||Review / modelling report|
The Kfir (Hebrew: "Lion Cub") was developed as a multitask fighter in Israel as the regular military aircraft supplying country France blocked any sales of Mirages after the 1967 war. Also, engines were not supplied anymore. First, based on the Mirage III / V, the Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) developed a "stop gap" aircraft called the Nesher.
But later on, a more advanced aircraft was developed, called the Kfir ("Lion Cub") using the USA supplied J79 engine as used in the F-4 Phantom. The fuselage was adapted, it got bigger intakes and some large intake scopes fitted. It retained 2 DEFA type 30 mm canons. The Kfir was in fact a new type now and it also had the Martin Baker mk.6 ejection seat.
The Kfir at
first had no canard and first flight was Mid 1973 and it went into Israeli
Air Force (IAF) service in 1975. The C.1 was the first operational one
and had no canard. The C.1 was upgraded to the "C.1 plus" and got a small
canard. Also some earlier aircraft were "retrofitted" with small canards.
versions were at IAI developed: the C.2 Kfir which got a much bigger canards,
a wing with an extended outboard wing chord with a curve and the slot was
not there anymore. The TC.2 is a longer nosed double seater trainer version.
The TC.7 is the two seater C.7 version.
Several Kfirs C.2, often re-furbished ex IAF aircraft, were exported such as to Ecuador, Sri Lanka and Colombia. Also, during their careers, upgrades were often done.
The C.10 had again different systems and upgrades mostly internal. The C.10 CE is for Ecuador with CE radar and the COA for Colombia. The TC.7 is the two seater C.7/COA version for Colombia.
Another variant was used in South Africa with local development at Atlas with "Cheetahs" and others. There are substantial differences between the versions mostly seen in nose lengths.
O.K.... back to the kits in 1/72 scale....
Update March 2018: AMK has released a very good 1/72 kit at a very competitive price; if you can buy that one, that is the way to go!
The Hasegawa kit #JS-149 was the first in 1/72 scale of a Kfir C.2 and the kit is now very old. It appeared in various boxes over the years and also seen in the HALES UK importer box. It is for a C.2 and there are about 55 parts and the kit has raised panellines.
Below parts are seen with some painting already done..
The kit #JS-149 has simple decals for 2 versions:
(1) Paris Le Bourget air show 1977 aircraft "264" of IAI company.
(2) Israeli air force with large black outline yellow recognition triangles;
Typical camouflage colours for the
Israeli Kfir C.2 were: Federal Standard FS33531 sand, FS30219 brown, FS34227
green and lower surfaces FS35622 grey. Often yellow black outlined triangles
for recognition were also applied.
kit no. 608" has not the Le Bourget
scheme but additional decals for a grey camouflaged IAF Kfir C.2 markings
(with Fed.Std FS 36375 overall and FS36320 at darker areas) as well as
the scheme (2) above.
The kit cockpit is very simple but
there is a "tub". But there is a gap in the rear bulkhead that needs closing
up with plastic card.
The kit shape and dimensions looks good. A straight out of the box assembly can be done but some modellers may prefer to inscribe the main panellines which are raised in the kit. I did not bother as the model would get a green-brown camouflage making most of the panellines less obvious.
Some parts were prepainted like the
intake insides white.
There is no detail in the main wheel
bays so you may add some bits and stretched sprue to suggest a busy wheel
This old Hasegawa kit fits surprisingly
well! Only some tiny spots of filler is needed but the fuel tanks needed
more filler. The fuel tanks also need putty besides some areas at the intakes.
At the lower sections, gaps need to be closed as well.
The trailing edge flaps edges, ailerons
edges and rudder were cut in with a razor saw, this looks much better on
The results after filling and sanding,
canards not yet fitted obviously to make airbrushing easier. The
upper spine antenna was cut off to make sanding easier, it will be installed
back when appropriate for the version later made from thin plastic card.
The nose wheel and gear leg are one
part and also bit too crude. The wheel and leg were separated with a razor
saw and a new "fork" made from a piece of etched metal. It improves how
A nice colour scheme was selected
and a few Hasegawa Kfirs were to be made.....
[ 1 ]
The first Hasegawa kit was made as a C.7. The real Kfir C.7 could be fitted with extra pylons and had modern systems in the cockpit (See notes above).
An Israeli Air Force scheme was picked with a camouflage pattern. The ISRA book shows plenty of detail and the rear of the Italeri box as well for the scheme.
Colours used were acrylics that were
airbrushed with the Harder
Steenbeck (starting first the lighter colours):
*NOTE: later on I found out that on the Kfir the Green is not FS34227 as seen of F-4's and F-16's but FS34424 for which RAF colour Sky Type "S" is an approximation.
Other areas were hand painted like
the vertical tail top and some smaller panels and edges black. Masking
was done with low tack Masking film (like from Revell).
After colours were applied, time for the decals. But, use the decalling technique to prevent "silvering". A gloss undercoat is really needed. The decals were a mix of the kit and others like the Italeri kit (also to be built). Look at photos as there are slight variations on the real Kfirs, for eaxmple also in antenna layouts. The walkway and arrow marking decals take some care here.
The vertical tail markings came from a Classic Plane TC.2 conversion kit decal sheet (also to be made).
....and after decalling done the details
like the gears added. Some hydraulics were added made from thin metal wires
fixed with super glue. The barren wheel bays got some extra details from
bits and pieces and were painted "off white" as well as the insides of
gear doors. Below also the smaller air intake end exhaust scoops are seen
added from scrap. The canon ports were painted black.
The model got a semi-gloss coat to get an even sheen and protect the decals with the usual technique... .
The seat from
the kit got some straps and ejection handles painted yellow-black from
thin wire and details. Canopy to be set open was fitted after it got two
tiny mirrors. Various tiny probes and pitots were added on the nose; the
big spine antenna was not needed for this particular aircraft. That completed
this IAF model.
Air Force got many Kfirs for air defense and other missions, hundreds of
aircraft of various versions. They were widely used during various conflicts.
to next [ page 2...]
- Kfir, R. Weiss and Y.Efrati, an
ISRA special of Isradecal publications, 1999
and these oldies.....
(c) Copyright Meindert "designer"/ All rights reserved. Your comments are welcomed by webmaster
Created this page
March 18, 2016