Israeli Aircraft Industries
Kinetic, 1/48 scale
S u m m a r y
||Kinetic Model Kits Item No. 48046; a joint project with IsraCast Studio.
Israeli Aircraft Industries Kfir C2/C7
|Contents and Media:
||More than 180 parts in grey plastic and 13 parts in clear; markings for five aircraft.
plus shipping available online from Lucky Model
||Crisp decals; Great detail and sharp panel lines; Options for C2 and C7; Accurate detail; Extensive weapons load.
||110 Gallon tanks are 14mm short.
At last, a superb kit of the Kfir. Highly Recommended
by Mick Evans
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I have been waiting eagerly for this release from Kinetic as the only way to build a decent 1/48 model of the Israeli Kfir in the past was to extensively modify an Esci/Italeri Mirage III/V using either an Isracast or Eagle Designs resin conversion set. Esci/Italeri did release a 1/48 scale Kfir many years ago but for detail and accuracy it falls way short of the mark. I have one of the Esci/Italeri kits in my collection that I will consign to my spares box or give away.
The Kfir is a heavily modified version of the Mirage V manufactured by Israeli Industries to incorporate a General Electric J79 engine similar to that fitted to the Israeli F-4J Phantom or Kurnas. The rear fuselage was heavily modified and shortened to fit the wider but shorter J79. Aerodynamic improvements such as forward fuselage canards and extended leading edges were applied to the outer wing sections creating a dog tooth in the leading edge rather than the aerodynamic slot fitted to the Mirage. The avionics were extensively modified and a new nose with aerodynamic strakes was designed and fitted. New pylons were designed to carry an extensive weapons load as were some new fuel tanks.
The Kfir is one of my favourite aircraft along with the Mirage IIIO that I worked on for many years so I was keen to see how accurate this kit was from Kinetic. There are many plans around for the Kfir and Mirage so it is very easy to compare. Plus I have just spent 3 months building and rescribing the old 1/32 Scale Revell Mirage as a Mirage IIIO.
I spent many hours pouring over the accuracy of this kit, checking detail and accuracy against Isradecal plans and Isradecal resin conversion parts and of course some Mirage kits and plans.
Kinetic has not let us down, I would rate this as Kinetics best kit to date, accurate and good detail. There is one inaccuracy with the 110G supersonic tanks and I will deal with this later.
The surface detail is fine and restrained, the best that Kinetic has done so far and represents the panel lines of the Mirage that I am used to without being overdone and trench like. Photographs I have seen of the Kfir show the panel work (depth, visibility) to be similar to the Mirage hence my continual reference to the Mirage.
The kit contains over 180 light grey injection moulded parts and 13 clear parts. The fuselage is basically two one piece halves to which is added the nose cone, wings and intakes. The air scoops for the heat exchangers that are moulded on the fuselage are hollow adding further realism and one important detail that all kits of the Mirage IIIE/V manufacturers miss but Kinetic have included are the rear radio hatch bulges located just below the pitch dampers on the lower rear fuselage, big plus for this. The intakes are amazing having full intake ducting back to the engine compressor face, another big plus.
The wings are spot on, the anhedral looks correct, panel detail is superb and correct. Most importantly every vent around the gun troughs and gun bay have been moulded, something missed on all Mirage models. There is possibly a small air scoop missing from the front of the gun bay, this is only fitted to the gun pack and not the gun bay fuel tank so check your references for this. The wheel wells look good but they are missing all the hydraulic pipework that is evident in the wheel well. My only other minor point is the speed brake bays. Separate speed brakes is a first for any Mirage kit and is greatly applauded as most of the time when a Mirage and I presume Kfir is on the ground the speed brakes are slightly cracked open. The speed brakes are used by the pilot to bleed the hydraulic pressure after the engine has shutdown, and depending on the skill of the pilot was to how far these were cracked open. The best pilots got them back to streamlined or almost. Kinetics moulding has a small compromise on the edges of the speed brake bays where they are not quite vertical but slightly chamfered. A few scrapes with a sharp knife should enhance this area.
The nose wheel well detail looks great as does all of the undercarriage legs and doors.
The cockpit has sufficient detail with alternate ejection seats and instrument panels being provided for the C2 or C7 version.
Alternate nose cones are also provided for the C2 or C7 version along with the laser designator for the C7.
Kinetic also provide separate elevons and pitch dampers along with elevon actuator covers for either streamlined or drooped. Now if the pitch dampers were deselected as normal prior to engine shutdown, the pitch dampers will be streamlined, rarely are these drooped, this can only occur if someone had the pitch dampers selected with hydraulic power on and was moving the flight controls when the hydraulic power bled down. The elevons are totally different; these will always be in the drooped position unless there is hydraulic power supplied by the engine, emergency hydraulic pump or external hydraulic cart for maintenance.
The stores supplied for this kit is extensive with the following supplied:
Python-3 Air to Air Missile
Mk82 Retarded Bombs
CBU-10 Rockeye dispensers
Griffon Laser Guided Bomb
286 Gallon Subsonic fuel tanks both with fins and without
110 Gallon Supersonic jettison able finned fuel tanks
Rocket bay fuel tank weapons pylons
Gun bay weapons pylons
Centre line multiple weapons pylon
The weapons and tanks supplied are superb except for the 110 Gallon supersonic tanks. I 1/48 scale these should be 118mm long. The kinetic tanks are 104mm long. What went wrong?
The top tank is the Esci French 110G tanks, centre is Isracast Israeli 110G tanks and the bottom is the Kinetic Israeli 110G tanks.
This is the first 1/48 scale Mirage/Kfir kit to include the jettison able and finned Israeli 110G supersonic fuel tank. Unfortunately the kit tank is 14mm short. The Israeli tanks is jettison able whereas the French tank is not. The Israeli and French 110G tanks are the same length but the Israeli tank sits further aft on the pylon to assist in jettison as does the fins fitted to the rear of the tank. This distance in 1/48 scale is around 14mm so the distance that a French tank protrudes in front of the wing compared to the Israeli tank in 1/48 scale is also 14mm and I believe this has contributed to the error. I have compared it to Italeri 1/48 French tank and Isracast resin Israeli tank to confirm as detailed above.
The transparencies look great and crystal clear; most importantly they are the correct shape.
There are 5 schemes provided by Kinetic for this kit with the decals printed by Cartograf and the decals designed by IsraCast Studio.
The markings supplied are as follows:
KFIR C7 number 553 'Venus', 'The Arava Guardians' squadron, Hatzor AF Base, 1988 in the late 4 tone desert scheme.
KFIR C7 number 539 'Venus' (Hebrew version), 'The Arava Guardians' squadron, Hatzor AF Base, in the late 4 tone desert scheme
KFIR C7 number 521 'Pluto', 'The Arava Guardians' squadron, Hatzor AF Base, 1994 in the late 4 tone desert scheme.
KFIR C2 number 805 'The Valley' squadron, Ramat-David AF Base, 1983 in the air superiority Grey scheme.
KFIR C2 number 861 'Venus', 'The Valley' squadron, Ramat-David AF Base, 1985 air superiority Grey scheme.
At last, a superb kit of the Kfir. Very little that I can criticise with this kit but I am full of praise, except for the very short 110 gallon supersonic tanks. I would have liked to have seen a scheme for an early Kfir C2 with the big black and yellow recognition triangles but this may come in a later release. I cannot wait to build this kit and see how it assembles but it looks a breeze.
But this kit does not lend itself to maybe a Mirage IIIE/V coming from Kinetic as the tooling is specific to a Kfir and would require a complete retool for the Mirage, still hopefully soon. A big kudos to Kinetic for this excellent kit.
Thanks to Lucky Model for the sample
Review Text Copyright © 2013 by Mick Evans
Images Copyright © 2013 by
Page Created 30 April, 2013
30 April, 2013
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