Kinetic 1/48 Mirage 2000D/N

KIT #: K48120
PRICE: 90$
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Francisco Santoro
NOTES: Poor fit in areas, weak landing gear


The Mirage 2000 was the successful attempt by Dassault to create a Fourth Generation Fighter and work as a replacement to the legendary Mirage III. It first flew in 1978, and was introduced into service in 1984. The 2000N and D variants are dedicated attack aircraft. The N was designed as a two sitter nuclear bomber (retired in 2018), while the D was the conventional attack version developed from the N. In total, according to Wikipedia, 601 Mirage 2000s were manufactured. Users of the aircraft were/are the Greek Air Force, UAE Air Force, Indian Air Force and, of course, the French Air Force.

Now comes the what if part. After Malvinas, well entered the XXI Century, Argentina sought a replacement aircraft for the aging Mirage IIIEAs and CJs, and the Mirage 2000C was considered. However, British embargo on their parts made this task impossible. But, what if Argentina got the Mirage 2000C and D for its Air Force? Here’s the result of my idea, an Argentinised version of the Mirage 2000D.


The box is filled to the brim with sprues. They’re individually bagged, which avoids damage when the kit is moved (learn from this Hasegawa and Airfix). Parts are molded in a hard, light grey plastic. Some flash and annoyingly placed ejection pins are featured in the kit. Decals are from Cartograf, and there’re four options. Instructions are in black and white with clearly defined construction steps. If you like to load your plane with as many underwing stuff, then this kit is for you, with three external fuel tanks and plenty of missiles and bombs.


I began by painting most of the small parts on the sprues. Cockpit and other parts of it were painted matt black (Revell Aqua 08 Matt Black), landing gear struts and inside of the gear doors in silver (Revell Aqua 90 Silver). Before gluing the seats, I had to remove two large ejector pins from the bottom of the cockpit tub. This proved difficult because I lacked moving space. The pilot seats were painted matt black with Olive Drab (Revell Aqua 66 Olive Grey) cushions and yellow ejection handles and glued to the cockpit tub.

With the cockpit dry and every part of it glued together, I dry fitted it to the fuselage halves. Fit was nice, and the cockpit floor served as a roof for the nose gear well. I glued the cockpit and added 25 grams of lead behind it. Once the lead weight glued had dried, I glued the cockpit and nose gear well to one fuselage side, and then added the other fuselage half. This assembly was secured with tape. While the fuselage cured, I glued the vertical stabilizer. This part was also taped to prevent misalignment.

The wings came next. You have the option to display the ailerons in the down or neutral position, with actuator hinges provided accordongly. Wings come as three big parts, a single piece lower wing and two upper wings. Dry fitting showed some gaps, and the culprits were the flash protruding above the ejector pin marks. With these eliminated, the wings fitted nicely. I then glued the flaps and added the hinges.

I dry-fitted the wings to the fuselage. Fit was horrible, with big gaps in the fuselage/wing joint, and a big step in the lower union between the lower wing and fuselage. After much sanding, I was able to eliminate the gaps on the upper surfaces, but a gap showed up on the undersides. This was filled with Vallejo’s putty. Then I glued the spine and other smaller parts that I think would be really boring to describe. The nose cone was glued (not without steps) and the exhaust can was added. The intakes were then assembled and glued in place.


I had two options as far as camouflage goes: Either an all light grey plane as the Mirage IIIEAs were, or the more interesting two greys scheme featured in the A-4ARs. I chose the latter. I painted the aircraft with Revell 76 Light Grey and 43 Neutral Grey. The nose cone was painted matt black and the exhaust nozzle in Revell Aqua 90 Silver. The model was then coated with Revell Aqua 01 Gloss Varnish. For the markings, I used Aerocalcas’s sheet 48012, that comes with three A-4AR numerals, one of these is C-903, a two sitter Fightinghawk. The decals are very thin and like to stick to the surface, giving you no chance of moving them to the correct position. After decalling, I matt coated the model with Revell Aqua 02 Matt Varnish.

The landing gear was glued. It doesn’t have a very strong friction grab, so I was careful to align them properly. The nose gear is made of three parts: the main leg, the wheel strut and the retraction arm. When the glue had cured, I turned the model upside down. Seeing the struts wouldn’t hold on the long run, I applied some epoxy glue and left it to harden. The wheels were then added. Clear parts were glued with white glue in the closed position. The model was finished.


I now have two Mirage 2000s. One from Monogram and this one. While the Kinetic kit may be more detailed (and more expensive), the Monogram kit has the upper hand in fit, something I think is more important than detail. The landing gear on the Monogram kit is stronger and fits without risking collapse. The Kinetic kit has more armament, that’s a plus, and is something I’ve seen the brand do. My verdict: the Kinetic kit is a mixed bag.



 Francisco Santoro

22 January 2024

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