SYHART’S ‘ARTOIS’ MIRAGE IIIE MARKINGS
Dassault’s Mirage IIIE wore many commemorative liveries over the years – and these decals now offered by Syhart represent one of the smartest French ‘specials’.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the then Armée de l’Air (French Air Force) applied many adventurous special schemes to its fighters. Nowadays it’s mostly just an aircraft’s tail that receives extra artwork, but back then, there were no qualms about repainting a whole airframe in often complex designs.
One Mirage IIIE that enjoyed a whole upper-side re-paint was airframe No 433/13-QO of Escadron de Chasse (EC) 1/13 ‘Artois’, at Colmar-Meyenheim, in 1987. While retaining its sprayed aluminium undersides, the upper surfaces received a satin French Blue covering, with chord-wise red and yellow trim on the wings, and along the fuselage, from the air intake to almost reaching the exhaust nozzle. Additionally, the legend ‘Artois’ was painted below the windscreen on each side, and each face of the vertical stabiliser was adorned with the red and yellow, regal-looking fleur de lys and castle artwork usually employed on the unit’s badge.
French firm Syhart Decal has reproduced this scheme in 1/48 and 1/72 scales. Printed to the company’s usually fastidious standards, the package offers a main sheet with the red and yellow trim and ‘Artois’ décor, while the other carries two roundels, airbrake markings and other items of stencilling. No donor kit is suggested, but although Kinetic’s 1/48 offering is the obvious choice, you could also apply these to Italeri’s re-boxing of the Esci Mirage IIIE.
The item number for the 1/48 sheet is 48-124, and it costs 10 €, but if you prefer smaller, it’s also available in 1/72 as 72-124 (7 €). In this scale, it can decorate existing kits by High Planes, Modelsvit, PJ Production, RV Aircraft and Heller. It’s also a good bet for Special Hobby’s new-tool IIIE due later this year. Visit www.syhartdecal.fr for more details.