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Built Review
148
Mirage 2000C
Mirage 2000C Multi-Role Combat Fighter
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by: Tim Hatton [ LITESPEED ]

Mirage 2000C Multi-Role Combat Fighter
Scale: 1/48
Ref no: K48042
Price: £18.13 from Lucky Models
Mark: 85


Preface
The part of France where I lived was a vast playground for the Armée de l’Air. The Mirage 2000’s based at Mont de Marsan were daily and somewhat noisy visitors but always a joy to see. So as you would expect I am very pleased to have in my hands Kinetics 1/48 single seat Mirage 2000C. First a little background.

Background
The Mirage 2000 is the fourth generation jet produced by Dassault. Stinging from the selection of the F-16 over the Dassault Mirage F1 as a primary fighter for a number of European Air Forces, Dassault developed the Mirage 2000. The first variant of the "“Deux-Mille” to go into the Armée de l’Air [AdA] was the single-seat Mirage 2000C fighter. “C” stands for Chasseur or hunter in English. The first production Mirage 2000C flew in November 1982 and deliveries began in 1983. The first operational squadron was formed in 1984. A total of 124 Mirage-2000Cs were obtained by the AdA.

By the late 1980s, the Mirage 2000 capability was lagging somewhat compared with the latest models of U.S. F-16. So Thomson-CSF began work on a privately funded update of the Mirage 2000C which was to be named the Mirage 2000-5. The Mirage 2000-5 can also carry the oversized drop tanks developed for the Mirage 2000N, greatly extending its range. Dassault further improved the Mirage 2000-5, creating the Mirage 2000-5 Mark 2. Enhancements to offensive systems included a data link for the targeting of MICA ER missiles, the addition of the Damocles FLIR targeting pod, and the Thales RDY-2 all-weather synthetic aperture radar.

Contents
The top opening box is literally packed with eight light grey plastic sprues and one clear sprue containing 180 parts. The grey sprues are contained in two clear plastic bags and the clear sprue is wrapped separately. There were a few loose items broken away from the sprues. Thankfully the bags had done their jobs of keeping all the contents safe. There are some handy if small images of a AdA Mirage 2000C on the side of the box. All the plastic demonstrates some fine recessed and raised detail.

The cockpitThe instrument panel looks a pretty close match to the Mirage 2000-5. There are no painting details at all, so some good reference photos will be essential. The head up display looks good and is built from clear plastic parts. Unfortunately the instructions don’t provide information concerning which parts to paint. The SEM MB Mk10 seat is made up from six parts and looks very usable, the only thing lacking are any harnesses. There is a second seat for your spares box. The one piece tub has some fine raised detail on the side consoles, well worth picking out carefully when painting. Again there are no hints about colours in the instructions. To finish off the cockpit detail there are a couple of rudder pedals, a rather oversized control stick, a partial rear bulkhead and hydraulic ram for the canopy. The rear bulkhead has some convincing raised boxes moulded on it. There is an ejector pin mark on each side of the cockpit wall to remove, should take seconds to do.

The canopy and windscreen are separate parts and look very clear and thin. The canopy can be displayed in the raised position if you wish. Be very careful separating the canopy from the sprue as the attachment points are very close to the areas left clear and any damage would really spoil the look. The canopy does not have the blown look of the real thing, but still looks pretty good. Kinetic probably weighed up the practicalities of producing a blown canopy and decided not to go for it.

The fuselage is a new moulding and not an adaption of the two seat Mirage 2000 B/D/N that was released earlier. There are two choices of nose radome in this kit: one is for the 2000C and the other slightly longer and more pointed nose is for the 2000-5F. The vertical tail is separate and although Kinetic has included four different styles only one is used with this build. The configuration of antennae on the tail varies with the development of the “2000”. Oddly this is not mentioned in the building instructions, but the profiles in the painting instructions give you some idea of the configuration of the antennae. As always check out references, there’s plenty out there on the Web. As a whole the tail looks a little wide chord wise, but I have no plans to check this out. Always difficult to judge against photos, but it does look wide. There are separate parts representing the Dassault Sabre RF jammer, a pod below the bottom of the tailfin. The Matra Spirale dispensers in the trailing edge of the wing roots are also separate parts. The air intakes are each made up from two parts. There are a couple of recessed ejector pin marks inside the intakes that need sorting out. A blanking plate is moulded to the fuselage to prevent you seeing too far down the intakes into the fuselage. There is a clear plastic window that fits into the port intake, unfortunately it’s very thick and has a noticeable depression in middle of it. The two distinctive strakes attached to the air intakes are separate parts. The thin piece of plastic between the nose gear bay and wing had snapped off on my sample, but should not be difficult to fix. The shape of the wing root does not look quite full enough, but it’s a pretty close attempt. There are two air inlets on the spine of the “2000” and these are represented with recessed lines. For a more authentic look these should be opened up. The gun troughs under the fuselage are nicely done, though you might want to open up the separate gun muzzles. The large access hatch on the upper fuselage behind the cockpit is a separate part and fits very well. Kinetic has kindly supplied two jet nozzles. The nozzle with the open petals is moulded integrally with the jet pipe. The separate nozzle has the petals moulded in the closed position. The inside of the jet pipe is detailed and includes the re heat fuel matrix, engine spool and the walls are ribbed.

The delta shaped wings are made up from eight pieces. The one piece lower wing does not seem to have the slight anhedral, a characteristic feature of the Mirage 2000 family. There is a separate part just forward of the main undercarriage bay where the guns are located. Although this part creates extra work for the builder it is a good solution for Kinetic in creating the two very different kits: the Mirage 2000 B/D/N bomber and this fighter version. The four elevons are separate and each is one piece and have sharp trailing edges. They can be positioned lowered for a more interesting appearance. A really nice touch from Kinetic is that there is a set of actuators for either the raised or dropped elevons. The four leading edge slats are moulded in the closed position. The wing tips are finished off with a choice of Radar Warning Receivers [RWR], but there is no indication to differentiate which type of “2000” they are fitted on. Holes are pre formed for the location of the belly and wing pylons.

The undercarriage looks pretty good. The two nose wheels are each one piece. The hubs of the main gear fit between the two piece tyre, which makes painting relatively easy. The nose bay is one piece and fits beneath the cockpit tub. There is a little detail in nose gear bay, but the three prominent ejector marks spoilt the look a bit. The main gear bay is devoid of any detail. The instructions would have you fixing the inner main gear doors open. The inner doors only open when the undercarriage is cycling. Even with power off the inner doors remain closed. So this will partly address the lack of detail in part off the bays. Ironically Kinetic has gone to a lot of trouble detailing the inside of the doors. The inner doors are a tad too big for the opening; a quick swipe with a sanding stick soon remedies the situation.

The under wing stores includes:

-4 x Magic II R 550 2 AAM’s

-4 x Mica AAM’s.

-1 x 1300 litre centreline fuel tank*.

-2 x 2000 litre wing fuel tanks.

-2 x 2000 litre export version wing fuel tanks

-4 x AS-30L Laser Guided missiles*.

-2 x ATLIS targeting pod*
    *Not used with this release.

The three different type of fuel tank look particularly impressive. The instructions only mention using the pair of large shapely looking 2000 litre under wing tanks. There is no mention which pylons to use for the 2000 litre tanks, a quick look at references suggest using parts D14 & 15. The shape of the tanks is not quite right. The bulbous look of the forward part of the tanks is too subtle. A single centreline tank and two export version fuel tanks are also included. It’s worth noting that the centreline tank is used occasionally with the 2000 litre wing tanks and makes for an impressive sight in flight. The Magic and Mica missiles look pretty good; the Micas [Missile d’interception et de combat aérien] each have two alternate seeker heads to choose from: an Active Radar or Infra-Red. Some of the stabilising fins on the missiles are separate. I’m impressed with the look of them, the leading and trailing edges are thin.

There are eight marking options with this release including:

French

-EC 01/002 "CIGOGNES", Souda Air Base, Crete. Operation Harmattan, 2011.

-EC 03/002 "Alscae", Dijon Air Base. First batch, 1985.

-EC 02/005 "Ile de France", Orange-Caritat, 2006. Airshow Special Scheme.

-EC 02/005 "Ile de France", Orange-Caritat, 2008. The AdA first Mirage 2000.

Greek

-Mirage 2000-5 Mk2, Hellenic Air Force, 114th Combat Wing, Tanagra Air Base. 331st Fighter Interception Squadron "Theseus".

-Mirage 2000EGM3, Hellenic Air Force, 114th Combat Wing, Tanagra Air Base. 332nd Fighter Interception Squadron "Yeraki" (Falcon).

Qatar

-Mirage 2000-5EDA’s, Qatar Emiri Air Force, Souda Air Base, Crete. Operation Unified Protector, 2011.

United Arab Emirates [UAE]

-Mirage 2000-9, United Arab Emirates Air Force, Decimomannu Air Base, Italy. Operation Unified Protector, 2011.

The camouflage patterns are identical on seven of the aircraft, the eighth [UAE] is noticeably different. The two colour camouflage is only applied to the upper surfaces. Colour combinations include: French AF blue/pale grey blue, grey/pale grey blue. The under surfaces are painted the lighter colour of the upper surfaces. Yes the colours sound a bit vague, but Kinetic supply the FS numbers and use Vallejo Model Color and Model Air as well as Mr Color and Italeri paint references. Kinetic have picked out some excellent markings to decorate your choice of Mirage 2000C. It’s worth noting French 2000’s are generally very clean. Just a little soot residue aft of the vent at the base of the tail. If you prefer the weathered look, I have seen some images of mucky looking Greek aircraft. The decals are designed by Crossdelta and printed by Cartograf. There are many stencils to apply, so many you may well be seeing them in your sleep. Wing walk ways and some other areas that would be tricky to paint are included on the sheet. There are some beautiful markings for the tails of three of the French AF Mirages and the toned down eagle talons on the Qatar Emiri Mirage tail that will create some interest. The colour depth of the decals look excellent as does the registration of the multi coloured prints. Carrier film is kept to an absolute minimum. The decals certainly do look like they will be a pleasure to apply.

The 18 page instruction manual feature black line drawings to aid construction. Some oddities though such as the two styles of fin shown without any information about which one to use. Watch out for the odd mistake with part numbers. One example are the Matra Spirale dispeners, which will not fit if you follow the suggested placement of the parts. There is no colour guidance for the detail in the cockpit, the undercarriage and bays. The stencil guide is very good, but the use of grey tones for the camouflage schemes makes it difficult to distinguish the colours.

Fit of parts: I decided to do a quick build of the main components. Fit of parts is generally fine, but the upper wing root join does need a fair bit of filling. The join of the air intakes also need a fair bit filling and blending. For the larger gaps I used a combination of stretched sprue and liquid paper. The stretched sprue gives the joint a lot more increased strength compared with fillers out of a tube. Some care is required trimming the cockpit parts to allow the forward fuselage to fit together. But the forward fuselage still needs some force and binding to create an acceptable join. There has been some thought put into the breakdown of parts and how the parts support each other to achieve a stronger kit. You will certainly minimise the amount of filler used if you take your time and achieve the best fit for each component. The inner main gear doors only needed a tiny amount of trimming to achieve a very good fit. One area that needs attention is improving the look of the interior of the air intakes. Even though there is a blanking plate moulded on the fuselage halves, this does not completely prevent you being able to see into the fuselage. If you are fitting the MICA missiles, don’t forget to drill out the holes before assembly.

Building the kit does confirm some of the shape inadequacies of this kit, particularly if you know the aircraft well. The lack of anhedral, the shape of the upper wing root and the cord of the tail has not been represented that well. The canopy although not looking blown looks acceptable. At the end of the day it still looks like a Mirage 2000C, and it certainly won’t put me off acquiring the Kinetic Mirage 2000 B, D & N.

Conclusions
It’s easy to become too bogged down with the shortcomings of this kit, but at the end of the day it will look like a Mirage 2000C. The level of detail is just right and the parts breakdown is pretty sensible. There is nothing any modeller with a few kits under their belt could not tackle. Markings are nicely selected although some Latin American 2000’s would have been appreciated. Perhaps some may feature in a later release. This is a fine effort from Kinetic and should be congratulated for producing a kit of this very attractive French fighter.

Highly recommended.

Please tell vendors and Kinetic that you saw this model here - on Aeroscale.
SUMMARY
Highs: Generally a good looking kit, not overly complicated, plenty of ordinance and a good choice of markings. Excellent decal sheet.
Lows: A few shape issues. The upper wing root joint and air intakes need some careful filling.
Verdict: Being a fan of the Dassault family of aircraft I’m very pleased to see this release and even though there are few negative issues, there are many positive points. The bottom line is that it will look like a very good representation of this French fighter.
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: K48042
  Suggested Retail: £18.13, $29.00
  PUBLISHED: Jun 03, 2013
  NATIONALITY: France
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.86%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.80%

Our Thanks to Kinetic Model Kits!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Tim Hatton (litespeed)
FROM: ENGLAND - NORTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

Aircraft are my primary interest from WWll to present day.

Copyright ©2019 text by Tim Hatton [ LITESPEED ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.



Comments

That does look like a manageable amount of filler behind the nose gear well and wing root. Looks like a good model!
JAN 20, 2015 - 06:16 PM
Tim, Excellent review that is more then fair, yet very well detailed as you take us the good and the not so good issues of the kit and build. One thing that I did notice is the fit of the windscreen and canopy. Both seem over sized in width. The canopy left in the open position would solve that issue, but the windscreen would need some very precise and accurate putty work. Joel
JAN 20, 2015 - 11:11 PM
   

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