April 8, 2016

Eduard Mirage IIIC

Review by Pablo Bauleo

The Eduard Mirage IIIC is a well-known kit and it is nice to see it re-released. Despite some known issues, still builds into a nice replica of the French interceptor.

The kit comes molded in light grey plastic, with a total of 167 parts in 8 sprues, plus a small sprue of clear parts. The decals are printed by Eduard, they are opaque and in register. There is neither PE nor masks in this boxing. This particular review model was used in conjunction of another review item (Eduard 49659), so it has photo-etch on the cockpit, but that is not part of the original boxing.

Construction, as usual begins with the cockpit. The side consoles and instrument panel have raised detail and bode well for drybrushing. There is also the option of a decal for the instrument panel if you like. At the same time you assemble the cockpit you need to assemble the nose wheel well. Ensure good alignment of those parts or they could throw off the alignment of the fuselage halves and lower wings.

There are two other subassemblies needed before closing the fuselage: a “backing” to the air intakes to prevent see-through into the fuselage and the tail pipe assembly. The engine and tail pipe assembly looks nice when assembled but there are two prominent seams that need to be filled down the tail pipe.

With those 3 sub-assemblies (Cockpit and nose well wheel, tail pipe and air intake backing) you have a small jigsaw puzzle for alignment while closing the fuselage. I might have done something wrong –or maybe it is the molds fault-, as when I was adding the air intakes I ended up with a step on both of them. I had to sand them down and re-scribe that area.

Something that it was not my fault is a small ridge along the rudder. It actually seems like the mold was slightly misaligned when the part was injected. I was able to remove the ridge, but still the panel lines did not match on the left and right parts of the rudder. It is very hard to notice, unless you know where to look and what to look for.

The wings are a simple affair, with a single bottom piece to ensure the anhedral of the Mirage wing. Make sure you sandwich the landing gear bays before you glue the wings together. If you are going to add any weapons or drop tanks make sure to open the holes at this point. The wing to fuselage joint was a less than average fit. I had to add a piece of sprue inside the fuselage to spread it enough as to only need a minor spot for putty. The other area where I had a few gaps was in the lower wing to tail area. Again, just a minimal amount of putty took care of it.

I wanted to do something a bit different with my model and I’ve modified the wing to have the flaps dropped. I do not know if the real airplane would drop them when on the ground, but I do like the way it looks.

The model was moving real quick towards painting stage, which was accomplished using enamels and careful masking After a coat of Future, I’ve applied the decals, which were really good quality. Thin, yet strong, with good color density and in register. This was my first experience with Eduard-printed decals and I was happily impressed.

The only thing to consider when decaling is that the printed copy of the instructions is black and white and printed in a small page (actually 2 pages per Letter size page) and it is hard to tell where each stencil is supposed to go. Do yourself a favor and download and print the color instruction sheet from Eduard’s website.

The landing gear was assembled without any issues and painted. When it was time to join the struts to the wheel wells I was surprised by how flimsy the overall assembly is. You want to be very careful when handling your model.

In summary: This kit requires some modelling skills to fix some of the fit issues around the air intakes and the wing to fuselage join. However it is not above the skills of the average modeler to fix (or prevent) those issues.  My sample seemed to have some misaligned mold issue in the rudder area. Some sanding partially corrected the issue, but still there is some mismatch on the panel lines between the left and right side of the rudder.

Despite those issues, this kit is really nice, goes together with minimal fuss and it looks great when finished. I have to say I am very happy to have added it to my model collection.

Recommended to modelers that have a few kits under their belts. The average modeler should have no problem assembling this kit.

I would like to thank Eduard and IPMS/USA for the review sample

April 3, 2016

March Meeting Models

Cody's Testors 1/24 '71 Mustang

Dave's Hobbycraft 1/48 Spanish Republican Polikarpov I-16 Type 10 

Dennis brought this nice diorama featuring a Revell Brazil box scale HO4S

Pablo's 1/72 Bronco Blohm & Voss P.178

Marty's 1/72 Supermodel Macchi 202 

Mark S's 1/72 Hasegawa Me 109G-6

Gary's 28mm Wizards

Scott L's 1/72 Hasegawa GMC CCKW fuel truck with camouflage

Tomasz's 1/72 Tamiya F-84G
Dallas Lloyd's 1/32 Wingnut Wings DH-9A Ninak, brought by Mark Persichetti

Dallas Lloyd's 1/32 Wingnut Wings Fokker DVII (Fokker), also brought by Mark Persichetti

Jon's 1/72 Hasegawa F-4B, Model of the Month