Review of GPM No. 53 - Harrier aircraft and hints
This is the first Polish cardboard plane I have completed. I found it difficult and frustrating to make, but I am very proud of the result as it ends up looking impressive. The quality of the card was good, except for the fact that many of the formers, wing struts, wheels, etc. are supplied as templates on thin paper which needs to be glued to card. I believe that this is common practice for Polish models.
The model parts are hand drawn - this is evident in some of the formers where the sides are not completely symmetrical. Most of the fuselage formers fitted reasonably well, but I had to make a larger sized W6 and the former that fits in the back of segment 3 is not shown on the diagrams. This segment 3 is also too small vertically to fit properly against W3 (the segment with the intakes printed on it). I decided that I would attach it at the top, leaving an unsightly gap underneath (nobody will be allowed to pick up the model). Segments 2 and 3 have no formers at the join which is halfway along the cockpit (the diagram incorrectly shows part C - the instrument panel - as if it is a former).
The instrument panel would not fit without major surgery, and I found out later that the pilot seat was too high for the canopy - I had to amputate, shorten and reattach the top of the seat. I found the ring tabs provided to join the fuselage segment were too narrow, and cut them wider to give a larger gluing area when sliding on the adjacent segments. Segment 7 is actually in two parts 7 and 7a which I joined with two horizontal tabs (this is not shown in diags. which show 7a as a bottom flap on fuselage. Neither is W6b shown - a vertical former under W6a - both of these were too long and had to be shortened). Segment 8 is hopelessly too big for the framework and adjacent segments, I used the horizontal line on each side to separate it into two parts and reattached with some overlap while fitting it to the framework. I have no idea what the two white attachment stripes on the back of the cockpit canopy frame are there for - I painted over them.
The four engine exhaust nozzles looked intimidating - it was tedious to join the splits with tabs because of the unusual shape, and to fit the internal baffle plates, but after painting the interiors, they looked good. I cut gluing tabs along the top and bottom of fairings 11 and 11a to help attach them to the sides of the fuselage. The back ends of 12/12a? looked rediculous open so I closed these off with spare card which also stiffened them - this may not be true to the original.
How to attach the wings firmly? I widened the fuselage slots on each side for the wing spars, made two slightly longer copies of W9a (not shown on any diag.?). I then glued these across the fuselage from one slot to the other leaving a snug gap between the two. Later I used this gap to slide in the ends of the wing spars from each side. I do not know how the front wing flaps 15a, b are supposed to be attached. I left slight gaps between for sliding parts 15c in place. This is made more confusing by the fact that the camouflage has been painted upside down on some of the flaps. I would have given up if I had not already invested so much time and effort in the model. The only way out - besides paint - was to doctor one of the flaps by cutting a triangle off one end and replacing it at the other end. The result is a bit unsatisfactory due to some of the black markings running in the wrong direction. The side markings L and P for left/ right on fairings 16/a are marked incorrecly.
In general the camouflage is carelessly done and doesn't line up from one part to the next. There are no undercarriage flaps 3b provided. The main undercarriage is not shown at all in the overall views, but a small circle under the fuselage segment 6 gives away the probable point of attachment. The parts provided for all the undercarriage legs bear very little resemblance to the assembly diagrams (worst for part 17 which seems to have been changed after the diagrams were printed). It is a matter of guesswork and creation of your own parts.
Translation of Polish instructions:
PIECES MARKED WITH THE LETTER P - RIGHT SIDE.
PIECES MARKED WITH THE LETTER L - LEFT SIDE.
TEST EACH ELEMENT FOR FIT PRIOR TO GLUING.
Glue the fuselage from parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and frames W1,
W2, W2a, W3, W4, W5, W6, W7, W8.
Before gluing parts 2 and 3 assemble the cockpit interior and pilot seat parts A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, glue guard and the gunsight to part C.
Next glue together part 13 and framesW10, W10a, parts 8a, 10L, 10P. Parts 26 are curled/formed into shape and glued where indicated. Other parts are glued as shown in the diagrams and the overall views of the model.
Glue together the wings using parts 15, 15a, 15b, struts W9, ribs W12 into slots, flaps parts 15a, b, and c as in diag.
To the wing tips glue fairings 16, 16a, and to these auxiliary undercarriage made from 17, 17a, b, c, 29 and wire X3.
Under the wings mount armament pilons (parts 21, 19, 18) and part 20 and to these auxiliary tanks (parts 24, a, b, c) and rockets (parts 25, 25a, b).
Glue tail plane 14 to frame strut W11. Glue unit to marked position on fuselage.
Glue 23 under fuselage where indicated.
Assemble front undercarriage from 27, a , b and wire X1.
Main undercarriage is made from 28, a, b, c, d and wires X2 and X1a
Glue all other parts as shown in diagrams.
Return to the Card Model Main Page
This page was created by:
Saul H. Jacobs M.Ed.
Docent: Pima Air and Space Museum, Tucson, AZ.
Avionics Specialist: United States Air Force (Retired)
Microcomputer Technology: Pima Community College (Retired)