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Mirage F-1 CT/CR

 

Italeri

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: 2618 - Mirage F-1 CT/CR
Scale: 1/48
Price: $20 USD
Contents and Media: 121 parts in injection molded styrene
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Only current injection 1/48 single-seat F1; New parts to make current versions.
Disadvantages: Numerous ejector pin marks on detail parts, old molding, simplified cockpit.
Recommendations: Recommended only if you really want a 1/48 single-seat Mirage F1 and donít mind a 20-year old kit.
Recommendation: Recommended

 


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Reviewed by Dave Williams

 

FirstLook

 

For those who were searching eBay or private sale lists for the ESCI Mirage F1 kits, Italeri has recently reissued the kit, adding some parts to update the kit to current Armee de líAir versions. To be fair, the kit is probably around 20 years old and fairs poorly when compared to anything recent by the likes of Tamiya, Hasegawa, or Revell. Although the exterior features relatively nice scribed panel line detail for the time, the cockpit is very simple with decals for the instrument panels and consoles (NOTE: Cobra Company has just released a resin cockpit set which is highly recommended), the missile and landing gear detail is simplified and crude in places, and a number of detail parts require cleanup due to heavy ejector pin marks. Rather than go into detail on why a two decade old kit isnít up to todayís standard, this review will focus on the new parts to bring the kit up to CR/CT standards.

In the box, you get the F1-200/F1-AZ boxing of the ESCI kit, with the addition of a new sprue for the update parts. The only modification to the original ESCI parts is that the molded-in cannon muzzles have been removed from the gun troughs on the fuselage and provided as separate parts. The reason for this is that the new avionics have resulted in the deletion of at least one of the original two cannon from either version. The CT only has the starboard cannon, while the CR normally retains only the port cannon, although some CRs fitted with a FLIR pod have both cannon deleted. The area of the fuselage molding where the muzzles were removed is a little rough. Other parts remain unchanged and some, such as the R530 missiles and underwing pylons are still included, but are marked not for use.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The cockpit is unchanged, except for the addition of a SEM/Martin Baker Mk 10 seat on the new sprue. The sides of the new seat feature some detail, but the cushions are completely smooth, unless you count the ejector pin mark in the middle of the backrest.

New undernose fairings are provided for the panoramic camera box of the CR and the TMV laser rangefinder of the CT, however no new clear parts are provided, so the optical windows will have to be painted on.

Most of the new sprue is devoted to underwing stores which include new inner wing pylons with twin stores carriers for what appear to be SAMP 400-kg dumb bombs, and new outboard pylons with a Phimat chaff pod (starboard) and a Barax ECM pod (port). Unfortunately, the only centerline store is the old drop tank from the original release and you do not get any of the CRís reconnaissance pods. Also, the kit does not contain the conformable Corail flare dispensers that may be fitted under the wing root, although you do get a Lacroix flare dispenser which can be added to the end of the brake parachute housing at the base of the tail.

The remaining new parts consist of a large underfuselage air intake, various probes, and new Sherloc RWAHS fairings for the tail of the CT. Ordnance reused from the original kit includes a poor pair of Magic AAMs and a centerline drop tank. The new inner pylons and Barex and Phimat pods are nice, although the pylon of the latter is marred by sinkmarks.

Markings are included for four aircraft: two CTs from E.C. 1/30 and 1/13, both in wraparound gray/green camouflage, and two CRs from E.R. 1/33 and 3/33, both in sand/brown over aluminum.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Although this isnít a state-of-the-art kit by any means, the ESCI Mirage F1 kit has been out of production for quite a while and has generated some level of demand, regardless of its faults. The fact that kit is available again, for a reasonable price, is good enough for many modelers.

It is also good that Italeri at least added some new parts to update the kit instead of just releasing the old kit unmodified, but with current markings. The new inner ordnance pylons are especially desired as the original kit only contained the pylons used for the R530 and Super 530 missiles.

The bottom line is that until someone makes a new tool single seat Mirage F1, this is your only choice in 1/48 scale.

Recommended (with the above qualifications!)

Kit courtesy of my increasing credit card bill.

 


Review Copyright © 2001 by Dave Williams
Page Created 02 November, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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