Hasegawa 1/72 Kfir C-2 – Ecuador
Back when I first got into modeling (mid-80’s), one of the first kits I built was the Testor Kfir as an F-21 Navy aggressor. I’ve always loved the lines of the Mirage family of delta aircraft, especially the modified versions (Kfir, Cheetah). I picked up this old Hasegawa Kfir kit intending to build an Israeli aircraft, but ran across a set of Aztec decals for the Ecuadorian version, and loved the color scheme – so went this route. While I was securing the decals I ran across a metal probe, so snagged that as well.
I made a few minor modifications – added the ejection seat pulls at the top of the seat to add a bit of interest (not sure it’s accurate, but the seat was so plain). Wrapped some wire around a toothpick, superglued it on and painted. I also drilled out the small air scoops on the upper and lower fuselage, and of course added a pilot as always. Also had to cut some additional pieces of plastic card to close up the wheel bays properly, as the gear doors were not designed to be closed at all (often the case with older kits). I also altered the fuel tank so the fins were shaped like those I found images for on Ecuadorian Kfirs vs. Israeli ones. Lastly, I added a couple of triple ejector racks and bombs from the spares box.
The Aztec decals were a bit troublesome. When I used my typical process, they came off the backing with almost no adhesive whatsoever. When I tried to pat then down to remove excess water, I had difficulty keeping them from moving all over the place. I had already ordered some Humbrol DecalFix, so stopped the decal process until that arrived. I followed the YouTube video on using the DecalFix, and for some of the smaller decals it worked fine. However, I didn’t realize that using the DecalFix as intended meant the decals had to be soaked in the solution about twice as long as usual, and I tore a few decals. I went back to soaking in water, and under- and top-coating with the DecalFix. I still ended up with some silvering (and only learned later about needing to soak twice as long from a friend). Oh well – learn as you go!
I custom mixed the top colors to split the difference with various reference photos using Vallejo acrylics. The underside was MM enamel. All brush painted as usual. Weathering and shading with pastel chalks and a little bit of Marc Barris’ water color pencil/mineral spirits technique for some fluid staining. She makes a nice colorful addition to my display cabinet with the unique camo and colorful Ecuadorian markings.
15 additional images. Click to enlarge.