Descended from the Mirage III, Dassault Aviation’s 2000 takes the basic design features of the III and adds a sleekness that makes it one of the most visually appealing aircraft in the skies — at least in my opinion!
Prior to Kinetic’s two-seat Mirage 2000B/D/N, the only other kit was Heller’s, which has been available in several boxings by Heller and Eduard. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find. So, Kinetic’s kit is a welcome addition to the marketplace.
However, my experience of this kit was somewhat mixed. There are a few nice features, such as dropped or raised flaps and ailerons, appropriate parts to depict the various sub-types represented in the decals, and dainty, nicely detailed undercarriage legs and wheels. The canopy fit well in the closed position, a telling indicator of engineering quality. Panel lines are correctly placed, though they are a little wide and soft.
On the downside, fits were fussy in several other spots. The bottom of the tail fin does not match the curve of the spine. There were gaps where the intakes meet the underside of the wing. Gaps at the wing roots may have been my fault. But the fit of the radome to the nose wasn’t so hot, with the fuselage narrower than the nose cone. I used sheet styrene to bulk out the fuselage to match the radome diameter.
Details are a bit soft, particularly in the cockpit. The instrument panels are accurate, but lack of definition makes them difficult to paint. The seats, however, are nice and need only belts to be complete.
The undercarriage has a to-scale appearance, but there is nothing to positively align any of it or the doors. The nose gear aligns well but is quite delicate. Compared with the legs, the wheel wells lack detail. Perhaps the aftermarket will provide more.
Ordnance options are plentiful, with fine renditions of the Magic 1 and 2 air-to-air missiles. Also included are AS-30L laser-guided air-to-ground missiles and the ATLIS pod used to designate targets for the AS-30. (These items are the first in kit form that I am aware of.) The drop tanks are nice, too, though I have read complaints that the larger wing-mounted tanks are not bulged enough at the front. The instructions mention an ASMP, a medium-range nuclear air-to-ground missile, but note “not included.”
Unused parts left on the sprues hint at Mirage 2000 variants to come. One such item is a field arrestor hook; none of the versions depicted by the decals is so equipped. Still, the fairing on these aircraft magically appears in place on the last page of the instructions without mention of a part number or installation.
Two jet nozzles, one fully open and the other half-closed, would be a nice provision — except both are terrible! The open nozzle is pure fiction, with little detail inside. The closed nozzle is better, but its rough outer surface makes it nigh impossible to give a polished-metal look to the petals. The nozzle, is another item not numbered or shown until it after it is in place.
Strangely, alignment pins on several parts are molded inside the sprue gates. I cut off a few pins before I realized it.
The decals are thin and settle nicely. Some colors may be a little off, but overall it’s a good sheet.
I am glad Kinetic produced this kit, even with its drawbacks. It’s good to have the B, D, and N variants in one box. I’d like to build another in Greek markings, this time with an aftermarket resin cockpit and decals. The finished model looks the part, and it could be a real showstopper with some extra work.