by: Tim Hatton [ ]
Originally published on:
On August 2, 1951, the Dassault secured a contract for a prototype MD 452 Mystère IV. The Mystère IV was an evolutionary development of the Mystère II aircraft. Although bearing an external resemblance to the earlier aircraft, the Mystère IV was in fact a complete re design with aerodynamic improvements enabling supersonic flight. A new wing was designed with a biconvex profile and a greater sweepback (38° as against 30°) and lower relative thickness ratio (7,5 % as against 9 %). The fuselage was more circular and narrower in section fore and aft. The maiden flight of the Mystère IV 01, piloted by Kostia Rozanoff, took place at Melun-Villaroche, on September 28, 1952. It lasted 25 minutes. Using the same jet engine as the Mystère II, it reached Mach 0.92 (against 0.87) flying horizontally. On its 34th flight, on 17 January, 1953, it broke the sound barrier nose down. The Mystère IV 01 was later equipped with a centrifugal Rolls Royce Tay engine, this being more powerful and more reliable than the axial Atar engine used on the Mystère II. The new engine allowed the Mystère IV to go supersonic in level flight.
Funds were secured from US Department of Defence [United States Offshore Procurement Contract] for the purchase of 225Mystere IV’s. The first 50 Mystere IVA production aircraft were powered by British Rolls-Royce Tay turbojets, while the remainder had the more powerful French-built Hispano-Suiza Verdon 350 version of that engine. The first production-standard Mystère IV A flew at Mérignac, on May 29, 1954, with Paul Boudier at the controls. The first Mystère IV A to be delivered to the Air Force was accepted by the 12th Cambrai Wing on May 25, 1955. It was at the Cambrai base that the first aerobatics team was trained on the new aircraft. On July 14, 1955, twelve of them flew in formation over the Champs Elysées for the Bastille Day parade.
In all, 411 aircraft were manufactured and delivered, whether to the French Air Force or for export, from 1954 to 1958; 114 were equipped with the Rolls-Royce Tay, all the others (particularly the export models) with the Hispano-Suiza Verdon 350. The last French Mystère IV A was delivered to the Air Force on November, 27, 1958. The Mystère IV finished its operational life at the 8th Cazaux Fighter Wing, where it was used for fighter pilot training.
Source Dassault information.
The box opens at each end, not everyone’s favourite design, but the artwork on the box cover is superb. The box illustration for the Armée de l’Air release gives the impression you as a pilot are craning your neck over to the right to see your wingman just off your port stabiliser. On the back of the boxes are illustrations of the marking options. The kit is designed in France by Azur and the tooling and production is by Frrom in the Czech Republic. The two kits are identical for the most part, the only difference is the decals and an extra resin part for the Israeli release.
Inside the box we find:
-2 x plastic sprues.
-1 x clear plastic sprue.
-1 x small photo etched brass fret.
-1 x small printed acetate film.
-number of resin parts, including seat, jet pipe, wheels.
-instruction and painting guide.
-water slide decals.
The cockpit is detailed from parts made up from plastic, resin, printed film and photo etched brass. The film has the instrument dials printed on it and this is sandwiched between the nicely detailed photo etched instrument panel front and the plastic backing part. The cockpit tub is made up from five plastic parts with the side walls, floor and forward and aft bulkheads. There are three PE levers including the throttle. A slither of plastic rod or sprue is added to the throttle lever to create the grip. A nice touch is the inclusion of two PE rudder pedals. The side walls feature side consoles, but there is no detail on them. The fine looking resin Martin Baker YAM-4 ejector seat has some extra resin and photo etched parts. Apparently the word from Azur is that these seats were installed after 1967 and replaced the original SNCASO E95 seats. So if you want accuracy then the seat should only be used with French Mystères 8-NJ and possibly 312-UV. A pity but you have to admire the honesty of Azur and that’s very refreshing to see. The PE seat harnesses are a very welcome inclusion. Unfortunately there is no painting guidance for the interior of the cockpit.
The canopy and windscreen are separate parts. The plastic representing the glass is pretty clear with a little light distortion. The rear part of the canopy is opaque where it is to be painted. The framework is nicely defined.
The fuselage has some very fine recessed detail, the recessed rivets looks just right. The gun troughs are a bit soft in detail and would benefit from some attention and perhaps scratch building some gun nozzles. Dry fitting the fuselage halves reveals a good fit and also how good the overall fuselage shape is. Azur/Frrom has captured the beautiful curves of this fighter very well. There are quite a few components to fit into the fuselage before joining the halves together. The front intake is split into two ducts which are divided by the central splitter plate. Each duct is made up from two parts and each duct fits into their respective half of the nose. The ducts are around 15 mm long which is plenty to give the illusion of depth. The forward cockpit bulkhead blanks of the view into the rear fuselage. To hide the gap between the intake ducts there is an additional plastic part that incorporates the landing light. The lens is a clear plastic part. A couple of the Israeli aircraft have a bullet fairing located on the trailing edge of the tail fin and this is supplied as a resin part.
The resin engine looks excellent and includes the spool inside the jet pipe. There is a casting block attached that needs removing. The jet pipe and block does fit into the rear fuselage but the extra weight aft of the centre line will certainly not help stopping this kit becoming a tail sitter. Talking of tail sitting, there is not a lot of space up front to place ballast, so you’ll need to be creative.
Both the wings and horizontal stabilisers are one piece items which is pretty impressive. The leading edge of the wings is a little rough and will need a little gentle sanding. The undercarriage bay in the wing is pretty shallow, but it’s possible to create a deeper bay with some careful sanding if it bothers you. There are two types of stabiliser: a pair fitted with elevators and another pair for the all flying tail. Although it’s not mentioned in the instructions a note from Azur indicates that the flying tail is to be used on all Armée de l’Air aircraft from block no 146 and they were retrofitted to early block numbers.
The undercarriage legs are a bit simplified although there are photo etched torque links. The resin one piece wheels look excellent. I do like the way the casting block is attached to the sidewall of the tyre. This minimises any damage to the wheel treads when it’s removed, a nice touch. The main undercarriage bay has some good low relief detail, but will not be seen as the gear doors are always closed except when the gear is cycled.
Dry fit of the main components reveals a good fit generally. The only notable joint that needs attention is the fuselage/wing junction underneath. It’s worth noting that as the kit is a limited run the main parts do not have any locating pins and holes. No problem at all, just take a bit more time lining things up.
Dassault Mystère IVA Armée de l’Air [FR020]
There are eight options included with this kit:
[A1] Mystère IVA 8-NJ [no 276] of EC 2/8 Nice, Cazaux, 1972.
[A2] Mystère IVA 8-NJ [no 276] of EC 2/8 Nice, Cazaux, 1976.
[A3] Mystère IVA 8-NJ [no 276] of EC 2/8 Nice, Cazaux, 6th July 1981. Nose art commemorating the departure of the “Escadrille” CO. See illustration on the rear of the box.
[B1] Mystère IVA 2-SF [no 189] of EC 3/2 “Alsace” based at Ramat David, Israel during the Suez Crisis in October 1956.
[B2] Mystère IVA 2-SF [no 189] of EC 3/2 “Alsace”. The aircraft had Israeli markings applied and the Mystère became part of the “fictional” 199 squadron IDF. See illustration on the rear of the box.
[C] Mystère IVA 2-EF [no 205] of EC ½ “Cigognes” based at Ramat David Israel, Oct/Nov 1956. The aircraft had Israeli markings applied and the Mystère became part of the “ficticional” 201 Squadron of the IDF.
[D] Mystère IVA 2-EG [no 206] of EC ½ “Cigognes” based at Ramat David Israel, October 1956. The aircraft had Israeli markings applied.
[E] Mystère IVA 312-UV École de l’Air, Salon de Provence, 1970’s. See illustration on the rear of the box.
All the aircraft are finished in natural metal overall.
Dassault Mystère IVA Israel [FR021]
There are three options included with this kit:
[A] Mystère IVA [no 10], 109th Squadron, 1967. This aircraft claimed two MiG kills during the Six Day War [as illustrated on the box cover]. Upper surfaces have a light brown and dark blue disruptive camouflage and light grey under surfaces.
[A1] Mystère IVA [no 33], 101st Squadron, 1956. Painted with “Operation Kadesh” ID stripes. Its pilot Aharon [Yalo] Shavit downed two Egyptian Vampire jets over the Sinai Peninsula. Natural metal overall.
[A1] Mystère IVA [no 44], 116th Squadron, early 1970’s.Pilot Asaf Ben Nun shot down an Egyptian MiG 17 during Operation Focus. This aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft fire on the 4th June 1970. Upper surfaces have a sand, green and tan disruptive camouflage and light blue under surfaces.
Gunze Sangyo paints are used for paint references. Some RAL and FS references are used.
The decals include the fuselage flashes, Suez Campaign stripes, rudder tricolour flashes, stars to decorate the tai and the impressive nose art of A3 [Armée de l’Air], wing walkways and badges. The decals look thin and the register looks pretty good as does the colour density. Two different styles of ejector seat warning triangles are included.
The instructions provides a numbered parts map, the parts are not numbered on the sprues. The location points of some of the parts are a little vague but the black line drawings are well done. The painting guide for the Israeli release uses grey scale hatching to differentiate the camouflage colours, so it’s a bit difficult to tell which colour is which. The written instructions are in French and English.
Although this is classed as a limited run plastic kit, don’t let this fool you into thinking that the quality is questionable. The recessed detail is very good indeed and the fit is generally good. It’s just the wing fuselage joint that needs attention. The inclusion of the resin and photo etched parts makes this pretty much a complete kit. There are some impressive marking options included as well. These releases promise to be little gems when finished. I can only recommend these kits highly. Nicely done Azur/Frrom.