Pavla Models
1/72 CT52 Recon Pod for Mirage IV
For the Heller kit
Stock Number: 72-85
Reviewed By  Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209

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MSRP: $10.95
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I recently did a review of PJ Productions’ 1/72 French High Altitude Pilots. I put them in a Heller Mirage IV cockpit, as they wouldn’t fit in any of the Mirage IIIs I had. OK, the kit is started, I need to finish it. But I didn’t want to do just ANY Mirage IV, I wanted to do a Mirage IVP, the photo recon version, which was the last of the Mirage IVs before they flew off to the "yard d’os" (bone yard). Additionally, I worked with the photo products from Mirage IVs, as when the USAF went into Bosnia they discovered that they had retired all the RF-4s, the pods weren’t ready for the F-16s, and the satellites had problems with all those clouds over the Former Yugoslavia, which hung around all winter.

I bought the Pavla recon pod from Great Models web store. They got it to me fairly quickly, and I was ready to start. Another note… The Heller Mirage IV is an old kit, and it retails for about $15. So you’re almost doubling the price of the project by adding this pod. And even more if you count the cost of adding pilots.

The "Build"

[review image] The pod is one piece of resin, the cameras are separate parts. The sprue which attaches the pod to the pour block is fairly fine, and someone was thinking, because when the pod is mounted to the Mirage, the whole pour connection is hidden. So there is NO cleanup required to the pod. Same for the cameras. They attach at the back, which is down inside the pod. All you need to do is clean them up so they sit square in the niche. I painted the pod silver, as well as the cameras. A spot of dark blue at the end of each lens simulated the inside of the camera. I put a spot of Future on the end of each camera to simulate the lens.

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So far this has been a walk in the park. Then I ran into a problem. In the instructions it shows using a thin sheet of clear plastic to make the camera windows. This was missing from my set. Not a show stopper, though, I just covered each window with Micro Krystal Kleer®, and it looked pretty good. Also, cutting those round windows to the correct size would have been a long, tough, tedious project.


The pod fit into the recess in the bottom of the Heller kit perfectly. I used Gator Glue® to attach the resin to the plastic.


This was a nice addition to the Heller kit. I had some problems with this project, but they were all with the aircraft, not the recon pod.

So if you want to do a model of a Mirage IV which actually performed missions, this could be what you’re looking for

Highly Recommended.

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