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Mirage IIIE/O/R/RD Kit

Kinetic 1/48 Mirage IIIE/O/R/RD Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2015 Manufacturer Kinetic
Subject Mirage IIIE/O/R/RD Scale 1/48
Kit Number 48050 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nicely detailed kit Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $59.95

First Look

Mirage IIIE/O/R/RD Kit
Mirage IIIE/O/R/RD Kit
Mirage IIIE/O/R/RD Kit
Mirage IIIE/O/R/RD Kit
Mirage IIIE/O/R/RD Kit
Mirage IIIE/O/R/RD Kit

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.

Kinetic Models is back with the first new-tool Mirage III airframe since Eduard's brief Mirage IIIC releases about ten years ago (and HobbyBoss' similar kits that followed). This time we have the Mirage IIIE airframe which has a longer fuselage than the Mirage IIIC and is designed as a multi-role fighter and opens the way to a wide range of possible variants.

This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 15 parts trees (duplicate trees not shown), plus a single tree of clear parts.

Among the features of the kit:

  • Parts options for Mirage IIIE, IIIEA, IIIO, IIIR, and IIIRD
  • Nicely detailed cockpit
  • Choice of fighter or reconnaissance instrument panels
  • Choice of standard ejection seat or MB Mk.IV
  • Positionable canopy
  • Choice of radome or recce nose
  • Choice of doppler radar fairing under nose or not
  • Choice of standard fin base or HF antenna fairing (Mirage IIIEA)
  • Full-length intake ducts to an ATAR compressor face
  • Separately molded tires and wheel hubs for easy painting
  • Positionable flight control surfaces (except rudder)
  • Positionable speed brakes
  • Positionable landing gear

Among the weapons and stores in this release:

  • 2 x Magic 1/2
  • 2 x AIM-9B
  • 2 x JL100
  • 2 x LAU-32
  • 2 x Mk.82 Snakeye
  • 1 x AS-30L
  • 2 x RPK10 500 liter wing tanks
  • 2 x RP30 1700 liter wing tanks

This release has five colorful marking options:

  • Mirage IIIE, 4-BB, EC 1/4, Armee de l'Air, BA116 Luxeuil, 1967
  • Mirage IIIEE, 11-06, Ala 11, Spanish AF, Manises AB, 1986
  • Mirage IIIO, A3-7, 2 OCU, RAAF, RAAF Williamtown, 1987
  • Mirage IIIR, 33-TC, EC 3/33, Armee de l'Air, BA124 Strasbourg-Entzheim, 1963
  • Mirage IIIRD, 33-TL, EC 3/33, Armee de l'Air, BA124 Strasbourg-Entzheim, 1987

These decals are nicely done and include a nice suite of airframe stenciling and weapons markings. Painting instructions are provided using FS equivalents and Humbrol paints.

You can see in the parts images how the kit is modular with small trees for variant-specific parts which likely means we'll be seeing other Mirage III and perhaps Mirage V variants in our future. With the parts in this box, you should be able to replicate a number of Mirage IIIE/R variants though you'll need to find aftermarket markings for many of the export operators not covered in this release.

My sincere thanks to Lucky Model for this review sample!