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IAI Kfir C2, FAE 905 (1/72 AMK)


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Greetings,

I present my latest completed model - 1/72 AMK Kfir C2, built as number 905 of the Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana (FAE).

       This machine is one of two Kfirs to ever score an aerial kill (first one was by an Israeli C2 in the 1970s). During the "Cenepa War" between Ecuador and Peru in 1995, on February 10, FAE Capitán Mauricio Mata shot down a Peruvian Cessna A-37 Dragonfly using Rafael Shafrir II missiles. The kill was "confirmed" by HUD camera footage (made public much later and available on official FAE Facebook page to this day) and is not "heavily disputed", unlike kills by FAE Mirage F.1s scored on the same day. It is still perhaps considered "clumsy", as the Kfir had to use 2 missiles to shoot down a much less advanced subsonic aircraft. Nevertheless, Capitán Mata was considered something of a hero in Ecuador and later retired from the military and went on to be a civil airline pilot. There are a few photographs of him posing near the cockpit of his famous FAE 905, with the kill marking visible just below the windscreen - a red/white silhouette of A-37 and the Peruvian fin flash below it. The airframe was repainted circa 1998 in a single color air superiority grey scheme and even later upgraded to Kfir C10 standard. The type was retired from FAE service around 2012 and replaced by ex-SAAF Atlas Cheetah aircraft.

       This is not my first 1/72 AMK Kfir build. I made the same aircraft in 2017, however upon further inspection of reference photos I realized I made so many small mistakes due to poor research that I felt obliged to remake it. The AMK kit is also not optimized to make any Latin American Kfir variant, really. There are many small errors, both in the instructions, decals and the plastic itself, but I will not bore anyone with the details. It is still best-in-scale kit of the type.

        For ordnance, I picked the most likely layout used in the Cenepa conflict - two Shafrir II AAMs and a centerline fuel tank. I also added a boarding ladder based on photographic reference.

 

Other "ingredients" used:

- Eduard Kfir C2/7 PE detail set

- ResKit  Kfir C2/7 engine exhaust

- Master pitot

- Eduard/Brassin Rafael Shafrir II missiles and launch rails

- Aztec Dazzling Kings II decal sheet in combination with the kit decals and many from my spares

- boarding ladder donated by PJ Productions Mirage III kit

- various scratch-built antennas, brake lines, wires and generic small details specific to Latin American C2s

- Badger Stynylrez primers, Vallejo Model Air colors and various washes, Tamiya weathering powders

 

Some pictures:

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Capt. Mata posing next to his aircraft with the kill marking visible:
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HUD camera footage of the missile launch, taken from official FAE Facebook page (if this is not allowed on Britmodeller I will delete the link):

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Edited by drake122
Higher quality pictures, corrected text errors.
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Hi, beautiful Kfir! I was admiring that exact scheme last night, I just received my AMK 1/48 Kfir in the mail and was trying to decide its fate. What makes the AMK kit not suitable for the Latin AMerican version if i can ask?

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That is a beautiful rendition of a beautiful airframe.

I really love the FAE livery and will apply it to a Mirage F.1 one of these days...

Can you please let us know what coulors you used for the camo? TIA

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Posted (edited)

Thank you all for the kinds comments.

I have now updated the pictures to remove the ugly Scalemates watermark, as well as increased picture quality a bit.

 

On 3/5/2024 at 10:14 PM, Charles68 said:

Hi, beautiful Kfir! I was admiring that exact scheme last night, I just received my AMK 1/48 Kfir in the mail and was trying to decide its fate. What makes the AMK kit not suitable for the Latin AMerican version if i can ask?

 

On 3/6/2024 at 8:14 AM, Vultures1 said:

Really excellent work, well done.

 

The camo scheme is beautifully executed and, like @Charles68 I'd be really interested in details about what detail changes you made for a South American Kfi

 

I would not say the AMK Kfir is "not suitable" to make the Latin American version... it was just not made by the manufacturer with these versions in mind. They seem like an afterthought. Now I must say, I don't have first hand experience with the 1/48 kit, I only build 1/72 myself... but from that kit, out of the box you can build a pretty much 100% accurate ATAC or Israeli Kfir. Even the Sri Lankan ones can be built, though aftermarket decals are needed. For Ecuadorian and Colombian versions, they can also be built just fine, but you kind of need to ignore the instructions in some places and add some small details (nothing too hard). Particularly, the antenna and aerial configuration on the underside of the nose cone is lacking. Notice from reference pictures, Latin American C2s have up to 5 separate small lumps and bumps in this area. Pretty much all of them were ignored by AMK. The blade antenna provided is also the wrong type. The instructions would also lead you to put a MB Mk.6 seat into all C2 camo schemes universally and this is simply not true. Colombia uses MB Mk.6 (even on later Kfir COA / C10 variants), while Ecuador used Mk.10 during the whole service life of the aircraft. Furthermore, the stenciling diagram is largely incorrect, because there is a lot of individual differences between airframes... stencils were not properly reapplied after local upgrades in Ecuador, etc. On top of that, all of the small white linear "markings" on the fuselage were simply ignored by AMK. They are quite prominent on the real plane, depending on your viewing angle. Interestingly, some Colombian C2 airframes had these not in white but in black. I would suggest printing out the Wingman Models Latin American Kfir instruction sheet from the internet as a decaling reference. I think it is by far the most accurate one available (though still not 100% complete).

 

Just an example of the aerial/antenna configuration largely missing from the AMK kit. Notice this is a partially upgraded airframe on a photo taken in the late 1990s, possibly early 2000s. The aircraft already has a frameless windscreen. Nevertheless, all marked aerials and the ejection seat were the same since the 1980s when Kfirs were first delivered to Ecuador from Israel.

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On 3/6/2024 at 10:14 AM, SebTartar said:

That is a beautiful rendition of a beautiful airframe.

I really love the FAE livery and will apply it to a Mirage F.1 one of these days...

Can you please let us know what coulors you used for the camo? TIA

 

So, the consensus on various internet forums and generally from references I found is, FS numbers for the camo should be:

- FS 34258 for the lighter green (AK RC233, LifeColor UA115 seem to be direct matches)

- FS 34079 for the darker green

- FS 36622 for the underside "white-grey" 

I believe it is generally same for Mirage F.1JA. It is in my plans to build a Ecuadorian F.1 from Special Hobby dual boxing soon!

 

I used a custom mix of Vallejo Model Air paints to create something close to FS 34257 for the lighter green (I thought for scale effect in 1/72 this would be better than FS 34258). I am sorry, I don't remember the exact mix now as it was almost half a year ago. For the darker green I used Vallejo Model Air 71.289 - FS 34102 (again, I thought this looked a shade lighter than 34079). For undersides, I used Vallejo Model Air 71.119 white grey. 

Edited by drake122
Corrected mistakes.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you all again for the comments and reactions.

 

I couldn't resist and ordered some brand new 3D printed pilot figures from Reskit in UA.  I know they are supposed to represent Mirage 2000 pilots, but figured I could customize one of them to create a miniature version of Capitán Mata for a small vignette involving this Kfir. Time will tell whether it was a waste of money or not, as I have never painted a figure in 1/72 scale before. Might end in disaster, haha... They do look awesome though, thanks to modern 3D printing technology. No decals or painting instructions are provided, so I will just work with reference pictures.

 

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I have something else in progress on the bench right now, but eventually I will make a small airfield base and add the figure and update this topic with more pictures then...

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On 3/6/2024 at 7:14 AM, Vultures1 said:

Really excellent work, well done.

 

The camo scheme is beautifully executed and, like @Charles68 I'd be really interested in details about what detail changes you made for a South American Kfi

Me too, @drake122 having just bought an AMK Kfir C2 1/72 :). She will be FAE too!

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Posted (edited)
On 3/28/2024 at 11:49 PM, RidgeRunner said:

Me too, @drake122 having just bought an AMK Kfir C2 1/72 :). She will be FAE too!

Well, for FAE machines, I think it is important to first decide which time period you want to make a plane from. Their C2s looked quite different originally (delivered from Israel with black nose cones and the paint scheme was more dark earth and green rather than two different greens). They were upgraded and repainted many times locally. A good example of this is FAE 907, which had a bizarre 4 tone camouflage, even using fluorescent colors in some places. Some picture examples below.

 

In any case, the changes I did to make a more accurate FAE Kfir are listed on the screenshot in a post above. It is mostly small aerials under the nose. There is also some general errors with the kit that I corrected, but these are not FAE-specific. I would think these are well known by now and no need to list them... but I could make a "list", if anyone is not aware yet. 😀

 

FAE 903 with original black nose cone, as delivered from Israel in the 80s.

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FAE 907 with 4 color camouflage and fluorescent green paint visible on the rudder.

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Edited by drake122
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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/30/2024 at 1:05 PM, RidgeRunner said:

@drake122 which Vallejo Model Air colors did you use for the grey underside? I am thinking about 71.119. Any ideas?

 

Sorry, I missed this.  Yes, indeed, I used 71.119 for the underside. I think I also listed the camo colors I used in one of the posts above.

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This is impressive. I've always wanted to get an AMK KFIR, but the price was always on the higher side. However, during my trip to Bangkok, I went to a model shop and found one at a really decent price. I was quite surprised. Coming back to your work, it is really impressive, and I've learned a lot from this thread. A big thank you.

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