Mike Posted October 29, 2022 Share Posted October 29, 2022 Mirage IIICJ (SH72352) 1:72 Special Hobby The Dassault Mirage III is one of the most recognisable aircraft to emerge from the Dassault Aviation stable in post war France with its distinctive delta wings and sharply pointed nose. The Mirage III grew out of French government studies for a light weight all weather interceptor able to reach an altitude 18,000 meters (59,500+ ft) in six minutes and able to reach Mach 1.3 in level flight. The tail less delta combined the wing with an area ruled Coke bottle-shaped fuselage to achieve such speed, minimising buffeting and other compressibility related issues that had plagued early supersonic designs. The Mirage IIIC would remain in French service from 1961 until 1988, and the largest export customer for the Mirage III was Israel, operating the Mirage IIICJ that had less advanced avionics and some aspects of the design removed or simplified. Nevertheless, Israel found these aircraft and weapons systems more than a match for anything her neighbours were able to field during the Six-Day and Yom Kippur wars, with the aircraft being a resounding success in combat with Syrian, Jordanian and Egyptian aircraft, many of which were of Soviet origin. Israel then sold some of these aircraft to Argentina when they had been replaced by more modern designs. The Kit This is a new tool by Special Hobby of this Dassault success story, and it shows. There is fine detail to be seen throughout all the sprues, including a crystal-clear canopy sprue, and a well-printed sheet of decals. The kit arrives in a modest top-opening box, and inside are five sprues in grey styrene, a small clear sprue in a Ziploc bag, a decal sheet in a resealable bag, and an A5 instruction booklet printed in colour on glossy paper. An insert within the booklet shows additional details for assembly of the wing, so bear that in mind when you get there. Construction begins with the cockpit, which consists of a tub with separate front and rear bulkheads that has the side consoles moulded-in, to which the rudder pedals, control column, instrument panel with decal, and the coaming with a clear HUD unit attached to the top. The exhaust is made up from three sections to obtain detail, with a two-part lip, and a single section representing the rear of the engine that has a bulkhead moulded-in to secure it within the fuselage. The intake bullet fairings have a small insert added to each one, and the nose gear bay is glued to an insert that forms the lower surface of the nose, after which you can begin to close up the fuselage, adding a two-part outer fairing to the exhaust before putting the trunk and cockpit between the two halves, adding the nose gear insert below once the halves are together. A choice of tail fins is supplied, as is a choice of bullet fairings for within the intakes either side of the cockpit. Once you have chosen, the outer fairing can be glued over it to complete the intake trunking. The lower wings are moulded as a single part that incorporates the underside of the fuselage, needing a few fairings removing before you can proceed. The main bays are added to the inside and the bays are painted along with the roof details that are moulded into the upper sides of the wings, which are separate parts. Flying surface actuators and a rectangular insert are fitted as the wing is joined to the fuselage, and a circular light is inserted into a hole in the bottom of the nose, leaving you with a very Mirage-shaped model that just needs the fine details and some paint to finish it. The nose gear is built from an A-frame to which the two halves of the yoke are added along with a rectangular bay door and the one-part wheel. The main gear struts are each one part with two-part wheels, and are attached within their bays with the addition of a retraction strut and bay doors on the outer and inner edges. The nose leg has a long retraction jack and another rectangular door, plus a third that sits on the side of the bay with a retraction jack projecting into the bay. A number of antennae, pitot probe in the nose and other small parts are dotted around the airframe, and the last act is to insert the ejection seat, which is made from five parts, and is covered by the fixed windscreen and pivoting canopy, which can be fixed in place in the raised or lowered position. A diagram shows the weapons locations for your ease, and many of these are included in the box, as follows: 2 x AIM-9D Sidewinder A2A Missile 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder A2A Missile 2 x Shafrir 2 A2A Missile 2 x Shafrir 1 A2A Missile 2 x Twin 250KG bombs on a shared pylon 1 x Matra R530 A2A Missile 1 x 880L Fuel Tank for the centreline 2 x 625L Fuel Tank 2 x 1300L Fuel Tank 2 x 500L Fuel Tank Each one is provided with a pylon and/or adapter rail, with separate perpendicular fins on many of the missiles, and the 500L fuel tanks. Markings There are four decal options included on the sheet, and you are provided with a four-view page for each one, complete with colour call-outs in Gunze Aqueous and lacquer. From the box you can build one of the following: 52, No.101 Sqn., First Fighter Sqn.m Hatzor Air Force base, Israeli Air Force, 1967 745, No.117 Sqn., First Jet Sqn., Ramat David Air Force base, Israeli Air Force, 1967 60, No.117 Sqn., First Jet Sqn., Ramat David Air Force Base, Israeli Air Force, 1967 784, No.119 Sqn., Bat Sqn., Tel Nof Air Force base, Israeli Air Force, 1966 The decals are printed in the Czech Republic, and are printed with good register, colour density and sharpness, with a thin gloss carrier film over the printed areas. Looking at the carrier film I suspect that they are printed by Eduard, and have tested my theory once I’d scanned them for the review. Applying Tamiya tape over any of the decals resulted in the carrier film coming free with no resistance, which is exactly how Eduard decals behave. Why am I mentioning this on a Special Hobby review? As of 2021, the carrier film from Eduard decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier-free, making the decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and having now tested them on my recent F4F-3 Wildcat, I’m a fan. Conclusion A very well-detailed and crisply moulded new tooling of this important French fighter in Israeli service that should sell well. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of 7 3 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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