Grand Models | GM32011: Mirage 2000 EGM-5 Mk2 Cockpit
Reviewed by Kevin Futter
Hellenic firm Grand Models has recently released a pair of cockpit upgrade sets for the Kitty Hawk 1/32 Mirage 2000 kit. Here we take a look at set 32011. This particular set allows you to build the Greek Mirage 2000EGM-5 Mk 2 variant.
The set ships in a small box, with its constituent parts ensconced in resealable plastic bags. There are 15 resin parts in all, distributed across three separate casting blocks, plus a standalone seat that is individually protected by packing foam. Note that there are no photo-etched parts in this set.
Also included is a small bag containing a tiny decal sheet of placards, along with two sets of 3D-printed parts.
One of the few shortcomings with this set is that neither the placards nor the 3D parts are explicitly mentioned in the instructions, so usage and placement will be down to guesswork or further research.
One area where this set excels is in the level and quality of the provided detail. The parts are festooned with crisply-moulded lumps, bumps, wires, and assorted components.
The details are crisp and copious, and the casting itself is cleaner than set 32006 (previously reviewed), lacking the wafers of resin flash around some of the finer parts present in that set. There are also no broken or damaged parts.
The centrepiece of the set is the exquisite seat, which is supplied without the need to remove a casting block. It's also moulded in a different resin than the rest of the set, being a light beige (my photos give it a yellow cast that's not there in person), rather than a mid-grey.
As you can see, detail is excellent, and casting quality is even better than the rest of the set. The seat harness is moulded integrally, and just requires careful painting.
Instructions are provided in the form of a glossy, full-colour A4 sheet, and feature ten assembly diagrams, a photo, and a painting guide of sorts.
While nicely produced, these are in fact a bit of a weak point in the set. The assembly diagrams are not as comprehensive as they could be, leaving you to guess which parts are being described by the drawings, and some steps are not covered at all. Step 8 asks you to trim two shaded areas from a part, but even after repeated examinations, I'm still not sure what that part actually is.
Additionally, as noted previously, no mention is made of the placard decals or where they should go, and the two of the 3D-printed parts are also not shown.
Lastly, the painting guide is simply a list of components alongside designated Mr. Hobby Aqueous colours. A diagram clearly indicating these components would be helpful here; I'm still not sure which part the parachute is!
That said, these are relatively minor niggles that any experienced modeller will be able to get past, and have no impact on the quality of the set itself. There's definitely room for improvement, but it's not a show-stopper.
This is an excellent set with a few minor shortcomings—especially with regard to the instructions. And while these could be improved, what's lacking won't prevent an experienced modeller from making the most of this set. I can heartily recommend this set to all but beginner modellers who want the correct cockpit for their late Hellenic Mirages.
Thanks to Grand Models for the review sample.
© Kevin Futter 2021
This review was published on Tuesday, June 01 2021; Last modified on Tuesday, June 01 2021