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Eduard 1/48 scale Mirage III CJ

RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT | MILITARY
Kit: No.82102
Scale: 1/48
Manufacturer: Eduard form Czech
Republic, available from Squadron Mail
Order, 972-242-8663,
www.squadron.com
Price: $46.98
Comments: Injection-molded, 161
parts (1 metal weight, 9 photoetched
metal) decals, express masks
Pros: Good detail, fine interior
Cons: Poor fit of the wing to fuselage
assembly and intakes
Eduard's release of this historic fighter in
1/48 scale is a welcome addition to the
list of available French supersonic fighter
kits on the market today. This kit is loaded
with detail and offers many options. The
external ordnance includes rocket pods,
Sidewinder missiles, a Matra 530C missile,
and two types of drop tanks. The canopy
can be positioned opened or closed. A
pilot figure, nose weight, painted photoetched
seatbelts, and a boarding ladder
round out the features, plus lots of decals!
Kit markings will make five different aircraft
serving between 1967 and 1973.

I was impressed by the quality of finely
scribed panel lines. The cockpit has it all
- an optional raised-detail instrument
panel, and a well-appointed ejection seat.

When I dry-fitted the cockpit, I found
no positive lock - it moved around inside
the fuselage. The small locating pins have
to be mated exactly. Leaving the instrument
panel out of the cockpit tub until the
fuselage halves are glued together helps
cockpit alignment.

I dry-fitted the wing assembly to the
fuselage and discovered an .020" gap
between the wing's center section and the
fuselage. I cut .020" off of the back of the
wing and filled the gap in the front joint.

The same gap exists between the
intakes (E5 and E8) and the fuselage. This
gap also had to be filled and sanded.

I painted the model with Model
Master military brown, sand, duck-egg
blue, and European dark green, then I
applied the decals. Some of the smaller
ones silvered a bit, so I applied some
Micro Sol to snuggle them down.

The finished model scales close to
the measurements in the main reference
I used, Francis Crosby's A Handbook of
Fighter Aircraft
.

I spent 31 hours completing my
Mirage, mostly dealing with fit issues. The
finished model looks impressive. Now, if
they would just release another in 1/72
scale!

- Tom Foti

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