1/48 Heller Mirage IV

Gallery Article by Darius Aibara

 

Heller have produced some inexpensive and reasonably well detailed kits of modern French Aircraft in 1:48 scale - particularly the Etendard/Super Etendard series.  I had been interested in building the twin engined Mirage IV for some time and obtained the kit from Hannants when it was reissued last year.  The kit has raised panel lines which are not too bad (similar to those on Monogram Kits), nicely detailed undercarriage units and an OK cockpit.  I trawled the internet for pictures and found some good ones of the undercarriage but none of the cockpit.  As such I built the kit out of the box with few modifications.

 

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As the aircraft is a scaled up Mirage III the kit components are similar but larger than those for the smaller delta -  fuselage split vertically with integral tailplane, complete lower delta wing, upper wing halves and separate nose.  I added fuselage struts made from kit sprue to ensure a good fit between the wing roots and the upper wing joint but still needed filler to finish the connection.  Filler was also used to fair in the nose connection, engine intakes and exhaust fairings to the fuselage.  The main gear incorporates four-wheeled bogies on each leg and to ensure that all eight  wheels made simultaneous contact with the ground I carefully separated each bogie from the gear leg and fabricated an articulated joint using a steel pin shaft - which works as designed.

I primed the fuselage with grey acrylic primer from a spray can and then spray applied Humbrol dark sea grey.  Over that I brush painted a mix of various dark green enamels to match the green in the internet photos - a risky process as colours could be distorted in this medium but it looks about right - perhaps a touch too light.  The kit decals were applied  with the additional Mirage IV logo on the nose formed using butchered spare Mirage III decals.

Darius Aibara

      

Photos and text by Darius Aibara