Tuesday, October 11

Double Delta pt Deux - A double build of the 1/32nd scale Mirage IIIC from Italeri

After quite a struggle in the first part of the build of the kit - Nico & Francios have combined forces to make TWO versions of Italeri's new Mirage IIIC in 32nd scale. See how they made the most from this kit in the conclusion of their build...

Build Review Pt.I: Mirage IIIC
Italeri Models
Kit #2505
1/32nd scale
Over 300 injection moulded parts in light grey on thirteen sprues.
Thirteen clear parts on one sprue
One small Photo Etch sheet with twenty-two parts.
Two decal sheets included with markings for six aircraft.

PtI of the build is here:

In the first part of building Italeri’s Mirage IIIC, you might have noticed that the construction of this new toolkit wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. It took me a massive amount of work to get the kit ready for the painting stage, which involved a lot of putty, sandpaper, re-scribing, some plasticard and some polishing. But after a break, the fun part (for me) could begin. I was hoping that the kit could be turned into a nice reproduction of the famous delta.

A colour scheme almost the same as the one I will be representing with this build
I chose the French version with the grey upper surfaces from the options of decals in the box. I like it because it gives me the opportunity to bring some life into an otherwise monochrome aircraft. I used exclusively Revell Aqua Colours, which I came to appreciate because they are very forgiving, even when thinned with tap water. You can see in this photo below that I used a few shades of grey, using the base colour, added with a little white or black paint.
Using some masking tape, several panels got a different shade of grey applied in a colour modulation style of painting. Some panels – like the light grey & black – are available in decal form from the sheet, but I just masked them and airbrushed them. Next, with very thinned black paint, some weathering of the panels was done. The drop tanks were painted in Revell Aqua silver – this was the first time I used that paint, and I was surprised of the good qualities of it. 
Remember all of the work that was needed on the aft fuselage? After some work and a couple of layers of paint, it doesn’t look too bad does it? Notice the post shading on the panel lines, the panels and the rivets on the vertical tail look pretty good too. Crisis averted here.
So, with this done, I started to feel the kit again and decided to start on the engine and its dolly. The detail on these parts is really spectacular, so it would be a shame to hide it inside the fuselage. I added just a little more, but it sure is great from the box.
Here is the engine all painted up!
This part of the kit is a perfect opportunity to try out many painting, washing and weathering techniques. I find that in the final wash up and display of the kit that placing the engine next to the jet brings a lot of interest to it. The engine is actually pretty big compared to the overall length of the aircraft. So: some good points for Italeri here…
…and here it is from the other side too.
With the kit painted, a layer of Johnson’s Clear was brushed on the kit, so I could bring on the decals. Now, this is the real great part of the kit: the decals are magnificent! Very nicely designed and printed, real top notch. Just one detail though: see the white decal on the radome? The text on the decal reads “NE PAS PEINDERE” meaning “do not paint”. Unfortunately, it is spelled wrong! It should be “NE PAS PEINDRE”. So, I cut up the decal, left out an “E” and put it on the kit. It isn’t hard to do, but a little detail that will make your kit just a little more accurate.
The decals bring quite a bit of colour to the kit. Just take a look at those walkways!  The decal on the vertical tail is a replacement decal provided in the kit, it’s nice to see Italeri add this to the box.
The decals were placed on the smaller parts now, details such as the nose wheel landing gear door. Notice how nicely the decal on the air intake settles in the panel lines.
After another layer of Clear, a wash was brought onto the kit’s surface. I also used white gouache paint to bring on some vertical streaks on the fuselage. Some modellers like to use oil paints, which will bring a similar effect, but I guess I feel more comfortable with water-based gouache.
Nearly there! With the wash, shading, weathering and pastels done, it was about time to unmask the windscreen and canopy and glue the small details on the kit.
Italeri provides photo-etched rear-view mirrors in the kit, which brings great added detail to the canopy, an area that sees a lot of attention. Looking at the Mirage in this stage, I’m pretty happy that I didn’t give up on the kit
No with the antennas glued on, speed brakes positioned, navigation lights attached to the vertical tail and wingtips, it was nearly all there, the initial struggle was well and truly worth it …
So, with the gear doors on, my Mirage IIIC was finished and it was about time to get some overall photos.
Around about this time, my friend François finished his own build of the very same kit that he got from our local model shop in Brussels (Au 16e Escadron) and well, he actually had the same trouble in the construction as I did. Like me, he had to put in a lot of hard work to get his Mirage done, and he’s a better modeller than me. The kit turned out VERY nicely though, and here are a few photos of the desert-colour Mirage he built:

So, we got together for a couple of photos of both Mirages together. Two is always better than one right? And looking back at all the work, we both agreed it was well worth the effort we may have suffered at the start.
Well, I guess it’s about time to tell you what I think of this 1/32 scale Mirage IIIC by Italeri. You can build this kit into a very nice looking French Delta, BUT – and the “but” is substantial – you really need to put a lot of work in it. To be honest, this is a rather strange kit to me; some of the details are really top notch, but on the other hand, the fit of some parts is not good at all, especially the nose and the air intakes of the kit gave both me and François a lot of work. So this could have been an even better kit if more care had been taken in the engineering of those two areas.

In Summary –
Very good: details of the landing gear bays, cockpit, panel lines and rivets, engine & dolly and the decals.
Good: landing gear, overall look, stores and instructions manual.
Needs work: air intakes, nose, connection between nose and pitot-tube & the instrument panel.
Once finished, it is a very nice looking kit, and I would recommend the kit to those who really would like to have a 1/32 scale delta in their collection. Beware of the work that needs to be put into it, don’t give up on it and you’ll be rewarded. I know Italeri is preparing two more 1/32 scale kits, with the TF-104 and the F-35. These are two releases I am enthusiastic about, and two that I really hope that Italeri will do as good a job on the details with them as with the best parts of this Mirage IIIC.

Thanks to Italeri for providing me with this kit, I’m happy to have it in the collection!

Nicolas Deboeck and François Laloux

PtI of the build is here:

Thanks to the guys atItaleri for sending this to Nico & Francios to build them both - you can get yours from Italeri’s Distributors Worldwide
Francios got his kit from the best little model shop in Brussels - Au 16 Escadron