Albatros Modelwork's "The Dark Mirages"
Mirage F-1 Decals

Reviewed by Chris Banyai-Riepl

When I saw this decal sheet at the local hobby shop, I knew I just had to get it.  I had a single Hasegawa Mirage F-1 in my shelves back home that needed some interesting markings and this sheet seemed sure to have something.  Now that I've got the sheet, I've discovered that I'm about 11 kits shy of what I need.  The sheet is designed for either the Hasegawa or ESCI kits and provides markings for South African, Moroccan, Libyan, Jordanian, Spanish, Greek and Iraqi Mirage F-1s.  There are enough roundels for you to complete a total of 12 aircraft, and the instructions outline a total of 22 different schemes.

In addition to the regular marking sheet, there's a second sheet that provides complete stenciling as well as a bunch of extra numbers for the different schemes.  There's also two sets of tiger stripe markings for one of the Spanish examples, one designed to fit the Hasegawa kit and one designed for the ESCI kit.  Two sets of the false canopy are also provided, again for the two different kits.  Spread through the two sheets is four different styles of wing walkway demarcation markings, showing the level of research that went into this sheet.

OK, so what specific planes do you get? Well, here's the list....

South Africa: F-1 AZ #232 of 1 Sqn, initial low viz scheme; F-1 AZ #220 of 1 Sqn, 2nd experimental low viz scheme; F-1 AZ #222 of 1 Sqn, final SAAF scheme w/white agressor markings; F-1 CZ #203 of 3 Sqn, air superiority scheme (see cover); F-1 CZ #213, initial 3-color scheme (an F-1 AZ also depicted this way).

Libya: F-1 ED & F-1 AD both in 3-tone Vietnam-style camouflage. No unit information given.

Jordan: F-1 EJ of No. 1 Sqn, 3-tone desert camouflage; F-1 CJof No. 25 Sqn, gray over silver scheme.

Morocco: F-1 CH (& EH), 3-tone Vietnam-style camouflage. No unit information given, but the decal sheet does provide two styles of rudder markings.

Iraq: F-1 EQ, #4008, two-tone brown camouflage; F-1 EQ, #4578, slate gray over light gray, used for maritime strikes. The Iraqi Mirages accounted for 35 victories claimed during the Iran-Iraq war, and also had the distinction of being the first aircraft shot down by an F-15C in Desert Storm.

Greece: F-1 CG, #139, 342 "Sparta" Mira, slate blue-gray over silver. Another example, #131, is also depicted. Both of these planes have a Greek island name painted on the nose.

Spain: F-1EE #462-11 of ALA 48, slate blue-gray over silver; F-1 CE #14-39 of ALA 14, initial three-tone camouflage scheme; F-1 EDA #11-34 of ALA 11, two-tone brown scheme (ex-Qatar); F-1 CE #14-01 of ALA 14, overall light gray scheme; F-1 CE #14-09 of SQ 142 ALA 14, overall light gray scheme with small roundels & tiger meet markings on rudder and ventral fins.

This sheet is available in both 1/72 and 1/48 and I can highly recommend it to anyone wanting to build some Mirage F-1s.  Now I just need to get a pile of ESCI and/or Hasegawa kits.

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