|KIT #:||KH 32020|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Dassault Mirage 2000 is a French multirole, single-engine fourth-generation jet fighter manufactured by Dassault Aviation. It was designed in the late 1970s as a lightweight fighter to replace the Mirage III for the French Air Force (Armée de l'Air). The Mirage 2000 evolved into a multirole aircraft with several variants developed, with sales to a number of nations. It was later developed into the Mirage 2000N and 2000D strike variants, the improved Mirage 2000-5 and several export variants. Over 600 aircraft were built and it has been in service with nine nations.
In regards to the Mirage 2000C, upgrades include the addition of the Non-Cooperative Target Recognition (NCTR) mode to the RDI Radar to allow identification of airborne targets not responding on identification friend or foe (IFF), and the ability to carry air-to-ground stores such as rocket pods, iron bombs and cluster bombs. Some variants, especially those equipped with the RDM radar (mainly used in export models) have the capability to use the Exocet anti-ship missile.
This latest release from Kitty Hawk comes in a huge box. Not surprisingly, half of the grey sprues are weapons, pylons and other stores. You are also provided a pair of resin parts. One is a seated pilot figure and the other is an afterburner can. Photo etch is used for the seat harness, gun sight, some small interior bits and for some bits on stores.
The kit's molding is superb as is the norm from Kitty Hawk. The cockpit is very nicely done and includes decals as well as raised instrument detail. The seat is particularly nicely done with a lot of additional bits to add detail. This same high level of detail goes into building up the nose and main gear wells. In line with other Kitty Hawk kits, you have a full engine to build up. All of these parts will eventually fit into each of the fuselage halves.
With that done, the intakes, which are ten pieces on each side are built and installed. A nicely done radar antenna is provided for the nose and this is covered with a one piece nose cone. No indication of nose weight is provided, but a wise builder will add the nose near the end so there is easy access to placing nose weight if needed.
Each wing is an upper and lower half with a multi-piece outer gear well. Flaps and elevons are separate with the slats having individual slat tracks to glue on. There are also separate control actuator housings. In addition to the extended slats, you can pose the flaps and elevons lowered.
Once the wings are done, those as well as the various parts for the fin are attached. There are various optional fin tip arrangements, but as expected with all optional pieces in Kitty Hawk kits, there is no indication of what bits go with what option. One will have to check with the painting and markings guides as well as web images for that info.
The underside still has a lot of pieces to go that includes speed brakes, landing gear, gun access panels and a host of other smaller bits and panels. Note that all of the nose gear doors have separate hinges to attach. You have a separate windscreen and canopy so you can see into the cockpit.
The kit comes with a wide variety of things under wings including fuel tanks, gun pods, air to air and air to ground missiles as well as targeting pods and rocket pods. You will not lack for a heavily laden aircraft as this kit has all the latest fighter-bomber mods included. Probably some iron bombs would have been nice, but I think there are enough to make most of you happy. It appears that all the pylon holes are already drilled so you will have to fill what you don't want to use.
Instructions are superbly drawn and provides Gunze paint references. You are provided with eight markings options, most of them in the standard blue-grey and grey scheme. Four of them are French. One is the box art tiger meet aircraft with a second tiger meet plane having a much more flamboyant fin marking. A third French plane has a desert camo while a fourth is a standard looking plane. You also have one from Brazil, one from Taiwan, one from Greece (this one also having a pretty wild fin markings) and one from India. The two decal sheets are very nicely printed though as often happens, the orange for the Indian Air Force plane is actually much closer to red. Full stencils for the aircraft and weapons are also provided.
This looks to be a great kit. It will take patience and perhaps a few modeling skills to complete, but the end result will be fabulous.
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