The Mystere IV was an outgrowth of the Mystere II, Dassault Aviation's second fighter (the Ouragan was their first). While outwardly similar in appearance to the Mystere II, the Mystere IV was the first of the Dassault family to employ area rule for improved transonic performance. The aircraft also sported a more powerful engine than its predecessor and also carried a wing sweep of 32 degrees.
To the untrained eye, the Mystere IV bore a strong resemblance to the North American F-100 Super Sabre, but the Mystere IV flew eight months before its North American cousin. While the F-100 was designed to achieve supersonic speeds in level flight, that capability would not come into the Dassault line until the next aircraft, the Super Mystere.
While the French Air Force operated 100 Mystere IV, the vast majority of production run were exported, including 60 to Israel, 110 to India, and 120 to the USAF! The USAF purchase was evidently part of a NATO agreement – if anyone knows where these aircraft actually wound up, please let me know!
The Hi Tech Mystere IV kit lives up to its name - high tech. Every food group known to scale modelers is represented here: injection molded plastic, vacuformed canopy, resin castings for interior details and tail surfaces, photo-etched metal for cockpit details and tailplane fairings, and white metal parts for landing gear struts and a control yoke.
The injection molded plastic is typical limited run variety, a slight texture to the surface, a little thick on the trailing edges of the wing, no locating tabs (a good thing!), and a little leftover flash from the molding process. Nevertheless, the details are scribed and well executed in the molding.
The vac canopy is nicely clear, though only one was provided in the kit, so I'd best not mess it up!
The resin parts are cast from a very brittle resin, so care must be taken when handling the thin parts, such as the speed brakes. As with the plastic, the molding work in the resin is nicely done with details in all of the right places. Once impressive piece is the resin 'chunk' that is actually the intake centerbody, and it has a detailed cockpit tub on the topside and an equally detailed nosewheel well on the bottom. The sheer mass of this part is the nice bit of engineering in this kit, as this piece also serves as the ballast to keep this kit from becoming a dedicated tailsitter when completed.
The etched metal parts and white metal castings round out the kit, and they provide a nice level of detail, and in the case of the metal landing gear struts, additional strength to the model. The kit will build into a very good representation of the Mystere IV out of the box. It also can serve as the starting point for additional details, such as MV lenses in the landing lights, Reheat instruments under the photo-etched instrument panel, etc.
The decals provided in the kit are for one example from the French Air Force. It would not be difficult at all to raid the decal spares and build one of the Israeli or Indian AF machines. Where DID those USAF-purchased Mystere IV aircraft go?
This is the only 1/48 kit of this rather important piece of modern aviation history. Given the variety of advanced materials used in the production of this kit, I would recommend this kit to more experienced modelers. Nonetheless, given that limited production models require more work and skill to assemble, this kit appears to be very straightforward and should not provide the experienced builder with any surprises.
Look for a full build-up of this aircraft within the next few issues of Internet Modeler.