IAI KFIR C1 #749 - First Fighter Sqn. – 1976 –
The Israel Aircraft Industries Kfir in Hebrew: כְּפִיר, "Lion Cub". Is an Israeli-built all-weather multirole combat aircraft based on the French Dassault Mirage 5, with Israeli avionics and an Israeli-built version of the General Electric J79 turbojet engine. First deliveries of the Kfir in April 1975 went the First fighter Squadron, traditionally always first with new equipement in the IAF, identified by their red/white striped rudders and skull marking on the fin. These were followed by the Hornet Squadron in February of following year with the Valley Squadron boeing similare equipe chat asme year. During the first Three operations,these unit concentrate on exploiting the new aircraft’s potential to its limits. The first true operation with the Kfir was launched on November 9,1977 when four to six aircraft from several squadron attached eight targets in terrorist bases in Lebanon. During Operation Litani in 1978,the Kfirs proved exceptional in their ground support while also Flying independent missions against PLO targets.
2. The Kit
The kit is from Kinetic Model Kits Item No. 48053 - F-21 IAF KFIR C1/ USMC F-21A Lion. It is made up around 200 parts in grey plastic and 13 parts in clear; markings for two aircraft.
The shape of the plane It is done well, the lines of incision of the panels are good, but the alignment of the wings with the fuselage is problematic, same for the front air intakes, it requires a lot of putty and superglue and sanding work. The Radome has an exact shape, but it does not perfectly align with the fuselage. To get a nice, very realistic model, I have used the following accessories:
IAI Kfir C2 cockpit set for Kinetic kit 1/48 scale, SBS-48043, resin and photoetching
AIRES: Kfir C2/C7 wheel bay – KINETIC
Aires: Kfir C2/C7/F-21 exhaust nozzle – KINETIC
Master AM-48-077 IAI Kfir - Pitot Tube & Angle Of Attack probe
Eduard Brassin 1/48 Shafrir 2
Isradecals IAF 52 Israeli Air Force KFIR
The model that I wanted to build belongs to the first series of Kfir, called C1, without the canard wings. This was the first unit to be equipped with the type in April 1975 ( Serial N° 724 ).
3. Wheel Bay .
The wheel bays of the kit are good, but not as detailed as those of the Aires. So I decided to remove them by cutting them away with a cutter heated with fire, this facilitates the operation, the edges are then shaped with a file and sanded. Finally they were glued with supeglue glue and securely fixed with milliput Tamiya. For landing gear I used those of the kit, adding all the wiring with copper wires of adequate thickness, it will be necessary to be provided with good photos that you can find on the internet web..
4.Cockpit and ejection seat. See Pictures .
I wanted to upgrade the cockpit area to include side wall detailing and replace the ejection seats with resin versions. To do this, I have used resin Cockpit and ejection seat of SBS and photoetching instrument panel by Eduard. After gluing the parts with superglue, I painted the entire cockpit in black Vallejo Model Air FS37038, and after with a medium gray. All the buttons are painted in white and some in red. After these operations, we will do the weathering, for the line between the panels I used color OIL - MAIMERI PURO mixing with THINNER 5816604 - Petroleum essence (535 - Ivory Black ). Then I applied the dry brush technique to the Cockpit and ejection seat with metallic colors from Testor colors..
5. Air intakes.
The first step to do is to prepare the air intakes, gluing the various parts and close all the cracks with Mr.Dissolved Putty Mr.Hobby. After you can spray the interior with Tamiya Mini X-2 Gloss White Acrylic. Once this operation is completed, the air intakes are glued to the two semi-fuselages. Unfortunately the alignment is not very precise, so it will be necessary to sand and close the fissures again with Mr.Dissolved Putty Mr.Hobby and superglue. The Exhaust Nozzle they are really horrible, so I wanted to upgrade with resin Aires Kfir C2/C7/F-21 exhaust nozzle.
6. Fuselage and radome.
The fuselage complete with negative panels is dimensionally scaled, but requires some minor adjustments. Before starting any work, it is good to sand the whole model with a sheet of sandpaper No. 500, slightly damp, for two reasons: 1° to eliminate the porous appearance of the surface, 2° to bring the paneling back to a thinner negative. Before closing the fuselage I painted and glued the J79 Aires: Kfir C2/C7/F-21 exhaust nozzle. When the fuselage is closed, the radome cone must be prepared by filling it with small weights of lead, also here it will be necessary to sand to align the radome with the fuselage, and only when the model is painted insert the pitot tube, I used Master AM-48-077 IAI Kfir - Pitot Tube & Angle Of Attack probe.
7. Wings and Fuselage .
IThe Kinetic model don’t fits the wings very well to the fuselage, so also the lower part of the wing. It will be necessary to do many dry tests, and glue piece by piece paying attention to the alignments with the fuselage. Here again you will need milliput Tamiya and superglue..
The canopy is very clear, but requires several grouting steps of Mr.Dissolved Putty Mr.Hobby and superglue, before gluing it will be necessary to paint the interior frames in matt black . Toothpaste was used to polish out all of the sanding scratches after the seam had been removed. And after I used Johnson Wax Wood, Beeswax.
9. Landing Gears.
Landing gear, those from the kit are very good, they have good proportions, it was necessary to add wiring in copper, of various thickness, I also added a hydraulic jack not present in the kit, for this I used photographs taken from the internet, the wheels must be replaced with those of the RES/KIT IAI Kfir wheels set (RS48-0051) which faithfully reproduce those supplied to the Kfir.
10. Camouflage, Markings and Decals.
Marking is taken from an image of the old magazine Scale Aviation Modeller takes a look in Israeli AF service with excellent art work by R. J.Caruana and Isradecals IAF 52 Israeli Air Force KFIR.
Before painting the model with its three-tone IAF camouflage. I gave a hand of gray and sanded and the kit, to see if there were roughness in the surfaces. After as in the reality I gave a base coat with Ammo of Mig: 221 FS33481 Zinc Chromate Yellow. Again with the airbrush the lower part will be painted with Mr. Hobby Color Blue FS 35622, then the upper part with Mr. Hobby Color YELLOW FS 33531 and finally with the scheme in front of the two tones of green FS 34227 and brown FS 30219, I have not used masks, but with the good airbrush Harder & Steenbeck 0.2 needle, followed the contours of the lines marked with a pencil. For the air intake and gear bays well ,with Tamiya Mini X-2 Gloss White Acrylic. Landing gear with Ak duraluminium. For high visibility triangles I used black Vallejo Model Air FS37038 and Mr. Hobby Color YELLOW FS 13538.
11. Weapons .
I opted for a Eduard Brassin 1/48 Shafrir 2 , normally used by the Israeli air force.
12. Weathering and finished model. .
The weathering of the model is very important and this entire task was undertaken carefully. In order to give prominence to the panel lines I added diluted Acrylic. The darker colors were added to the lower areas of the panel lines with the lighter shades along the edges. This latter operation will give a certain depth to the model and will eliminate the flat appearance of a standard paint scheme. For the lines between the panels I used colors I used OIL - MAIMERI PURO mixing with THINNER 5816604 - Petroleum essence (278 - Burnt Sienna - 535 - Ivory Black - 018 - Titanium White ). In conclusion you will paint all the surfaces with a semi-transparent paint (This is my technique (glossy acrylic G.S. COLOR 030 paint diluted with white spirit at 20%).
* Illustrated Guide to the Israeli Air Force [Bill Gunston]
* Isradecals IAF 52 Israeli Air Force KFIR
* Arab – Israeli Air Wars 1947-82 by Shlomo Aloni (Osprey Combat Aircraft – 23 -)
* Magazine Scale Aviation Modeller Oct. 1999 Vol.5 Issue10 The Lion Cub by Richard J. Caruana
* Magazine Scale Arcraft Modelling March 2000 Vol.22 N. 1 , The israeli Air Force Story,Part 3by Ray Ball