The 1/48 scale Mirage 2000 from Heller is the best kit available to date of this Armée de l'Air aircraft and also one of the better efforts of the French plastic model manufacturer. However, despite the fact that the overall shape of the Dassault plane has been reproduced quite well, the level of detail isn't up to today's standards. Fortunately, R-Flight comes to rescue for those who want to have an accurate Mirage 2000 in their modern jet collection, a plane that is currently used by several Air Forces around the world (Brazil, Egypt, Emirats, Greece, India, Peru, Qatar and Taiwan).
The Mirage 2000 detail set from R-Flight comes in a medium size zip lock plastic bag. In it there are several smaller bags with numerous resin parts which will greatly enhance the level of detail of the model. Despite the fact that my package was heavily maltreated by the French Postal Service, I found no damaged parts in my sample.
Below is a detailed list of all the items included in the set:
- 2 X exterior elevons (L&R)
- 2 X interior elevons (L&R)
- 8 X elevon hinges covers
- 2 X "Spiral" chaff launchers (L&R)
- 1 X "Sabre" jammer device
- 2 X "Serval" side antennas
- 2 X resin main landing gear tyres
- 2 X resin main landing gear rims
- 2 X vinyl main landing gear tyres
- 2 X resin forward landing gear wheels
- 2 X forward landing gear lights
- 1 X light support frame
- 1 X acetate sheet for light covers
- 1 X forward landing gear compass
- 1 X air refueling probe
- 1 X 3 piece engine exaust
- 1 X rear electrical connector
- 1 X rear electrical connector cover
- 2 X wing root air intakes
- 1 X top fuselage air intake
- 1 X brake line wire
As you can see, the set is rather complete and I must say the overall quality is very good. All the parts have been molded in a light yellow resin except for the two vinyl tyres of course. I only found a single air bubble in the whole set (on one elevon) but the rest of the parts were flawless.
The engine exhaust is a piece of art! It is finely rendered and also paper thin. There are locators to get the 3 part assembly together and cleaning of the parts will be very easy. I don't expect any problem here and with a good paintjob this part of the model will look very realistic.
The four elevons are also nicely detailed, especially the hinges and their covers. Elevons are aircraft control surfaces that combines the functions of the elevator (used for pitch control) and the aileron (used for roll control), hence the name.
Other small bits can be found in the detail set such as an air refueling probe, several counter-measure launchers and air intakes. A rear electrical connector is also provided which can be displayed in the opened position and will therefore open some diorama possibilities. All these smaller resin parts are also nicely done.
To finish, there are various parts which will advantageously replace one of the weaker point of the kit: the landing gear. The main wheels are provide both in resin and vinyl but it's the forward landing gear which will benefit the most of this set.
No assembly instructions are provided in the set other than an A4 sheet with a part listing and pictures of a model fitted with the resin parts. In this case it should be more than enough for a successfull build. I've added some original pictures taken from R-Flight's website to this review... sometimes pictures are better than 1000 words.
This is a very fine set and I recommend it to anyone wanting to add this French jet to his collection of modern aircraft models. Unfortunately, there are no "Tamigawa" alternatives to the Heller Mirage 2000 kit yet, so R-Flight's efforts are to be encouraged. My only complain is that there are no parts for the cockpit in the set, but I'm sure it shouldn't be too long until this shortcoming of the Heller kit is also corrected by R-Flight.
R-Flight have also produced two external fuel tank sets for Heller's Mirage 2000 kit. A review of them can be found here
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AeroScale