|KIT:||Anigrand Craftworks 1/72 Mirage 4000|
|PRICE:||$64.00 from Nostalgic Plastic|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Resin with decals and vac canopy|
In1976, Dassault-Breguet Aviation announced a privately funded "Delta Super Mirage" project which was a scaled-up version of the Mirage 2000 with twin SNECMA engines. Two years later, a mockup which was comparable in size to the F-15 and the Su-27 was displayed. It caught Saudi Arabia's attention and they were quite interested in the aircraft. In 1979, a demonstrator aircraft named Super Mirage 4000 was rolled out. It was the world's first aircraft to have parts made from carbon-coated composite for weight reduction and fatigue resistance. First flight was made expecting excellent performance, and achieved Mach 2 in its sixth flight. However, due to its high cost, no agreement on sales was reached. In 1986, it was renamed just Mirage 4000 and was repainted with a new desert camouflage scheme to be used as test platform for the Rafale fighter until it retired in 1995. Afterward Mirage 4000 was displayed at the Paris Air & Space Museum.
Typical of Anigrand Craftworks kits, this one is molded in a tan resin with engraved panel lines. One expects to have a few molding glitches and shipping breakage with these kits, but this one seemed a lot more free of these than have some others in the past. The fuselage is in four parts with the aft section split horizontally and the forward section split vertically. The wings are single pieces that plug into slots in the side of the fuselage. The kit comes with six missiles and pylons, all of which are well done. The kit can be built gear up if one wishes. Gear down requires that the doors be separated into their individual sections.
I always look for glitches in resin kits. This one is pretty clean as things go. The only air bubbles I found were in the wheel wells, an area that is very difficult to repair. The forward tip of one wing was broken and there is a sink area near the leading edge of both wings. Being afraid of losing parts, I left all the little bits in their bag, but careful inspection showed only a tiny air bubble on one gear door. A few of the mounting hinges had been broken off during shipment. The missiles seemed to make it through unscathed and are all Matra 'Magics'. A single vacuformed canopy is provided.
Instructions are standard Anigrand in that it is a folded sheet with a short historical background, specs, photo of the real aircraft and an exploded view with parts list on one side. The other side is a painting and markings guide. Both the overall white early scheme and the later desert camo scheme are shown. The builder will have to paint the various red and blue flashes and trim on the white scheme, making for some rather involved masking. The decal sheet is well printed and offers basic insignia and some unique markings. While it is a bit thick compared to some others, they work well and respond to strong setting solutions.
I'm always pleased to see new kits from Anigrand. The subjects are always interesting, especially if you are a fan of prototypes or very short production run aircraft. They are not for beginners, but if you have the desire to do your first full-resin kit and are not afraid of repairing those few glitches that are endemic with the genre, then you can find no better kits to start with. This one would be good for a third or fourth resin kit due to the four part fuselage. I'm sure that those who love post-Vietnam jets will want to include this one on their shelves.
Thank you to Nostalgic Plastic for the review kit. Visit them to purchase this kit and pay no shipping in the US.
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