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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2020, 11:51 
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Location: Centurion, Pretoria, SA
So, due to lock-down, I've been fiddling with my two Kinetic 48th scale Mirage III kits - one is the IIIE packaging which includes parts for the standard IIIE (SAAF EZ can be built), IIIO (Aussie version), R/RD (reconnaissance versions) or EA (Spanish version) :

Image20200412_085123 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

The other is the Mirage IIIE/5 "South America" packaging which includes for an Argentinian Dagger (Nesher), Argentinian IIIEA or Brazilian IIIEB/R :

Image20200412_085134 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

The main components (wings / fuselage etc.) are the same for the two boxings. The only difference being in the weapons options - more about this later.

Both kits also include all of the parts for the Swiss IIIS/RS with the sole exclusion of the Swiss S radar nose which is longer than that of the E - the Swiss IIIS had a longer radome to fit the American Hughes radar for the AIM-4 Falcon missiles used by them. In addition, the following are provided for the Swiss versions : canards, lifting lugs (4 lifting lugs were fitted to the wing/fuselage root attachment for hoisting Mirages over other Mirages inside the Swiss mountain hangars), the oversized nose wheel and associated nose gear door (this allowed for the aircraft to have the nose pushed upwards, thus dropping the top of the vertical stabilizer to clear the top of the mountain hangar access door frame), wing mounted RWR antennae and rear fuselage chaff dispenser. Kinetic actually provides a dedicated boxing for the Swiss R/RS version which contains al of these parts.

Generally, the kit detail is very nice with restrained recessed panel lines and riveting. Options are provided as follows :
a) forward nose underside to provide for doppler antenna (Mirage IIIE version), Swiss S/RS version or two IIIR camera nose configurations - neither of which is correct for the SAAF RZ/R2Zs.
b) Two vertical stabilizer leading edge base inserts - one for filletless vertical stabilizer and one for filleted vertical stabilizer
c) two options are provided for the dorsal access panel just aft of the cokcpit - one with and one without a flush mounted antenna
d) 4 different inserts for the top of the vertical stabilizer trailing edge representing various configurations of RWR antennae - one matches those used on the SAAF R2Zs
e) 4 different instrument panels are provided for the various options.
f) The elevators and elevons can be mounted in drooped or flight position.
g) Two different seats - an MB.Mk.4 and an MB.Mk.10 - the latter for the Swiss aircraft
h) Two different nose gear bay configurations - the one actually looks too simplistic and may have been modelled off a C aircraft ?
i) Two different versions of the main gear leg covers with different length actuators
j) Full length intakes and compressor face
k) Full length exhaust which is passable but the model can be improved significantly by using an aftermarket nozzle

So all around, a really nice package which blows the old Esci/Italeri III series away. This kit holds a lot of potential for the Mirage III modelling enthusiast but does present some rather odd issues which will be dealt with in detail as I go through the build.


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2020, 11:58 
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The bottom wing section is in one piece and very nicely moulded :

Image20200328_124029 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

However, the fit between the top halves and the bottom is not good requiring a significant amount of the bottom wing inner suface to be scraped away to avoid a very nasty step where they join - about 30 minutes of scraping, test fitting, sanding etc. to get them right :

Image20200328_124035 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Here's the result - no step but still a gap to be filled which is taken care of with some Perfect Plastic Putty - great stuff this :

Image20200329_094630 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

The rear fuselage bay is a drop fit. Do not fill in the gap around the edge as this is a very distinctive feature on the real aircraft. The smaller inserts just aft of this need to be filled, again with Perfect Plastic Putty.


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2020, 12:13 
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When the aircraft was parked, the outer two elevators / elevons of the Mirage III droop. Kinetic thoughtfully provides two forms of actuators - up and drooped.... with the exception of the outboard actuators when the weapons pylon is not used - part C8 does not have a drooped option :? . This is simple to rectify by carefully cutting part C8 at an angle :

Image20200329_103459 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Here they are installed :

Image20200322_141326 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

A bit of minor trimming of the outboard elevon is required to remove a gap between wing trailing edge and the elevon leading edge when installing in the drooped position :

Image20200322_141305 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Looking like a Mirage / Dagger :

Image20200329_134944 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

For my Mirage IIIE - I've included the outboard combined actuator / weapons pylon option (for an air to air missile). For the Dagger, I opted for the straightforward outboard actuator without weapons pylon. The Daggers used in the Falklands War were flying long distances and were not equipped for air to air combat. IIIE configuration on the left, Dagger on the right :

Image20200412_085200 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2020, 12:22 
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One other thing which requires some work - hollowing out no less than 12 vents and intakes on the lower wing as well as drilling out the canon muzzles. Again, about 30 minutes work with a fine drill and sharp pointed knife. Makes a world of difference to the model.

Image20200412_121825 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

The single intake on the centreline just aft of the nose landing gear bay is for the gun tray. If the gun tray is removed and the fuel tank installed instead, the vent is not present.

Here are my current two go-to fillers :

Image20200412_120048 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Top is Perfect Plastic Putty - looks like a new improved formula - it works well for filling gaps which do not require sanding. Apply the putty and then gently smooth over with a damp finger or earbud as its water soluble. The Tamiya white putty is great for filling holes which need to be sanded to precision with the adjacent suface. It takes about 3 hours to fully cure.


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2020, 12:32 
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Awesome start. :smt023

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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2020, 12:41 
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Now for the weapons - for my Argentinian Dagger, I'm going for a standard Falklands fit of :
a) 2 x 1,300 liter RP62 tanks (one on each wing) and
b) 4 x 250kg bombs (two on centreline and two on rear fuselage pylons)
The other configuration used was :
a) 3 x 1,300 liter RP62 tanks (two wing, one centreline) and
b) 2 x Expal 250kg bombs on the rear fuselage pylons.

The problem is that Kinetic have had a major brain fart with respect to the weapons provided for the Argentinian version :
- NO 250kg Expal bombs or bomb pylons (centreline and rear fuselage)
- NO 1,300 liter tanks :shock: . Oddly though, they do provide the 1,300 liter tank wing pylons and rear fins :?

Instead they provide 2 x 1,700 liter RP-30 tanks and 6 x Mk.82 Snakeye bombs and a typical USAF MER (multiple ejector rack). Yes, the Argies used the 1,700 liter tanks but not on bombing missions - all the photos I could find show these with 1,300 liter RP62s. There are luckily aftermarket Expal bombs available but no 48th RP62 tanks as far as I'm aware. So these will need to be scratch built.

I built up the centreline and rear fuselage bomb pylons using laminated plastic card to get the correct thickness. Using images off the interweb, I figured out the rough dimensions in 48th scale and carved / sanded these into shape, added the bomb sway braces kindly provided by Kinetic and some detailing using plastic card and a riveting tool :

Image20200403_135317 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Image20200405_105634 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Using the kit supplied Mk.82 Snakeyes as sample subjects ...

Image20200405_105613 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Looks nice and "busy" :

Image20200405_105553 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Image20200405_105518 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2020, 12:47 
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Dean wrote:
Awesome start. :smt023


Thanks Dean :smt023


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2020, 14:18 
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And now for a bit of a rant on the weapons options provided by Kinetic. They’ve definitely missed the boat here with some really shoddy research and understanding of the basic Mirage III weapons loadings :

For the two kits, the following weapons / stores are provided :
a) 2 x wing mounted RP-18R 500 liter supersonic tanks (IIIE and Dagger boxings)
b) 2 x wing mounted RP-30 1,700 liter subsonic tanks (IIIE and Dagger boxings)
c) 2 x JL-100 combined rocket launcher / fuel tank (IIIE and Dagger boxings)
d) 2 x Matra R530 missile (IIIE and Dagger boxings)
e) 2 x Matra R550 missiles (with and without slotted rear fins) (IIIE and Dagger boxings)
f) 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles with launch rails (IIIE and Dagger boxings)
g) 2 x AS-30L missile (IIIE and Dagger boxings)
h) 2 x RPK10 combined fuel tank / 4 bomb carrier (IIIE and Dagger boxings)
i) 6 x Mk.82 bombs and MER (IIIE boxing only)
j) 2 x LAU-32 six shot rocket pods (IIIE and Dagger boxings) – I’ve seen photos of Mirages with these mounted on the outboard wing hardpoints

So then, comments on these kit weapons :

The missing RP62 1,300 liter tanks are a major oversight as this was the most common tank used by most Mirage III operators. The kit does include the wing pylon for these tanks. Wingman Models makes an aftermarket resin RP62.

The other common external fuel tank which is missing is the centerline supersonic RP825 825 liter tank. PJ Productions make a resin 48th scale RP825 with pylon.

RP-18R 500 liter supersonic tanks – these look to be the correct dimensions in 48th scale (length / diameter). Only the finless version is provided. The later version, which could be jettisoned, had three tail fins and was moved aft on the pylon so that the trailing edge was almost in line with the trailing edge of the elevons. It will be easy to modify the kit tanks to incorporate these changes.

RP-30 1,700 liter tanks – these look to be the correct dimensions (length / diameter) in 48th scale but there are three problem areas – the fin arrangement is totally fictitious and must be corrected. The tank also sits too far forward on the wing pylon and should be moved back by about 5mm. The wing pylon is too short towards the rear and the holes in the wing do not match the pins on the pylon. The profile of the pylon does not match the wing underside. This sprue actually originates from the Kinetic / Italeri Mirage 2000D kit hence the fit issues. In fact the entire Mirage 2000D sprue (2 of them) are included in the Dagger kit. These include Mica missiles, the AS-30L and an Atlis targeting pod – hmmm….Wingman Models makes a resin RP-30.

Matra R550 missiles (with and without slotted rear fins). The correct cranked (angled outboard) launch rails are provided although the kit instructions are silent on these.

AIM-9B Sidewinders – the pins on the Sidewinders do not fit the recesses in the launch rails so must be cut off – no big deal.

JL-100 combined rocket launcher / fuel tank – the kit attempt at these is an abomination. Each JL-100 consists of 5 parts – the two rear halves, two intermediate halves and the nose cone. The rear and intermediate halves do not match each other leaving a nasty seam to be dealt with. The nose shows the rockets sticking out – I cannot recall seeing any photo of a JL-100 with the rockets sticking out except at an airshow for display purposes. The kit part looks too short as well. PJ Productions supply a resin JL-100 rocket pod.

Matra R530 missile – Mirage IIIs only carried one on the centerline but no centerline pylon is provided in the kit. The kit missile looks to be too long.

AS-30L missile – Mirage IIIs only carried one on the centlerline – a pylon is provided in the kit but it looks like the entire arrangement sits too far forward. The pins on the pylon do not fit the holes in the wing bottom section. Again, these come from the Mirage 2000D kit explaining the incorrect fit. The pylon is likely also not correct for the Mirage III.

RPK-10 combined fuel tank / 4 bomb carrier – these are too short by 16mm. This is a difficult one to fix as 5mm must be added to the tank ahead of the pylon and 11 mm added aft of the pylon leading edge. They’ve made this the same length as the RP-18R tank. They also only provide one of two configurations – this one has the two front bombs at the same lengthwise location. The more common configuration had the front bombs staggered with the inboard bombs located further forward. High Planes Models make a resin RPK-10 with the staggered bomb arrangement.

Mk.82 bombs and MER – I can not recall ever seeing a photo of any Mirage III with an MER and Mk82 Snakeyes !! Kinetic took a real shortcut here and most probably sourced these sprues (sprue V) from their F-16 kit. These were provided in the IIIE boxing only, so the Dagger kit comes with NO bombs !! Wingman Models makes resin Expal bombs and centerline pylon for the Argentinian Dagger.

So then, the two most significant issues for me are :
a) No correct bombs and pylons provided for the Argentinian Dagger
b) No 1,300 liter subsonic wing tanks provided


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2020, 14:33 
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Some images :

Kit RP18R 500 liter tank (finless) at top, two haves of RPK-10 beneath - they are 16mm too short.

Image20200412_085435 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

RPK-10 assembled with bomb shackles - nice detail - pity it's too short :

Image20200412_090129 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

JL-100 bottom - not right in any sense. A total waste of plastic .... :?

Image20200412_090116 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

AIM-9B Sidewinders (right) and Matra R550 (left) with unslotted tail fins and cranked pylon :

Image20200412_102209 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

AS-30L top and Matra R530 bottom. The AS-30 particularly is nicely detailed :

Image20200412_085333 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

The RP-30 1,700 liter tanks - top one has incorrect kit fin arrangement, bottom one has had modified fins added from plastic card. Also had to shim top of pylon to match wing underside profile :

Image20200412_085320 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Image20200411_130716 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Here are the spurs from the Kinetic/Italeri Mirage 2000D kit :shock: :? :

Image20200412_110306 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

And from the Kinetic/Italeri Mirage 2000D kit instructions to prove my point ....

Image20200412_105156 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2020, 14:44 
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Anyway, complaints aside, here are some stores configs :

IIIE wing with 2 x RP18R tanks and AS-30L - see, it's way too far forward.

Image20200412_110147 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

IIIE wing with 2 x RP18R tanks and 2 x AIM-9B missiles :

Image20200412_093442 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

IIIE wing with 2 x RP18R tanks and 2 x R550 missiles :

Image20200412_092440 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Note how the R550s are cantered outwards :

Image20200412_092451 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

IIIE wing with 2 x RP30 tanks and 2 x R550 missiles :

Image20200412_093707 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

IIIE wing with 2 x RP18R tanks and 2 x LAU-32 rocket pods - I assume this would be a training load as its maybe a bit light for combat :?: :

Image20200412_091958 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr

Dagger with 2 x RP18R tanks and 4 x Mk.82 Snakeyes. Should be 2 x RP62 1,300 liter tanks and4 x Expal 250kg bombs - aftermarket, here we come....

Image20200412_090941 - 800 by Malcolm Reid, on Flickr


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2020, 16:27 
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Such a pity when a great kit is let down by something so important as what is hung underneath. As if they just ran out of money for new moulds and just looked at the shelf and took whatever looked closest.

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PostPosted: 13 Apr 2020, 18:58 
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Malcolm, did you import the Mirage IIIE/5 kit?
Have not seen that particular kit locally.

Out of interest the SAAF Museum has put RP30 tank on display next to the silver Mirage III BZ. Briefly saw it on my way out so unfortunately don't have any photo's to share.

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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2020, 23:06 
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The stores configs with R550 - you've placed the launch rails pointing in the wrong direction. The short part of the launcher (relative to the adapter) should point forward :arrow:


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PostPosted: 17 May 2020, 21:27 
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Mars wrote:
Malcolm, did you import the Mirage IIIE/5 kit?
Have not seen that particular kit locally.

Out of interest the SAAF Museum has put RP30 tank on display next to the silver Mirage III BZ. Briefly saw it on my way out so unfortunately don't have any photo's to share.


Sorry Marc, only seen this now. I asked Julian at Jix to bring it in for me.

I'll need to bring my tape measure next time I visit the museum :D


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PostPosted: 17 May 2020, 21:28 
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CobaltBlue wrote:
The stores configs with R550 - you've placed the launch rails pointing in the wrong direction. The short part of the launcher (relative to the adapter) should point forward :arrow:


Thanks CobaltBlue. Didn't check my references :oops: :?


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