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Adrian Starling
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1:24 scratch built South African Air Force Dassault Mirage F1 AZ No 217 – Part 1

February 27, 2021 · in Aviation · · 24 · 3.2K

This build was started 3 years ago as an experiment for me as I had built a number of civil aircraft in 1:24 scale and decided the time had come to stretch my scratch building knowledge by building a military fighter and what a journey it has been!

I chose the magnificent AZ ground attack fighter, number 217 in the final South African Airforce three tone scheme. This aircraft was the second Mirage F1 AZ of 32 ordered to fly in the and was flown by CPT Andre van der Heever in 1976. It's final flight was at the official retirement of the F1 AZ on the 25th November 1997 at AFB Hoedspruit, in the very capable hands of the “Billy Boy” LT COL Jan Minnie (Officer Commanding 1 Squadron). The aircraft was flown in a solo display. Between the two respective dates, this machine was based at AFB Hoedspruit and a respected member of 1 Squadron (Prima) and saw many sorties in theatres north of the South African border.

The build is current but far from being completed so I will retrospectively part post all elements until I complete this challenging beast!

A few dimensions of the model:
Length - 640mm
Wingspan - 350mm
Height - 188mm

Reader reactions:
13  Awesome

19 additional images. Click to enlarge.

24 responses

  1. Don't know what to say, Adrian.
    This is such an impressive building process.
    64cm, that's pretty big.
    A well chosen scheme I would say, those three tones are looking great on the F1.
    Looking forward to the end result.

  2. Many thanks John, a long and challenging way ahead of me! Yes, it is big and a lot of parts to make as in 1/24 many parts are visible! Appreciate your kind comments, thank you.

  3. Adrin,

    hats off to your courage and building skills.

    Pretty impressive combo!

    All the best,


  4. Many thanks Marcus, lots of hours of enjoyment ahead! Thanks for dropping in.

  5. Lost of words, too, Adrian!
    This is a higher level modeling, for sure!
    Many modelers wish for a modern 1/48 F1...
    1/32? Only in their wildest dreams!
    And you are scratch building a superb 1/24!
    Congratulations, my friend!
    We used to fly F1s in Greece, we love this iconic plane a lot!
    Looking forward to it!

  6. Spiros, many thanks and the F1 is very special! Yes, Greece was part of the F1 family and there have been some really great Greek F1 models built over the years and I like the one in your blog - great colour scheme. Did you ever get to fly in the F1 as I with great envy see you have flown the 2000?

  7. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Very interesting project Adrian, good use of skills ... good luck in this endeavor.

  8. Adrian this is a masterclass build! I'll follow this build for sure. The details you have added to the cockpit immediately grabbed my attention. The small attention to detail usually elevate a model to the next level.

  9. Greetings DA4EVER, many thanks for your kind words. The summit is still way in the distance!

  10. Morne, many thanks. I have attached a few images to try and capture the progress!

    10 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  11. Fabulous job Adrian!
    Great to see this post!

  12. Very kind words, much appreciated David!

  13. Wow! That's modeling!

  14. Many thanks Gabor for your kind words, much appreciated!

  15. Quite the project! That is going to be a great build when done (and HUGE in 1/24!).

  16. Thanks Greg, it is a beast! The finish line is way off yet but I am really enjoying the challenge.

  17. Epic build so far Adrian. That is by far my favourite colour scheme on the SAAF F1's. Just a pity Major Rankin wasn't flying one in this scheme when he claimed his MIG kills.

  18. Many thanks Neill, it is a great scheme and a very enjoyable build.

  19. I just saw this incredible article. You sir, are a fantastic model maker! This is scale modeling taken to the highest level and so beautifully accomplished. My hat's off to this inspiring masterpiece in progress! ?

  20. Many thanks Gary and apologies for my late response. There is still lots to do and am working on another project side by side - Aerotek Ace under the work in progress page!

  21. Absolutely incredible, this is really amazing @adrianstarling - wow, so much skill

  22. Many thanks for your kind words Anthony, it is really an enjoyable project. It is very slow unfortunately as I have had eye surgery which has put me out of action for a number of months. I will be back to the bench very soon!

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