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Ecuadorian KFIR C2 FAE 905 Low Visibility

by  Rogelio Benites


Because of  the international embargo, Israel was forced to produce its own weaponry, that is how the Kfir (lion's puppy) was born. Manufactured from the French Mirage V enhanced design  but equiped with the American Phantom's General  Electric J79 motor, with Israeli avionics. The first time it flew was in April 14th 1979. This versatile warrior was the main fight-bomber Israel had  in the '80. It also served for the Colombia and Ecuador armed forces.

Manufacturer: Hasegawa
Scale: 1/72 Price: U$S 9.00
Type: medium gray plastic injection
Parts: 53
Decals: 2 versions IAF
Option decals: Aztec Fuerza Aerea Ecuatoriana



There are two versions to build out of the box, the first one represents the Kfir's debut at the 1977 Paris Air show and the second one is the desert scheme used by the IAF during the eighties.
In order to reproduce the Ecuadorian version you need to purchase Aztec decals where you find full color camouflage schemes including FS colors needed.


The kit
Molded in medium gray injected plastic came with crisp raised panels. Fit is very good and no major issues are to report on the matter.


The cockpit
Mainly basic, comes with front and side instrument panels decals. Also includes the stick and the pilot seat. I replace it with an after market resin Martin Baker MK10 ordered from the squadron catalog. The clear parts are good quality and you may chose from open or close position. In addition to that, a HUD display may be mounted on the cockpit.


Made out of two perpendicular pieces includes the pitot tube, fit is good but the cockpit and burner has to painted and in place before gluing the fuselage. Air intakes are separated parts that you have to attach to the fuselage on a different step.


It came in 3 parts, one lower and two upper wings. Before attaching them to the model I try to see how they fit, realizing that filling and sanding will be necessary. Not good, that may erase the raised detail around the area. To avoid this I glue the upper wings to the fuselage first, using crazy glue, the result was better then expected. Just be careful when aligning the parts. Immediately after that I incorporated the lower part of the wings so adjustments can be made. Other section that needs special attention is the canon alignment area.


Before getting into the painting process made sure that you wash the model thoroughly, dishwashing soaps are the best to remove dirt and oils from the plastic. Using a white primer helps to detect any blemishes that you may want to correct. The upper surfaces are Light ghost gray and light or camouflage gray for the under surfaces. After two thin coats let the paint cure for at least one day. Before thinking in applying decals you should cover the model with a clear gloss finish to avoid decal silvering. Future liquid wax from Johnson & Johnson would do it.
Every panel line has been outline and then, the final flat clear coat.


Decals are thin and semi-gloss finished, registry is superb and they contour to the model surfaces easily in conjunction with decalset or microsol use. The Kfir set have all decals needed for the FAE905, including the victory emblem for shooting down one Peruvian A-37 during the war in February 1995


Landing gear and weaponry
Landing gear is easy to fit and align pretty well. The kit comes with three fuel tanks, one centerline and two to be fitted under the wings. Also includes two Israeli-made AA infrared Shafir missiles and launchers. The FAE's most used configuration at peacetime has been represented on the kit. The LAU was taken from the weapons Hasegawa kit.


Hasegawa did it again, excellent tooling, accurate scale proportions and good fit. Recommended for beginners and up.


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