British Sea Harrier Pilot, Falklands War, 1982

Published: June 7th, 2014     
Reviewed by: Bill Kluge - IPMS# 45849
Scale: 1/48
Company: Aerobonus
Price: $10.00
Product / Stock #: 480 086
Product provided by: Aires Hobby Models

Aerobonus has branched out from their long line of US Vietnam-era pilots and air crew figures to produce this standing Sea Harrier pilot figure from the 1982 Falklands War. The figure's flight suit and survival vest fully duplicate the gear typically worn by Royal Navy Harrier pilots (and probably the RAF pilots flying GR1s off HMS Hermes, as well), including the oxygen mask attached to the vest, the Mae West around his neck, and the knee-pad clear pockets on the pilot's legs. The head and arms are molded separately to allow for some variation in the pose. One hand holds a map, chart, or some other paperwork.

For the most part, the individual pieces are easy to detach from the carrier block. One arm is molded along the side of the hand and forearm, so some extra care must be taken to separate it without distorting the part. The resin itself is hard without being brittle, with just the slightest bit of give to it. There's only a slight bit of flash and seam removal needed around the figure's legs and feet.

Once primed, painting is best accomplished by hand with a very small brush. The detail is such that it's easy to distinguish such minor variations as the difference between the flight suit and survival vest, thus easing the job of realistically painting the figure. Take the painting guide as merely a suggestion. It calls for an overall blue-grey suit and vest. A little research will show you a variety of slightly differently hued green or grey-green flight suits typical of western flight crews of the period. One nice touch is the inclusion of scale maps on the painting guide that can be cut out and used on the paper in the pilot's hand and on the knee boards on the pilot's legs.

I have several of these figures by now, and I've noticed one peculiarity that's common to nearly all of them. I'm reminded of the Bill Mauldin Willie and Joe cartoon that showed two soldiers walking through a liberated French town, and all of the visible towns people look just like one of the soldiers. He says to his companion, "This is the town my pappy told me about." It seems that nearly all of the Aerobonus figures that I've acquired have a very strong family resemblance. It's in only those sets that contain two figures that the faces differ. The good news is that the facial features are all extremely well defined.

This is another very worthy effort by Aerobonus. We can only hope that their line of pilot figures, both in and out of ejection seats, proves to be a long and varied one. With a Falklands British Sea Harrier pilot now ready to fly, can an Argentine Dagger or Super Etendard pilot be far behind?

Thanks to Aires Hobby Models for providing the review sample and to IPMS/USA for the chance to review it.

  • Painting Guide
    Painting Guide
  • Printed Maps Closeup
    Printed Maps Closeup
  • Kit Contents
    Kit Contents
  • Kit Contents - Side View
    Kit Contents - Side View
  • Finished Pilot - Right Side
    Finished Pilot - Right Side
  • Finished Pilot - Left Side
    Finished Pilot - Left Side
  • Finished Pilot - Back
    Finished Pilot - Back
  • Finished Pilot Next to Harrier (Harrier Not Included)
    Finished Pilot Next to Harrier (Harrier Not Included)

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