French mirage 2000

Revell website, at the time of writing) claim that the included decals are for Г Armee de I’Air squadron EC 1/12, in fact what you get are markings for Mirage 2000C No. 77/330-AX of the test/trials unit EC 5/330, which also participated in the 2003 event.
The basic kit comprises some 98 parts in mid-grey plastic with good engraved panel lines, plus a two-piece, very clear cockpit cover – the latter allowing the canopy to be mounted open if desired. Dimensionally the kit scales out well in wing span, but seems to be a little long, a point exacerbated by the

Kit: Mirage 2000C ‘Tiger Meet’

Scale: 1:72

Kit type: Injection moulded Decal options: (one) EC 5/330, Tiger Meet 2003 UK price: £7.99 Website: www. revell. de

This kit is basically a re-issue of the 1:72 scale Italeri Mirage 2000C, dressed up with ‘Tiger Meet’ markings from the 2003 Tiger Meet at Cambrai in France. Although the kit’s box (and indeed the overly-long nose probe that is supplied in the kit (and which I later shortened). A full complement of underwing weapons is included, although as noted, these weapons are not really applicable to the aircraft and configuration depicted by the decal sheet.
Construction is to Revell’s ‘Skill Level 3’ and begins with the cockpit interior, where there is scope for detail improvement. There are moulded bumps on the side consoles and instrument panel (but no decals for these), and an ejection seat that comes in three parts. The latter should really be replaced with a suitable after-market alternative, but can be made presentable with the addition of straps and other details. If made up as suggested by the kit’s instruction sheet the seat does not fit as intended between the cockpit side consoles that are moulded integral with the cockpit floor.
Overall construction is basically straightforward. The long wing-to-fuselage joint, necessitated by the Mirage’s delta wing planform, works reasonably well but does not line up too convincingly underneath in the area of the gun troughs; I needed filler and reshaping with a file to cover up the join there. The prominent engine air intakes are separate pieces that are built onto the sides of the fuselage, and again these did not fit perfectly without the aid of some additional work. The kit’s instruction sheet suggests paint mixes using Revell paints for the two shades of grey/blue-grey of the aircraft’s camouflage scheme. In reality I used the Xtracolor paints X395 and X396 because these are good representations of the Mirage 2000C colours.
Unfortunately, the kit does not completely represent the aircraft that is featured on its decal sheet. The decal sheet itself, which was designed for Revell by DACO Products, is very well printed and includes a wealth of stencils in addition to the special tiger markings for ‘330-AX’. These include a tiger ‘stripe’ for the aircraft’s spine. However, on the real aircraft there were also tiger markings on the aircraft’s underwing long-range fuel tanks. Alas, these underwing tanks are not included in the kit, and therefore not surprisingly, neither are the prominent tiger markings that adorned them. Further, during the 2003 Tiger Meet, ‘330-AX’ carried an air combat manoeuvring instrumentation pod on its outer right-hand underwing pylon, and would not have carried the full weapons fit as included in the kit. Unfortunately, the data pod is not included in the kit (although it is shown prominently on one of the photographs of the real aircraft that are printed on the side of the kit’s box). Therefore, to properly represent ‘330-AX’ in its Tiger Meet guise, one needs to fit two underwing fuel tanks, and the pod for the outer underwing pylon. These have to be obtained from elsewhere or scratch built. I finished my model as close to the original as possible, by omitting the armament supplied in the kit and cutting down and revising one of the air-to-air missiles included to represent the data pod.
The kit decals were generally straightforward to apply. The tiger marking for the aircraft’s spine, however, is expected to fit over all the prominent detail that is moulded on the top of the fuselage. This is difficult to achieve, so I filed away the raised detailing (including a prominent wedge-shaped structure), and replaced it after the decal had been applied. For some reason, six tiger heads are included on the decal sheet for the vertical tail (you only need two). I used those numbered ‘lib’ and ’12’, although the ‘toned-down’ shades that all six are printed in are not very close to the shades on the real aircraft.
The overall result is a rather different looking Mirage 2000C, which builds comparatively easily. It is surprising that none of the EC 1/12 Mirage 2000C 2003 Tiger Meet participants were modelled in the kit, as claimed on the kit’s box and the manufacturer’s website, and unfortunate that the underwing fuel tanks and data pod were not included in the kit.

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