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Dassault Mirage IIID / 5DM


High Planes Models, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

High Planes Models Kit No. HPK072103 - Dassault Mirage IIID / 5DM

Scale:

1/72

Contents & Media

98 grey and five clear styrene parts, with decals for two colour schemes. 

Price:

Available on-line from:

And from stockists worldwide.                          

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Review Type:

First Look.

Advantages:

Accurate, very easy and trouble-free to build.

Disadvantages:

Horrible, wide panel lines.

Conclusions:

Accurate, dead easy to build, generally nice detail parts and attractive subject to boot, all spoiled by dreadful panel lines. If only High Planes Models and PJ Production had retained the fine surface detail of their limited-run and resin kits respectively, I would not be able to praise this kit highly enough. Let us hope that they do rediscover this finesse in any future projects they may realize.

I still recommend this kit, provided that you can accept the entrenched panel lines. If you cannot, look for an old High Planes or PJ Productions kit, or fill in the panel lines and finish your model as a smoothie! 

 

Reviewed by Mark Davies


cyber-hobby's 1/72 scale Sea Venom is available online from Squadron.com

 

Background

 

No Introduction Necessary

Dassault’s Mirage III / 5 family and its numerous derivatives must surely be one of the most successful and widely used jet fighter designs of all time. Information on the design and its derivatives is readily available, including an outline history here at Wikipedia.org.




High Planes Models & PJ Productions

High Planes was an Australian brand, previously best known for limited-run kits that were usually very accurate, had very fine surface detail, and included white metal or resin parts. They had very heavy sprue gates, a significant amount of flash and often needed considerable adjustment and trimming for a good fit. (They are much like NZ’s Ventura kits, and looked like they used the same low-pressure rubber mould technology.) This said; they could result in excellent models. High Planes has previously kitted the Mirage III and its derivatives; a finished example of their old limited-run Mirage IIID by Mike Burton can be seen here, whilst an in-box review of this kit by Chris Bucholtz is here (both reviews are on Internet Modeller). The brand was sold and moved to Singapore in recent years, and began to realise new kits in association with PJ Productions. 

PJ Productions is a Belgian brand best known for its resin aircraft kits and crew figures. Their resin kits are decent efforts that can produce very nice results. They have previously kitted the Mirage III, and by way of example, is Thomas Muggli’s build of their Mirage IIIS here on HyperScale.

The review kit tooling is shared in common with High Planes Models and PJ Productions, with, I understand, High Planes producing the main styrene parts, with PJ Productions taking care of the resin details when provided with the kit or sold separately as after-market items. Each producer appears to produce of their own decals.  




Previous Miarge IIID kits & Conversions in 1/72-scale

Whilst there have been quite a number of Mirage III kits in The One True Scale, there have only been a few IIID variants as far as I am aware. As mentioned earlier, High Planes issued a limited run kit, whilst PJ Production offered one in resin. Falcon, Graphy-Air, and Eagle Designs offered conversion sets to make a IIID using a suitable base kit.

 

 

FirstLook

The Kit

The kit has already established a good reputation for accuracy (a High Planes strongpoint), and ease of construction; as evidenced by Mick Evans’ Mirage IIIO build review here on HyperScale .

 

  • High Planes 1/72 scale Mirage IIID Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • High Planes 1/72 scale Mirage IIID Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • High Planes 1/72 scale Mirage IIID Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • High Planes 1/72 scale Mirage IIID Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • High Planes 1/72 scale Mirage IIID Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • High Planes 1/72 scale Mirage IIID Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • High Planes 1/72 scale Mirage IIID Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • High Planes 1/72 scale Mirage IIID Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • High Planes 1/72 scale Mirage IIID Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • High Planes 1/72 scale Mirage IIID Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • High Planes 1/72 scale Mirage IIID Review by Mark Davies: Image
  • High Planes 1/72 scale Mirage IIID Review by Mark Davies: Image
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Certainly, the appearance of the parts suggests that fit will be very good, as the kit appears to be very well engineered. But an unavoidable impression is that the surface detail is way too heavy (my first thoughts were a flashback to a Matchbox Viggen kit I once had!). The problem is linked to the soft rounded edges of the panel lines, as much as it is to their depth. I would be inclined to avoid natural metal schemes as the risk of the finished model looking like a die-cast metal model is all too real.

 

 

The kit's cockpit has a tub, instrument panels, control columns and four-part ejection seats. The seats have a choice of firing handle styles to cover choices of MB4 or MB6 seats, as applicable to the kit markings options. The seats are quite good as far as injected bang-seats go, and include seat harnesses moulded in place. Nicely done front and rear instrument panel combing are included, along with a clear internal windshield between the seats. There is also a clear HUD panel for the front position. There is only minimal detail on the cockpit sidewalls, which are by necessity very slim.  For most, a couple of resin bang-seats will enhance this area sufficiently. The underside of the cockpit tub provides the nose wheel-well with some piping and other internal detail provided in relief. The instructions helpfully advise the insertion of 3-grams of weight in the spate nose to prevent tail-sitting later.

The cockpit area is separate from the main fuselage halves, as is the nose cone, and tailfin. This reflects the modular nature of the tooling, as it must cater for a multiplicity of versions across the two kit brands. A separate rear collar surrounds the engine exhaust nozzle, which is quite nicely done, and blanked off by a turbine face.

 

 

The kit lacks full intake trunking; instead the intake shock-cones mate to a flat blank surface. Painted matt black, this arrangement should be fine as the openings are quite small.

The wings consist of three parts and include adequately detailed main wheel-wells. There are four flight control surface actuators and a large ventral strake to be added, along with a nicely done undercarriage. The twin landing lights are provided as a clear part to fit to the nose-wheel leg.

 

 

Three choices of drop tank style are provided as the only underwing payload options.

All that remains are little details like pitots and a small ventral intake; plus of course the two-piece canopy, which is clear and acceptably thin.

Overall, this appears to be a very well engineered kit. The build reviews I have read indicate that it is a simple and trouble-free to construct. Just as importantly, the High Planes Models/PJ Productions Mirage kits have established a good reputation for accuracy, and seemingly are considered the best in 1/72-scale in this respect.



Colours & Markings

Two decal options are provided, these being:

  • Mirage IIIDO, A3-103, 3 SQN RAAF, Butterworth Malaysia, June 1981, and

  • Mirage 5DM M201, 211 Escadrille, Force Aerienne Zairoise, Mid 1970’s.

 

 

The decals are branded High Planes Models and appear to be excellent in all respects.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Accurate, dead easy to build, generally nice detail parts, and an attractive subject to boot; all spoiled by dreadful panel lines. If only High Planes Models and PJ Production had retained the fine surface detail of their limited-run and resin kits respectively, I would not be able to praise this kit highly enough. Let us hope that they do rediscover this finesse in any future projects they may realize.

As things stand, I still feel the urge to build this most attractive subject, if only to treat myself to a simple and truly trouble-free build. However, I feel that the exaggerated surface detail precludes finishing in any natural metal schemes (not that they apply in this review kit’s case anyway). I also confess to being tempted to fill all of the surface detail and have an accurately outlined smoothie; but I guess that rules out the simple trouble-free build part!  

I recommend this kit, provided that you can accept the entrenched panel lines. If you cannot, look for an old High Planes or PJ Productions kit, or fill in the panel lines and finish your model as a smoothie!

Thanks to HPM Hobbies for the review sampl


Text Copyright 2014 by Mark Davies
This Page Created on 24 February, 2014
Last updated 24 February, 2014

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