Desgined in the 1960’s, the Dassault Mirage F.1 was built as a fighter/attack aircraft for the French Air Force. It entered service in 1974 and was retired in 2014 from the French Air Force, after 40 years of service. More then 720 Mirage F.1’s were built, with the primary users listed as France, Iraq, Greece, and Spain.
A new release from Italeri
, a re-release with new markings, allows for building and marking up the F.1 during its final year.
4 Plastic Sprues
1 Sheet of Decals
From a quick view of this kit on Scalemate, it seems the history of the kits go back to an original release by Esci in 1978. It does look like this kit is a direct re-release of the Italeri
2012 release that contained new parts, with this release just including new decals. The kit is molded in grey plastic with engraved panel lines and some nice details. Although I did find some flash and sink marks, especially on the landing gear and some of the finer parts.
So as part of the review, I also started building this kit. Starting off with the cockpit, it is relatively plain, not a lot of details, but does include very rudimentary decals for the instrumentation. Also very little detail on the seat itself. I did throw a couple pieces of masking tape on to show some seatbelt details. For fit, it does go together relatively well.
Onto the fuselage, the fit of the cockpit and overall fit of the fuselage halves is not bad. There is some very minor warping, but nothing a little masking tape could not deal with while the glue dried. I did find that there as some major gaps in the back of the intakes when assemble, which does make it difficult to paint the interior before assembly. The instruction don’t state, but you will need to add some weight to the nose to keep the front landing gear down, and there is some room just ahead of the cockpit and if need be in the nose cone.
The instruction include steps to shave some detail off the tail fin and replace it with new parts, as the detail on those parts on the sprue did not look the greatest, I just left the molded detail on my build.
The wings go together pretty well, with instruction to drill a couple holes prior to assembly. The fit onto the fuselage is also pretty good, as well as the tail wings. Overall the entire fuselage goes together well, and was impressed with the “age” of the molds.
The drop tank and ordnance are not bad, but did find that the instructions had you put the wing tip sponsions onto the missiles prior to the aircraft, thinking this would make overall painting a little tough. Also the wing tip missile has big ejector marks and the fit of the winglets leave some gaps. I also found that the holes in the bottom fuselage for the center drop tank are jot completely lined up and a little small for the locator pins.
One issue I found was the canopy, whether it was warped or just not molded right, there is a fit issue. I did have to tape it down, so that the bottom “spreaded” a little to match the fuselage. As well I needed to sand the rear tab to fit into the slot, and it seems about half a millimeter to short.
As for the landing gear, there is flash and does almost seem the molds were not completely lined up. But this can be taken care with some sanding and scraping.
The decals are printed by Cartograph, so there should be not real issues there. You will need to take some care with the tail ones, as they are one piece and large. Painting and marking guide includes:
- No. 611 French Air Force, EC 2-33 “Savoie” Mont de Marsan, June 2014
- No. 653 French Air Force, EC 2-33 “Savoie” Mont de Marsan, June 2014
- No. 660 French Air Force, EC 2-33 “Savoie” Mont de Marsan, June 2014
This re-release of the Mirage F.1 from Italeri
is not really a bad kit, it does show the age of the molds in some spots. There as some poor fitting parts, for example the canopy and ordnance, as well as some flash and sink marks in some parts. The kits has decent fit in most places and will just need a little extra work and attention. The real highlight, and reason for the release, is the decal, printed by Cartograph and looking very nice.