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RAAF A3-40 Mirage IIIO - Kinetic 1/48 - *** COMPLETE ***

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1 hour ago, Phantom726 said:

I had to chuckle a little when I read this.


Yes, it seems a funny thing to say, but it can be done, maybe a sliver of styrene card or a little CA or CA/talc.  No putty is my number one goal on every build and, in this respect, this kit presents a nice challenge.


The kit parts do need some work. I have been busy carefully, completely removing injection ports. The there is a degree of fine flash to be removed and soft moulding that needs squaring. Constant dry fit is a must.  Like the latest Airfix, the tolerance aspirations sometimes do not match the moulding capability. But, like limited run, so long as the final part is correct then no problem.


I am planning to break from the instructions. I will start at the nose. Insert the cockpit and nose wheel well and glue just the nose halves together ensuring all aligned as expected. Because I can then splay the fuselage halves out, I can insert the assembled ducting which is clamped between the halves pinned between the top fuselage joint. Glue a section and work my way along the seam line. Thankfully, the jet exhaust can be pushed in and glued in place after final painting.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 44


I know this will work as I have had plenty of practice assembling it while checking fit.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 46


You'll see that I have glued some tabs to those front section intake covers so they remain flush on the outside. I had to file a step in one side of the tabs and adjust as the plastic thickness is different on the mating parts, Here they are pushed together for a photo opportunity.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 49


I really avoid high pressure clamping necessary to close up a joint. If mandatory, and not required to maintain correct dimensions, I will insert a styrene spacer. Otherwise I keep hunting for the reasons why. Like this gap behind the cockpit. There is something still going on around the cockpit tub. 


Mirage A3-40 Construction 47


Interesting when you drop the top cover in the width seems correct. More investigation needed.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 48


The intakes seem good.  I should be able to get a good alignment on the panel lines by removing a little more material (not much - close tolerances) from the top and/or bottom of the backplates. These have forced the outer panel ever so slightly into the incorrect position. You can get it right by force. I prefer to avoid this. With this adjustment and then gluing the bottom seam first, I can work carefully along to ensure a nice join. Put it aside for the glue to set then come back to do the top and rear.


Well, this seems good in theory. We will see. I am also very interested to know where others have had difficulty. 


Mirage A3-40 Construction 45


Not Tamiya, but a very enjoyable build so far. 







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On 2/6/2021 at 12:03 PM, Ray_W said:

No putty is my number one goal on every build

way to go!

the kit fits well, but is complicated as hell ;)

I even added a resin cockpit and some nozzles, this defnitely did not help fit ....


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  • 2 weeks later...

It has been a while since I made a post and yet I have been beavering away, mostly parts preparation:


Mirage A3-40 Construction 59


Almost all parts have a degree of flash that needs to be removed. The plastic is soft and this task is thankfully not that tedious. I said before that I found this kit felt in some ways like a limited run. I have now changed that opinion to a "Soft Plastic Old Monogram with Recessed Panel Lines". That's not a criticism as many of the old Monogram are great kits. It ain't Tamiya or Eduard.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 56


Mirage A3-40 Construction 55


Most of these parts are being prepared for a silver airbrush run. To this end I also decided to assemble the wing to work on the undercarriage bay and while I was about it was unhappy with the soft joint on the underside just back from the leading edge between the top and bottom wing halves. I decided to fill the groove with CA/Talc and re-scribe. Some tape to ensure the thin bead only went where I want it.


I am not in the habit of coating my models in dark chocolate, rather the re-use of glossy coated carboard packaging as a good mixing surface.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 58


I was much happier with the resulting join. Also, a myriad of vents to drill and open out with my scalpel seeing nearly all are cast as solid lumps of plastic, that's including the cannon suppressors/guards.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 60


I glued in the kit supplied air brake parts and found the fit only so so. Seeing I had the Eduard PE,  I replaced them with the brass item providing a little better definition, 


Mirage A3-40 Construction 61


Into the cockpit modifying the rear bulkhead with some PE and scratchbuilt items and removing sidewall control console and IP details in readiness for the Eduard.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 50


Next posts should show the completed cockpit.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Cockpit complete, with the exception of the addition of the throttle and some small PE - parts that I invariably bump off. I will affix these immediately prior to the "tub" going into the protection of the fuselage halves.


I used the Eduard PE for the consoles and IP, usually preferring the look to my own hand painting. I dull it down with a little flat black enamel wash so it becomes an integrated part of the cockpit. This also tones down the white and red details. 


Mirage A3-40 Construction 62


Same deal with the IP.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 64


Picking the dials with Future. Not visible above, but easier to see when angled.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 66


It should look nice once put in place. To my eye quite acceptable for 1/48.  


Mirage A3-40 Construction 63


Also added a little pipework to the sides of the wheel wells. 


Mirage A3-40 Construction 65


I think next I will thin the jet intakes. just a little more, and then get some silver paint on those interior surfaces and get the fuselage halves together.



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19 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

Lovely details.

Thanks Pete, it is coming together - slowly. Not a reflection of the kit, more so my lack of time at the bench.  



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I was still not happy with the fit and decided to do more work to eliminate the step at the wing root. I really want this kit to just fall together. So, with a slightly more aggressive stance, I removed material to drop the body of the fuselage into the wing assembly, test-fitting all the time. 


I thinned the top of the wheel well cross members.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 17


This was done in combination with the mating shelf in the fuselage halves to ensure the top and bottom parts close up without a gap, yet, still allowed the fuselage to sit in nicely. I also had to reduce the height over the full length of the fuselage engagement, adjusting engagement tabs. Also the bulkhead height needed to be reduced.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 19


The wing then set in very nicely. Now I am much happier. Pleasingly, all the other mating parts, such as the jet intake covers and the rear fuselage underside panel, started to fall into position. A slight downward pressure with a thumb closes up the wing root gap, although, I will most likely do my preferred by adding a cross member or packer to splay out the fuselage sides to ensure no gap at the wing root. No glue yet - coming together nicely.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 14


I had never seen the requirement for this work mentioned in a review of this kit. It is not a big problem, actually I like these challenges, but I can certainly see some getting quite frustrated with the build. Do the work first - the bane of my life is post wing root filling and sanding.  I do not know what the later Kinetic kits are like (looking forward very much to my F/A-18 Hornet). I do find this type of work in dry fit and parts clean up is quite often the case with the kit maker newer players (and Airfix).  The following is typical:


Here is the step that takes the rear fuselage panel, part of the wing underside. A nicely squared starboard side:


Mirage A3-40 Construction 21


Here is the port side. The shelf now tapers to the rear and closes out the gap. This needs to be squared or the wing panel needs to be thinned. Miss it and you will have a protruding panel that requires filing down. Possibly exacerbating the gap further along.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 20


We certainly live in a golden age of modelling where the latest CAD drawing and tool design allows super accurate models. Sometimes, though, the moulding process lets down the desire for this complexity and accuracy. Clean the parts and all is good. It has not eliminated the need for careful dry fitting. 


Kinetic has lovely thin jet intakes but I went a little further. Here is the difference, I still have to thin the bottom section. I have not decided yet whether I should do it now or after the wing is glued in position. I think the latter will be better for a strong glue joint. By the way, see how everything is now closing up nicely without being forced.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 16


Finally, for some silver and aluminium paint.





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Seems like I have spent most of my time, thus far. checking fit, then correcting if needed and getting ready for my assembly strategy. Now all this preliminary work is done and should pay off handsomely with a rapid and clean build. 


Breaking from the instructions, I started at the nose gluing it closed around the cockpit tub and the nose wheel bay, leaving the fuselage splayed ready to insert the intake trunking.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 22


I then moved back to the trunking. I removed the 3 forward pillars on the inside of the inlet cones. This makes it easier to insert within the fuselage halves. However, their removal is not mandatory for this technique to work. My reason was that I intend to replace them with some smaller diameter rod later in the build.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 23


Mirage A3-40 Construction 24


I glued all in place and joined the remaining splayed fuselage halves having positioned the trunking between the fuselage halves and being careful the intake end was correctly located at the fuselage sides, No clamps needed, just fingers and work along the seam as you go.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 25


I also added a cross-member to splay out the front of the fuselage at the wing root. Only 0.5 mm, but gives me a nice positive engagement into the wing closing the gap.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 26


Now we're talking. All coming together nicely, wing and intake panels clicked in place.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 28


Mirage A3-40 Construction 27


Love it when everything just fits. Once glued you will find any gaps will close and hopefully we will have achieved another close to zero filler build. Now just waiting for some good light and a final gluing session and all should be ready to go to paint.






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Your Mirage is coming along a treat Ray. I really like the way that you are tackling this kit and especially like the fact that you are sharing your techniques for getting the best fit possible, very helpful to those of us who might just have bought themselves a member of the Kinetic Mirage family. 😁

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1 hour ago, modelling minion said:

Your Mirage is coming along a treat Ray.

Thanks Craig, I am certainly enjoying myself.

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Posted (edited)

Glued the major parts and all went together well. I would not say it was easy. It ain't Tamiya. However, I did achieve my aim of avoiding significant filler.


Edit: I have come back to amend this post as I did not mention that, just to be on the safe side, I did glue some lead shot in the radome. It seemed it would not be a tail sitter by doing a balancing trick resting the rear undercarriage pivot point on a length-wise pencil, however, with a resin aftermarket jet pipe, I thought, better safe than sorry.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 29


One area I did need to do a little extra work was the rear of the nose wheel bay which I had allow to drop in slightly.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 32


I cut a little styrene card to fill the void.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 33


I am still working on the jet intakes. Always worth the time and effort.  I did use some CA/Talc to fill and shape the join to the bottom wing half along the side of the cannon trough to the intake entry. The CA/Talc having sufficient strength to thin the intake leading edge down to what I want. Still more to do.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 30


Also thinned the rear fuselage at the jet exhaust to something closer to the prototype. Kinetic riveting is exaggerated. I may still fill and knock it back a little. Let's see how I feel about this tomorrow.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 31



Edited by Ray_W
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Great job on thinning the intakes and the exhaust area Ray, makes a real difference.

All your hard work has paid off in getting a really good fit on the major parts, I can't see anywhere that is going to need lots of filler.

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I will need some filler around the side of the front canopy section. 


Mirage A3-40 Construction 35


And the above image is after the corrective work had already been done, thinning the front of the canopy section.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 36


Oh well not too bad, a little filler and all should be good. I think I have been lulled into some complacency after a number of recent builds with excellent fitting canopies.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 34


I decided to drop the flap/flaperons a little like the parked photos often show. 


Mirage A3-40 Construction 39


Also found the top and bottom gap on the rudder excessive so wedged and glued a thinned piece of card.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 37


Trimmed and it should finish up nicely. I will brush paint and sand some Mr Surfacer 500 on this work once all my tidying up is done. I also sanded back the overstated rivets a little.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 38


Ordnance is ready for painting. One question for the Mirage/RAAF Experts. Kinetic provide 500 litre tanks and I recall from somewhere that the Australian IIIO's use a 600 litre, They do look skinny even though I can't see myself modding these. Maybe Werner @exdraken or Rich @trickyrich will know. I am not talking about the later tanks that took the Mk 82 bombs. This is a Mid-70's aircraft so the Sidewinders are OK.


Mirage A3-40 Construction 40


One thing I have still not decided is which Olive Drab. The Extra Dark Sea Grey BS381C-640 and Light Gull Grey are settled. The Olive Drab should be BS381C-298 but which paint can I tweak to get close to the mark out of this selection?


Mirage A3-40 Construction 67


I am restricted to these even though Colourcoats and Hataka do offer a match. I raised a question on this here:



I feel there is some experimentation and paint mixing coming up.  






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7 hours ago, modelling minion said:

More very neat work Ray, fairing in cockpit canopies is a job I dread as it can so easily go very wrong very quickly but you have done a very good job on yours.


Thanks Craig, I plan to spend more time on that canopy, I keep checking to see if I did something wrong. The position shown does provide an exemplary fit to the rear part (even though I'll pose it open). This seems to indicate that it is what it is. I may shape a sliver of card to fill the gap raising the sill and hopefully reduce the amount of filling needed. The gap is worse on the port side. 



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That coming along rather nicely Ray, the extra work refining the parts has certainly paid off! 🏆


BTW, Mirages do not have flaperons, they don't have flaps! The correct term is Elevon (elevator/aileron) :D

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On 3/10/2021 at 6:15 AM, Ray_W said:

Kinetic provide 500 litre tanks and I recall from somewhere that the Australian IIIO's use a 600 litre

What Kinetic has provided looks fine for the 110 gallon (550 l) supersonic tanks used on the IIIO. They are a thin-looking tank (as befits the 'supersonic' claim I guess) and much slimmer than the 1300 litre tank also used by the IIIO. There's no 600 litre tank used by Mirages that I'm aware of.


Oh, Ray speaks the truth about elevons, but forgot to mention that the inboard surfaces (i.e. those closest to the fuselage) are known as pitch dampers.

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3 hours ago, Romeo Alpha Yankee said:

The correct term is Elevon (elevator/aileron)


16 minutes ago, Andrew said:

pitch dampers.


Thanks guys for the clarification and good to know the tanks are OK.



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We only used the 500 litre Supers and 1300 & 1700 litre jugs on the Os. As I recall there was a shorter long range tank for the centreline of the Ds but can't recall the capacity (may have been about 1250 litres)

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6 hours ago, Romeo Alpha Yankee said:

As I recall there was a shorter long range tank for the centreline of the Ds but can't recall the capacity (may have been about 1250 litres)

The figure rattling around in my head for that shortened, centreline-only tank is 242 gal, which converts very neatly to 1100 litres.


Ray W, your progress on this kits is a joy to behold. As for the right olive drab, Tamiya's XF-62 looks to be a good choice... ?

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13 hours ago, Romeo Alpha Yankee said:

As I recall there was a shorter long range tank for the centreline of the Ds but can't recall the capacity (may have been about 1250 litres)


Thanks Ray. The photos of A3-40 show the aircraft in all fuel tank guises. I see Kinetic do provide the large centre line tank options. They give their interpretation of the  capacities in the instructions. When I get back to the bench this evening I'll post up a pic of showing the options provided.


12 hours ago, Dansk said:

wonderful work

Hi Paul,

From the Wizard of Weathering, this is very kind. :thanks: I'm building what seems to be my usual these days - relatively clean. Even with my previous build MiG-21, when I was getting all excited about some serious weathering, Hristo came in and told me that with my chosen weapons load out it should portray a late 90's early 00's cleanish rather than beaten up super faded 2012. Mind you, I was very happy with the resultant finish.


7 hours ago, Andrew said:

Tamiya's XF-62 looks to be a good choice


Andrew, I think this is a good call. I does look the closest match out of the jar from my selection. I'll give it a go and we can see what it looks like on the Mirage.




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Nice work as always Ray. 

Have you ever built the Eduard Mirage iiic kit? Just wondering how the two kits compare?


Look forward to more progress. 


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  • Ray_W changed the title to RAAF A3-40 Mirage IIIO - Kinetic 1/48 - *** COMPLETE ***

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