by: Andy Brazier [ ]
Hobby Boss entered the game with their ground breaking 1/72 scale series of aircraft, they have now entered the 1/48 aircraft market with this great looking Mirage IIICJ. Also on the horizon are another Mirage, Rafale C, 2 versions of the A-10 Thunderbolt 2 and a F-18 Hornet. Only time will tell how well they will be received.
The first major production model of the Mirage series, the Mirage IIIC, first flew in October 1960. It was a single-seat interceptor, with an Atar 09B turbojet engine, featuring an "eyelet" style variable exhaust, which gave it a top speed of 2230km/h (Mach 1.95) and a range of 2500km.
Armed with 2 x125 round DEFA cannons, fitted in the belly with the gun ports under the air intakes. It also had 5 wing pylons on which it could carry a wide range of external stores, Sidewinders, Matra R-511, R-530, AS.20, AS.30 missiles, MK 82 bombs or JL100R rocket launchers.
The Israeli's outstanding success with the Mirage IIICJ, scoring kills against Syrian Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17s and MiG-21 aircraft and then achieving a formidable victory against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria in the Six-Day War of June 1967, the Mirage III's reputation was greatly enhanced. The "combat-proven" image and low cost made it a popular export success.
The Mirage IIICJ was the designation given to the Israeli Mirage III C's.
The Mirage IIIC was also exported to South Africa as the Mirage IIICZ, and to Switzerland as the Mirage IIICS, to which one was sold in preparation for license construction.
Packed in quite a large lidded box the Mirage IIICJ comes on 6 sprues with 172 light grey and 11 clear injected plastic parts.
All the parts are clear of flash, but there is quite a few pin marks to be found on the kit. Most I believe will be hidden on the finished kit, but a few can be found on the inside of the intakes and undercarriage doors.
The kit has some lovely recessed panel lines and rivet details. The wings have separate flaps which have a textured rivet detail on them. The flaps don't look as though they are positional, but with a little work could be dropped. The tail fin and rudder is moulded onto the main fuselage halves, so reworking the rudder requires some surgery.
The interior detail is fairly good, with all the gear doors having some great detail. The undercarriage bays are made up of several pieces each, with each panel having a nice touch of detail on it. Undercarriage legs are typical Tamigawa quality, but the front leg does look a little on the fragile side.
The ejection seat is made up of 5 parts, but does not have any harnesses moulded on or as separate parts.
The cockpit interior has a little moulded on detail in the form of raised dials and levers, and the same can be found on the instrument panel. There are decals for the instruments and possibly the ejection seat, but at no point in the instructions are you told to apply them.
The external stores that come with the kit are 500L and 625L fuel tanks, MK 82 bombs, Sidewinder AIM 9D, Matra 530 C,K, Matra 530 E,M missiles and JL 100R rocket launchers.
The MK 82 bombs look very good but deciding what weapon load you want will be a painful choice as they will all look pretty good sitting underneath the aircraft.
The instructions are printed in the usual line drawing way we are all used to on a concertina type folded booklet.
Step 1, starts with the cockpit assembly and ends with step 13 with weapon assembly and placement.
The build sequence is in a logical and easily understood way, with options and interior paint colours given on each section.
As stated before with the cockpit, at no point are you told to apply decals, even though the symbol is stated on the front page.
Painting and DecalsThe paint schemes and decal placement are on a separate colour sheet of A3 size glossy paper. All the paints numbers are from the Gunze Sangyo Aqueous Hobby colour and MR Color range.
2 different paint schemes are given for 4 aircraft.
The 2 NMF aircraft are from,
1st Flight of the 119 Tayeset of the Heyl Ha' Avir
No 59, 101st Tayeset of the Heyl Ha' Avir, during the Six Day War in 1968.
The 2 camouflaged scheme aircraft of green/ brown/ tan uppers and light blue lowers, are from,
101st Tayeset of the Heyl Ha' Avir
NO 92, Seine, Aemee de l' Air BA 120 Cazaux, April 1976.
The decals are printed on an A3 size sheet and all look to be in perfect register. There is about 1mm of carrier film around the edges of each decal, but as I have seen before on Hobby Boss decals they do look slightly blotchy.