Kitty Hawk 1/48 Mirage F.1CT/CR

KIT #: KH80111
PRICE: $70.00 SRP
DECALS: Four options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The Dassault Mirage F-1 is a French air-superiority fighter and attack aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation as a successor of the Mirage III family. The Mirage F1 entered service in the French Air Force (Armée de l'Air) in the early seventies. Powered by a single SNECMA Atar turbojet providing about 7 tonnes-force (69 kN; 15,000 lbf) of thrust, the F1 has been used as a light multipurpose fighter and has been exported to about a dozen nations. More than 700 F1s have been produced.

The Mirage F1CR carries reconnaissance equipment, internally and externally:

The Mirage F1CT is a ground attack version of the Mirage F1C-200. Following their replacement in the air defence role by the Mirage 2000, the French Air Force had a number of surplus Mirage F1C-200s, and in 1988 it launched a conversion programme to turn these aircraft into interim ground attack aircraft to replace elderly Mirage IIIEs and Mirage Vs. The Mirage F1CT program brought the avionics of the F1C up to the standard of the F1CR, with the radar upgraded with the additional air-to-ground modes of the Cyrano IVM-R, an improved navigation/attack system fitted, with a laser rangefinder fitted under the nose. It was fitted with new Mk 10 ejection seats, while improved radar detection and warning devices, chaff/flare dispensers, and secure radios were also added. It gained the ability to carry a variety of air-to-ground weapons, including rockets, cluster bombs and laser-guided bombs, while retaining the F1Cs air-to-air armament.


When Kitty Hawk released its single seat Mirage F.1C, it was obvious that they intended to do other versions and indeed, the second boxing did the two seat F.1B that I built last year. Now we have the last version to be done, the F.1CT/CR. I am not sure what is different from the F.1C kit as I've not seen that, but in regards to the F.1B, there is a different sprue for the single seat version, the rest being pretty much the same.

The cockpit is well done though a bit on the basic side. There is sidewall detail in terms of having inserts. The instrument panel and side consoles are flat with detail being supplied by photo etch parts. Two different design bang seats are provided, both with some photo etch detail in terms of the harness. There is no indication as to which are used for the plane that is kitted so you'll have to do some research.

The kit includes an engine shape into which the exhaust and intake compressor faces are inserted. I sort of wonder why this is done as there is no intake trunking so you will not see the forward engine bits. Though the instructions do not indicate the need for nose weight, I'd put some in there just to be sure. Main gear wells are separate and the instructions would have you assemble the landing gear prior to installing these gear wells into the aft fuselage section. Personally, I'd check to see if the main gear could be installed later. The gear itself is nicely detailed and looks the part. This same sequence is also done for the nose gear and I'd see if they could be installed after the fuselage is together.

You are provided with separate flaps and slats though the ailerons are molded in with the wings. A separate rudder is also part of the kit and you have various inserts for the ESM antennas. The canopy bits are separate and can be posed open though there are no visible actuating bits. A nicely done photo etch fret is also included and this is for things like the seat harness, canopy breakers, instrument and console panels, canopy mirrors, and upper wing speed brakes

There are a bunch of things to carry under the airframe. In fact, there are four huge sprues with rockets, bombs, tanks, missiles and the such. If nothing else, you'll have a ton of ordnance to add to the spares box. A load-out diagram is provided to show what weapons are used where.  Kitty Hawk has already opened the slots in the wings for the four pylons there and while this is nice for some, I wish that model companies would not do this as we might actually want a clean wing model without having to fill holes. A boarding ladder is provided. There are also several different intake options as some planes used slightly different intakes. Check your photos to see which is more appropriate, though I'm sure most builders will just go with the instructions.

Instructions are well done with Gunze paint references. There are four markings options; two in the European scheme of green,grey and grey with two desert-like schemes. Three of the planes are French with one being a shark mouth desert scheme with ER1/33 in 1987. Another is a Tiger Meet plane from 2002 while the third is with EC 2/30 during the last year of operations in 2009. The fourth option is a desert scheme Spanish Air Force plane with 142 squadron in 1988. The kit decals are very nicely done and should work just fine for whichever scheme you choose.  


Based solely on my experience building the two seater, I can tell you that this will take a bit of work, though it is no more difficult that the average kit. One needs to be sure to test fit everything prior to applying glue to make sure that one gets a good fit as the tolerances in several cases are quite close. For those who wish to embellish the kit, there are aftermarket pieces and decals available, but frankly, Kitty Hawk has done a nice job providing a most complete kit that I'm sure you will enjoy building.


January 2014

Thanks to Kitty Hawk for the preview kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.

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