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Diecast Airplanes
1/72 Warplanes
Hobby Master Commonwealth

Type Attack/fighter
Hobby Master item


Distribution Unlimited

Photographs Copyright © Collin Riley 2005-2014
Harrier GR.7, RAF No. 4 Sqn., ZG859/91, Kuwait, Spring 2003, "Operation Telic"
Air Power Series. This is a very complicated model and it must have been murder to engineer. For all that, the fit and finish is very good, and the pylon loads attach pretty well, and stay attached better than I expected. However, the pilot barely fit into the cockpit, and the "sliding" canopy on my model was crushed down into the cockpit and I like to have never gotten it out.

You don't have to read this. I usually don't attached all or even most of the wing loads that come with these models. That's because I like the look of a clean, unencumbered aircraft. However, I wasn't sure if the pylons on the real plane were left on all the time, or only when the loads were attached. So, I went ahead and put on all the loads that were included with the model.

Seeing the overloaded condition of the wing reminded me of a memo the captain of our ammunition ship sent around to his various department heads. I was senior petty officer of the Ship's Office, so got to see the memo, which pictured an F-4 flying with a bomb and rocket load that stretched from wing tip to wing tip. In big letters under the picture he had written "Propaganda!". The memo surprised me so much that I never forgot it--I thought that hanging all those weapons under the wing was the way it was done! Ah, youth! Anyway, the captain was a member of some test pilots association, had flown a wide variety of Navy jets and prop jobs (including an Avenger during the Atlantic campaign in WWII), and was getting command experience at sea in the hopes of becoming the captain of a carrier. With all this expertise, he probably knew what he was talking about, so I take with a grain of salt the heavy wing loadings included with all these models.

You REALLY don't have to read this. By the way, the captain was a bit of a maverick, allowing beer on the ship as a reward after an especially hard deployment. He also wore a pearl-handled pistol and a pilot's leather jacket whenever he was on the bridge. In addition, he took every opportunity to get the ship in near the coast of Viet Nam so that the crew could collect $50 a month combat pay! We sometime got in close enough to pass electronic gear to river boats, and to supply six-inch and five-inch shells to cruisers and destroyers shelling the coast. We also watched as the ships fired at targets inland. As I say, we were close. It's amazing how alert you become when you're riding an ammunition ship loaded with several tons of ammo that close inshore!

Copyright © Collin Riley 2005-2014 Email Diecast Airplanes & Waterline Ships Next