Eduard 1/48 Mirage 2000C Kit First Look
|Date of Review||January 2008||Manufacturer||Eduard|
|Subject||Dassault Mirage 2000C||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||1129||Primary Media||Styrene/Photo-Etch/Resin|
|Pros||Nice update to the Heller kit||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$54.95|
The Mirage 2000 was the next generation development of the famous delta-winged fighter series that started with the Mirage III. It was actually not supposed to be the next fighter as the French Air Force's Future Combat Aircraft was originally supposed to have variable geometry wings. When that program was cancelled, Dassault put forth a lower risk option with the Mirage 2000.
First flown in 1978, it was paired with the twin-engine Mirage 4000 to compete in the fighter export market - the Mirage 2000 versus F-16 and the Mirage 4000 versus the F-15. When Saudi Arabia selected the F-15, Dassault's privately funded development didn't have a launch customer and the sole prototype Mirage 4000 was moved to a museum. The Mirage 2000 was a strong commercial success with at least eight air forces operating the type not counting the French Air Force.
The Mirage 2000C is the front line interceptor and air superiority fighter of many air forces today. While the aircraft has been in service for several decades now, it remained in production until November 2007 and numerous companies continue to offer avionics and armament updates to keep this potent fighter up to date.
Eduard has added the Mirage 2000 air superiority aircraft to its Dassault line-up with this release. Based upon the Heller kit, this release consists of five parts trees molded in light gray styrene plus a single tree of clear parts. The Heller bag shots were delivered to Eduard with the clear parts inside the bag with the other parts and my example had most of the canopy parts roaming free of their parts tree.
Out of the box, the Heller kit is nicely done and features a clean, smooth surface and scribed detailing. The main wheels are molded in halves, but these should be easily dealt with or you may find some aftermarket wheels to replace these.
Now Eduard never leaves such a kit alone. In this case, they've provided new resin ejection seat that is very nicely done, a new resin centerline fuel tank, a set of paint masks, plus a fret of color-printed photo-etch. If you look carefully at the instrument panels, you can see the nice all-glass cockpit is replicated along with some nice color-printed ejection seat harness details and new nozzle feathers for the exhaust nozzle.
The kit provides a pair of Magic IR dogfight missiles, a pair of Super 530 radar-guided missiles, and the ASMP nuclear missile (not used in this project). A pair of external tanks and the new resin centerline fuel tank round out these options.
Markings are provided for five French AF and one Indian AF aircraft:
- Mirage 2000C, 12-YB, EC.01.012 Cambresis, Cambrai-Epinoy AFB, Tiger Meet
- Mirage 2000C, 12-YF, EC.01.012 Cambresis, Cambrai-Epinoy AFB, 90th Anniversary Scheme
- Mirage 2000C, 5-OP. EC.02.005 Ile de France, Al Ahsa AB, Operation Desert Storm, 1991
- Mirage 2000C, 12-YN, EC.01.012 Cambresis, Cambrai-Epinoy AFB
- Mirage 2000C, 5-OZ. EC.02.005 Ile de France, Orange AFB, 2005
- Mirage 2000H, KF124. 1 Sqn Tigers, Ambala AB, Indian AF
The nicely printed decal sheet also contains an extensive set of airframe maintenance stenciling. Nice.
Even though the Mirage 2000 is widely used, there are very few kits of the type on the market and none of them are stellar. With the addition of Eduard's masks, details and decals, plus the resin ejection parts, this kit shines above all of the Mirage 2000Cs in this scale on the market.
My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!