- Published on Friday, 16 March 2012 00:01 Robin Jenkins
1/48 Detail Sets for the Mirage F.1C
Catalogue #'s C48022 and U48-40
Available in the UK from Hannants for £13.30 and £5.40 respectively
My modelling experience of the Mirage delta-wing jet fighter family has been somewhat limited over the years, being confined to an IAF version of Eduard's 1/48 Mirage IIIC/J, a ProfiPACK re-release of which I reviewed on the site almost exactly a year ago. As a subject, the Mirage has never quite caught my imagination (unlike many modellers I know). Don't get me wrong, delta aircraft are fine, as long as they are called "Javelin" or "Vulcan"!
Designed as a private venture by Dassault as a successor to their own Mirage III and Mirage 5 aircraft in the mid-1960s, it entered service with the French air force in 1973 and remained as their primary air interceptor until the introduction of the Mirage 2000 in late 1982, although later updated variants till fly today giving sterling service. The F.1C (below), although it was slightly smaller than the Mirage III, was far superior in performance, fuel capacity and payload. It was an all-weather interceptor that saw good export sales to countries such as South Africa, Greece, Spain, Kuwait, Jordan and Libya. There was also a twin-seat operational conversion aircraft.
Credit and copyright: http://aeromil-yf.pagesperso-orange.fr/F1C%20233%2030%20LG%20%20Vexin.jpg
Anyway, this is another modelling subject in which I am in the minority by not being taken in by the Mirage; the number of models of the different variants in all major scales attest to this, as do the number of aftermarket detail and decal sets. Pavla have recently released a pair of resin sets aimed at the Italeri kit of the Mirage F.1C 9 (above) which will now be examined in turn. Pavla tend to produce good quality products at reasonable prices, so this is what was anticipated.
C48022: Replacement Cockpit with Seat (£13.30)
I was not familiar with the Italeri kit, so I managed to source one from a modelling friend. It is a reboxing of an older Esci kit and is not really up to modern standards. Therefore, the rationale for these sets becomes clear. The cockpit set is beautifully moulded and should really be immediately considered by anyone building the Italeri kit. The quality of the moulding is excellent, with no flaws at all. The two looped handles, so prominent on the top of the seat, are provided in some of the finest resin moulding I have seen in a long while. The instruction give basic colours but I would definitely advocate sourcing some colour photos to get the most from this set.
U48-40: Port and starboard intakes (£5.40)
Strangely, Pavla describe this as a "starboard intakes" set; there are, of course, a pair of intakes along with some smaller detailing parts. I was not quite as overboard on these intakes as I was on the cockpit, since I felt the engraved detail was not of universal standard over the surface of the whole intake. However, they still remain a big improvement on the kit parts.
So What Do We Think?
Pavla have delivered again on the magical balance between quality and price. The cockpit set is a must, the intakes should be seriously considered by all builders of the Italeri kit.
High quality detail sets
Our thanks to Pavla for the review samples.