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“The French Lady”

I would like to present my 1/48 Kinetic Mirage IIIO.
The Mirage was known as the “The French Lady” by RAAF fighter pilots because of her beautiful lines.
I have to say I was very disappointed with this kit, nothing fits properly! But I persisted and after lots of work I was rewarded with a beautiful model of in my opinion one of most beautiful jet aircraft that has ever flown.
The Mirage entered RAAF service to replace the Avon Sabre as Australia’s front line fighter aircraft in 1964 and was retired from service in 1988 to be replaced by the FA-18A Hornet. 50 Mirages was later sold to Pakistan in 1990.
I used High Planes Models decals to build a 3 Squadron jet. As for paints, I used Tamiya XF24 for the Extra Dark Sea Grey, Mr Hobby H330 for the Dark Green, Mr Hobby H325 for the Light Gull Grey.

4 additional images. Click to enlarge.

22 responses to “The French Lady”

  1. A triumph of skill and tenacity over plastic! Looks greast.

  2. Great result. I did one of these from the old ESCI kit which was a fairly easy build but was light on in the detail department requiring some after market bits and the related fit issues. Swings and roundabouts I guess. Also good to see another Aussie post.

  3. Thanks Haslam. I’ve built a few Esci kits a well. Yeah, very basic kit, but it was the only kit available at that time. The Kinetic kit has great detail, cockpit, wheel wells etc. Panel lines are state of the art. But fit and engineering is really terrible. But as I said it is really worth the effort. I have the dual seat Kinetic Mirage IIID. I have heard that the fit is much better. I will see.

  4. Nice work. Good to see a Mirage built.

  5. Nice result! Always like the Mirage III.

    I had a lot of the same problems you encountered with my Kinetic Kfir build (fit of the intakes and nose was horrible.) It was a frustrating experience mostly because I didn’t expect those issues from a 201x era mainstream model kit.

  6. Nicely done, looks great!!

  7. Well done. Even more so for persisting with it despite the faults you mentioned.

  8. Super work Michael!

  9. A great looking Mirage! Love the Dassault delta-wing stable – I’m just starting a project to build the Air Forces of Central and South America, and there are many lovely Mirages to put in that collection!

  10. Michael, I thought I might mention that A3-100 was the CO’s flagship when I took command of No 3 Squadron in 1979. But dear old 100 was a notorious “hangar queen” – one of those birds that inexplicably go unserviceable far more frequently than any other bird in the fleet. So the Senior Engineering Officer persuaded me to transfer my flag to A3-10, an action which I never regretted.

    Yes, the French Lady was a beautiful aeroplane, no doubt about it. As for the kit, well, the bad news is that the 1/32 Italeri kit has quite a few fit and accuracy issues as well. Much patience is required.

    Anyway, you’ve done a great job on the model. My pulse quickened as soon as I clapped eyes on it on this site. Quite a pleasant surprise.

  11. Thank you so much Wing Commander Bricknell. It is indeed a very great honour for me that the Commander of 3 Squadron and pilot of A3-100 likes my model of his personal aircraft.
    I have just read your article about your build of your 1/32nd Mirage. What a fabulous read!

  12. G’day Michael,
    Great job on your Mirage, in spite of the fit difficulties you mentioned.
    I’m currently finishing off on the successor to the Mirage family, the Rafale (Revell 1/48), which continues the family good looks.
    As I’ve told you before, I am also building the Kinetic F/A-18A+ which is a quite well engineered kit. Any fit problems have been my own fault.
    Anyway, I hope that when I get around to build my Mirage it looks as good as yours.
    Liked very much.

  13. G’day Michael,
    Thanks for your kind words about my “French Lady”
    I’m hoping to see your Rafale here soon.
    I’m really interested to see your Kinetic Hornet. I don’t have one yet. If you recon it’s a good kit, I will have to pick one up. I have some really nice 3 Squadron markings for a Hornet. It’s time for me to build another one. I built a Hasegawa kit many years ago in 77 Squadron colours.
    My next model I’m going to post here is an Avon Sabre. A Red Roo 1/48 Conversion of the Academy kit and of course in 3 Squadron colours.

  14. Beautifully done! Congrats!
    Indeed, these Kinetic Mirages/Kfir are some of of the worst fit ever. My Mirage IIIE was also a nightmare to fix.

  15. Thank you so much George for your kind comments about my French Lady.
    The Mirage is such a beautiful aircraft. It really deserves a better kit. The problems I had assembling the Kinetic kit really put me off building more which is a great pity.

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