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mirageiv last won the day on January 18 2019

mirageiv had the most liked content!

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About mirageiv

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  1. Thanks for the comments guys! Arnaud, thank you and nice work on the intakes, they will be too late for this build but I'd like to do Rafale B in the future, I'll send a PM. David
  2. Fantastic model Alan, one of the best Hornets I've seen! I think replacing all the mesh was worth the hassle and the cockpit is very convincing, love the HUD. What in the end did you use for the cockpit screens? Excellent job again! David
  3. Thanks guys for the kind words! Werner--I think on a QRA fit there should be no intake covers and the canopy should be open ready for the pilot to hop in but I'm going to ignore those two details this time, let's just say 'prepped for QRA' opposed to 'on QRA'. I've not seen any images of operational Qatari Rafales other than ones taken in France and a few general publicity shots over there so I'm not sure what the exact QRA load is, given it is a small place I thought the French load of single tank + 4xMICA looked reasonable. Rafale on QRA here: The intakes are ok from most angles other than looking straight ahead due to the main gear bay holes in the fuselage which allow light into the inside, you just see right in there so I'm making them to hide that. RBF tags, maybe just a few but I really don't see many in photos. Cheers guys, David
  4. Rafale EQ it shall be! Update 2. I couldn't find the Wolfpack MK.16 ejection seat when I started this project a few years back and decided to detail up the kit seat instead so most of that was already done when I picked the project back up, fortunately Revell did a very good job over all so not much extra work was done, mainly adding the seat and belt harnesses. The belts are two pieces of Tamiya tape stuck together which I find gives a nice scale thickness, not quite as malleable as foil however but that wasn't needed here. Mk.16F The mirrors were done with Alclad airframe aluminium, the pic isn't great but they have a nice reflection in the flesh. The lap belts will be glued to the side consoles. The pic below in comparison with the kit seat oob, unfortunately during handling the left shoulder strap came loose so I'll have to fix that. The seat backrest is carbon fibre I think and was masked and painted with metallic greys. I made the main buckles around the headrest as nothing in my Eduard spares matched the unique shapes the seat used, my eyes didn't like that at all! I tried to just keep everything crisp and tidy, this is a brand new airframe after all. The main screen on the centre console was redone with some spare Eduard clear film over sprayed with Tamiya clear blue. The HUD projector was Tamiya clear blue over some holographic film, it's hard to really replicate that part, A while back I purchased from a gift store some hologprahic decorative material and found some use here for the HUD. Hssegawa makes some special self adhesive holographic film but it would have cost more than the whole kit so I decided to give that a miss and use my cheapo stuff instead. The HUD glass was cut from a curved part of a Volvic water bottle which had some nice clear plastic, I wanted more curvature tbh, a greater bowl shape but I couldn't get my holographic film to conform to anything with more curvature neatly. It was glued with microscale foil glue and applied like foil, fortunately this dries completely clear so you can still see through it well. If you catch it at the right angle you get this, It really makes the cockpit pop, love it! From the other side, not entirely happy with the HUD projector but close enough! Whilst at the front end, Revell made the demarcation for the nosecone way too far forward (maybe a cm or so), it should extend back to where you actually glue the cone. Also missing is the prominent oblong panel and rivets forward of the OSF so this was scribed in, Moving to the fuselage, some work I did a few years back but a bit of primer shows it here. The Revell kit was pretty damn good for the time but I think some of the surface details are a little bit heavy now (and not 100% correct), the Rafale seemingly has a smooth composite exterior skin where a lot of the panels are very fine and discrete. I remember spending quite a bit of time filling the main fuselage panels with Zap-a-gap and rescribing them finer, then adding some fine rivets in places. It was a blast. Another kit's upper fuselage for comparison, I'm hoping it will give a better scale appearance when the paint it on. In the same vein of refining parts, all the leading and trailing edges of the control surfaces were thinned, not overly so due to the saw tooth pattern but also they aren't razor sharp in real life either, The panel lines/details on the canards were filled for a smooth appearance as I didn't see any on the real ones, So I decided to build the latest Rafale EQ of Qatar and that requires (what I know of) two little exterior mods on top of what I've already done. The first is the enlarged UHF antenna on the spine, luckily in the Syhart decals there is a nice scale drawing to make the part. The corresponding little base plate was also added on the spine, The second mod is the newer style DDM-NG tail sensor hemispherical ball, for the moment I've just removed the older kit version and scribed the panel to mount it. I'll have to root around the spares to see what can be used for the hemisphere, Pics of it here: http://www.liakis.com/rafalec/rafalectail.php I don't know of any more special EQ mods so if anyone has anything to add I'm all ears Some little details around the exhaust, I'd like to arm the model in a QRA fit with Meteor and MICA missiles, but I can't find any of the former atm so I'll just go in the meantime with 2x MICA EM, 2x MICA IR, cannon and central supersonic tank which is the same fit the French use IIRC. This meant going over work already done by removing the cannon cover and opening the ejector with the little vanes, The tank has some raised weld seams that Revell did very well, the problem being when you sand the tank which wasn't an overly good fit, they all disappear top and bottom. So they were all removed and lines scribed to accept some stretched sprue, Comparison with a kit oob tank. The tank from the box had some panels and strange holes on the surface which were all filled as I couldn't see them on any reference pics. I think I oversanded the raised sprue welds tbh and made them a bit too subtle but I'm not going to redo them now. I've seen two types of intake covers, hard flat face and the bag style which are being made like so with intakes from another kit to get the shape. Maybe the biggest downside of the Revell kit. Besides the decals I haven't purchased any aftermarket for this build which is strange for me, ,so I caved and got some resin wheels from Reskit. I think they are a nice improvement over the kit options which aren't terrible either. General shot, Next update it should be in camo! Thanks for looking, David
  5. Thank you chaps for help, very much appreciated! Hmm the last image shows a MICA EM but a different config of thrust vector vanes, I think it is a live missile (yellow dotted bands) so I guess that is the most correct config of a current live MICA, I'll use this one I think. Cheers again, David
  6. Hi guys, Does anybody have a good image (or link to one) of the exhaust of the MICA EM/IR missile? I"m struggling to find any close ups atm online. Thanks for any help, David
  7. Yep, the texture on the decal was very apparent on a painted aluminium surface, also the very matt clear film, probably the worst decal I have seen to be completely honest for a NMF. I've done a little more digging and I have a recent reprint of the sheet which is important. Earlier print runs look to have much better quality from the images I've seen, probably the reason for the positive replies by other people. I also have an earlier Berna 1/72 Mirage IV sheet which is very nicely done, nothing like the Mirage IIIB sheet I have now. I've seen some other recent reprints of the IIIB sheet after inquiring on ebay and they look exactly like mine with the texture and thickness so I'm personally concluding the most recent print run wasn't the best quality, not that Berna is poor quality in general. edit..If you do end up getting one I'd be keen to know the quality of sheet you have.
  8. This is fantastic detail work, I have one of these and the thread will be most helpful when I get to build it. I look forward to how you tackle the paint job! Cheers, David
  9. I purchased a set of the Berna Mirage IIIB decals recently and tbh they seem awful! Super thick, matt and the carrier film has a strange textured appearance. I don't think they would look good on camo let alone a NMF, really disappointed. Maybe I got a bad print though. Here is a pic to show what I mean of the IIIB sheet, It's a shame because I wanted to do a Mirage IIIB also using the Heller kit (the kit decals in mine are well past their best) and I can't find any other IIIB decals out there. David
  10. That is fantastic work Christer, thank you and a very welcome missing piece in modelling the Tornado! I have one point though. Have you dawn the CAD for an inert, unloaded MW-1? I think if fully loaded the cylindrical munitions within the dispenser tubes would be flush with the outer faces, therefore the round holes would not be 3D sunken but merely a 2D scribed circles representing the outer face of the munition flush with the sides. I'm not sure how one would paint all those little circles correctly so maybe a wash within the indents of the holes like you have designed is actually a better way to go about it. David
  11. Thank you, the Revell Rafale is certainly the best out there, head and shoulders above the Hobbyboss offering! The latest Rafale M boxing with bombs also has very good decals. Thanks guys for the kind words, it may seem a little excessive adding the cockpit detail with a closed canopy but you really do see it all in there so worth the effort imho Cheers David
  12. Hi guys I started this Rafale project about 3 years ago now, seemingly an eternal shelf ornament, hopefully a quick final push WIP thread will get it over the line! Initially the project started as an 'in flight' B but I decided I'd rather do a wheels down C or even EQ with the latest Caracal decals. This was before Revell released the newish C so it is actually a B and M cross. The end goal is this very early C, Or the latest EQ of Qatar, (click linked images to see authors) I'll have to decide soon, call me boring but I'm slightly leaning to the early French jet, I like the crisp grey camo! I removed the cockpits and spine from the original 'Rafale B' project and then added a little detail to the C cockpits. I plan to close the canopy for that distinctive Rafale shape but due to the large canopy much is still readily visible inside so I made a little more effort in the more visible places. As either the C or the EQ will be a brand new jet, I tried to keep everything real neat and tidy without any excessive dry brushing etc..I find it hard to make cockpits 'crisp' so I left it pretty plain. The cockpit is various shades of grey, the MFDs were done with film negative which gives a good 'shut down' glass appearance. The central column has a holographic blue(?) type screen, see this picture (prime portal walk around): http://data4.primeportal.net/hangar/sergey_zhabin/rafale_c_113-ge/images/rafale_c_113-ge_084_of_171.jpg I glued some holographic film over some clear plastic then sprayed Tamiya clear blue over the top, it changes with the angle you look at it, I'm not 100% convinced but should be ok enough under the canopy. My references for the very front of the coaming weren't great but I used an image that showed most of the details of this area. The HUD and projector needs to be added on top of the central column which should hide the little plastic wrinkle there fortunatley, too enthusiastic with glue I think! The hard part will be getting this into an already built up fuselage, if it came out I should be able to get it back in hopefully. Overall it is looking like this atm. I've dropped the flaps and ailerons, spine still to be glued after I get the cockpit in. The Prime Portal walkaround linked above is excellent and really covers nearly every square inch of the jet so I've gone over the model and corrected all sorts of panel lines, deleted some, refined some and added a few very fine rivets in places. I'm not saying its 100% accurate but more so than oob for sure. IIRC the fit wasn't terrible but not great either (tbh I mostly forget now what were the trouble places), most joins needed some Zap a Gap or surfacer attention. I've also done lots of little tweaks to various antennae shapes, wing tip pylons etc...to make them look more correct. probably why I put it down so many times, lots of little things to make a true project rafale as I think this kit is based on a very early Rafale M version. Some things I couldn't change such as the mesh vents as I'd already passed that part of construction but I have some plans for those. Previously I'd removed the SPIRALE chaff and flare dispensers at the very rear so they had to be rebuilt with plasticard, this time I added the locking pins and canted them slightly. The end plate got some attention too. Some more Saw-tooth RAM at the rear and a few other bits, still adding some details on the underside. I plan to have a minimal load of one inert MICA IR and a central tank so the wing tip pylons had a little work, excuse the sanding dust still there! The nose of the Rafale is very sharp so I replicated this with a blended in needle tip, The intakes have been filled as much as possible but they really aren't great, at any front angle you can just see all the internals (which the camera is hiding) and it is too late to really do anything now so I will make covers. The hardest part has been replicating the very deceptive canopy tint. As it has special stealth coatings it changes appearance vastly in differing light conditions and angles, from a clear golden smoke tint to a strong reddish metallic and anything in between, check the difference in the two pics C/EQ linked above. I tried to suggest this tint in 3 stages. 1- A normal interior tint mixture of Tamiya smoke + clear orange + clear yellow, maybe 0.8-0.15-0.05, thinned with MLT to get no orange peel. I then let that dry for a day or so. 2- A 'special' tint mixture of Tamiya clear red + a tiny amount of Aclad copper pigment, heavily thinned with MLT (0.1 paint-0.9 thinner maybe), 1-2 passes max. Leave to dry for several days. 3- A good old heavy dip in Pledge floor care (Klear) to give it an almost constant 'wet' look, a new Rafale canopy seems extremely glossy. Honestly, I attempted steps 1+2 six times before I got a clear canopy due to tiny flecks of dust or whatever finding their way onto the surface during the tinting, easily one of the most frustrating things I've done in the hobby. Eventually I got lucky, thankfully the specs on the front canopy are on the white sponge below. The canopy looks like this most of the time, but when some strong direct light is applied or bright sunlight you get a slight reddish copper appearance. Tbh it looks better in the flesh as the close photo is making it look a little grainy but I'm real happy with it in person, right or wrong it looks cool imho! The real canopy tint seems to be the reverse, more red-copper in overcast grey cloud and more clear in direct sunlight but whatever I'm just going for a general appearance. I have some questions for our French friends or anyone with the knowledge on Rafale. 1- Is the rudder always set at the neutral position when parked/shut down? 2- For the EQ differences, I have the enlarged UHF antenna on the spine and 'glass eye' DDM-NG sensor on the tail. Are there any other external differences? I think that's it for now, any help I'd be very appreciative. Thanks for looking, David.
  13. mirageiv

    Alclad II Issues

    Thanks Marc! I mean unlike straight Alclad that pretty much dries in split seconds before you can pass over again, adding the MLT keeps the paint wet for longer (retarder) so you have to be careful with fingerprints or dust a little more, still it dries very quick. On my recent build I sprayed MLT+Alclad mixes and waited maybe 20mins then began masking them with no problems. As I mentioned, for me it really was a game changer in how you can paint shade all sorts of tones and layers with Alclad. I must stress though this is with the Lacquer ones like normal Aluminium etc...The 'Hi-Shine' paints like chrome or polished aluminium I think are much more delicate and fussy and IIRC alcohol based so I didn't try it with those, but maybe it works I'm not sure! David
  14. I think the kit on the whole is excellent, the details in places rival or better anything I have seen in this scale. Some test fitting and a little filler in places (wings) due to it being a short run kit I guess but nothing outrageous, mostly the fit is good. My only criticism is that the leading edge of the wing root starts a few mm too far back, so the wing sweep is not 100% correct, but the error is very small and mostly unnoticeable. I think the Special Hobby kit however will be a much easier option to build the IIIS specifically, this did require seemingly quite a lot of mod work. I'll sure build the mirage IIIB when it comes out as a Swiss Mirage IIIBS to partner this build. Thanks to all for the kind words, very much appreciated! David
  15. mirageiv

    Alclad II Issues

    I have had bottles turn bad also and become difficult to spray nicely. What helped me recently was mixing Mr.Hobby Levelling Thinner into the the Alclad (non hi-shine Lacquer types) and mixing well, they sprayed smooth again, better than fresh Alclad imho. Since finding this I always add some MLT to any Alclad I spray as I find it just goes on smoother, finer lines through the airbrush and a bit glossier, though it takes a little longer to flash off. You can even thin it down well enough to do fine mottle shading etc...something I've never really been able to do with Alclad straight from the bottle. David
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