Eduard 1/48 Dassault Mirage IIIC Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||October 2005||Manufacturer||Eduard|
|Subject||Dassault Mirage IIIC||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||8100||Primary Media||Styrene/Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nicest Mirage IIIC in 1/48||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$44.98|
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 one of the Mirage IIIC releases from Eduard. This kit is an all-new tooling that could easily be the nicest Mirage kit available in any scale. The first release of this kit was the Mirage IIICJ, the Israeli Air Force version. This time the kit is all French!
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.
As usual for an aircraft kit, construction begins in the cockpit. First up is the nicely detailed ejection seat (thanks to the photo-etch) which drops into the cockpit tub. What distinguishes this kit from a Profipack is the level of photo-etched detail included in the box. This kit is not a Profipack, so the instrument panel and side consoles are decals. The Profipack version has photo-etch in place of the cockpit decals, whilst the Royal Class version has the Profipack details as well as a photo-etched afterburner chamber and other nice details.
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.
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 four French AF and one South African AF aircraft:
- Mirage IIIC Nr 92, EC 02/010, Armee de l'Air, Seine, April 1976
- Mirage IIIC Nr 50, EC 02/013, Armee de l'Air, Alpes, 1963
- Mirage IIIC Nr 31, EC 02/010, Armee de l'Air, Seine, May 1978
- Mirage IIIC Nr 87, EC 03/020, Armee de l'Air, Vesin, Oct 1984
- Mirage IIICZ Nr 800, 2 Sqn, SAAF, 1982
Two complete decal sheets are included in the kit, one with the distinctive aircraft markings, the other with a complete set of maintenance stencils. The latter sheet has been used with other releases as some of the maintenance stencils are in Hebrew.
This is definitely the nicest Mirage III kit I have seen and the detailing is typical Eduard - outstanding.