IAI Nesher No. 14, The First Fighter Squadron,1972
The IAI Nesher (Hebrew: נשר, " Vulture " was the Israeli version of the French Dassault Mirage V ,a multirole fighter.
Israel had to replace more than 60 aircraft lost during the Six Day War and the War of Attrition which followed. Before the war, Israel began co-development with Dassault to build the Mirage 5 and it was eventually built by Israel and named Raam in Hebrew (thunder).
Dassault Aviation had developed the Mirage 5 at the request of the Israelis, who were the main foreign customers of the Mirage III. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) wanted the next version to have less all-weather capability in exchange for improved ordnance carrying capacity and range as the weather in the Middle East is mostly clear.
In January 1969, the French government arms embargo on Israel (in response to the 1968 Israeli raid on Lebanon) prevented the first 30 Mirage 5 aircraft (which were already paid for by Israel) plus optional 20 from being delivered and cut off support for the existing Mirage IIICJ fleet.
This was a setback for the Israeli Air Force, who needed the new Mirage to compensate for the losses of the Six Day War and was still using the Mirage IIIC. Israel then decided to produce the (Raam A and B project) airframes as it had the necessary plans, although Israel did not officially obtain a manufacturing license.
Officially, Israel built the aircraft after obtaining a complete set of drawings.
Production began in 1969 with the first empty airframes with no weapons, electronics, seat, or engine included, delivered directly from Dassault Aviation. The first Raam A was delivered in May, 1971. In November, 1971 the plane was renamed Nesher.
The Neshers' airframe was identical to the Mirage 5, but there was an extensive refitting of Israeli avionics, a Martin-Baker zero-zero ejection seat, and improved provisions for a wider range of AAMs (Air-to-Air Missiles), including the Israeli Shafrir heat-seeking missile. The Nesher had simpler avionics than the Mirage IIIC but was slightly less maneuverable. However, it had longer range and bigger payload. The aircrfat operated during the Yom Kippur war primarly as interceptors but also partecipated in ground attack missions in both the southern and northen fronts. Nesher aircraft shot down some 115 enemy aircraft during the Yom Kippur War,most with Shafrir 2 air-to-air missiles.
2. The Kit
This kit is based on the Mirage V from Kinetic N. K48052 – 1/48.
The box contains six sprues in common with the Mirage IIIE/V kit - essentially all the airframe parts - plus one additional sprue, Sprue G. In total, there are 151 light grey plastic parts and 14 parts in clear. The fuselage is basically two one piece halves to which is added the nose cone, wings and intakes. One important detail that all kits of the Mirage III/V manufacturers miss but Kinetic have included are the rear radio hatch bulges located just below the pitch dampers on the lower rear fuselage, big plus for this. The intakes are very good having full intake ducting back to the engine compressor face, another big plus. This assembly is easy and locating lugs in the top fuselage seam ensure positive location.
The wings are spot on, the anhedral is correct, panel detail is also superb and correct. Most importantly every vent around the gun troughs and gun bay have been moulded, something missed on all Mirage models. The small air scoop on the front of the gun bay is included and this is only fitted to the gun pack and not the gun bay fuel tank so check your references for this and remove it if you are not modelling an aircraft fitted with the gun pack. The main wheel wells have good detail but they are missing all the hydraulic pipework that is very evident in the main wheel well. Separate speed brakes are supplied and is a big plus for any Mirage kit and is greatly applauded as most of the time when a Mirage is on the ground the speed brakes are slightly cracked open. The speed brakes are used by the pilot to bleed the hydraulic pressure after the engine has shutdown, and depending on the skill of the pilot was to how far these were cracked open. The best pilots got them back to streamlined or almost.
The nose wheel well detail is great as are the undercarriage legs and doors. Optional leg doors are supplied for the different versions so check your references prior to installing them. The cockpit has sufficient detail with alternate ejection seats and instrument panels being provided. A Martin Baker Mk4 ejection seat is provided for the early Mirage versions. Some Mirages were also fitted with a Martin Baker Mk6 seat so you will need to source this from the aftermarket world if you need one to build a later model Mirage. Four alternate instrument panels are supplied for the different versions.
Scheme version: IAI Nesher No. 14, The First Fighter Squadron,1972
I have used the following accessories:
SBS Model 1/48 Mirage V Detail set (cockpit)
Master AM-48-030 Mirage III/V - Pitot Tube & Angle Of Attack probe
AIRES: Kfir C2/C7 wheel bay – KINETIC
Eduard Brassin 1/48 Shafrir
AIRES: Martin Baker Mk-4BRM ejection seat
Eduard FE742 Mirage III E interior Kinetic 48050
Wingman Models | N. WMF48033 | 1:48Mirage 5F/Nesher/Dagger Nose
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 from the Mirage IIIC Limited edition 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 EDUARD exhaust nozzle. When the fuselage is closed, I used Wingman Models | N. WMF48033 | 1:48Mirage 5F/Nesher/Dagger Nose, 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-48-030 Mirage III/V - Pitot Tube & Angle Of Attack probe
7. Wings and Fuselage .
The 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 Mirage III ( D/E/R/S) 1/48 wheels set (RS48-0029)
10. Camouflage, Markings and Decals.
Marking is taken from an image of the Israeli Air Force Mini Photo Album IAI Nesher, By Ra’anan Weiss, Isradecals Publications.
Before painting the model with its three-tone IAF camouflage. I gave a hand of gray Mr. Surfacer 1200 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 IWATA NEO, following the contours of the lines marked with a pencil. For the air intake and gear bays well ,with Mr. Hobby N.1 White Acrylic. Landing gear with Ak duraluminium. The Decals, some are part of the Kit, others were a reserve from my warehouse.
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 Final semi-gloss with Johnson's Pledge Revive it - floor glass.
* IsraDecal Publications Israeli Air Force Mini Photo Album N.3: IAI NESHER 1971-1985 - Ra'anan Weiss
* THE ISRAELI AF IN THE YOM KIPPUR WAR Facts and figures – IsraDecal Publications by Ra'anan Weiss
* Verlinden Publications Lock On No.11 Dassault Mirage V Reference Book #601