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1/72 Venezuela Mirage 50EV


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High Planes Models #72102 IAI Finger kit was used for this project, and is part of the HPM second generation of 1/72 Mirage kits. The kits use a multi variant approach so each kit has the same plastic parts covering many variations and differ only by the resin parts included in some kits to make that particular variant along with the different decals supplied. It also means you have a lot of leftover parts that can go into the spare parts bin. I was pleasantly surprised at how well everything went together given this multi variant system and needing only a bit of putting here and there. The only areas that I had to really work on were the engine intakes and the vertical stabilizer tab that fit into the fuselage which for some reason needed a lot of trimming.

 

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To turn the Finger into a Mir 50EV I used the HPM conversion #HPA072075 that includes a resin Mir F.1 style nose, refueling probe, and instructions that has a 1/72 side profile, templet for the canards, and a drawing for the refueling probe placement. It also show the other things that will be necessary to add to make a 50EV such as the curved intakes, cable covers on the bottom of the forward fuselage, the two RWR antenna at the top of the tail, and the two intake scoops on the rear near the engine exhaust. All will have to be scratch built except for the curved intakes which are included in the kit and the kit canards that need to be modified using the templet. One other item, not shown on the profile, is the Chaff / Flare dispenser add-on that is located on the left rear of the fuselage just under the trailing edge of the wing. This will have to be scratch built, but the dispenser “grids” can be sourced from Brengun Model Accessories #BRL72079.

 

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I replaced the kit cockpit with one from Pavla, #72091, as it had better detail especially on the glare shield and rear bulkhead and I added some cockpit sidewall detail. Replaced the ejection seat grab handles and add a pilot from a Monogram F-105 after modifying his helmet; also added a new HUD and canopy mirrors.

 

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While the HPM kits do not include any armament they do give you a good selection of pylons and drop tanks but none of these were used on this kit but will help fill the Mirage spare parts box. I wanted to model aircraft #6732 which I saw at a Venezuelan AF open house back in the late 80’s as it was carrying the RPK-10 drop tank / bomb combo that I though was really neat looking. I had scratched built a set of these in the past but luckily HPM now has them in their aftermarket inventory, #HPA072033. You get two resin tanks, individual sway braces, and bomb ejector mechanisms; the bombs are MK 82s and came from the Hasegawa Weapons Set #1

 

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I added a couple of Matra R.550 missiles from HPM, #HPA072031 that are very nice but did need some light sanding to remove the 3D print strata marks and added clear sensor heads. I did have to come up with the angled missile rail modification that seems to be the norm when the RPK-10s are carried and this was done by modifying a couple of French missile rails from the spare parts box that looked like ones in photos and adding an angled adaptor piece. You also have to scratch build the extension to the out board hinge to accept the rail assembly. The Pitot tube was also replaced with one from Master Models #72058 which is a big improvement.

 

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Camo was painted using Gunze Mr Color #311 FS36622 & #303 FS34102, Tamiya #XF-27 Black Green, and Humbrol #250 Desert Sand.

 

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Kit decals were used for some of the “standard” markings and FCM #72-34 Mirage Part 2 covered most of the rest.

 

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All and all this was an enjoyable build even with the scratch building involved to make this a 50EV

 

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Regards

Jim Barr

 

Edited by Jim Barr
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