BUSH WAR DASSAULT
Special Hobby hit on a winner with its 1/72 Mirage F1 tooling, which has been released in various versions – but is now available as a South African Air Force AZ/CZ airframe
There are few aircraft types prettier than the Mirage F1, but we modellers lacked a modern tooling in 1/72 scale, until 2016. It was then that Special Hobby delighted many French Airforce/Cold War jet fans with its debut of the type (see Airfix Model World August 2016). Different boxings thus far have allowed the depiction of aircraft operated by France, Spain, Morocco, Greece, Libya and Iraq, among others.
Above: The resin parts in Special Hobby's new South African Mirage F1AZ/CZ boxing.
This new item (kit SH 72435) provides the requisite parts and decals to portray South African Air Force machines, in AZ (Attaque Zuid afrika) and CZ (Chasse Zuid afrika) formats. A common trait of all these kits is that of the generic runners, which are a boon for spare weapons and other components, such as ejection seats (Martin-Baker Mk.4 and Mk.10 are supplied).
The standout parts in this release, ensuring South African nuances, come via a mix of styrene and resin. The former medium is used to mould the optional noses, one being equipped with the trademark Thomson CSF laser rangefinder and under-the-radome pitot tube, while the resin selection comprises different antennas, air intake shock-cones, ‘Cat’s Ball’ ECM sensors, and alternative ventral strakes.
Above: The new nose is moulded in styrene, but it also benefits from resin additions.
In tune with the optional versions, the colour schemes involve the sand/green over grey or light blue camouflage worn by the ground-attack AZ, and the very smart three-colour low-vis grey of the fighter; the CZ airframes are Angolan MiG-killers. The liveries are:
• F1AZ, 229, 1 Squadron, Hoedspruit, 1976-97
• F1AZ, 226, 1 Squadron, Hoedspruit, 1990s
• F1CZ, 213, Maj Johan Rankin, 3 Squadron, Ondangwa, November 1981
• F1CZ, 203, Maj Johan Rankin, 3 Squadron, Ondangwa, October 1982
There’s still plenty of life in this tooling it seems, especially when there are other sub-types and colour schemes yet to be explored… and it’s simply a great kit so thumbs-up to Special Hobby for the continuation of the F1 family. For further details visit: www.specialhobby.eu
Please see below for the colour scheme drawings…