Building and painting the Mirage 2000 D “Tiger Meet 2016 Zaragoza” using the Kinetic kit 1/48 scale

by Jose A. García Martin © Modeler Site

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In the air base of Zargoza located 270 km west of Barcelona and 262 km northeast of Madrid, took place the Tiger Meet 2016 which congregated many airplanes from different air forces that have some squadron of this kind. As it’s traditional for this meeting, the planes use to have special decorations that are always in reference to the “Tiger” . In this case, one of the most spectacular and attractive was the Mirage 2000 D belonging to the French L’Armee de l’Air, showing a beautiful tiger decoration in the fuselage and Spanish flags painted in the tail and wings.


Just by looking at the pictures, I told myself “I have to do it one way or another”. That was a great challenge since this was an airplane that had been painted several days before what didn’t allow me to have a decal sheet for this model, so I had to think about having to paint the entire livery what seemed very complicated for me. But the wish to build this model exceeded the difficulties, so I put hands to work on this.

The kit

Searching around the market to find which would be the best option, I decided to purchase the Mirage 2000 D/N from Kinetic in 1/48 scale and Eduard pre painted etched detail set. I didn’t want many complications with the interiors. When I unpacked the kit, it seemed to be correct, but actually, when I started its assembly didn’t satisfy me, but that’s another story…

The panels have rivets very well represented and the plastic is different to what I knew, but if you want to build this aircraft and with a good quality, I don’t know any other better option.



The cockpit is quite basic, with a very simple detailing, though actually the planes with LCD screens for all the instruments are themselves quite spartan. Thus and in spite that I didn’t want to make a very detailed work on it, I bought a detail set that comes already pre painted supplying the Eduard adhesives.

I started removing the parts from sprues with a X- acto knife and cutting pliers cleaning them using sandpapers of different grids; be careful when using the glue, the 99% of the assembly is based on how you use it. Lately, I’ve been choosing to try gluing the parts from the interior or any part that is not visible to avoid ruining the rest of the assembly due to the rests of glue. For cockpits, I use two kind of glues, for plastic (in my case from Revell) and the cyanoacrilate (CA).

It was the first time I represented a French plane so that in first place I based on the colors proposed in the kit instructions. I usually paint with these two brands Tamiya and Hobby Color. For the Tamiya paint I use the yellow cap thinner, this is not really for acrylic paints, but I reached to the conclusion that the paint is better diluted and flows better when airbrushed and with the advantage that in summer it doesn’t dry so fast what allows us to paint more comfortably.

For the Hobby Color paints I use thinner from the same brand. In both cases for the base coat, I use a dilution of 50% and for the final or thinnest coats, a dilution of 70%. I always start with a base coat of the cockpit color applied at 50% and acts as priming besides of letting me see some kind of fault on the surface, in this kit I used Tamiya XF-66.


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