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Book Review
AV-8B Harrier
US Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


This title covering the US Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier is the first title in a new series from SAM Publications, this new series of books falls under the banner of Combat Edge. The following text is provided by SAM Publications.

The incomparable AV-8B Harrier is one of the most iconic aircraft to have served with the US Marine Corps. This new book looks at the background of the Harrier in US service, and details the AV-8B, AV-8B Night Attack variant, the radar equipped Harrier II Plus and the TAV-8B two seat trainer. The book looks in at the role of the Harrier in the US Marine Corps, its use in combat from Operation ‘Desert Storm’ to current employments in Afghanistan and beyond. Using top quality photography, walk arounds, in-detail images and colour artwork the Harrier is shown in detail, making this a unique guide to the aircraft for both the enthusiast and the modeller alike.


This book looks to be all the work of Andy Evans, and I should thank him from the start for his efforts, as this first in the series looks promising from the first turn of a page. The book is a soft back offering, the cover is a stiff glossy card. There are 84 pages to this title and they are a good semi-gloss quality paper. The book is broken up into the following sections:
Harrier Origins
The AV-8B
The AV-8B (NA) Night Attack
Harrier Walkaround
The AV-8B Harrier II Plus
Colour Profiles
The TAV-8B
Harrier in Scale

I should state that this book is not what you would call a damn good read, the reason for that is that the photographs and captions do all the talking required by most modellers and dedicated text is kept to a minimum. Up until chapter 4 the text does a suitable job of providing a sufficient explanation of the chapter, but I stand by my belief that it is the photographs that will sell this title to most modellers.

The Walkaround section of the book is very good, going to the trouble of pointing out specifics to look for; this will be particularly helpful for the modeller. In addition to the Walkaround this title also looks closely at the weapons system for the Harrier and even covers the Harrier undergoing major maintenance.

The end sections of the book covering the artwork opens up some interesting options for those willing to put in the effort. The model section offers up some interesting information, but I cannot help thinking that this section needs to be bigger or at least could have done with being bigger. With that said looked at as a whole package it does tick a lot of the boxes where modellers are concerned.


It is not often that a British aircraft becomes a major part of the US military inventory. The Harrier is only the second aircraft I can think of to make the grade, and has proved so popular that it is my understanding that the decommissioned British Harriers are making their way to the US of A. The book itself is worthy of the price and should meet many of the needs of the modeller. Looking at this title, I get the feeling that it is a condensed version alternative to the Modellers Datafile publications. At a cost of £9.99 this book is a no brainer for the modeller with a Harrier itch to scratch.
Highs: Affordable quality reference material has to rate this this book highly.
Lows: I would have liked to see a bit more content in the model section of this title.
Verdict: If I were building a US Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier, I would buy this without hesitation.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: Combat Edge 1
  Suggested Retail: £9.99
  PUBLISHED: Oct 15, 2016
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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