Scale : 1/48
The Mirage IIIS was a French Mirage IIIC built to Swiss specifications and built in Switzerland. While the aircraft was nearly identical externally to its French cousin, the Mirage IIIS was built with a stronger airframe and landing gear to withstand movement by crane inside the Swiss caverns that serve as protective airbases. The Mirage IIIS also replaced the French Cyrano radar with a Hughes made system. The aircraft entered service in 1967 and received a major airframe refresh/upgrade in the 1990s where it received canards like the Mirage 50. The Mirage IIIRS replaced the radar nose with a reconnaissance nose and the ability to carry additional reconnaissance sensors in a centerline pod.
Kinetic continues to produce distinctive members of the Mirage III/V family and this kit offers some very nice airframe examples with its nice decal sheet. Among the features of the kit:
- Nicely detailed cockpit
- Choice of figher or recce instrument panel
- Nice ejection seat that will need aftermarket pilot restraints
- Positionable canopy
- Choice of radar or recce nose
- Positionable landing gear
- Positionable elevons
- Nicely engineered intake ducts that end at the engine compressor face
Among the external stores in this release:
- 2 x RP19R external fuel tanks
The instructions do not mention weapons for the Mirage IIIS, but as you can see on the sprue trees, the kit does include 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinders, two Matra missiles, and a few other options though you'll have to check your references to see what the Mirage IIIS was originally armed with and what additional capabilities were added with the upgrades that included the canards.
This release has four colorful marking options:
- Mirage IIIRS, R-2110, Staffel 10, Buochs AB, 2003, Mirage Swiss Farewell scheme
- Mirage IIIRS, R-2116, Staffel 10, Buochs AB, 2003, Mirage Swiss Farewell scheme
- Mirage IIIRS, R-2111, Staffel 10, Buochs AB, 2002
- Mirage IIIS, J-2327, Staffel 16, Sion AB, 1998
These decals are nicely done and include a nice suite of airframe stenciling. Painting instructions are provided using Vallejo, Humbrol, Ammo/MIG, Mr. Color, and Tamiya equivalents. If you only look at the profiles, only the Humbrol colors are listed, but the table on page two will convert those to other manufacturers' paints.