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1/32 Mirage F1 – when a pure delta just won’t do.

I was once told that I won’t be able to make a 1/32 Mirage F1 from a Mirage III…

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..and when it comes to scale modelling I don’t like being told what I can and can’t do !

OK..  so admittedly I needed to fabricate a few parts, like the whole rear fuselage…  but it still started out as a boring old Revell 1/32 old green moulding and things just got added as required.

I worked out which F1 would be the easiest to replicate…  and I chose this one

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This Mirage F-1C of EC 1/12 was decorated in this scheme in 1994 for a Nato Tigermeet. Today this aircraft is preserved as seen at a French Air Force Base.

Markings would be easy to do by hand…  as long as I could get some close ups – which I did.

I created some plans by scaling up some drawings, printing them out and cutting them out to use as guides. I rendered up some rudimentary fuselage parts including some tail parts and set about printing them – save me heaps of time. (Those are the purple and light grey parts seen in the pics)

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The Revell nose section and spine were blended into these parts. The cockpit, front undercarriage bay are made from existing resin sets and the nose was a recce nose dipped partially into the twin seater nose conversion mould I did some time ago resulting in a longer nose as needed for the F1.

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The main undercarriage bay was scratchbuilt from plasticard an inserted into the frame. It helped that I printed the fuselage in sections to be able to do this.  The exhaust was wrangled using a resin Mirage set cut down accordingly.

Once I’d viewed the plans I realised that the wing of a Mirage F1 is very, and I mean very close to a MiG29 – and I figured my award winning (1992 ModelExpo largescale category winner and best of show) was due to be reborn – here we are back in the glory days

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and here’s the wings before I committed them irrevocably to becoming Dassaulted.

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The wings were modified by filling in some panel lines and cutting out some sections, creating details in plasticard and scribing panel lines and drilling out the air brakes.

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All parts starting coming together and the main undercarriage was scratchbuilt from whatever looked right in the spares box using a heap of photos from the internet as a guide. I was quite happy with the way the undercarriage bay came out.

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FInally with the undercarriage in place the F1 can stand on its own three (six) feet.

Then came the arduous task of masking .. actually it was incredibly easy !  Just plug up the tail, cover the nose after giving it a coat of rattle can black and mask the canopy.  By this stage I’d already finished the cockpit and the bang seat – done so many Mirages now it just happens by rote !

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After a coat of yellow with a mist of orange on top and a lower section in white I began the job of hand painting the tiger stripes using photos etc as a guide.

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The markings were handpainted for the tail and nose emblems, the national markings from an old Esco sheet and the serial from the spares box modified to suit.

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The next part of this story is to photograph the beast outside as I do with most of my largescale projects. As the Avalon airshow is gearing up at the moment the chances of getting a photographic opportunity where I usually go will be nil so I’ll see what other locations I can muster.

This whole process started on the 7th of February and took just under two weeks.

Standby for more pics !

UPDATE 21Feb17

…and here they are  !

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