Monday, 6 June 2022

1/48 Eduard Mirage IIICJ "Shahak"

 


Depicted as Shahak No. 177 from 117 Tayset based at Raymet David in 1977.

From the Eduard Instructions "Of interest are five kill markings of the Syrian aircraft painted under the canopy (three stars in the white ring). Actually, the Israeli pilots at the controls of this airplane shot down 5 Egyptian aircraft and one Syrian aircraft. Egyptian aircraft kill was marked with two stars in the white ring. Reason for swapping the symbols remains unknown."

As a kid I had a aircraft magazine with a fold out of an Israeli Mirage or Nesher with those big yellow triangles so it was inevitable that I'd want to add one to the cabinet, Despite hearing not so great reports about the Eduard Mirage III I grabbed the Shahak special boxing when it came out.

I have a separate blog post with a full build thread here if you are interested.


The Kit

  • 1/48 Eduard Shahak - Limited Edition -  I think Eduard have spelled Shahak wrong on the box, they spelt it Shachak

Aftermarket

  • Reskit Wheels
  • Quickboost Cannon Barrels
  • Master Models Pitot

Paint

  • Yellow Triangles - SMS trainer Yellow 
  • Black - Gaianotes German Grey
  • Red - Mr Color C068 Red Madder
  • Light Sand -  Mr Color C313 Yellow FS 33531
  • Brown - Mr Color C310 FS 30219 
  • Green - Mr Color  C312 FS34227
  • Underside Light Blue - Mr Color C314 Blue FS35622
  • Roundel Blue Tamiya Flat Blue 
  • White - SMS Insignia White
  • Various Vallejo paints for detail painting 

Clear Coats

  • Gloss - Gaianotes - Pre weathering and decals
  • Semi Gloss - Mr Color C182 - Post decals, tanks and missiles 
  • Flat - Mr Color GX114 - Main flat coat.

Weathering 

  • Mr Weathering Color.  I mix the various colours to get the shades I want.
  • Various Oil paints.
  • Magic wash (Future and Tamiya paint) for the undercarriage bays and legs.

Conclusion

The fit wasn't as bad as I'd been led to believe.  Being forewarned I did a lot of dry fitting and deviated from the instructions (as usual) where I thought I saw a better way.  I think this resulted in a smoother build.  Getting the instrument panel to fit was probably the worst part.

The biggest problem with the kit wasn't the fit, it was the amount of clean up required due to some significant misalignment of the moulds on some sprues.  On those parts this added a lot of time to the build process.  Here's an example showing how bad the misalignment was. 


Detail wise the kit is quite nice. Panel lines are deep and crisp so they take a wash well.  The PE in the Pit looks OK , mainly as it's not that visible.  The rails and missiles are pretty average but I didn't care enough to get better looking rails

Would I build another ?  Probably not.  There are not mainly early Mirage Schemes that interest me.  The later Mirage III, from the IIIE onwards, along with the Mirage 5, have more varied schemes.  There's the Kinetic kit for many of those, although it's not without its issues.    If you are interested I have built on of those - click here.  

The Photos 






 

























Sunday, 5 June 2022

1/48 Eduard Mirage IIICJ "Shahak" - Build Post

 


This is the full build article for the 1/48 Eduard Mirage IIICJ "Shahak.   I wrote this blog as I'd heard a number of not so great reports on this kit.

If you're only interested in the finished project click here

The Kit

  • 1/48 Eduard Shachak - Limited Edition

The Build


Although not a fan of flat PE for consoles I decided I may as use what came in the kit.  I applied the PE side consoles and PE belts for the seat.  The steel colour PE belts are pretty easy to apply and the colours don’t come off like the older coloured PE does. I am happy enough with how the seat came out.  The side consoles look good enough, especially once the tub is installed in the model.



I added the PE bits to the side walls. These also look ok. I also added some nose weight and secured it with white glue. 


The location for the cockpit tub is pretty ill defined. I decided to start by assembling the fuselage halves by gluing the exhaust into the kit then gluing the back halves of the fuselage together.  The front halves are left loose so I can separate it fit the tub in the correct place.  I placed a bit of sprue on the inside to ensure a secure join between the halves.


Pulling the nose apart I slid the cockpit assembly in. I aligned the rear of the cockpit assembly so it looked like it sitting correctly in the fuselage assembly. I used some white tac to hold it in place to check the alignment.  I did damage one side of the fuselage but that is easily fixed.  I left the instrument panel out as it can be fitted later. And it doesn’t really fit that well at the moment.  The forward glare-shield also needs a bit of help to get it to fit. This was due to some significant mould misalignment with one of the fuselage halves. 




The intake assembly does help setting the width at the front of the model but spreader bars are needed to get the fuselage to mate nicely with the wings.  I used white tac to hold these initially as you can move them in the white tac to adjust the width of the fuselage.  Once I was happy I added some glue to hold them in place.

The fit of the wings to the fuselage was pretty good after the fit of the spreader bars.

The intakes are the area of the kit that had the most complaints on the online builds I looked at. A little bit of fettling and I got a reasonable fit.  I could probably have done a better job with a bit more care, especially on the bottom.  But this was good enough to work with.  The panel on the intake , that crossed the join wasn’t even the same size so this will need re-scribing. As I was going to lose a bit of detail there filling that join I wasn’t concerned. 



Fill, sand and repeat.  Filler of choice is Superglue (CA) mixed with Talcum powder.  I use an accelerator or just water to set the filler.  This allows me to work on the joint virtually straight away .

Mr Surfacer was used to check my work .  A bit of re-scribing was needed to restore the lost surface detail



Usually I only like to prime where I have done work, especially on kits with fine panel lines. However this one has reasonably deep lines so a full primer coat was applied.  I then gave it a light rub with a wet 12000 mircomesh cloth to knock off any rough spots. 

Eduard gives you a nice set of Cartograph decals for this kit however I wanted to paint the yellow identification markings. SMS trainer Yellow is my favourite yellow and it was an excellent match to the colours on the decals.

I made a set of masks by scanning the decals and cutting them out on my Silhouette Portrait.

The mask for the entire triangle, including the black parts is applied to the model using some transfer tape, which was just another piece of mask slightly smaller than the actual mask. Once I had it positioned I removed the black outers and sprayed the black.




Underside colour is Mr Color C314 FS35622. I sprayed this in thin coats over a heavily mottled base coat of various colours to add some tonal variation.


Now was the time to address the instrument panel.  This didn’t really fit.  Eduard would have you glue the PE part to the plastic part.  This results in the IP being pushed too far aft (towards the cockpit).  After much faffing around I took off the PE IP, then cut the lower part of the plastic IP part off leaving just the top of the plastic part.  I then positioned the PE IP part in the aircraft. The plastic bit was trimmed some more then inserted the left over plastic IP piece between the PE IP and the glare shield.  The image below the shows the plastic IP with the lower section removed, but before I removed even more of the plastic.


Once the IP parts where secure I decided to add some 0.2mm lead wire to rear of the IP to simulate some wiring looms and pitot/static lines.

Next was to paint the red no step / walkway lines.  I really should have done this before I did the yellow and black triangles. Mr Color Red Madder (C068) was used.

Now it was the main light yellow colour which is FS 33531, Mr Color C313 . This was sprayed over most of the model.  This was thinned with Mr Color levelling thinner and did take longer to dry than most other Mr Color paints.

For the camouflage I used masks made of card for the flatter areas of the aircraft like the wings and tail.  Card is used because it retains its shape when it is hit with the paint from the airbrush.  For the curved bits of the model, like the fuselage, I used white tac sausages.

On aircraft with complex, or 3 colour camouflage schemes I like to work in small sections at a time rather than try and lay out each colour in one go.  The brown was FS 30219 Mr Color C310.  The green is FS34227 Mr Color 312.


Stupid thumb.  Typically I didn’t notice that my thumb had some thinner on it…. Luckily it was a quick repair.  A light sand, then a couple of quick coats of Mr Surfacer, another sand and it was done.  Being as Ham-fisted as I am I’ve got quite good at this sort of repair.



Painting the insignias - I probably should have done these first as getting enough coverage with the white was a bit of a hassle.  I first positioned the mask, then removed the centre bits of the mask. Using SMS insignia white I painted the white, then reapplied the mask minus the centre piece.  Tamiya flat blue was used for the blue.


Painting the red walkway lines before the camouflage but after the ID triangles was a bit of a fail so I have had to mask them out and re do them.  If I only did things once I reckon I’d finish a lot more kits.

Not a bad result but I was still not happy as the lines were inconsistent in width.  

So I masked the red lines with tape of the appropriate width and sprayed the appropriate colour to tidy it up.



A light coat of Gaianotes gloss was applied prior to a this first wash.  This was a mixture of various Mr Weathering Color products, Multi-black Matt Umber, Stain Brown and Grey Brown.  These were mixed with a bit of odourless thinners and applied either as the raw colour or mixed together to get the shade I wanted.  My favourite is a mix of Black and Grey Brown to get a dark dirty brown 

Next was the decals.  These decals are from Cartograph and performed as usual.  They were sealed with a coat of Mr. Color Semi-Gloss prior to the next weathering steps.




I started weathering on the bottom. Streaking was applied with oil paints of various colours.  The gun staining was Mr. Weathering colour mix of black and grey brown stippled into the surface.



Topside weathering. Raw umber was worked along the panel lines in places where I wanted some staining.  

To add tonal variation various oil paints were stippled onto the surface.  I also used flicked various Mr Weathering colour shades off an old airbrush needle onto the surface and blended them in with a brush lightly dampened with odourless thinners.





Tanks on. These were painted with Tamiya LP 70 Gloss Aluminium and then flattened down with some Mr Color Semi-Gloss.  I pinned these with some brass rod.


Last task was the missiles,  I wanted to load the aircraft with the Israeli Shafrir 2 missiles as the Squadron the jet is depicted as being from primarily used it over the AIM-9D. 

The Kit missiles aren’t much good but I found what looked close to a Shafrir 2 in the spares box.  I think it was an AIM-9B from a Kinetic Mirage III. 

I found a You Tube video that showed the Shafrir 2 on the Mirage IIICJ so using that as a reference to modify what I had to look like a Shafrir 2.  To paint the fins I measured up the bits and made some masks using the Silhouette Portrait cutter.   To simulate the clear lens I drilled out the hole and used some UV glue. 

It’s not perfect but its close enough for me. 


Conclusion

The fit wasn't as bad as I'd been led to believe.  Being forewarned I did a lot of dry fitting and deviated from the instructions (as usual) where I thought I saw a better way.  I think this certainly resulted in a smoother build.  Getting the instrument panel to fit was probably the worst part.

The biggest problem with the kit wasn't the fit, it was the amount of clean up required due to some significant misalignment of the moulds on some sprues.  On those parts this added a lot of time to the build process.  Here's an example showing how bad the misalignment was. 



Detail wise the kit is quite nice. Panel lines are deep and crisp so they take a wash well.  The PE in the Pit looks OK , mainly as it's not that visible.  The rails and missiles are pretty average but I didn't care enough to get better looking rails.

Would I build another ?  Probably not.  There are not mainly early Mirage Schemes that interest me.  The later Mirage III, from the IIIE onwards, along with the Mirage 5, have more varied schemes.  There's the Kinetic kit for many of those, although it's not without its issues.  If you are interested I have built on of those - click here.  

 The Glamour Pictures are on a separate post, click here.