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Paul Brown

Revell IAI Kfir C2 1/72 (03890)

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IAI Kfir C.2 (03890)
OK, there are times when a box art sells you the product, right? That was the case with this one, especially as I already knew the plastic in the box was not a new tool, but a re-box of a thirty two year old kit! Why so beguiling? A combination of the multi colour IAF camo with the big splashes of orange in nicely composed setting ticks all the boxes for me.
The Kfir (pronounced Ka-fir, so I'm told by a Hebrew speaking friend) came about as a result of a French embargo of military equipment to Israel. Israel went ahead and built unlicensed versions of the Mirage development aircraft that they had been working on jointly with Dassault. It must have been a pretty good effort, because as well as equipping IAF squadrons, the US government leased several dozen aircraft for use in Dissimilar Air Combat Training. The aircraft has been successfully exported to other nations as well as the US.
On to the kit, as mentioned above this is a re-box of the Italeri tooled kit that was first released in 1987. The parts look surprisingly fresh, so the tooling has held up very well, or maybe has never been manufactured in huge numbers. Detail is commensurate with its age, the cockpit and seat are pretty basic and the engraved panel lines look a little soft, but overall not at all bad. Here's the plastic.
The transparencies are clear and well shaped, but there is a bit of distortion evident. The star of the show has to be the decal sheet, it's beautifully designed and printed with strong and opaque looking colours, plus more stencils than you can shake a stick at. Lovely. Only the one scheme, but I'd regard this as an entry level kit. 
The instructions are not yet up on the Revell pages, I've scanned the header, paint list and paint/decal guide for your information. 
Let's be honest, this is not a kit that's going to set the modelling world alight, but the plastic is still pretty good, if basic and it is a very pretty subject. The decals alone make it a worthwhile purchase - I got this one for under a tenner, posted (shop around for deals). The much more recent AMK kit is without doubt far superior, but it is more expensive and currently seems to have gone AWOL, so you might find it difficult sourcing one. There's quite a bit of aftermarket knocking around if you want a nice ejection seat, dress up the cockpit or add weapons, but it will bump up your costs. Personally I see this as an ideal stress buster, or something to while away a couple of afternoons or evenings. Recommended to anybody who can't resist that gorgeous IAF scheme.
Review sample courtesy of my wallet.

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