram kit. It builds into a pretty nice model with a little bit of work. The nice thing about this sheet is that, unlike some other AV-8 sheets, it can be used on the Monogram kit as is. No need to buy a bunch of aftermarket stuff to make the sheet usable. If you have the Monogram kit, then you know how much the kit decals need replaced. This is a good sheet for that purpose.

Please note that the sheet may look a bit short as I'll often crop off common markings to save on file size.

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