PJ Production 1/72 Mirage 5 BA/BR Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2012||Manufacturer||PJ Production|
|Subject||Mirage 5 BA/BR||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||721027||Primary Media||Styrene, Resin, Photo Etch|
|Pros||Very nice detailing||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (Euro)||29.80€|
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.
The Mirage 5 was derived from the Mirage 3 by replacing the avionics bay behind the cockpit with additional fuel and moving essential avionics into the nose in place of a radar that wasn't needed for the Mirage 5's mission - air-to-ground tactical strike. The change was not only successful, but the popularity of the type led to the development of many advanced variants of the basic Mirage 5 airframe.
PJ Production has teamed up with High Planes Models to release several variants of the Mirage 3 and Mirage 5 series aircraft. Produced in high-pressure styrene molds, this kit is presented on four parts trees of gray styrene plus one tree of clear parts. Additional parts are also provided cast in tan resin with two reconnaissance noses cast in clear resin.
The kit is very modular to allow for a variety of possibilities straight out of this box including some that are intended for future releases. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Choice of two tail configurations - pre and post 1980
- Choice of antenna configurations
- Choice of MB Mk.4 or MB Mk.10 ejection seats (pre and post 1980)
- Choice of Mirage 5BA (attack) or Mirage 5BR (reconnaissance) variants
- Choice of pre and post 1980 reconnaissance noses
- Choice of subsonic 1700 liter or supersonic 500 liter external tanks
- Optional photo-etched boarding ladder
- Positional canopy
The modularity of this kit plus the resin enhancements make it possible to replicate any number of special configurations in the Mirage III and Mirage V families. The subjects currently available include this Mirage V BA/BR, a Mirage IIIE which we will examine separately, the Mirage IIIO, IAI Dagger A, and IAI Nesher S. According to the parts on these trees, we'll also be seeing the Mirage 50 given the canards on the second parts tree.
The markings included in this kit are for :
- Mirage 5 BA, BA19, 1 Sqn, Belgian AF, 1989
- Mirage 5 BA, BA43, 2 Sqn, Belgian AF, 1980
- Mirage 5 BA, BA54, 8 Sqn, Belgian AF, 1991
- Mirage 5 BR, BR19, 42 Sqn, Belgian AF, 1978
- Mirage 5 BR, BR27, 42 Sqn, Belgian AF, 1980s
Paint instructions are given in Humbrol, Gunze/GSI, and Tamiya paints with references to FS595 or RAL where appropriate. The decal sheet also provides a nice assortment of maintenance stenciling and generic letters and numbers to replicate other aircraft in the Belgian AF.
This collaboration between High Planes Models and PJ Production has provided modelers with an excellent range of possibilities in the Mirage family. I've rated this kit as experienced skill level given the limited run approach will require some modeling skills to get everything assembled 'just right'. Now if only we had something similar in 1/48 scale...
You can order this kit from a number of companies listed on PJ Production's website or order the kit directly from them.
My sincere thanks to PJ Production for this review sample!