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Dassault Mirage F.1B

 

Fonderie Miniature 1/48

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: FN6018
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 115 injection moulded plastic parts, 14 resin parts, 8 white metal. 2 vacuum formed clear parts, and 2 photo-etched frets
Price: USD$49.96  from Squadron.com
Review Type: FullBuild
Advantages: Very detailed resin and metal parts; Good fit overall.
Disadvantages: Decals very stiff; Transparancies not clear; Lack of clearance for centreline fuel tank.
Recommendation: Recommended for experienced modellers

 

Built and Reviewed by Mick Evans


Fonderie Miniature's 1/48 Mirage F.1B is available online from Squadron.com

 

FirstLook

 

The Mirage F.1B by Fonderie Miniature is a nicely presented kit.

 

 

It contains highly detailed white metal parts for the undercarriage legs, undercarriage actuators, control columns, and speed brake doors. Resin parts include the instrument panels, ejection seats, wheels, main wheel wells, and a superb engine afterburner can with excellent turbine and nozzle details. The etched metal is well defined and covers areas such as the instrument panel detail, cockpit side consoles, and ejection seat padding and belts.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The injection moulded plastic is the usual Fonderie Miniature soft grey styrene with irregular mating surfaces and heavy flash. The smaller parts require quite a lot of cleanup work. A quick rub on coarse wet and dry paper quickly sorts this problem. The vac-formed canopies are not up to Falcon's or Squadron's standard, but are sufficient for the job. Clear vac-form parts is the one area that FM could really improve on.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

 

 

Construction

 

The cockpits make up very nicely, the tub being assembled from plastic bulkheads, floor, and side consoles. The resin instrument panels fit very well into the assembled tub. The panels and side consoles are detailed out with some very detailed etched parts. I added some instrument decals from some Reheat 1/48 modern instrument sheets to add some detail to the instruments. The overall cockpit is black so some subtle dry brushing added to the effect of the decals to add some definition. Using some colour photo reference and from my Mirage IIIO days, I added some colour to applicable areas and the result is very convincing.

The wheel wells were painted in the traditional Mirage silver, and glued into place. I elected to leave out the bulkheads either side of the main wheel well as they were creating fit problems, and for the life of me, I could not understand why they were there.

The fuselage and wings make up very well, after the mating surfaces are cleaned up, but require constant dry fitting. Very little filler was used during construction. I also drilled out the perforations in the wing spoilers to add better definition before fitting the wings. A few panel lines required re-scribing as some definition was lost in the moulding process, and through sanding.

 

 

Overall the fit was quite good for a limited run kit of this type. All the detail parts fit very well in particular the undercarriage. A major problem was the clearance of the centreline fuselage tank to the ground, there just wasnít any. I had to reduce the pylon somewhat, and adjust the angle to achieve a good clearance similar to the photographs that I had.

One very good tip when assembling the ejection seats is to anneal the etched parts over a flame first. The seats are Martin Baker Mk10ís, the seats are moulded very crisply in resin, while all of the seat padding, webbing, and belts, are supplied as etched metal. These require some deft bending to make the pads fit and look realistic. The last problem was the colour scheme. Fortunately Xtra Color manufacture the correct blue for the French Mirage.

The missiles required a lot of clean up, and an improvement would have been to supply the fins in etched metal.

 



The decals were a bit on the stiff side and required some potent decal setting solution to make them conform.

Markings are provided for 4 aircraft of the French Air Force. I decided to complete the model in the colours of an aircraft prepared for the 2001 Tiger Meet.

Some subtle panel detailing was done with oil paints, and then the whole kit was sealed with semi gloss.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

 

 

Conclusion

 

In common with other Fonderie Miniature kits, their 1/48 scale Mirage F.1B does require some modelling skills and effort. However, the result is a very attractive and complete representation of this important French jet.

Recommended.
 


Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.


Model, Review and Images Copyright © 2003 by Mick Evans
Page Created 11 June, 2003
Last updated 09 November, 2003

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