Beyond The Sprues

Modelling => Completed GBs => Group and Themed Builds => Second Korean War GB => : The Big Gimper May 25, 2018, 03:55:15 AM

: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: The Big Gimper May 25, 2018, 03:55:15 AM
Here is what I am starting with. Pictures once I have made some progress.

: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: GTX_Admin May 25, 2018, 04:31:38 AM
: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: Old Wombat May 25, 2018, 05:12:34 AM
: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: Brian da Basher May 26, 2018, 02:11:23 AM
: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: elmayerle May 26, 2018, 02:23:19 AM
Be interesting to see your take on it.  I've seen some of McDD's concepts and I am sorely tempted to try and model one with radar.
: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: The Big Gimper May 26, 2018, 02:31:58 AM
Be interesting to see your take on it.  I've seen some of McDD's concepts and I am sorely tempted to try and model one with radar.

You are 1/3rd of the way there Evan!  I have two more upgrades. You can sign my NDA if you want.  ;)
: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: elmayerle May 26, 2018, 02:53:46 AM
Sure, why not?  I'm just a simple, old, retired engineer these days. ;)
: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: kitnut617 May 26, 2018, 08:40:20 AM
You could use an F-18 nose for a radar version. This below would pretty much fit right onto a Harrier
: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: The Big Gimper May 26, 2018, 10:07:41 AM
In the RW there is the Harrier II Plus which has an APG-65 radar. It is based on the Night Attack variant.


The FA2 has Blue Vixen Pulse-Doppler radar and the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile.


Since I have neither kit in the stash I will improvise.

: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: elmayerle May 26, 2018, 01:11:03 PM
I have at least one AV-8B+ in the stash along with a spare Sea Harrier FA.2 radome and my Harrier FG.11 is going to have that radome with the Blue Vixen radar replacing the AN/APG-65(V) radar of the AV-8B+.

In addition to the fuselage changes McDD proposed for the Harrier III (and Pegasus, heart of the Harrier details those in passing and they match rough pictures I have), I will be adding the trialed wingtip Sidewinder, or equivalent, rails and perhaps add mitered rear nozzles, too.  Internal, and unseen changes would include an uprated Pegasus (the referenced book makes it clear that further uprating was still possible) as well as a variant of the Super Hornet's AESA radar.
: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: The Big Gimper May 27, 2018, 03:24:41 AM
Since Evan has hacked my home network firewall and then bypassed my 2048 Bit organic brain encryption where I keep all my X-Files I guess I will have to share some progress photos of the "X" before Evan takes over my body.  ;)

Now you know why it is an X.

( ( ( by Big Gimper (, on Flickr

( ( ( by Big Gimper (, on Flickr

( ( ( by Big Gimper (, on Flickr

( ( ( by Big Gimper (, on Flickr
: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: GTX_Admin May 27, 2018, 03:50:41 AM
Interesting.  Are the booms projecting forward part of the build or simply to support it?
: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: GTX_Admin May 27, 2018, 04:31:33 AM
Seeing shades of this in the build too:

: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: The Big Gimper May 27, 2018, 04:32:41 AM
Interesting.  Are the booms projecting forward part of the build or simply to support it?

Just some sprue pieces to support it.
: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: GTX_Admin May 27, 2018, 04:36:07 AM
Of course if you want to go really radical:

: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: The Big Gimper May 27, 2018, 05:39:12 AM
Let me see what I can do.
: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: Volkodav May 27, 2018, 07:34:42 PM
Really nice, love the Harrier, in particular the Sea Harrier(s) and the AV-8B+, always though it was a shame some of the enhanced concepts didn't make it to the metal (or composite)
: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: The Big Gimper June 17, 2018, 01:46:37 AM
I've posted the AV-8X in the Complete Physical Builds thread here: (

But here is the backstory. It is long but well worth the read. Trust me. I'm a Canadian.  ;)

The Fridges of Toko Ri

Capt. A.M. “Fender” Bender of the 417th Fighter Squadron (VTOL) USAF was deep in thought while sitting on the alert pad at Osan AFB waiting for the call to launch. He glanced around the NVG compatible cockpit of his AV-8X to ensure nothing had changed since his last check about 10 minutes ago. Green monochrome helmet silhouettes in three the other AV-8X cockpits did the same. Outside it was another night of torrential rain mixed with sleet. Sucks to be ground crew tonight but bless their souls as they are ready to fix any last minute snag. Every AV-8X needs to serviceable. We cannot afford to have any broken A/C.

It was a very critical situation right now and the 417th was the only Squadron with the capability of handling the SEBF and SEZ missions on the peninsula. They tried A-10s but they didn’t have the right stuff. Off to his left were the afterburners from a pair F-30 Thunderjet IIs streaking off from 27R into the darkness for their CAP mission.

Before my squadron arrived everything was going very smoothly in Korea. It was supposed to be a low stress posting. Key word is “was”. This was supposed to be the initial field stress test of the AX-8X.

The unification of the two Korea’s was moving slowing but progressing. The slogan was:  “One Kimchi, One Korea”.

But all hell broke loose when the damn Canadians and friends showed up about a month ago. Canadian Prime Minister, P. J. Pamplemousse decided that he needed to own the world’s primary supplier of Kimchi to supplement his existing global monopoly of Maple Syrup, Cheese Curds and Hawaiian pizza.

He executed a flawless covert takeover of what was once North Korea under the auspices of the holding simultaneously the World Cup of hockey tournament, Lacrosse tournaments, a cross country ski Loppet, a Curling Bonspiel, and a Pipe and Drum Tattoo in Pyongyang and surrounding areas. This resulted in lots of athletes and musicians over here, soldiers really in disguise, strategically located all over the peninsula. 

They cut off / captured the northern Korean peninsula in 5 days. And now they are only 60 klicks north of Seoul and are pushing south at a rate of almost 5 Km per day. I read somewhere this is revenge for the hockey and curling losses during the 2018 Winter Olympics. Sore friggin’ losers. But strangely enough since 2018 they have built 100’s of ice and curling rinks. Now I know why.

They were quickly joined (coincidence or planned?) by other “disgruntled” countries. Now I have to fight them all: the Welsh, Irish, Swedish, Finish, Danish, and Scottish armies. By the way no one picked up on a Pipe and Drum Tattoo taking place in Korea? That should have set off alarm bells in every G-2 office. Idiots.

How do you fight and win against Hockey pucks, Lacrosse balls, Curling Rocks, Cross Country skis, Reindeer, Leprechauns and Haggis?  What a strange bunch of bed fellows. But they are great fighters.

Now here’s where the AV-8X comes in. Remember those innocent looking Canadian beer fridges that appeared in 2014 at the Sochi Olympics that read your passport and gave you a beer? Well now they are the bane of our existence. Our job is to take out beer fridges and Zambonis. Yup. You heard me right. A beer fridge and a Zamboni are our primary targets.

The Intel types have identified and classified 5 types of fridges:

•   Decoy. Filled with light American beer (adding insult to injury)
•   Anti-Aircraft.  They can hold up 4 SAMs.
•   IEBFs (Improvised Exploding Beer Fridges).  Filled with C-4 along with hockey pucks, Indian rubber balls or curling rocks.
•   Passive Sensor array
•   Active ECM

The IEBF may contain hockey pucks, or lacrosse Indian rubber balls or curling rocks. The pucks and rubber balls have a core made from depleted uranium. Where have I seen that before?  No wonder Canada was ever worried about the disposal of their used uranium fuel bundles. The real nasty IBEFs have curling rocks. And yes Canada has no shortage of granite. Canadian Shield anyone.

And you do not want to be in FRAP when hit by a barrage of curling rocks traveling at just under the speed of sound.  Our MRAPs have been modified to become FRAPs – Fridge Resistant Ambush Protection. The troops called them the Frappuccino.

And the the Zamboni’s look innocent enough but they are heavily armoured and capable of speeds up 80 Kph. We have yet to capture one in less than 1,000,000 pieces as they self-destruct when they know they are about to be taken hostage.

The boffins suspect the Zamboni’s are self-aware AI units which communicate via a yet-to-be-broken neural communication network and are here primarily to control and organize the fridges. And clean the ice between periods.

And to add insult to injury the Canadians also engaged in an unfair cyber warfare hijacking the major music streaming services such as Apple Music, Spotify,  Deezer, Stingray, Google etc.  All we can get now is Enya, Celina Dione, Anne Murray, Stompin’ Tom Connors, Walter Ostanek, Bagpipes, ABBA, Nickle Back, and Paul Anka. My playlist really sucks.

Do you know how hard it is to take out a fridge or a speeding Zamboni while travelling at 500 Kts and 500 Ft? And we still don’t know how many they are: 10,000, 100,000?  And they don’t stop shooting at us.

But given the unique capabilities of the AV-8X, it was a no brainer that the SEBF (Suppression of Enemy Beer Fridges) and SEZ (Suppression of Enemy Zambonis) missions were ours.

The AV-8X is a strange but a very useful aircraft for the missions we have to complete. In the early 2020s there were rumours of Harriers flying around Area 51. Why would a 1960s vintage chunker of an aircraft be flown in Area 51? Well now we know. They were testing the “X” tail. The X tail in conjunction with VIFFing gave the Harrier a new purpose: dodging SAMs and surviving. 

Harrier VIFFing “Vectoring in Forward Flight" was used to great effect in the Falklands War. The Harrier is able to rotate its engine nozzles at any speed & power setting, making radically tight, controlled turns. In a dogfight, this can be used to out-turn an opponent despite the Harrier's relatively high wing loading. Now they added an “X” tail which along with a higher thrust Pegasus engine and state-of-the-art flight computers allows the Harrier the ability to avoid SAMs given sufficient warning. When the stick actuator (IE me the pilot) changes the nozzle position and moves the stick, the flight computer will move the four elevators in such a manner that you almost get a 90̊ turn. Of course you almost black out but hey that’s better than ejecting if you ask me.

So when a fridge tries to shoot you down you now have a chance to fight back. Take that Molson Canadian!

Okay. That’s enough Fender. You’re wandering off again.  Now back to the business at hand of blowing up fridges and Zamboni’s. Icebox is our flight call sign. I am Icebox-2 for tonight’s mission. Also the wingman for the CO, LCol. “Mister“ Freeze. The whole plan was called Operation Humulus Lupulus. We shorten it to “Op Hops”.

Let’s review the attack plan. We are schedule to fly up Fridge Alley. It is almost due north of Seoul. Here is where there is there a major north-south highway but also the highest concentration of fridges.

Primary mission: Locate and destroy all fridges.

Secondary mission: Take out all untouched hockey and curling rinks as they are used as control centres, Zamboni garage and weapons storage. Don’t let the façade of Canadian sportsmanship stop you from creating a big hole in the ground.

Tertiary mission: Locate any Zamboni and notify the ground forces of location for possible capture

And the ROE is if a fridge fires at you, you get to fire back! No questions asked.

I was flying a minimal bomb load tonight: 2x AGM-123 Skipper II short-range laser-guided bomb, 2x AIM-120 AMRAAM and 2x AIM-9J+. Plus two 300 Gal drop tanks. There have been numerous Swedish JAS39 Griffin sightings so to protect our precious AV-8Xs, we carried a robust self-defence load in case they get pass our F-30 CAP.  And of course there is the old standby, death by lead poisoning with the 25 mm cannon.

We found the Navy AGM-123s just the right size for a fridge. It is composed of a Mark 83 bomb fitted with a Paveway guidance kit and dual thrust Mk 78 solid propellant rocket that fires upon launch. The rockets adds a lot energy so we could go with a smaller bomb.  Anything bigger was a waste of Tritonal. If the target was a hockey or curling rink or a Zamboni, GBU-24 Paveway III or a GBU-31 JDAM could be carried.

I had the ground crew stencil each bomb with “Fridge magnet” and with a Canadian flag with a big “X” laid over it. Yup.  I hate the Canucks with a passion. They ruined a nice easy posting.

There it is. The green “go” light from the tower. We maintained radio silence so the Zambonis don’t know we are coming.  The CO was first out to the runway and I was right behind him.  Set to engine nozzles 45°, push throttle to 100% and off we go. Roll for 500’ and positive rate of climb. Gear up. Flaps up.  Line up on the slime lights and keep formation.

We flew to 5,000 Ft and headed north. About 5 KM from our IP into Fridge alley we dropped down to 1,000 Ft. Necks were set to full swivel mode. 
Nothing from the AWACs. No fighters in the immediate area. Good. Wait! Number 4 picked up a SAM launch. He VIFF’d away from the SAM and did a quick 180° turn and launched an AGM-123 and took out a fridge. No secondary’s but some fireworks. Frig! He hit a decoy fridge. When the decoy senses an incoming bomb, it will try to send up red and white fireworks as a way of saying: “You wasted a bomb!” Smart Asses!

Another SAM! S**T! Pull back and right. The G meter just creeped past 9Gs. Do the squeeze! The G suit was squeezing my legs and abdomen real hard. The irony here is that the G suit was invented by a Canadian, Wilbur Rounding Franks, in 1940. So the Canadians are trying to kill me and save me as the same time.  Make up your mind will ya!

The SAM passed by my left side about 100 meters away.  My turn. Keep an eye on where it came from. Another SAM launch but not at me. I gotcha now you son of a Sleeman. Line up the pip. Steady. Press the weapons release button. Port AGM-123 away. I pulled up hard and to the right to avoid the light from the rocket and then back to the left to get a visual. There a large flash plus some secondary’s. Got ya you Labatt’s loser.  I got a second opportunity but I missed. I think I hit someone’s Hyundai. Oops.

It was all over in 10 minutes. We got two AA fridges, two IEBFs (you know this because after you land you will be picking out pieces of hockey pucks or Indian rubber balls out of your fuselage or wings) and two decoys. Not bad. And it’s cool again to fly a Harrier.

I can now add one more beer fridge silhouette to my fuselage. That’s 4. One more and I’m a Fridge Ace. Off to get a quick shower then over to the officers club and take one beer from our Canadian prisoner of war. Yes we did capture a fridge. Only when you kill a compatriot of his can you take a beer out

When this is all over, I don’t think I will be able look at a fridge the same way.  And the Canadians?  No more Hawaiian Pizza for me. And the traditional “I’m sorry” won’t cut it this time.

In case you are wondering, our squadron name is the: “Fridged-airs”.

: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: The Big Gimper June 17, 2018, 01:58:34 AM
: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: Robomog June 17, 2018, 04:39:01 AM
Great looking model, great back story, very out of the box,  love it!

: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: Brian da Basher June 17, 2018, 09:09:39 PM
That's one fantastic back story to compliment an incredible model!

Love the unique X tail and adding the formation lights on each was inspired!

Brian da Basher
: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: mundster June 19, 2018, 09:17:38 AM
Dear sweet baby Jesus wearing a Leafs' jersey ....

Was I reading Clancy's "Maple Leaf Rising" or Larry Bond's "Poutine Phoenix"?

Take one part Atwood and add a dash of Stephen Leacock, Farley Mowat, Don Cherry and Rick Mercer.

I am not worthy, eh!

Carl, a masterpiece ...

: Re: McDonnell Douglas AV-8X Harrier III
: GTX_Admin June 20, 2018, 01:17:18 AM
Was I reading Clancy's "Maple Leaf Rising" or Larry Bond's "Poutine Phoenix"?