What if? What if the Confederate States of America had survived the American Civil War? What if the CSA had survived right up into the present? Well, that's the premise behind this aircraft. I created a scenario in which today's CSA co-exists with the USA here in the 21st Century. For brevity's sake, I won't bore everyone with the whole story, but I envisioned CSAF squadrons that were named for Confederate war heroes. I imagined four Maritime Air Stations; Norfolk, Charleston, Tampa and Biloxi, Miss. These squadrons are named after famous cavalry commanders of the Civil War. This CSAF Mirage F-1 is assigned to the Nathan B. Forrest Squadron based at Biloxi. Their primary mission is anti-ship interdiction. My "what if" Confederacy requires imported aircraft due to an aircraft industry that still hasn't reached maturity, nor any sort of parity with their neighbor, the United States. In these pictures, we see a CSAF Mirage F-1 at a small airfield in the Republic of Texas (yes, there's a "what if" story there too, lol. At some point in the future we may see a Republic of Texas Vampire), making an unscheduled lay-over for some unspecified reason.
I guess I might flesh out my what if scenario a bit. A negotiated cease-fire, and subsequent, somewhat uneasy peace, left the United States and the Confederacy sharing what had been the USA. A continuing reliance on agriculture still retarded economic growth and manufacturing technology in the CSA. Faced with a long coastline to defend, the Confederacy, with its new capital in Atlanta, turned wary eyes seaward and made maritime vigilance both a priority and a tradition.
Texas seceded from the Confederacy in the early 20th century over economic issues and concerns about the intrusive reach of the Confederate government. I'm still working out how this event plays out geographically, with current possibilities including Texas "annexation" of Oklahoma and possibly a Republic of Texas reach for Pacific ports (and all that that might entailWink).
Confederate forces have been involved in several incidences in the recent past. These would include clashes with Venezuela and Cuba in the Gulf and Caribbean as well as joint missions conducted with Republic of Texas forces against insurgents/narco-terrorists in Mexico. The Maritime Air Stations share defense of the coast and other airbases throughout the interior of the South maintain bomber and interceptor squadrons. The choice of the Mirage F-1 for the role shown here was based on economy, simplicity and of course availability. France had been a supporter of the Confederacy from its beginning and provided various models for purchase by the CSA. The United Kingdom is the other major aircraft supplier for Confederate needs, having sold Hawker Hunters to the South as their first high-performance jet fighter.
The kit is the Italeri Mirage F-1 in 1/48 scale. The Exocet she's carrying came from the Monogram Mirage 2000, the rails and Sidewinders from an old Testor's F-18 and the drop tank from something long forgotten, and modified for its role here. I guess I might mention an experiment of sorts. I dipped the canopy in Future colored with MM teal acrylic to get a tinted look. It worked alright here but the first test canopy from the scrap pile actually looked much better. Oh well. I learned a new trick, thanks Swanny! The low-viz markings were created by me and drawn by my son on an Autocad program and I printed them on our home printer. Primary colors are Humbrol enamels, Gull Gray and Lt. Ghost Gray.
It's fun to play these "what if" games with history. I've found that concocting these silly scenarios does really open up the creativity for me. I like to build one of these fictional planes from time to time and I hope these pics, and story might persuade someone else to do one too.
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