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(Edit: From all the suggestions for modifications on the kit later on in the thread, I made a continuously updated visual list here.)

Hi all,

Aaaaahhhh.... I've been looking forward to this moment. One of my favorite aircraft. Looks almost like it's designed by a science fiction artist - with the extreme pointed nose which contrasts nicely the bulbous curves of the two-seat canopy.

In between several builds I received this kit. I gave it right of way over other builds, which I have put on hold for the moment. I'll finish them, but curiosity got the better of me so let's start! I'll be building as Out-of-the-Boxily as possible. I might seek out aftermarket decals, but I'll think about that later. I am gravitating tworards a standard Armée de l'Air line bird from the mid 1980s.

But I am known to change my mind. Anyway... The kit!

27908996500_dcf1a98293_c.jpg

The kit's contents look as detailed and generally yummy as the single-seater versions, only now we get two sprues with the complete F.1B (B for Biplace) fuselage.

28112045791_f3166f7a0c_c.jpg

I gave the plastic a lukewarm bath, and this is the Mirage-to-be drying, giving me a chance to look over the parts.

28112042011_58d9b08b50_c.jpg

Notice the two complete fuselages. Unfortunately the pitot tube came bent. As the part is essentially unprotected in the box, I can’t see how that could have been prevented.

28155899806_cb67b226f0_c.jpg

The two-seater retained the separate nose parts intended for the single-seater. The refuelling probe needs to be detached from part B61 if you want to build the colourful 50th anniversary version of 3/30 Lorraine of the Armée de l'Air in 1991. I'm not sure yet what I will be going for.

28155892486_725d0d7358_c.jpg

Of note is the second cockpit tub plus instrument panel.

On to a test fit - I was first of all happy with how well the fuselage halves fit.

28086171822_28f5af9ac8_c.jpg

The wings are a little problematic, as the wing's lower half is slightly too thick and protrudes from the upper wing part. The left hand wing fits like a glove, but the right hand wing, at least on my example, and still with the lower wing part too thick, did not fit the fuselage. After an inordinate amount of pushing and squeezing I came this far:

27574295884_d86caa3438_c.jpg

The wing's locator tabs are split lengthwise in a lower and upper half and considering the lower wing half is too thick as it is, one would easily assume that's the culprit. However the left-hand wing tabs fitted perfectly and even had a little play. I decided to open up the locator holes slightly (from the inside!). Even if I create a little too much room in the process - at least I'll know the wing will fit.

27908929520_f591ea9b89_c.jpg

That's better.

28155855856_a2a8821d20_c.jpg

The following isn't though: the wings are practically level. There should be very noticeable anhedral in the F.1's wings. Probably a result of the lower wing half being too thick. I'll try again after sanding the lower wing halves to manageable thickness.

28086165362_c1d1250523_c.jpg

I first shaved off the edges on the inner area of lower wing half in an attempt to make it fit the top half better.

27574586634_f6070619d5_c.jpg

To be continued!

Jay

Edited by Mountain goat

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Update: after thinning the lower wing and after creating a little room inside the locator holes, the wings fit perfectly, but still with the wrong anhedral. The culprit must be this ledge.

28086987162_49266a909b_c.jpg[/url]

Thinning that ledge is too cumbersome. Let's try thinning the part that comes against it.

28087047902_2390962fdc_c.jpg

That's better.

27575131454_84d38b7b91_c.jpg

Next up, the cockpit. To be continued.

Jay

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Next is construction of the cockpit.

I started off by thinning the horizontal edge of the cockpit side wall. In this area I'll stick some plasticard to simulate the beam with locking mechanism for the canopy as seen here.

28198467325_8ea74eb901_c.jpg[/url]

After this I went duly back to what the instructions told me to do. In went the nose wheel bay. It takes a little attention to correctly line up correctly with both fuselage halves. As the top of the bay is easily accessible through the large gap of the still missing cockpit, I'd recommend installing it with both fuselage halves taped together.

27583382633_43edc83904_c.jpg

Here's a test fit of the assembled cockpits. It looks like they fit extremely well - notice the nicely engineered bottom of the rear cockpit - it fits the top of the nose gear bay like a glove! No problems at all. Great job Special Hobby!

27583044184_bbef61e72b_c.jpg

Next: installation of the intakes and the (not optional) retracted speed brake. Because I want to lose little time over this build, and because the model is probably going to be painted grey anyway, I chose to leave the area behind the inner intake wall unpainted. I will pay for this sin later on, most probably - here's hoping it won't be noticeable. I also didn't bother with inner plumbing as you can't see much inside these intakes anyway, I painted the blind wall behind where the intake should go black. After the intakes I attached the speed brake area. Pity Special Hobby decided against the option of having them open, but there you go.

27583049753_83c1a46955_c.jpg

As you can see, there is a small gap between intake and fuselage. Which kit doesn't have that I hear you ask. And I agree. So on with the putty! My absolute favourite putty is Gunze Sangyo's Mr. Dissolved Putty. If you buy that stuff new, it's pretty fluid, but the more empty the jar, the thicker its contents become. The consistency as it is now is simply perfect. About peanut butter thickness I would say. But more creamy.

27917640420_f460a8d3c5_c.jpg

That's it for today. Thanks for having a peek.

Jay

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Watching this with interest Jay as I have a couple of these and would probably do one for the Mirage GB if it gets the go ahead.

Is this the kit you'd been waiting for from the Big H btw?

Wez

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Hi Jay,

Watching with great interest, as I'm a big fan of Mirages since my childhood. I'm also very interested in the new tool special Hobby Mirages.

Great work till now and very useful tips as well. The kit looks very nice.

Cheers

Jaime

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Hi Wez,

Yes it is. The parcel, when it arrived in Holland was passed along from delivery company to delivery company and got lost along the way. Strangest thing: the delivery man didn't even know for which company he was working. Had to look it up.

Anyway - Hannants has been great in the end. They even offered replacements, turned out that wasn't necessary though.

Jay

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Hi Wez,

Yes it is. The parcel, when it arrived in Holland was passed along from delivery company to delivery company and got lost along the way. Strangest thing: the delivery man didn't even know for which company he was working. Had to look it up.

Anyway - Hannants has been great in the end. They even offered replacements, turned out that wasn't necessary though.

Jay

Glad you got your kit in the end, hope it was worth the wait for you.

I'd love to be able to crack on with one of mine but I'm stuck here doing maths instead (doing a degree at my age - madness)!

Berna do some decals for standard Armee de L'Air units https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/BER72050 and https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/BER72049

This site may be useful too http://www.escadrilles.org/histoire-et-histoires/f-1-bleus/

Edited by Wez

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I'm a big fan of Mirages since my childhood. I'm also very interested in the new tool special Hobby Mirages.

Hi Jaimie,

Thanks and I can very much recommend this kit. It looks great, and from what I've been able to see in the test fit the shape looks accurate as well, what with the er... pointiness of the plane. I was concerned for a moment as the fuselage around the rear bulkhead looks rather narrow. But that's probably because that area lacks context - can't really judge without seat and canopy.

I'd love to be able to crack on with one of mine but I'm stuck here doing maths instead (doing a degree at my age - madness)!

That's great! There's much honour in keeping at the learning thing I think. Those Berna decals: thanks for the links - exactly what I need! In fact I have already put this https://www.hannants...roduct/BER72050 in the cart. Tanks for the escadrilles link.

I think I'll be going for EC3/5 Comtat-Venaissin circa mid eighties (Wez: here's some other nice pics on http://www.escadrilles.org/histoire-et-histoires/f1b-armee-air/):

F1B_5-AJ_JFL.jpg

I'm starting to like this option. The first F.1Bs delivered to this squadron from 1981 wore the original hi-viz scheme also worn by F.1Cs throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, ie with the crescent shaped red intake warning motif, yellow-red walkways on the wing, and old-style roundel. From 1985 or thereabouts (edit: in fact from late 1982, source: Aerofax Minigraph 17) these markings were toned down to the variant seen above. I'm tempted by this later version.

I also might go for a bit of aftermarket but I'll come to that later this week.

Jay

Edited by Mountain goat

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That's great! There's much honour in keeping at the learning thing I think. Those Berna decals: thanks for the links - exactly what I need! In fact I have already put this https://www.hannants...roduct/BER72050 in the cart. Tanks for the escadrilles link.

I think I'll be going for EC3/5 Comtat-Venaissin circa mid eighties (Wez: here's also some nice pics on http://www.escadrilles.org/histoire-et-histoires/f1b-armee-air/):

I'm starting to like this option. The first F.1Bs delivered to this squadron from 1981 wore the original hi-viz scheme also worn by F.1Cs throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, ie with the crescent shaped red intake warning motif, yellow-red walkways on the wing, and old-style roundel. From 1985 or thereabouts these markings were toned down to the variant seen above. I'm tempted by this later version.

Jay

Yes those were the ones I was thinking of going for, I like the EC3/5 option with the larger Spa171/ERC571 badges - I guess that's the high-viz scheme too.

Interesting thing to note with F.1's in the blue scheme, originally it was quite glossy and the aircraft were on the whole quite clean with a uniform surface finish, later aircraft in the low-viz scheme look a lot more unkempt, the surface finish being on the whole more patchy and the aircraft look quite unkempt compared to earlier in their lives, either way will be a challenge to get it looking right.

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I like the EC3/5 option with the larger Spa171/ERC571 badges - I guess that's the high-viz scheme too.

I don't know - they flew with small badges from the beginning, see for instance this pic taken in 1982. Perhaps the larger markings were used for special occasions?

I found this online pdf - a scan of a long out of print Aerofax publication (publ 1986) - lots of interesting stuff.

Jay

PS - that Aerofax pdf is a goldmine for all things F.1 in fact! Great stuff.

Edited by Mountain goat

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I don't know - they flew with small badges from the beginning, see for instance this pic taken in 1982. Perhaps the larger markings were used for special occasions?

I found this online pdf - a scan of a long out of print Aerofax publication - lots of interesting material.

Jay

I have seen a photo of an F.1B in the larger markings but can't find it right now (typically), I think I saw it on the Escadrilles site. You're right though, I think it was for a special occasion.

I have that book! I've had it since it came out (1986), it is a very good reference although it is frozen at that time, later changes to the F.1's (e.g. F.1CR and CT), aren't mentioned. The plans at the end were never part of the original publication though.

The original Aerofax Monographs were very, very good references, I have a number of them (SAAB Draken, F101B/F Voodoo, Vigilante, F/RF-84F, F-94, Chinook amongst others), they're well researched with a wealth of detail and technical information, if you see them I'd recommend snapping them up. The later Aerofax series weren't as good IMO.

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Time for another update. I've not had the chance to do much this weekend, but at least this is something. Next chance I'll get is probably Thursday or Friday.

First off - that @%$& pitot tube needs to go - it's moulded with the fuselage and the odds that it stays on during the build are as big as the pitot tube, and it's in the way constantly. So off it goes.

27648642323_6aee277cfa_c.jpg[/url]

Next - embellishment of the cockpit. Special Hobby has given the modeller a nicely detailed cockpit, but one can always add more! :D First I focused on the sill containing the latches for the canopy. In 1/72 that translates as: a plastic strip. I also used a little putty for the curvature of the cockpit opening. Note too the box under the sill. I then added a couple pieces of aluminium tape - as the cockpit is going to be black, I rather give level surfaces small variations to make them look busier.

27983003730_7ec4e516a8_c.jpg

Detailing the cockpit area was more work. I first decided to join the two cockpits by applying glue and leaving to dry in the taped-together fuselage. I did this thinking construction would be easier, notably in applying wiring from the rear instrument panel coaming to the 'bridge' area behind the front seat. I then added the wiring plus tape as mentioned above. I may have gone a bit overboard on this. But it was fun to do and there was no one to stop me.

27983011980_0e180a7cdb_c.jpg

Below: the cockpit area primed and afterwards fitted snugly in the fuselage. I used Surfacer 1000 decanted in d'Airbrush. By the way: while the putty was drying I gave the gap between fuselage and intake a good rub and it's on its way to satisfying me.

28185832311_db6b4f6b34_c.jpg IMG_2322

To be continued and thanks for having that peek.

Jay

Edited by Mountain goat

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Looking good Jay, the intakes came up well.

You seem to have forgotten something though, in post 1 you stated:

"I'll be building as Out-of-the-Boxily as possible."... :hmmm:

The extra detailing looks good though.

Keep up the good work, looking forward to the next update!

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You seem to have forgotten something though, in post 1 you stated:

"I'll be building as Out-of-the-Boxily as possible."... :hmmm:

:banghead:

But yes - I know. And what's worse - I'm going to buy aftermarket wheels for it too - so out of the window goes the OOB thing. :S

Jay

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:banghead:

But yes - I know. And what's worse - I'm going to buy aftermarket wheels for it too - so out of the window goes the OOB thing. :S

Jay

Well, whilst you're at it, you may want to consider an aftermarket pitot, the real thing has quite a complex shape which the kit doesn't capture, see here http://www.master194.com/photo_avion/mirage-f1b/pages/cimg4822_jpg.htm although being a cheapskate I'd probably give it a go with some superglue

Taken from this walkaround (which may be useful) http://www.master194.com/photo_avion/mirage-f1b/index.htm

On this website http://www.master194.com/photo_avion/

Wez

Edited by Wez

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Well, whilst you're at it, you may want to consider an aftermarket pitot, the real thing has quite a complex shape which the kit doesn't capture, see here http://www.master194.com/photo_avion/mirage-f1b/pages/cimg4822_jpg.htm although being a cheapskate I'd probably give it a go with some superglue

Taken from this walkaround (which may be useful) http://www.master194.com/photo_avion/mirage-f1b/index.htm

On this website http://www.master194.com/photo_avion/

Wez

Cheers Wez! I was looking for good walkarounds so this is a big help. I might go with the superglue option for the pitot as well - Master pitots look so nice though. But no. They're not that cheap, and then so small I'd even lose one of them in the creases of my hand!

Jay

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Cheers Wez! I was looking for good walkarounds so this is a big help. I might go with the superglue option for the pitot as well - Master pitots look so nice though. But no. They're not that cheap, and then so small I'd even lose one of them in the creases of my hand!

Jay

Me too - fingers like pork sausages me (we used a far ruder term when I was in the mob but this is a family forum)!

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Hi Jay,

Great progress! The detailing of the cockpit turned out very well. I understand you perfectly regarding forgetting your intentions of doing an OOB build... I also don't manage to do it and end up doing more or less extensive detailing :banghead:

Cheers

Jaime

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Hi! Another update! Yay!

There's still some stuff to do before I get to the painting stage, but we're getting there. Here's what's happened the last few days. First off the exhaust. I painted the semi-assembled engine exhaust flat black, seen here before painting:

27648635563_45a40d7694_c.jpg[/url]

And here after drybrushing the interior details with Vallejo Metals and Vallejo light greys straight on the flat black surface.

28046345050_7c36828d2a_c.jpg


After this I masked the petals and interior:

27712015594_f88412dc11_c.jpg


for application of the aluminium-coloured ring aft of the exhaust petals. Again I used Vallejo Metal. After drying I used the Vallejo metal varnish in preparation for a little wash. But that's for next time.

28224496872_52627346cf_c.jpg


I'm keeping this exhaust separate from the part simulating the rear turbine, number 42. I plan to attach it only after painting the rest of the model. Inserting and attaching the burner can is very simple. For some added flexibility for when I'm ready to attach the part I decided to remove the locating tabs on the can - like so:

28224719992_b4e9451190_c.jpg


Next the cockpit. In the spirit of that age old adage: 'as out of boxily as possible' I used the kit's decals for the instrument panel. They were slightly toy-looking when applied - most notably the dials were too white and big, so I tried to tone them down with a few brush strokes of much diluted black Vallejo and when dry a bit of drybrushing with dark grey and dark earth - in the end I got them to look like below. I used few drops of Humbrol Gloss Cote to simulate the glass of the dials, but the effect of that is hardly visible. I used a minuscule brush and a magnifying glass to apply the bits of Vallejo for the buttons on the side consoles - I tried to follow references but it was also important to me that the cockpit look busy.

28224521032_d92c095936_c.jpg


Then it was then time for
joining the fuselage!

I followed Paul Budzik's method seen here. After the glue set a bit, I tried the fit of the wings, which was good enough for me to proceed to gluing them - basically in one go. Here's how it looked after removal of the clamps and pegs...

28260864221_f256978e0c_c.jpg

... followed by the tail and application of putty - again the same stuff as before; Mr Dissolved Putty from a half-emptied jar (and no, I'm not a pessimist). The putty on left-hand wing has been sanded down...

28046322280_693881d3b6_c.jpg

And because I've at last made a choice as to the specific airframe I'm making - which is this one; number 506 of 3/5 Comtat-Venaissin in 1984...

F1B_5-AF_1984_ag.jpg

...I attached the wing tip Matra Magic rails provided in the kit, as per the photo (see http://www.escadrilles.org/histoire-et-histoires/f-1-bleus/).

27712004684_0e455a60b7_c.jpg

The seams are also sanded down. The model will carry a roughly similar load as in the escadrilles.org photo; two drop tanks under the wings, empty Magic stations, and perhaps also the bomblet dispenser which I'll have to scratch build.

I need to do a few things before moving on to priming and painting:

- fill the locator holes of the outboard pylons under the wings.

- attach the rear ventral stabilizing fins.

- attach windscreen and central section.

- final sanding and a little polishing.

- attach all antennae. (edit -no wait, that's for after painting and decalling and everything else of course: I meant some antennae)

To the challenge! Thanks for having a look.

Jay

Edited by Mountain goat

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Me too - fingers like pork sausages me (we used a far ruder term when I was in the mob but this is a family forum)!

Hi Wez - I've been hard at work all week trying to come up with what those terms could've been..! :yikes:

I also don't manage to do it and end up doing more or less extensive detailing :banghead:

Hi Jaimie - it's so easy to get lost with what you're doing right? Oh just add a little bit of this, ah little bit of that, and before you know it, it's all tiny wires! :winkgrin:

Jay

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Superb detailing of the cockpit, Jay! I really like it :)

Very good progress on the rest of the build! The model is shaping up beautifully :goodjob:

Cheers

Jaime

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Jay,

Really impressed with your work so far, really like the cockpit and a great choice of subject.

Which/whose seats are you going to use? I was thinking MB Mk.4's would be appropriate for that time frame (although I don't know whether the F.1B's got Mk10's).

Wez

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Great job !!! :thumbsup:

And if you want, you can improve this F1B without aftermarkets :

- the grid just behind the cockpit on the port side has to be erased
- the scoops just below of the leading edge of the wings should be grids in two-seater version
- fill the four holes just below the canopy on the starboard side : they are supposedly for ladders, but, it should be only on port side !
- panels on the backbone, just behind the rear canopy, are false... they could be re-engraved...

There is some panelings issues also under the belly, but finally, no one will see !

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