1⁄32The Most-Lethal Mirage
The Dassault Mirage III C/J (French for Juif or "Jewish") was the Israeli Defense Force's most-lethal air frame, and #159 is the most-lethal Mirage. Flown by several aces, the aircraft racked up 13 confirmed kills. The sleek, maneuverable Mirage III C was the tip of the spear for Israel's air arm, and presumably would have remained the major fighter jet indefinitely. Then in 1967, Arab oil producers pressured France's Charles de Gaulle into suspending the 50 additional Mirages on order.
But in a case of disastrous "unintended consequences," Israel turned to the United States for relief, who immediately began selling them the F-4 Phantom II, the first of a generation of US-made fighters sent to the Middle East, including the F-15 and F-16. The Phantom II proved to be an even more-deadly opponent to Egyptian and Syrian attackers due to its ability to fly at supersonic speeds, dogfight at subsonic speed, and deliver punishing loads of ordnance.
And if "imitation/appropriation is the sincerest form of flattery," then Israel showed immense regard for French aircraft design by copying the Mirage V as the Kfir, bolstering its own aerospace industry.
Mirage IIIs flew both as bare metal and with tricolor camoflage. However, when Libya came to the support of its Arab brethren during the Yom Kippur War, Israel had to differentiate Libyan Mirages from their own.
Previously the Syrians and Egyptians used Soviet-made MIGs).
Their solution was large, colorful air recognition triangles painted in black and yellow on the wings of IDF planes. This build of the Italeri kit in 1/32nd scale attempts to capture that look on #159 at the height of the YKW.
The build was "challenging" with many fit issues, and was enhanced with a resin ejection seat, Master Models pitot tube, Eduard photo etch for the cockpit, Isracast resin exhaust nozzle and Isradecal stencils and national markings.