Italeri 1/48 Bye-bye Mirage F.1 Farewell Exhibition
The Dassault Mirage F.1 all-weather interceptor entered Armée de L'Air (French Air Force) service in 1974 and was retired from active service in France in 2014. This is Italeri's 1/48th scale kit of it. It consists of 124 parts on 5 sprues. 27 parts are surplus and destined for your spares box.
The kit is well molded with moderate flash and minimal sink marks. The sprue attachment points are well located and the parts will be easily removed. There are a fair number of ejector pin marks on the landing gear, landing gear doors, main wheels and various small parts. Some of these will be easier to remove than others.
The wing and fuselage surface detail consists of finely recessed panel lines with raised elements where appropriate. The air intakes, prominent wing and fuselage air brakes will look good with detail painting and an oil wash.
The cockpit is quite simplified. The instrument and side console "detail" consists of decals, and these are only fair. I wouldn't bother with the kit ejection seat, I would replace it with a better detailed aftermarket resin one. The clear parts look pretty good. They are relatively thin and distortion free.
The landing gear effectively capture the heavy appearance and complexity of the real thing. The under wing stores are comprehensive and they include2 different center line drop tanks, Matra R550 Magic missiles, Armat anti-radiation air-to-surface missiles and 4 conventional "drop" bombs.
Cartograph printed the excellent and comprehensive decal sheet. The images are crisp, the colors are bright and the printing is in register. It includes a set of stencils plus markings for 3 different retirement schemes:
Mirage F.1 CR n° 611, French Air Force EC 2-33 "Savoie", Mont de Marsan, June 2014. This plane was Dark Ghost Gray and Euro I Dark Green over Flat Light Gray with a Tan Green radome, Flat Black in-flight refueling probe, Medium Gray missile rails and Flat Light Gray drop tank.
Mirage F.1 CR n° 653, French Air Force EC 2-33 "Savoie", Mont de Marsan, June 2014. This plane was Sand and Earth Red over Flat Aluminum with a Flat Black radome and in-flight refueling probe and Medium Gray missile rails. The drop tank was painted to match the plane's camouflage.
Mirage F.1 CR n° 660, French Air Force EC 2-33 "Savoie", Mont de Marsan, June 2014. This F.1 was Intermediate Blue over Flat Aluminum with a Flat Black radome and in-flight refueling probe and Medium Gray missile rails. The drop tank was painted to match the plane's camouflage.
The instructions include a parts map, excellent illustrations, color profiles of each tank and color call outs for Italeri acrylic paints plus FS (Federal Standard) numbers.
Italeri's Mirage F.1 is a decent kit but not a great one. The kit shows its age in the simplification of its details. Kittyhawk's Mirage kits supersede Italeri's in most respects. A novice modeler can build it right from the box and will be quite pleased with the results. A more advanced modeler would regard it as a good starting point for a highly detailed model. Pavla Models produces a resin cockpit and air intakes and these are worth buying if that is the direction you want to go. I recommend this kit and I would like to thank Model Rectifier Corporation for the review sample.