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Brian Kirwan
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ESCI Mirage F1AZ 1:48

April 14, 2021 · in Aviation · · 16 · 2.7K

This is my second contribution, and it ties in with my first ; it's the AZ in 1:48 of the South Africa Air Force () during the early eighties. This a/c was crucial in lending tactical air-ground support to the various SADF expeditions into Angola.
I finished this last year and I used the ESCI kit in conjunction with the SA Scale Worx conversion. I have included photos of some of the conversion work. All in all, a nice project with an uncomplicated but comparatively nice donor kit and a well-researched conversion kit of SA origin. I had to scratch build the centre bomb rack and it's an approximate

The SAAF participation in the various Border War has become something of a pet interest of mine the last five years. There are quite a few English language titles knocking about. Also, the titles being published by Helion under the Africa at War series are great at filling in the blanks. In the last two on Angola we are starting to see the Cuban contribution as well which makes for interesting reading.
I hope you like

Reader reactions:
7  Awesome

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

16 responses

  1. Nice work, Brian. Is the front fuselage replacement something inherent about SAAF F.1s or is it a general correction to the Esci kit?

    • Hi John
      The SAAF used two types of F1: a fighter and the ground attack version.
      The AZ is the ground attack version, so the conversion is from the C ( fighter Esci kit) to the A. Now the designations for Mirages are notoriously pliable so when I say C= fighter don’t take that as 100% gospel. The F1 was a big seller and was used for a variety of roles in various combinations.

      I think only Libya and Gabon have used this particular AZ sub variant as well. The Gabonese use the ex-SAAF machines if memory serves me correctly.

      I have a C on my wish list as the SAAF drew blood shooting down a few Angolan Migs, so I am not done with the SAAF yet.

  2. This is a wonderful conversion, my friend @info4!
    You did an excellent job on the old, classic Esci kit!
    The Eduard parts look very nice! Loved the exhaust nozzle, as well!
    SAAF planes, both current and, especially, historical, are so cool! Many absolutely cool schemes could be observed, of which yours is definitely one!

  3. Very nice! Well done.

  4. Nice work on the seamless surgery Brian.
    Great looking F1

  5. You did some great modifications, Brian
    This SAAF scheme is really beautiful.
    Well done.

  6. Brian you nailed this one! As a South African it is great to see SAAF models posted on iModeler. In SAAF service the Mirages achieved air supremacy over Angola but towards the late 1980's the deployment of Mig 23's posed a serious threat which saw Atlas Aviation upgrading Mirage III's to Kifr standard, with IAI aid, resulting in the superb Cheetah C fighter. The F1AZ and F1CZ are my all time favourite Dassault aircraft in SAAF service. You did an amazing job on this kit. Well done!

  7. Hi Morne
    Many thanks I am glad you like it. I have a F1 CZ and the Cheetah C conversion from Scaleworx on my wish list just need to build a few more kits before any new ones come into the house.
    Dankje wel

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