This particular release from Kinetic Models depicts the updated Mirage IIIS/RS that flew with the Swiss AF. In the early 1990s, the Swiss Mirage IIIS [“Miro”] interceptors and the Mirage IIIRS [“Amirs”] were put through an upgrade program, which included the fitting of fixed canards and updated avionics. The Mirage IIIRS was adapted to carry the OMERA camera system in the nose, but it could also carry an integral photo-reconnaissance/fuel centre line pod. The Swiss built IIIS/RS had robustness comparable to that of carrier based planes; the airframes, wings and undercarriage were reinforced so the aircraft could be moved by crane. A necessity as the aircraft were often parked in caverns dug out of the mountains. They offered very little space to manoeuvre parked aircraft, so cranes were employed to move parked aircraft. The strengthened frames also allowed the use of JATO rockets to aid take-off at high operating weights. The Mirage IIIS was fitted with a Hughes TARAN 18 radar and fire-control system and armed with AIM-4 Falcon and AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. The Mirage IIIS were phased out of service in 1999. The remaining Mirage IIIRS were taken out of service in 2003. The commemoration markings of two of the last “Amirs” are included with this release. The last flight included painted tear drop and these are also included on the decal sheet.
Ref: Wikipedia, Matterhorn Circle.
The contents are contained in top opening box. The box top illustration is in Kinetics usual and distinctive style with an evocative painting depicting the last flight of the two Mirage IIIRS high above the Alps. If you already have Kinetics earlier release of the Mirage IIIE then a lot of the contents included with this release will be familiar. This release has eight sprues of various sizes in grey plastic and one clear plastic sprue. The sprues are all individually wrapped for added security.
Kinetic have included two types of bang seat: the MB Mk6 and the MB Mk 10. The seat for the Swiss Mirages is the Mk6 and it’s built up from six parts, with two choices of overhead firing handle. The Mk 10 seat has five parts and this can go into your spares box. Both seats do look rather good, though you will need to fabricate the harnesses.
There are around fourteen parts that make up the cockpit. The cockpit tub has the side panels included and there is plenty of detail moulded onto them.
There are two types of instrument panel to fit depending on which Mirage III you want to depict. The raised detail is very good in parts and rather soft in others. Additional detail to add to the cockpit includes rudder pedals, control stick, various electrical boxes and a three piece HUD. The projector lens and HUD screen are transparent plastic pieces.
The canopy and windscreen are two separate parts and beautifully clear. The canopy can be displayed open to show all that lovely detail in the cockpit. Both show some very fine recessed rivet work on the framing.
First thing to notice is how good the detail is on the plastic. The mix of recessed and raised detail is first rate. The fuselage itself is a modular affair, understandable as Kinetic have released quite a few flavours of the Mirage III. The fuselage spine is a separate part and there are alternative nose cones: one for radar fitted fighter and one for the camera carrying reconnaissance aircraft. The two full length air ducts are each made from two pieces with positive looking locating points. They are split sensibly to avoid any seams. There are a couple of raised ejector marks on the inner side you may want to sand down before joining. At the end of the ducts there is a rather fine looking primary compressor to add. Whether you will see it or not is another question, but it’s good to know it’s there. The air intakes are separate and the canards are separate items. Kinetic must take a bow for producing a very good looking one piece jet exhaust. Although the detail comes at a cost as there is some shrinkage marks just forward of the exhaust petals. The corrugated look of the jet pipe walls and the complexity of the re heat matrix looks pretty good for injected plastic. Though you will have a devils job trying to highlight the detail of the reheat matrix as it’s a long way down the jet pipe.
The lower wing half is one piece, I think there is a very slight dihedral set into it. Again the recessed and raised detail is superb and I particularly like the guards around the cannon barrels. The control surfaces are all separate parts and can be displayed in the lowered position. Kinetic has thoughtfully included separate actuation mechanism fairing so you can have the flight control surfaces raised or lowered. Unfortunately the fairings do show some shrinkage in the plastic that will need filling. Under the tail the large gap is where the bulge for the rear fuel tank fits. All four speed brakes are separate parts so they can be positioned open, although the there is no internal detail in each bay.
The front undercarriage bay is built up from three parts and there is some nice raised detail on display. The inner part of the main undercarriage bay is moulded to the lower wing. The ceiling of the outer part of the bay is formed on the inner surface of the upper wing. The detail in the bays is not bad, but it lacks any electrical or hydraulic lines.
The front undercarriage leg is made up from three parts and there are a couple of clear plastic landing lights to add. The main undercarriage legs are each made up from two parts. Detail on these parts looks fine if a little soft.
The wheel hubs and tyres are separate, so no need for paint masks. The hubs have a little detail on them, including the brake disc on the main wheels. The tyres lack any tread which seemed common on the Mirage III. The inside of the gear doors have some excellent detail on them. There are activation devices attached to each door. If you want to display your model in flying mode, then the doors can be glued shut.
Swiss Mirage III’s did not seem to carry a whole variety of ordinance. The AIM9 under the wings is a common site as are the RP19R 500L non-jettisonable supersonic tanks. The practice AIM9’s have a distinctive orange colour. Occasionally seen is a single 1100 litre tank under the fuselage, but this is not included. Ordinance relevant for this release includes:
-2 x AIM9B Sidewinder [AAM]
-2 x RP19R 500L non-jettisonable supersonic tank
Additional ordinance that is included but not used:
-2 x LAU-32 [rocket launcher pod]
-2 x JL100 [rocket launcher pod]
-2 x Matra RPK10 [bomb launching tank]
-2 x Matra R.530 [AAM]
Oddly the Matra R.530 does not feature in the initial release of the Mirage IIIE/O/R/RD/EE/EA by Kinetic, especially as there are a few French AF options. The Matra R.530 was commonly seen on the French Mirage IIIE.
Thankfully Kinetic could not resist including the two aircraft painted to commemorate the phasing out of the Mirage IIIRS from Swiss service. The distinctive design is broken down into several decals. The eye design situated on the fuselage is large, and understandably there is fair bit of carrier film surrounding it. So it would be advisable to make sure your paintwork is well sealed and you have plenty of decal softener handy. Having used Cartograf decals before, they do respond very well to decal softner and fixing solutions. There are quite a few stencils included and these are superb in quality. The box lid states the decals are designed by Sylvain Hautier of Syhart and printed as already mentioned by Cartograf. If you don’t want low viz commemoration finishes then the other two options will suite you: the “Amir” has a green/grey upper surface disruptive pattern and the “Miro” has a two tone grey disruptive pattern.
-Mirage IIIRS R-2110 “Mirage Swiss Farewell” Staffel 10, Swiss Air Force, Buochs Air Base, 2003
-Mirage IIIRS R-2116 “Mirage Swiss Farewell” Staffel 10, Swiss Air Force, Buochs Air Base, 2003
-Mirage IIIRS R-2111, Staffel 10, Swiss Air Force, Buochs Air Base, 2002
-Mirage IIIS J-2327, Staffel 16, Swiss Air Force, Sion Air Base, 1998
Interestingly you will find R-2110 and R-2116 on Google maps displayed in the car park of Brasserie le Mirage just of Stansstraderstraase in Stans, Switzerland.
The InstructionsThe sixteen page A4 guide provides plenty of useful black line drawings to aid you through the construction process. There is no colour guidance for such things as seats, instrument panel, side console, etc, so some alternative printed or internet references will need to be sourced. There are four view illustrations for each of the marking options. A selection of the ordinance is also included. The paint guide lists several paint manufactures including Humbrol, Mr Color, Tamiya, Ammo Mig and Vallejo. Which I have to say is a pretty good range of paint references.
ConclusionsI really like the look of this release. I built the Kinetic Mirage IIIE for the “Hot out of the Molds” Campaign here on Aeroscale. As this Mirage IIIS/RS shares a lot of common with the Mirage IIIE then this should be a pleasure to build. The four marking choices should be enough to please most folk. If you have shied away from the usual garish commemoration schemes in the past, then this low viz finish might appeal to you. It’s good to see Kinetic Models continuing their mission of depicting the various incarnations of the Mirage III.
Please remember to tell Lucky Model and retailers that you saw this model here - on AEROSCALE.