Wingman Models 1/48 Kfir C2/C7 Israeli AF Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||November 2013||Manufacturer||Wingman Models|
|Subject||Kfir C2/C7 Israeli AF||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||48002||Primary Media||Styrene, Resin, Photo-Etch, Turned Brass|
|Pros||Nicest Kfir kit in any scale, comprehensive decals||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$99.95|
When the 1967 War descended upon the Middle East, Israel was urgently awaiting delivery of new Mirage fighters from France as well as other weapons systems needed to survive. When an embargo was placed upon Israel, these aircraft would remain in France and the Israeli Air Force had to work with the resources on-hand. To avoid facing another potential embargo in the future, Israel aggressively pushed forward to establish its own defense industry. One of the first projects on its list was to reverse engineer and build the Mirage V to their own specifications and this indigenous version was called Nesher (Vulture).
As the Nesher proved itself in combat, Israeli Aircraft Industries had already set its sights on an improved aircraft which replaced the Nesher (and Mirage) Atar engine with the American J79 which powered the F-4 and F-104. This combination resulted in the Kfir (Lion Cub). As experience with the Kfir C1 grew, IAI added canards to the intake trunks, strakes to the nose, and a dog-toothed wing leading edge to improve aerodynamic performance and these changes resulted in the Kfir C2. Further improvements added additional pylons, an uprated J79 engine, and improved avionics resulting in the Kfir C7.
Until now, the only two real choices for building a Kfir model was Hasegawa's 1/72 kit which is a bit Spartan on details or find an aftermarket conversion (such as the set from TAC Scale Dynamics) for the 1/32 Revell Mirage kits. The ESCI 1/48 kit that has been reboxed by a number of companies over the years looks like a Kfir from a distance, but it has shape and detail issues which have daunted anyone attempting to build an accurate Kfir.
Earlier this year, Kinetic Models released the first good kit of the Kfir in 1/48 scale ( look here). A new company called Wingman Models has raised the bar further on the Kfir with this release. This is Kinetic's kit (with a few changes) and some nice multimedia parts to create the best Kfir kit in any scale. Let's take a closer look:
This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on six parts trees plus one tree of clear parts. The kit also includes a nice selection of resin parts, one fret of photo-etched parts, and turned brass parts. One additional tree of nose parts are included but these are not used as Kinetic updated the noses for this release and provided a new tree.
Among the features of the kit:
- Nicely detailed resin cockpit with your choice of C2 or C7 instrument panels
- Choice of early or late resin Martin Baker ejection seats w/photo-etch pull handles
- Positionable canopy
- Resin wheels
- C2 and C7 nose options are included
- Positionable dorsal and ventral speed brakes
- Positionable elevons
- Nice intake ducts
- Resin J79 afterburner nozzle
- Turned brass pitot and angle of attack probes/sensors
- Nice set of paint masks included
Among the weapons and stores in this release:
- 2 x GBU-12 Paveway
- 2 x Supersonic Fuel Tanks
- 2 x Subsonic Fuel Tanks
This release has 21 colorful marking options:
- Kfir C2, 264, 4XCFK, Paris Airshow 1977
- Kfir C2, 263, 4XCFL, Paris Airshow 1977
- Kfir C2, 882, Hornet Squadron, 1979
- Kfir C2, 872, First Fighter Squadron, 1979
- Kfir C2, 871, First Fighter Squadron, 1982
- Kfir C2, 874, First Fighter Squadron, 1986, MiG kill
- Kfir C2, 834, Arava Guardians Squadron, Etzion AB, 1979
- Kfir C2, 891, Arava Guardians Squadron, Ovda AB, 1982
- Kfir C2, 808, Hornet Squadron, Hatzor AB, 1981
- Kfir C2, 847, Hornet Squadron, Hatzor AB, 1984
- Kfir C2, 804, Smashing Parrot Squadron, Etzion AB, 1980
- Kfir C2, 822, Smashing Parrot Squadron, Ovda AB, 1987
- Kfir C2, 869, Smashing Parrot Squadron, Hatzor AB, 1990
- Kfir C2, 805, The Valley Squadron, Ramat-David AB, 1984
- Kfir C2, 835, The Valley Squadron, Ramat-David AB, 1985
- Kfir C2, 854, First Fighter Squadron, Hatzor AB, 1984
- Kfir C2, 858, First Fighter Squadron, Hatzor AB, 1989
- Kfir C7, 532, Arava Guadians Squadron, Ovda AB, 1986, 'Barak' (Lightning)
- Kfir C7, 546, Arava Guadians Squadron, Ovda AB, 1988, 'Shalhevet' (Flame)
- Kfir C7, 512, Arava Guadians Squadron, Ovda AB, 1991, 'Shfifon' (Viper)
- Kfir C7, 521, Arava Guadians Squadron, Ovda AB, 1994, 'Pluto'
These decals are nicely done and include a nice suite of airframe stenciling and weapons markings. Painting instructions are provided using FS equivalents. With the numbers and markings provided, you could replicate just about any Kfir C2/C7 in the Israeli AF if you don't care for any of these 21 options.
This is an impressive release from Wingman Models and has taken the already nice Kinetic kit and turned it into an AMS modeler's perfect kit.
My sincere thanks to Wingman Models for this review sample!