1/48 Italeri Kfir C1/C2

Gallery Article by Burt Gustafson on Apr 25 2014



For your viewing pleasure, here are some photos of my 1/48 scale Italeri Kfir C1/C2. In the late 1960s Israel bought and paid for 50 Mirage 5Js from the French aircraft manufacturer Dassault. But then, in the summer of 1967 the Six Day War changed everything. With the start of the war the French government imposed an arms embargo on Dassault and the aircraft could not be delivered.

The Israeli Military felt the Arab countries could gain the upper hand if something was not done and done quickly. In stepped the Mossasd and launched a covert action and acquired (stole) the blueprints for the Mirage III, all 250,000 pages. It has gone down in history as one of the largest espionage cases ever exposed. The first aircraft built from the plans was called the Nesher (Eagle), and built totally in Israel. After numerous revisions and improvements the Kfir (Lion Cub) finally entered service in 1975.

The Kfir entered service as an air superiority aircraft, but that was short lived. In 1976 Israel started to take delivery of F-15 Eagles from the US. After the purchase of F-15s, the Kfirs were relegated to ground attack missions throughout their service life until 1990 when they were withdrawn from active duty.


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Building this Kfir kit was a big exercise in filling and sanding seams and gaps. To be polite, the parts fit of this kit was less than precise, typical of an Italeri kit. I suspect this was an old kit as the panel lines were all raised, the ones that were on the plastic. Many of the panel lines were missing. Along with missing panel lines, there was a lot of flash and broken parts, the assembly drawings were not so good either. All in all, not a fun build. But, the cockpit went together rather well. The kit provided decals for the instrument panels. I added some PE seatbelts to dress up the ejection seat.

All paints used for this model were Model Master and Floquil enamel paints. The instruction guide provided paint schemes for four different aircraft. I chose to go with the paint scheme for Kfir C2 882, of the Hornet squadron at Hatzor airbase in 1979. The paint scheme calls for Light Ghost Gray with a Dark Ghost Gray camouflage pattern. I substituted the Dark Ghost Gray with Aggressor Gray so you could see the camouflage pattern. The landing gears and wheel wells were painted with Floquil Reefer White.

The decals were the only redeeming quality for this kit, and there a lot of them. The decals are well printed and lay down over detail nicely over detail, what little there is. Note that the decals had a slight tendency for silvering. A touch of Micro Sol on each decal eliminates the silvering—Solvaset is too strong for these decals. Once decaling was complete I hand brushed a light coat of Future over the decals, then finished the model off with an airbrushed coat of Model Masters Semi-Gloss Lacquer Finish.

Evan with all the fit problems this kit has and all the filling and sanding, the finished model came out looking pretty good—frankly it surprised me. I was pleased with the finished model. Just so you know, this was not a shake and bake build. I don't recommend this kit for anyone, unless you need some practice filling and sanding. Remember, pain is purifying.

Burt Gustafson

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Photos and text © by Burt Gustafson