Eduard 1/48 Dassault Mirage IIIC Royal Class Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2005||Manufacturer||Eduard|
|Subject||Dassault Mirage IIIC Royal Class||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||R001||Primary Media||Styrene/Photo-Etch/Resin|
|Pros||Nicest Mirage III in any scale||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$74.98|
Marcel Bloch, famous French aircraft designer prior to the fall of France to Germany, adopted the covert name used by his brother in the underground and become Marcel Dassault. After producing a number of combat aircraft designs building on the captured knowledge of WW2 German aviation research, Dassault turned to the challenge of developing a Mach 2 interceptor that would keep France in step with aircraft developments in Britain, USSR and the United States.
The result of the Mach 2 design effort was the delta-winged Mirage III which first flew in 1956. Since that successful milestone, the Mirage has evolved into a capable fighter, fighter-bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, and more. The Mirage IIIC in particular was designed as an all-weather interceptor that could perform ground attack missions in daylight.
While the Mirage III has seen service in a number of air forces around the world, the Mirage gained its fame while in service with the Israeli Air Force, proving more than a match for the latest Soviet designs. While some recognized the Mirage for its operational potential, the real sales were generated on the Israelis' combat record with the type.
Here is the ultimate 1/48 Mirage IIIC kit. This is the first 'Royal Class' release in Eduard's product line, but if you've been watching their website, this won't be the last! The Royal Class kits are a set above the Profipacks, which in themselves are excellent buys.
In a basic Eduard kit release, you'll find the styrene kit, decals, and perhaps a small fret of photo-etch and/or a canopy/wheel mask. These basic kits are targeted for the budget-minded and those modelers not comfortable working with lots of photo-etch parts.
Profipack kits have additional photo-etch and (in some cases) resin detail parts. These kits also have different decals than the basic kits.
Those that purchase the basic kits can update them by purchasing the photo-etch parts included in the Profipacks separately. The Eduard release catalogs clearly show which photo-etch sets are intended for their own kits.
This Royal Class kit has the name basic kit as the basic Mirage IIIC and Mirage IIIC Profipacks, but also includes an additional fret of photo-etch for the afterburner chamber and additional decal options.
These Eduard Mirage kits are all-new tooling that could easily be the nicest Mirage kit available in any scale.
The kit is molded light gray styrene and presented on eight parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. A small fret of color photo-etch parts are also included containing the handles, belts and harnesses for the ejection seat. A small zip-lock bag is included with a new resin ejection seat.
As usual for an aircraft kit, construction begins in the cockpit. First up is the nicely detailed resin ejection seat (thanks to the photo-etch) which drops into the cockpit tub. The photo-etch parts also provide the instrument panel (with acetate instrument faces) and side consoles.
The wheel wells are very nicely done in this kit, and another interesting innovation is a set of ducts that go inside the fuselage to fool the eye into seeing depth. With the intake duct and intakes installed, the wing is attached to the fuselage and now the kit looks like a Mirage!
The flight control surfaces are separately molded. You need to make some choices at this point as to control surface positioning as well as how you'll arm your aircraft. Your options include either 500 liter or 625 liter external fuel tanks, Matra 530C/K, Matra 530E/M, AIM-9D, Matra ATM-9D, and/or JL 100R rocket pods. Eduard also released a detail set for the weapons in this kit, but for some reason didn't include the set in this kit.
The kit also provides a positionable canopy, boarding ladder, and even a pilot figure to stand next to the aircraft.
A nice set of Eduard paint masks are included for the wheels, canopy, windscreen, outlining the burnt metal around the afterburner section, masking the red trim around the intakes, and some of the distinctive markings.
Markings are provided for sixteen aircraft:
- Mirage IIIC Nr 92, EC 02/010, Seine, Armee de l'Air, April 1976
- Mirage IIIC Nr 50, EC 02/013, Alpes, Armee de l'Air, 1963
- Mirage IIIC Nr 31, EC 02/010, Seine, Armee de l'Air, May 1978
- Mirage IIIC Nr 87, EC 03/020, Vesin, Armee de l'Air, Oct 1984
- Mirage IIIC Nr 28, EC 01/002, Cigognes, Armee de l'Air, Feb 1964
- Mirage IIIC Nr 25, EC 01/010, Valois, Armee de l'Air, April 1977
- Mirage IIIC Nr 67, EC 03/010, Vexin, Armee de l'Air, Jul 1981
- Mirage IIICJ Nr 59, 101 Sqn, IDF, 1968
- Mirage IIICJ Nr 259, 101 Sqn, IDF, 1970
- Mirage IIICJ Nr 159, 101 Sqn, IDF, 1973
- Mirage IIICJ Nr 768, 119 Sqn, IDF, 1968
- Mirage IIICJ Nr 764, 117 Sqn, IDF, 1970/71
- Mirage IIICJ Nr 176, 117 Sqn, IDF, 1973
- Mirage IIICJ Nr 745, 117 Sqn, IDF, 1967
- Mirage IIICZ Nr 814, 2 Sqn, SAAF, 1971
- Mirage IIICZ Nr 800, 2 Sqn, SAAF, 1982
Four decal sheets are included in the kit, three with the distinctive aircraft markings, the other with a complete set of maintenance stencils. What you're getting here are the decals offered in kits 8100, 8101 and 8102.
This Royal Class kit also includes 'Lock-On' - an aerial combat simulation from UbiSoft (PC version only) and a frameable print of a pair of French Air Force Mirage IIICs in flight.
These Royal Class kits are supposed to be limited editions with only 1,000 examples released. I am a little disappointed that this kit didn't include the photo-etch detail set for the weapons also released for this kit (sold separately).
Is a Royal Class kit worth the additional cost? If you're an AMS modeler that usually acquires lots of aftermarket stuff for your projects, you get just about everything you'd ever need for this kit all in the box. The PC game is perhaps a bonus.