Italeri 1/32 Mirage IIIC Review

The first major production model of the Mirage III, the Mirage IIIC, first flew in October 1960. The IIIC was largely similar to the IIIA, being less than a half metre longer and having a full operational fit. The IIIC was a single-seat interceptor, with an Atar 09B turbojet engine. The Mirage IIIC was armed with twin 30 mm DEFA cannon fitted in the belly with the gun ports under the air intakes. Early Mirage IIIC production had three stores pylons, one under the fuselage and one under each wing; another outboard pylon was soon added to each wing, for a total of five, excluding a sleek supersonic tank which also had bomb-carrying capacity. The outboard pylon was intended to carry an AIM-9B Sidewinder air-to-air missile, later replaced by the Matra R550 Magic and also was armed with the radar guided Matra R530 Missile on the center line pylon.

A total of 95 Mirage IIICs were obtained by the French Air Force, with initial operational deliveries in July 1961. The Mirage IIIC remained in service with the French Air Force until 1988. The largest export customers for Mirage IIICs built in France were Israel as the Mirage IIICJ and South Africa as the Mirage IIICZ. In 1961, Switzerland bought a single Mirage IIIC from France. This Mirage IIIC was used as development aircraft. The Swiss Mirages were built in Switzerland by F+W Emmen, as the Mirage IIIS. Australia too, bought one French-made aircraft in preparation for licensed production.

The instructions are very nice with lots of space for you to make notes. Paint references are in FS and Italeri only, but it’s easy enough to convert from FS to other brands using paint4models.

Decal Options

  • 10-LC of 3/10 ‘Vexin’ Escadron de Chasse. Armée de l’Air, Dijbouti, 1980
  • 10-SD of 10/1 ‘Valois’ Escadron de Chasse, Armée de l’Air, Creil-Senil, France, 1978
  • 5-OE, 2/5 ‘Ile de France’ Escadron de Chasse, Armée de l’Air, Orange Caritat, France, 1967
  • ‘Black 805’ of No.2 Sqn ‘Flying Cheetahs’. South African AF, Waterkloof AB, Pretoria, 1982
  • J-2201, Swiss Air Force, 1962
  • ‘Black 259’, No.101 Sqn, Israeli Air Force, Hatzor AB, Six Day War, June 1967

You should be able to pick this kit up for around $100 USD, depending where you live.

Overall a very nice kit. It looks like it should be a pretty straightforward build for the most part. My only dilemma was whether to fit the engine or not, although that’s probably just me. I also think that a 1/32 kit will need a nice instrument panel and cockpit, but your only option out the box is to paint it yourself. The backing film on some of the decals is a little large, but it will simplify things though. Italeri have made this a nice simple Mirage IIIC build, suitable for anyone.

Many thanks to Italeri for the review sample.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International


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