1/48 Kinetic Mirage IIIDE

Gallery Article by Bob Leonard on Sept 3 2018



This is the Mirage IIIDE of the Ejercito del Air (Spanish Air Force) by Kinetic in 1/48 scale. Spain bought six of these trainers in 1970. Prior to the release of this kit, you had to fiddle with resin conversions for the Heller 1/48 Mirage IIIB to obtain a two-seat Wagon Queen Family Truckster version of the Mirage IIIE. I built this kit out of the box with the exception of some Apoxy Sculpt ejection seat belts.

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You will not find Tamiya-level precise fit with the kit, but it is not bad. I only needed a bit of Gunze Surfacer 500 here and there to cover some seams. What I wanted to accomplish with this kit was the highly weathered appearance you see with the NATO aircraft of Spain, Italy and Greece. The harsh sun and Mediterranean sea air wrecks havoc with Spanish Mirages, Italian F-104s and Greek A-7s paint jobs and that is what I was going for. I found photos on Airliners.net of highly weathered Mirage IIIDE just before they retired in 1991. I used 50 Shades of Grey (and Green/Olive Drab) to get the faded, touched up Dark Sea Grey/Dark Green paint job I was looking for. 

I really enjoyed the final result. One highlight of the kit is the decal sheet. They are the best decals I have ever seen included with a kit. Tons of thoughtful details are included on the sheet which include a wide variety of operators. They react superbly with Mirco Set. 

Bob Leonard

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Photos and text by Bob Leonard