FM 1/48 Super Mystere B.2




$52.95 MSRP ($44.95 at Squadron)


Two Aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Short run multimedia kit


After the war, the French aviation industry managed to get off to a pretty good start, much of it thanks to not having their factories bombed into rubble by the Allies as happened with the Germans. This was as much a political move than one to keep from killing French civilians who worked in the plants. The result is that the French managed to pretty well get up to speed in regards to aircraft manufacturing. Turbo jet technology was quickly forthcoming from the British as well as information passed along from results of utilizing German research data.

Dassault had already built a well liked and relatively capable Ouragan straight winged jet that was used successfully by Israel in the 1956 war. This was followed by the Mystere which was basically a refined and swept wing Ouragan. What was really needed was something a bit more potent and that aircraft was the Super Mystere. This aircraft was the first non-US/Russian production aircraft to attain supersonic speeds in level flight, this happening in 1955. So the French joined the supersonic club. The Super Mystere B.2 was the production aircraft and could perform both interception and ground attack duties with equal skill. It was very much still a day fighter as it wasn't well equipped electronically for all-weather operation.

Of the 180 aircraft produced, 156 went to the French Air Force where they remained in service until the early 1970s. The other 24 went to Israel who used them with great effectiveness in the 1967 war. In French service they were in natural metal and later an aluminum lacquer, finally being painted in a pseudo-SEA scheme at the end of their service lives. The most gaudy aircraft was one painted yellow and black tiger stripes. Sadly that scheme is not given in the kit. A few ex-Israeli planes were sold to Honduras who used them very little.


  This kit is not your typical Czech short run version. Instead, it is your typical French short run kit. All of the proper ingredients are there for a really nice model. In addition to the plastic bits, you have resin parts for the cockpit tub, part of the bang seat, wheels, instrument panel, and the nose gear door. Metal is used for the rest of the bang seat and the landing gear as well as the gear retraction struts. The canopies (of which there are two, thank you!), are vacuformed plastic. Finally there is an etched metal fret that includes lots of instrument panel faces as well as the seat harness and some other bits and pieces, mostly for the cockpit.

All of the rest of the kit is in low pressure injected plastic. Generally, the detailing is some of the best I've seen in this sort of a kit from France. The surface of the parts is still slightly pebbly, but no where even close to what I dealt with on the Hi-Tech Mystere IV that I built.  The engraved detailing is deep enough so it won't disappear during this process. There is flash on nearly all the parts that will have to be cleaned up, but is typical for these kits. Several of the larger parts showed some stress  in the plastic, undoubtedly from being crammed into a box that is just barely large enough for all the parts.

The kit comes with both drop tanks and missile rails for things under wings. You can also pose the kit with the speed brakes open should you desire. I'll have to find some photos for the build review to see if these were normally open on the ground. Some of the smaller bits will have to be manufactured from stretched sprue or plastic card. This includes the canopy actuator mechanism if you wish to pose the canopy open. You'll also have to do a bit of surgery on the jet exhaust section to have it fit properly. All of this is shown in the instructions.

The instructions themselves are not that bad. They give color information and have cut away sections to show the alignment of many of the parts. No mention is given of needing nose weight but I'd add it just to be sure. The metal gear should be able to handle the extra weight with no problems. Overall the instructions are more than adequate to help with construction and a lot better than many in short run kits. There are two decal options, both shown on the box art. The first is from EC 1/12 in overall natural metal with the fin stripes and red fuselage bolt. The instructions show some areas to be pearl grey, but there is no difference in shading between those bits and the natural metal so good luck on that one. The other scheme is an Israeli Super Mystere in the desert colors of blue-grey and earth uppers with a light grey undersides. On both planes the gun port areas and nose anti-glare panels are painted black. The decals themselves are matt and well printed. If they are like the ones in the Mystere IV kit, they will work, but care is needed applying them. The Israeli roundels are a bit off register so you may want to replace them with something else.



If you are as much a fan of 50's French planes as I am, then this is a kit you will have to have in your collection. It won't be a simple build, short run kits rarely are, but the end result will definitely turn a few heads and be quite different from the usual mass of F-somethings that one normally sees.

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