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Desert Lion: 1/48th Kinetic F-21A / C1 Kfir

In 2013 Kinetic released their C1 / F-21 Kfir kit. There hadn't been a model released of this type in 1/48th scale since the old ESCI mold from the late 70's, so it was nice to see an updated kit with fine surface detailing. The Kinetic kit looks quite accurate and has some very nice detail.

1/48th Kinetic F-21A / C1 Kfir

Notable Kit Features:

  • Nicely detailed cockpit with raised molded instruments

  • Very good surface detail with finely molded panel lines and inlets / exhaust ports

  • Intakes with trunking and fan face is provided (although not much will be seen)

  • Separate air brakes (both dorsal and ventral)

  • Kfir C1, F-21A (and C2) nose options as well as canard options (Plus lots of C2/C7 spare parts in the box)

  • Positionable elevons and flaps (Note: Should be in the drooped position unless there is hydraulic power supplied)

  • Wheel hubs and tires are molded separately for easier painting

  • Nicely detailed landing gear

  • Well detailed J79 engine exhaust

  • Two-piece positionable canopy (very clear and reasonably thin)

  • MERs, Python AAM, tanks, LGB and ALQ-188 pod included

1/48th Kinetic F-21A / C1 Kfir

Build Inspiration:

I have always liked the Aggressor aircraft due to their varied paint schemes so it seemed a natural to include this French inspired version in my collection as well.

USMC F-21A Kfir

Heads-Up Report:

  • Instrument panel has no decals to lay over the raised features (minor)

  • Ejection seat lacks any harnesses (Home-made or after-market to the rescue)

  • Main wheel wells lack detail (but gear doors are decently detailed)

  • I had a problem with the upper and lower wing fit, which I ended up cutting off the locators, thinning down the mating edge in order to get the parts to align and then proceeded to fill and sand the gaps

  • Wing to fuselage join required a plastic shim in order to properly align

  • Weapons aren't necessarily accurate for type

  • I also seemed to encounter a few issues with the instructions at times

1/48th Kinetic F-21A / C1 Kfir

Kit Additions / Modifications:

  • Added seatbelt harnesses

  • I used Furball decals (which were excellent) for my "Sniper Aggressor" in browns (instead of the kit blues, which was also a nice scheme)

1/48th Kinetic F-21A / C1 Kfir


The paint scheme for this aircraft is different from either the standard Israeli camouflage or other TAC jungle schemes (although it uses similar tones). I chose this scheme just to have something different in The Hangar. The base upper tone is Light Sand (FS33531) with waves of Tan (FS30219) and Medium Green (FS34102) throughout. The underside Medium Gray (FS36231) colour was (unusually) the last camouflage colour to be applied on this build. Each colour spray had some variation of tone applied depending on how much I thought it would be affected by fade. After the paint sufficiently cured, a gloss coat was sprayed on using Klear and left to dry for a day or two. Decals were applied, sealed in with a top coat of Klear and a panel wash added for some additional weathering. A light matt coat of Model Master Flat Clear was sprayed on as the final airbrush coat and the model was ready for unmasking and all the fiddly parts that follow.

1/48th Kinetic F-21A / C1 Kfir

The After-Build Report:

With some minor work this 1/48th Kinetic F-21 / C1 Kfir kit can be built up into an impressive and accurate model of the Lion. Kinetic also released the C2 / C7 version as well as the C10. (The Wingman models are also based on this Kinetic kit.) This series brought the Kfir model to a new level compared to the old ESCI kit (which was reboxed by Italeri as well) and this Kinetic model is clearly the best kit in 1/48th scale for your project, no matter which version you want in your collection.

1/48th Kinetic F-21A / C1 Kfir

Completed build #252 - June 2022 using the 1/48th scale Kinetic #48053 kit.

Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers

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