by: Andy Brazier [ ]
Originally published on:
HistoryThe Mirage 2000 was developed by Dassault Breguet for the Armée de l'Air as an alternative to the swing-wing Avion de Combat Futur. After the latter was cancelled in 1975 due to its growing cost and complexity, Dassault offered the Mirage 2000 as an alternative. Development of this aircraft would also give the company a competitor to the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon , which had defeated the Dassault Mirage F1 in a contest for a new fighter for the air forces of Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and Norway .
The prototype made its first flight in March 10,1978 with test pilot Jean Coreau at the controls. The first production example flew on November 20th, 1982 and the aircraft went into operational service with the French Air Force in 1984. The Mirage 2000 has also been selected by Abu Dhabi, Egypt, Greece, India, Peru, Qatar, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.
The Mirage 2000N is the nuclear strike variant which was intended to carry the Aerospatiale Air-Sol Moyenne Portee (ASMP) nuclear stand-off missile. Initial flight tests of two prototypes began on February 3, 1983, and the Mirage 2000N entered operational service in 1988. A total of 75 were built.
The Mirage 2000D is a dedicated conventional attack variant developed from the Mirage 2000N. Initial flight of the Mirage 2000D prototype, a modified Mirage 2000N prototype, was on February 19, 1991. The first flight of a production aircraft occurred March 31, 1993, and service introduction followed in April 1995. A total of 86 were built.
The KitInside the standard lidded box you will find one bag with 94 parts ( 12 parts not used ) on 5 light grey sprues and unfortunately the 1 clear sprue, with 8 parts on it, packaged all together. Upon opening the bag of my review sample, I found a few parts had come away from the sprues including most of the clear parts. Eduard's packaging is normally top notch so hopefully they will remedy this by packaging the clear parts separately.
Also in the box is a nice fret of coloured Photo Etch, 2 resin ejection seats and control sticks, paint masks, a set of decals, the instructions and a coloured paint and decal guide.
The plastic parts have a little flash present, but nothing that a quick sanding won't take care of. Pin marks are kept to a minimum but there are a few shallow marks to be found on the insides of the wheel bay doors and air intakes.
Cockpit detail is exceptionally good with the 2 exccellent resin ejection seats with colour P.E harnesses that fit into the cockpit tub. The instrument panels are a multi-part pre-painted affair which should look very convincing. The side instrument panels are also pre-painted P.E parts with a couple of very small throttle levers to add to it.
The undercarriage also gets the P.E treatment with separate oleo's to go on the undercarriage legs. The wheel bays are rather disappointing with a couple of pipes in the nose bay and nothing in the main bays.
The fuselage has recessed panel lines and fasteners which should look good once a wash goes on them. The wings are made up of a 1 piece underside and 2 upper parts and also have some nice recessed panel lines. All the control surfaces are moulded into place, so major surgery would be required to drop or lower the flaps.
External stores consist of 2 x 2000L fuel tanks and 1 Air-Sol Moyenne Portée (ASMP) air-launched nuclear missile. Now considering the D version can be modelled, which is a conventional attack version, it would have been nice of Eduard to include a few more external stores.
The clear parts look a little on the thick side but don't appear to have any blemishes on them. The canopies have some P.E parts to attach to them but there is no indication in the instructions that they can be displayed in the open position.
InstructionsThe instruction booklet is well printed with line drawings printed mainly in B W. The first 2 pages cover the part numbers on the sprues and the paint guide numbers. The build is broken down into 20 stages over 7 pages. Every step is highlighted in different styles for internal paint numbers, P.E parts to be attached and a bold red lettering for the differences found between the "N" and "D" versions.
The rest of the booklet covers the positioning of the paint masks on the canopies and wheels and the back page covers the stencil decaling of the aircraft.
Painting and DecalsThe paint guide is a A4 size sheet folded in half to give 4 pages. Each marking and painting profile has its own page and consists of top, bottom, port and starboard side paint and decal guide. All paint numbers given are for the Gunze Aqueous and Mr Color paints.
The following units can be depicted in the kit,
Mirage 2000 N 318, EC.02.004 La Fayette, Luxeuil/St. Sauveur AFB, EBFS Florennes 2004, Belguim, which has a olive green/ dark grey uppers and light grey lowers.
Mirage 2000 N 335, EC.02.004 La Fayette, Luxeuil/St. Sauveur AFB, EBFS Florennes 2004, Belguim. Sandy brown/ yellow uppers and light blue lowers.
Mirage 2000 D 612, EC.05.330 Cote d'Argent, Mont-de-Marsan,1994. Olive green/ dark grey wrap around camouflage scheme.
Mirage 2000 D 626, EC.3/3 Ardennes, Nancy Ochey AFB, 2000. Olive green/ dark grey wrap around camouflage scheme.
The decals are nicely printed and in register with only a little carrier film around the edges.
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