Dassault Mirage III / V in 1/72 scale
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Review / Modelling report

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PJ Productions Resin
These are resin kits with not many parts but they are well detailed. A bit exepensive, but worth the money if you want to make a single model.
Each kit has about 35 fine resin parts to a high standard. Also some etched metal parts inside e.g. for a boarding ladder , tank fins etc. Cast metal parts are there for the landing gear. Each kit has a vacuform canopy and one spare! Nice!

PJ kit 1 is for Mirage IIIC  (kitno. 721016 ) with decals for  schemes:
1. camouflaged Mirage IIIC Armee de l'Air, EC 3/10 at Djibouti 1989
2. natural metal Mirage IIIC EC 1 /002 at Dijon 1966 (of the TV series "Les Chevaliers du Ciel")
It has the original not later extended fuselage. This is seen as the intake begins halfway the cockpit. 

PJ kit 2 is for a Mirage III B/B2/CJ, a two seater (kit no 721024) with decals for 3 schemes:
1. natural metal finish Mirage IIIB of Armee de l'Air ER3/33 of 1964 Strasbourg
2. natural metal finish Mirage III BJ, Israeli AF Bat squadron, about 1967
3. camouflaged Mirage III B of Armee de l'Air , EC 1/13 at Colmar 1990

(note: PJ has released various other Mirages with different boxes and decals as well).

The resin surfaces have nice recessed panellines. Gear bay interiors are very detailed and also a nice cockpit interior comes with it. 

Here parts for the two seater are seen...

A spare vacuform canopy is also in each kit as well as a few etched metal parts, including a ladder. 

Resin parts preparation needs taking care of your health! Use a face mask and ONLY sand and saw below water. Constantly rinse in water and avoid the fine dangerous resin dust! 

Once the parts are separated from their moulding bits and some sanding was done, the kit can be assembled. This preparation work takes some 15 minutes.
 

The assembly of both PJ kits is a bit more complicated as superglue is required for the resin and metal parts. ZAPP-A-GAP medium superglue "cyano acrylaat" was used.

The PJ parts are fine with nice recessed panellines, but need carefull assembly. Still, putty is needed at wing root joints, intakes and the nose. Note that the flaps and ailerons are separate parts. These need trimming to fit properly.

Here the single seat Mirage IIIC is seen:

The spine needs filler, I use Alabastine white car filler, and sanding as do the intakes. Very nice on this kit is the very good and deep nose gear bay as well as the cockpit tub.

Here the PJ two seater is seen:


The model get a grey base coat to check for any flaws. Revell Aqua 371 acrylic was airbrushed, and some extra filling and sanding was needed at some spots.

No scheme for this two seater model was yet picked, decals are still to be researched. The model was set aside. 

The single seater will be finished as a French Armee de l'Air Mirage using kit decals and in a natural metal look using PJ kit decals. 

This requires a metallic aluminium coat, for which ALCLAD II "polished aluminium'  lacquer was used. This requires a gloss Black undercoat, which was first applied with the airbrush. 

Than, a special trick was used to get a bit different metal hues:
a number of areas of the black was masked off with tape. Than, the ALCLAD was airbrushed. Half way, the maksed taped areas were revealed by removing each tape and they got a light coat of ALCLAD as well. This gives a slightly different hue. 
NOTE: *the same effect can be achieved using different ALCLAD colours, but this is easier and faster to do.

Now it was time for decalling. The PJ kit decals are very good and fine with loads of detail and accurate. The walkway lines are very thin but convincing. 

The landing gear and other details like the fueltanks were installed. Some extra hydraulics wiring was added as well that was made from stretched sprue and thin metal strips in the bays and on the undercarriage legs.

..
Some wash was applied with a brush in areas using PROMODELLER black wash.

Nearly finished, the model got a decal protection gloss coat with the airbrush using Johnson Future, thinned with 40% Pharmacy Alkohol

(NOTE: ALCLAD has released end 2013 a special gloss for covering their metal paints, but I found this gloss coat VERY SLOW DRYING and not better than the old fashioned Future.) 

The canopy was installed and painted with some extra detail added.


That completed this very nice PJ model of a Mirage IIIC EC 2 at Dijon air base 1966  of French Armee de l'Air.

The PJ kit two seater Mirage awaits to be finished.
 


(6) Chematic ? Mirage III EP
It is not clear exactly what the manufacturers name of this kit from Poland is. It is stated that it is a Mirage III EP with the later used longer fuselage. It is a very cheap inexpensive kit to buy.

Although the parts are basic, when made straight on this is a nice kit. Fit is not too bad and it is simple and adequate. Panellines are not recessed but finely raised. 

The jet pipe is integrally moulded with the fuselage halves. A separate pipe could be added.
The kit included Pakistan decals, but the drawing shows a Mirage IIIC. However, this is only a drawing error, Pakistan flew with the Mirage III EP and the kit can be used.


There are some awkward ejection pin marks, particularly on the lower wing part. Fill and sand.
Also adding some scrap some cockpit detail will enhance the model.

Undercarriage doors are very thick, sand or replace with card.
The stores have very thick fins, so if you have others, discard them.
The doppler fairing is a separate part.
The canopy is a bit scratched. Polish as necessary to a bright sheen.
 

The model was simply assembled. The fit was not that bad but some filler and sanding was needed at the "usual spots": wing roots and intakes. Note that the nose is one piece with the fuselage halves. 

The intakes got a black panel to suggest depth with a permanent marker, but.... later nothing was seen of it!

The nose gear bay was cut open, made deeper and boxed in with plastic card to get a wheel bay.

Fit was not bad at all! Now it awaits some filler and sanding. 
A grey base coat was airbrushed and next it was time for the camouflage scheme of a Pakistan Air Force Mirage 3 EP.

First, the lower grey was airbrushed, using Gunze Sangyo #332. Next, the dark grey was airbrushed using HUMBROL hu125 enamel "dark sea grey". The green using Gunze Sangyo #309  (about FS34079) was handpainted for a change as the demarcation between the colours is "hard". 

The model was ready for its decals , using also a PAF set from a VERY OLD Scale Aircraft Modelling complementary decalsheet 72003 of 1981 !!!

First, a gloss coat was set on the model (using the Johnson Future gloss) to prevent decal silvering using this method.... From the spares decals from the other Mirage models, additional details were added like red walkway lines etc. 

When dried, a semi-matt coat was added, using a mix of Johnson Future, thinned with 40% Pharmacy Alkohol with some 20% Tamiya matting acrylic  X21 "Flat base" mixed in. This gives a nice sheen and protects the decals. 

The kit canopy was not used, but a spare one from the AML kit. This canopy was set closed and the gaps were filled with White Glue that was handpainted in the surrounding colours when dried. Gears were installed and a pitot tube using a metal needle. 
..... 
The result is a basic but nice Mirage III EP of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) " Pak Fiza'ya "
.


 


AML Mirage IIICJ Shahak

AML is from the Czech republic and this is an injection moulded plastic kit with about 110 plastic parts and some 15 resin parts. A vacuform canopy and a spare canopy is also included. It represents an Israeli Mirage III Shahak version wth a longer engine exhaust pipe and longer fairing. This kit dates from 2005. 
(AML has also released some other Mirage kits, like of the IIICJ recon. and a normal Mirage IIIC with not a longer exhaust). 

This kit (no.72010) has decals for 4 Shahak IAF schemes:
1. natural metal Israeli Mirage IIICJ in 1970 with 10 kills
2. camouflaged Mirage of 101 tayset, 1970
3. natural metal Mirage 117 tayset, 1967 war
4. camouflaged Mirage 117 tayset, 1970/1971


The decals are very nice. 


The main plastic parts are roughly moulded and the fit is not good. A lot of sanding on these short run parts is needed. Sprue gates are thick. Lots of flash are also on the parts. 

The seat is nice and 2 good vacu canopies are included. (the spare will be used on other Mirage models).

And although there are nice detailed resin parts... they do not fit! This will be seen during assembly. But eventually, there will be a 1/72 Shahak to finish with painting and schemes......
 

The resin part for the main gear bay is too thick and considerable sanding off the roof is needed. The cockpit tub also does not fit inside. 

After sanding the main gear bay resin part very very thin , it fitted with some trouble inside the upper and lower wing halves.

Large gaps are seen here with a terrible fit of the rear fuselage end.
A fit round of filling using Alabastine white car filler and sanding was done.


Now the model now awaits a base coat to check for any errors on assembly and filling. 

The scheme for this Israeli Mirage III CJ picked is from the kit for no.745/ 117 tayset Hel Ha' Avir that shot down 2 enemy aircraft on June 6, 1967.

This requires a metallic aluminium coat, for which ALCLAD II "polished aluminium'  was used. This requires a gloss Black undercoat, which was first applied with the airbrush. The "special trick" as described above was used as well.


The nose was painted black after masking and the various antenna panels were painted as wel. 

Now it was time for decalling. The kit decals were very good and fine with loads of detail. The 2 kill markings on the nose are alo included. The red areas are a combination of red decals and some red paint to get a good red coverage. The decals are also accurate. The walkway lines are very thin but convincing. 

Next the model got a decal protection gloss coat with the airbrush using Johnson Future, thinned with 40% Alkohol

The windscreen needed carefull cutting but fitted well, the tiny gaps were closed with White Glue and painted aluminium after it dried.

The landing gear was set, with doors and so on. The details are aluminium. Pylons were fixed and the very nice vacuform canopy was cut out with sharp sissors and edges painted aluminium. Some mirrors and handles were added from scrap using thick aluminium foil. A pitot tube was added. The kit resin seat was installed after it got painted black with leather brown and black details with a brush. 

   . 
And that completed Mirage III CJ , no.745/ 117 tayset Hel Ha' Avir , June 1967.


 

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Created this page January 17, 2014
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Updated April 10, 2014