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Shar2

Dassault Mirage IIIE/RD/O. 1:32

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Dassault Mirage IIIE/RD/O

Revell 1:32

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History

While the initial Mirage IIIC model was heading towards quantity production, Dassault promoted a long-range, all-weather air defense/strike fighter (multirole) variant of the design as the "Mirage IIIE". The prototype first flew on April 1st, 1961 and included a lengthened fuselage with increased avionics and fuel, a Marconi navigation radar, Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) and Cyrano II series air-ground radar. The Mirage IIIE was outfitted with the SNECMA Atar 09C series afterburning turbojet engine and a total of three prototypes furthered the endeavor prior to production. After adoption by the French Air Force, the IIIE was also licensed-produced in the countries of Australia, known as the Mirage IIIO(A), and Switzerland while fielded by the forces of Argentina, Brazil, Lebanon, Pakistan, South Africa, Spain and Venezuela under various export designations. French Air Force Mirage IIIE models were cleared for nuclear ordnance.

As with other interceptor aircraft of the period, a dedicated reconnaissance variant soon emerged as the "Mirage IIIR". This variant offered the ground attack frames of the Mirage IIIE models with the avionics suite of the Mirage IIIC interceptor. They lacked radar under the nose cone and housed multiple cameras for photo-reconnaissance sorties instead. The Mirage IIIR was then improved through the "Mirage IIIRD" upgrade. Reconnaissance types were adopted outside of France by the forces of Israel, Pakistan, South Africa and Switzerland.

 

The Model

Originally released in 2016 by Italeri, Revell have now re-boxed the kit with new decals. The kit comes in a top opening box which is still incredibly flimsy, which showed by the fact that the review samples windscreen had been badly cracked. Inside there are six large sprues of grey styrene, one of clear and a large, colourful decal sheet. The moulding of the parts looks to very nice and fine, with no flash or other imperfections. Whilst quite detailed out of the box, there is plenty of room for extra, should the modeller wish.

 

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Construction begins with the assembly of the nine piece ejection seat with a choice of ejection handles on the head box. Although nice, the kit only comes with decal seatbelts, etched steal/brass or cloth would be much better, so you will have to resort to aftermarket items.  The single piece cockpit tub is fitted out with a lower front bulkhead, alternative two piece instrument panels, depending on whether you are building the E/O or RD versions, joystick, and three piece coaming with optional head-up display. The upper rear bulkhead and sidewalls are then attached to the tub, followed by the three piece nose wheel bay, which is attached to the rear of the cockpit tub. The cockpit/bay assembly is then glued to the lower fuselage, which will also need some holes drilled depending on which version you are building. The main wheel bays are each made up from four parts, which are then glued into the lower fuselage.

 

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The full length intakes are each made from two halves, but in such a way that there shouldn’t be any seams to worry about. The rear sections of the intakes where they join is a single piece, which when all assembled allows the intakes to be fitted to a bulkhead which is then glued into one half of the upper fuselage. Strangely enough, the instructions then tell you to build the engine at this point, which is a very nice six piece assembly, as a standalone model itself, but could have been left till the end where its transport stand is also assembled. The fin is then assembled and again, the modeller has to drill out holes depending on the version they are building. The fuselage halves are then joined together, sandwiching the intakes in-between, after which the fin assembly is glued into place.  Each wing, also requiring holes to be drilled out depending on version are each made up from upper and lower halves, but before joining them together the modeller has to fit the upper and lower airbrakes, outer main gear bays and main gear oleos. Clear lenses for the navigation lights are then attached.

 

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If you’re building the RD reconnaissance version then the camera nose needs to be assembled. Each of the four cameras are made from three parts including clear lenses. The rear nose bulkhead is then fitted with the camera platform onto which the cameras are then fitted. The lower camera bay hatch is fitted with clear ports, after which the nose halves are glued together with the bay in-between and a fifth camera in the extreme nose and the final clear parts to cover the ports. The bay hatch can either be posed in the open or closed position with support rams to hold it open should the modeller wish it. The upper and lower fuselage sections are glued together, followed by the fitting of the wing assemblies, intakes and either the RD or E/O nose sections having fitted 20g of nose weight just forward of the cockpit first. Now the rather confusing bit in the instructions, which show the engine assembly being slid into the exhaust orifice before the exhaust fairings and nozzle sections, yet in another diagram it shows the nozzle and fairing being fitted without the engine. So, it looks like you can either engine on the display stand or in the aircraft, yet there are no other details for the interior of the fuselage should you want to display it out.

 

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The wings are fitted with half of the flap and aileron actuator fairings, whilst the other half is fitted to the control surfaces. The main undercarriage assemblies are then completed with the addition of scissor links, actuators, outer doors and two piece wheels. The inner doors are fitted with separate hinges before being glued into place. The nose wheel is made up from thirteen parts not including the bay doors and once assembled is glued into position. In front of the nose wheel bay there is a bulged panel, which looks like a doppler panel, and depending on the version the modeller is building there is an option of two types. The build of the aircraft is completed by the fitting of the windscreen, canopy, which can be posed open or closed, various aerials, pitot probe and a nicely produced access ladder.

 

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The optional engine stand is then assembled from thirty six parts and will look great in a diorama setting. If you are building the E/O strike version then the kit comes with a wide selection of weapons to hang of the aircraft. These include the Matra R530 missile, 500 l, 1300l and 1700l drop tanks, JL 100R Rocket pods/fuel tanks, R550 Magic missiles, AIM-9B missiles, Matra AS37 Martel missiles, Barax pod, Barracuda pod and Phimat pods

 

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Decals

The decals come on a large sheet and provide options for three aircraft. The decals look very nice, being in register, good colour density but with quite a matt/satin finish.  Some of the decals are quite large and will probably need some softening and setting solutions to bed down correctly.  The sheet also contains a full set of stencils and warning symbols for both the aircraft and the ordinance.  The options are:-

 

  • Mirage IIIE 3-XT “50 Years EC 3/3 Ardennes” Armee De L’air, BA133, Nancy-Ochey, 1993
  • Mirage IIIRD 33-TI ER 3/33 Moselle, Armee De L’air, BA124, Strasbourg-Entzheim, 1987
  • Mirage III0, A3-49, 3 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, Butterworth AB, Malaysia, 1983

 

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Conclusion

I never got to see the Italeri kit when it was first released, so it’s nice of Revell to re-box it. The kit does look very nice and will certainly look stunning in any collection, just a shame that you have to use the separate engine either on the stand or in the aircraft. It would have been nice to have a simpler tube just to fit in the aircraft. Not really knowing the subject I can only go by those who have reviewed the Italeri kit when it comes to accuracy and from what I’ve read it does measure up well with the real aircraft.

 

Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit

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Hi Dave,

Thanks, that's indeed nice from Revell, as this rebox is also cheaper than the original (I believe due to the packaging and the decal sheet).

You should check your references about Belgian IIIE.

Any profile for the Aussie markings?

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