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Heller / PWMP 1/48 Mirage 5BA

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Hello all.

This one is pretty much a model of an aircraft that wasn't supposed to be there doing a job it wasn't really designed for.

When Belgium decided to commit assets in 1991 to operation "Ace Guard" it was found that the newly delivered F-16s were not combat ready because they didn't have their ECM kits integrated yet.

Instead they sent the venerable Mirage 5 fitted with Sidewinders to guard the Turkish / Iraqi border during the first Gulf war.

BA54 Belonging to 8 Sqn. and was flown by 1st Lt. Didier Lecqeux who was also responsible for the Diyarbakir Express titles as far as I know.

Any analogy to the film Midnight Express has always been strenuously denied I believe.

The aircraft was retired in 1994 and sold to France in 1999.

Again no WIP, the model was started long before I had joined any forum.

The model is Heller kit no. 80411 and to modify it to a 5BA the PWMP set was used containing a new cockpit, intakes, tail, nose, rear fuselage and exhaust and ventral keel.

A resin forward fuselage is also included in the PWMP set but this is not needed if you use Heller 80411 !

The Heller kit contains two forward fuselage sets, one for the C model and one for the two-seater B.

As it turns out the PWMP cockpit fits the B fuselage perfectly so no need for the resin replacement, the length is also spot on.

Decals are the new DACO set for the Belgian Mirages, the pilot figure is from a Hasegawa kit and the AIM-9P Sidewinders are simply 9J models from Hasegawa weapon set C with their noses shortened.

The pylons are from the Eduard Mirage III kit.

The model was re-scribed and painted with Humbrol paints.

The 1.700L tanks are home made, they were not included in the PWMP set.

I bought some Red Roo tanks but found that, although nicely done, they were solid lumps of resin.

One thing about the Heller kit is that the landing gear is exquisitely done but incredibly puny. I was worried that if I fitted the resin tanks they would not hold the weight so I used them as masters for plastic replacements for which I simply used bits of drop tanks left over from the spares box.

One thing to remember if you want to build this aircraft is to add two little landing lights to the front U/C leg.

This is not mentioned in the PWMP instructions I believe but the Mirage 5 did not have the "swivel down" landing light of the Mirage III as the place was taken up by the Doppler.

Hope you like.







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