Anigrand Craftswork 1/72 Mirage G8 Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||September 2010||Manufacturer||Anigrand Craftswork|
|Kit Number||2095||Primary Media||Resin|
|Pros||Beautiful casting, nice test-fit||Cons||G8.02 decals not provided|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$76.00|
In the mid-1960s, the French government levied a requirement for a variable geometry fighter that could operate from land or aircraft carrier. This fighter would be capable of speeds greater than Mach 2. The first prototype was a single-engined design and this became the Mirage G, a variable geometry adaptation of the Mirage F2 that didn't go into production. Powered by a license-built Pratt & Whitney TF306 engine, this variant was cancelled.
In its place, the design was altered into a twin-engined strike fighter that was powered by a pair of SNECMA M53 engines and retained the two-place seating of the Mirage G. This variant became the Mirage G4, but this too was redirected into a new set of requirements that would become the Mirage G8.
Unlike the G4, the Mirage G8 was designated as an interceptor and two prototypes were built. The first was a two-seat design while the second was a single-place fighter. While performance and capability were good, no funding was provided in the French defense budget and the aircraft also became a development footnote.
Anigrand Craftswork has returned with a new-tool rendition of the Dassault Mirage G8. Parts are included to render the twin-seat G8.01 or single-seat G8.02.
Cast in tan resin, the G8 kit is laid out in standard Anigrand fashion with hollow-cast fuselage halves, plug-in wings and tail, hollow-cast engine intakes and exhaust cans, and resin landing gear. The clear resin parts have improved significantly as these parts are crystal clear. Clear castings are provided for the front and rear cockpits, with the idea that you'll paint over the rear canopy and blend in the seams to render the G8.02.
What is interesting about this release is the design of the wings. This is the first variable geometry aircraft I've seen in resin and Anigrand has made these wings movable with the two wings moving in unison thanks to internal gearing.
The G8.01 and G8.02 were essentially the same airframe with one or two cockpits, two slightly different vertical stabilizers, two different styles of ventral fins, and two different shaped radomes. All of these different parts are in the box so you can build your choice of G8s, or better still, buy two and build both.
The landing gear appears to be hefty enough to hold this kit but you'll need some ballast in the nose to keep the model from resting on its tail, especially with the wings swept aft.
Markings are provided for the prototype G8.01 but not for the G8.02.
Anigrand continues to turn out some interesting subjects to fill in the gaps of aviation history for those aircraft that didn't get past flight test. Congratulations on this nice Mirage G8 kit!
My sincere thanks to the US importer, Nostalgic Plastic for this review sample!