Israel's 64th Independence Day

Gallery Article by Yoav Efrati on Apr 26 2012

  Israel Independence Day 


Above photo is Photo 01


The year of 2011 brought forth a surge of long awaited releases for this 1/72 scale Israeli Air Force enthusiast and modeler. New recessed detailed kits of the Ouragan by Valom and Vautour IIN and IIB by MPM/Azur were on top of my to do list this year, and they did not stay there long. Another long time favorite of mine belonged to the "bad
guys" and it to was built as soon as it sat on my work bench, Eduard's 1/48 scale MiG-21MF. Not only was I given the honor and pleasure of building the kit as soon as it was released, for my help with the box art, I was also sent a kit of the Mirage IIIC.

For this year's Israel's independence day, I photographed these new kit releases I built, alongside other kit's of my collection to help set their place in the history of the IAF.

Photo 00: The first Vautours arrived two years after the 1956 Suez War against Egypt. The Vautours were nicknamed "Jet Mosquitoes" due to their ability to fulfill the same long range attack/recon missions previously carried out by the WWII vintage wooden DeHavilland Mosquitoes.

Photo 01: The two seat radar equipped Vautour IIN was capable of night intercepts developed by the Bat squadron prior to the 1956 war. The IIN served alongside Meteor NF.13 with the Bat squadron till they were replaced by the Mirage IIIC in 1963.

Photo 02-6: Azure's 1/72 Vautour IIN shown in Alclad II multi shade finish.  With the exception of the nose number, all decals came from aftermarket IsraDecal sheet.

Photo 07-8: Super Mysteres of the 105 squadron were the IAF's air superiority fighters until the 101 squadron took delivery of the Mach 2 capable Mirage IIIC interceptor. The red fuselage arrow helped differentiate the Super Mystere from the similarly shaped MiG-19 flown by Egypt.

Photo 09 : Heller's 1/72 Ouragan is photographed alongside Azure's 1/72 Vautour IIN in their pre-1967 War natural metal finish.

Photo 10-11: For most of my 35 years as an Israeli Air Force enthusiast and model builder, I've been waiting for a 1/72 scale model of the Vautour to come out. My $85 Hi-Tech resin Vautour IIB never got built due to the excessive downward curvature of one wing, and the breakage of the other in an attempt to straighten it. Thank you MPM/Azur for making my wish come true.

Photo 12-15: The four color, War of Attrition vintage camouflage on Vautour IIB was made possible due to photos I took of the airplane way back in 1986 and photos which appeared in IPMS/Israel magazine Kne-Mida issue no.28.


Click on images below to see larger images

Photo 02 Photo 00 Photo 03 Photo 04

Photo 16: Fujimi's 1/72 A-4E converted to the A-4H MiG-17 killer no.03 of the Valley squadron, poses alongside Vautour IIB no.33 of the Knights of the North sister squadron. The Vautours of the Knights of the North squadron were replaced by A-4E versions of the Skyhawk in 1972.

Photo 17: 1/72 scale Bat squadron Mirage IIIC no.766, converted from a Heller Mirage IIIE, joins the Vautour and Skyhawk in a War of Attrition vintage lineup.

Photo 18: An aircraft comparison only possible in plastic models. 36 years divide the Knight of the North, 1970 War of Attrition vintage Vautour IIB from the 2006 Second Lebanon War Iranian "Abbabil"  drone killer block 30 F-16C.

Photo 19: Valom's 2011, 1/72 scale Ouragan kit release came to me as a complete surprise. I built a pair of Ouragans using Valom's kit in 1967 and 1972 vintage colors. I hope they will repeat their surprise soon by releasing a 1/72 Mystere IV.

Photo 20-21: Armed with bombs and rockets, Ouragans of the Hornet and Orange Tail squadrons participated in "Operation Moked" which decimated the Egyptian Air Force on the ground on the morning hours of June 5th, 1967. Ouragan no.86 of the Hornet squadron, flown by captain David Yariv, was the first to attack the Egyptian MiG-21 Bir Gafgafa air base in the Sinai.  As he approached his bomb run, a pair of MiG-21s, attempted to take off from the base. Capt. Yariv downed one, while the other escaped the incoming attack. David's victory was short lived, as AAA fired from the outskirts of the base mortally wounded him. To save the rest of his formation, he flew his crippled Ouragan into the AAA emplacement and was killed.

Photo 22: 1967 "Six Day War" brown and blue MiG killer Ouragan 86 is photographed alongside Jordanian Hawker Hunter killer Mystere IV of the flying wing squadron. Note the differing shades of brown which were in use during the Six Day War.

Photo 23: Valom's 1967 vintage Ouragan no.86 is photographed alongside Heller's 1961 vintage Ouragan no.70.

Above photo is Photo 17

Photo 24-26: Ouragan no.70 received a "Mickey Mouse" sitting in an Ouragan cockpit after it restoration from a fire that engulfed it's tail section, while coming in for a landing. This aircraft was the subject of the kit's box art. Unfortunately, the kit's camouflage pattern is not correct, so I have included additional photos of my model in this article.

Photo 27-28: Ouragan no.10 was the last flight worthy Ouragan in IAF service. It continued service till 1972, well after the Hornet squadron received their Nesher (Mirage 5) fighters.

Photo 29: "Shark Attack" - Ouragans that wore the shark mouth introduced after the 1956 Suez War, to help identify the Ouragans from the MiG-15 and MiG-17s flown by Israel's neighbors. The shark mouth was removed from the Ouragans when they were painted in a brown and blue camouflage. Ouragan 70 and Ouragan 10 were the exception in having the shark mouth applied.

Photo 30-32: This amazing pair of 1/48 scale kits form Eduard were built to stand one beside the other, to commemorate the summer of 1970 Israeli/Russian dog fight that brought the end of the 1,000 day War of Attrition.

Yoav Efrati

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Photo 05 Photo 06 Photo 07 Photo 08
Photo 09 Photo 10 Photo 11 Photo 12
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Photo 18 Photo 19 Photo 20 Photo 21
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Photo 26 Photo 27 Photo 28 Photo 29
Photo 30 Photo 31 Photo 32


Photos and text by Yoav Efrati