Custom Aeronautical Miniatures 1/32 Kfir C7 Conversion Set First Look
|Date of Review||1997||Manufacturer||Custom Aeronautical Miniatures|
|Subject||Kfir C7 Conversion Set||Scale||1/32|
|Kit Number||32017||Media||Resin, White Metal|
|Pros||Major conversion & upgrade to Revell 1/32 Mirage kit||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$62.95|
Editor's Note: When this review was first written, the Kfir conversion was producted by TAC Scale Dynamics, but they have since closed their doors and sold the molds to Custom Aeronautical Miniatures (CAM). CAM, in turn, was sold to another company and while they still produce decals, the resin molds were sold to John's Models.
When the Israeli Air Force was first created in the late 1940s, it was equipped with numerous surplus aircraft that came from a variety of 'creative' sources. It was this initial cadre of aircraft that saw Bf109, P-51 and Spitfire all on the same team.
By the mid 1960s, the Israeli Air Force had begun to standardize on the French-built Mirage III as their front-line fighter. In fact, they had contracted with Dassault for a number of purpose-built aircraft for Israeli service, the Mirage IIICJ. When hostilities broke out into what became the '67 War, France placed an embargo on war materials and many of the much-needed Mirages sat on the ground in France.
It was evident, even before the war, that Israel needed its own aircraft industry to sustain itself regardless of the world's political climates. The Mirage III had proven itself in combat, so it became the first aircraft to be produced. In order to improve performance and combat capabilities, the Kfir (lion cub) started with a modified Mirage airframe, replacing the French-built Atar engine with the US-built J79 engine used in aircraft like the F-104, F-4, etc. The Kfir C2 was next, employing new avionics and weapons, and incorporated the distinctive canards on the intake trunks. The Kfir has been exported to many countries, and the US even leased a squadron of them for aggressor duties as the F-21 Kfir. Further enhancements have led to the current Kfir C7.
The folks at TAC Scale Dynamics have produced some great 1/32 detail accessories in the last few years, but nothing compares to their 1/32 Kfir C7 kit! This set is comprised of dozens of resin and white metal parts. It is designed to modify any of the Revell 1/32 Mirage III or Mirage V kits into a Kfir C7. Take a look at the photo below and you'll see a wealth of replacement parts.
This set literally replaces major portions of the kit from nose to tail. Starting with a nice resin nose with that distinguishing Kfir profile, the set adds canards to the intake trunks; new nose and maingear struts, doors and details; a whole new cockpit, instrument panel and beautiful ejection seat; two new gunports; six new weapons pylons; a new intake for the base of the vertical stab; and a multipiece exhaust nozzle/tailpipe that captures the aircraft's J79 engine beautifully. With a little work, it is possible to use this detail set to create the Kfir C2.
Despite the fact that the Revell 1/32 Mirages are out of production, I had no problem finding several in the $15-$20 range. One I found on a hobby shop shelf and another out on eBay. If you are as much of an admirer of the Israeli Air Force as I am, you'll want to get the Revell kit and this detail set to add a significant piece of history to your scale flightline.