Kinetic 1/48 Kfir C2/C7 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||April 2013||Manufacturer||Kinetic|
|Kit Number||48046||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nicely detailed kit||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$35.99|
When the 1967 War descended upon the Middle East, Israel was urgently awaiting delivery of new Mirage fighters from France as well as other weapons systems needed to survive. When an embargo was placed upon Israel, these aircraft would remain in France and the Israeli Air Force had to work with the resources on-hand. To avoid facing another potential embargo in the future, Israel aggressively pushed forward to establish its own defense industry. One of the first projects on its list was to reverse engineer and build the Mirage V to their own specifications and this indigenous version was called Nesher (Vulture).
As the Nesher proved itself in combat, Israeli Aircraft Industries had already set its sights on an improved aircraft which replaced the Nesher (and Mirage) Atar engine with the American J79 which powered the F-4 and F-104. This combination resulted in the Kfir (Lion Cub). As experience with the Kfir C1 grew, IAI added canards to the intake trunks, strakes to the nose, and a dog-toothed wing leading edge to improve aerodynamic performance and these changes resulted in the Kfir C2. Further improvements added additional pylons, an uprated J79 engine, and improved avionics resulting in the Kfir C7.
Until now, the only two real choices for building a Kfir model was Hasegawa's 1/72 kit which is a bit Spartan on details or find an aftermarket conversion (such as the set from TAC Scale Dynamics) for the 1/32 Revell Mirage kits. The ESCI 1/48 kit that has been reboxed by a number of companies over the years looks like a Kfir from a distance, but it has shape and detail issues which have daunted anyone attempting to build an accurate Kfir.
With this release, Kinetic Models has turned out an interesting kit which nicely renders your choice of the C2 or later C7 variants. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on ten parts trees (duplicate trees not shown), plus a single tree of clear parts.
Among the features of the kit:
- Nicely detailed cockpit with your choice of C2 or C7 instrument panels
- Choice of early or late Martin Baker ejection seats
- Positionable canopy
- Separately molded wheel hubs and tires for ease of painting
- C2 and C7 nose options are included
- Positionable dorsal and ventral speed brakes
- Positionable elevons
Among the weapons and stores in this release:
- 2 x Python III AAMs
- 2 x Griffin Bombs (not used in Israeli AF)
- 7 x Mk.82 Snakeye
- 7 x CBU-20
- 2 x Underwing Fuel Tanks
- 1 x Centerline Fuel Tank
This release has five colorful marking options:
- Kfir C2, 805, The Valley Squadron, Ramat-David AB, 1983
- Kfir C2, 861, The Valley Squadron, Ramat-David AB, 1985
- Kfir C7, 553, The Arava Guardians Squadron, Hatzor AB, 1988
- Kfir C7, 539, The Arava Guardians Squadron, Hatzor AB, 1992
- Kfir C7, 521, The Arava Guardians Squadron, Hatzor AB, 1994
These decals are nicely done and include a nice suite of airframe stenciling and weapons markings. Painting instructions are provided using FS equivalents, Vallejo, Italeri, and GSI (Gunze) paints.
This is another very nice release from Kinetic and is an easy contender for best Kfir kit in any scale.
My sincere thanks to Lucky Model for this review sample!