Jump to content

Recommended Posts

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,

 

RAFALE C 105 7-HE Colmar juin 2006

 

Or the latest EQ of Qatar,

 

2019_10_28_IMG_36761

 

(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.

 

L1200199

 

L1200195

 

 

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.

 

L1200287

 

 

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. 

 

L1200283

 

L1200285

 

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!  

 

L1200236

 

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. 

 

L1200275

 

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.

 

L1200280

 

 

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. 

 

L1200228 copy

 

 

Some more Saw-tooth RAM at the rear and a few other bits, still adding some details on the underside.

 

 

L1200225

 

 

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! 

 

L1200220

 

 

The nose of the Rafale is very sharp so I replicated this with a blended in needle tip,

 

L1200204

 

 

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.

 

L1200277

 

 

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,

 

L1200247

 

 

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. 

 

L1200250

 

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.

Edited by mirageiv
  • Like 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fabulous work on the cockpit and canopy tint - this is going to be a really nice model - I've been toying with the thought of buying the Rafale M kit  for my Aeronavale collection so after looking at your WIP I think I will

CJP

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, CJP said:

Fabulous work on the cockpit and canopy tint - this is going to be a really nice model - I've been toying with the thought of buying the Rafale M kit  for my Aeronavale collection so after looking at your WIP I think I will

CJP

 

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 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, mirageiv said:

 

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 

Thanks for that information on the Revell Rafale!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/14/2020 at 7:14 AM, exdraken said:

Quatar for the camo gets my vote!!

 

Nice start!

 

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.

 

 

L1200297

 

Mk.16F

 

 rafale_c_113-ge_090_of_171.jpg

 

The mirrors were done with Alclad airframe aluminium, the pic isn't great but they have a nice reflection in the flesh.

 

 

L1200329

 

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. 

 

L1200471

 

 

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,

 

L1200335

 

 

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,

 

L1200381

 

L1200387

 

 

It really makes the cockpit pop, love it! 

 

From the other side, not entirely happy with the HUD projector but close enough!

 

L1200391

 

 

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,

 

L1200385

 

 

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. 

 

rafale_c_113-ge_056_of_171.jpg

 

Another kit's upper fuselage for comparison,

 

L1200435

 

I'm hoping it will give a better scale appearance when the paint it on. 

 

L1200437

 

 

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,

 

L1200397

 

The panel lines/details on the canards were filled for a smooth appearance as I didn't see any on the real ones,

 

L1200400

 

 

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,

 

L1200375

 

 

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

 

L1200379

 

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,

 

 

L1200392

 

 

 

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,

 

 

L1200431

 

 

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,

 

L1200324

 

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. 

 

 

L1200406

 

 

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.

 

L1200413

 

 

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.

 

L1200419

 

 

General shot, 

 

L1200441

 

 

Next update it should be in camo!

 

Thanks for looking,

 

David

  • Like 10
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Superb modelling on display- as the late Hans Gruber once said- “That’s beautiful...The exactness, the attention to every conceivable detail. It’s beautiful.” Looking forward to seeing the paint on.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very nice and appropriate start!

I like what you did on the seat!

 

:thumbsup:

 

Not so surr about intake coverd in general... are you going to fit RBF tags as well?

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, exdraken said:

Very nice and appropriate start!

I like what xou did on the seat!

 

:thumbsup:

 

Not so surr about intake coverd in general... are you going to fit RBF tags as well?

 

 

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:  55-1.jpg

 

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

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great work, I love the seat and the attention to detail overall. As I have 3 Rafale kits in the stash I've design and printed full length intakes which plug at the back end of the kit parts, let me know if you'd be interested ;)

 

Arnaud

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/6/2020 at 11:42 AM, arnobiz said:

Great work, I love the seat and the attention to detail overall. As I have 3 Rafale kits in the stash I've design and printed full length intakes which plug at the back end of the kit parts, let me know if you'd be interested ;)

 

Arnaud

 

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 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi David,

 

great work on the Rafale, Quatari colours get my vote too.

Your rework of the surface details makes quite a difference, much more realistic 👍

On 7/5/2020 at 7:23 PM, mirageiv said:

rafale_c_113-ge_056_of_171.jpg

Are these anti-skid surfaces in the middle of the upper fuselage panels? Never seen that replicated on a kit (maybe using slightly darkened camo gray?) and would look quite interesting if done...hint, hint :innocent:

 

Cheers

Markus

Edited by Shorty84
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gorgeous work on the seat. Combined with the fine console and instrument panel detail, you have a world class cockpit built for your Rafale.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/7/2020 at 10:20 PM, Shorty84 said:

Hi David,

 

great work on the Rafale, Quatari colours get my vote too.

Your rework of the surface details makes quite a difference, much more realistic 👍

Are these anti-skid surfaces in the middle of the upper fuselage panels? Never seen that replicated on a kit (maybe using slightly darkened camo gray?) and would look quite interesting if done...hint, hint :innocent:

 

Cheers

Markus

 

Thank you Markus, because I will not weather the jet much at all, maybe the finer surface details will help balance out the realism...IDK, we will see. 

 

Yep anti-skid, the Syhart decals come with some nice masks to replicate these pretty easily fortunately, I wouldn't have looked forward to making those! 

 

I found a Getty image of this exact area of the Qatari Rafale, the actual colours and sheen (matt or satin?) are a little confusing though when comparing the left and right sides, Getty image here

 

I'm not sure if the anti-skid material is actually a clear type paint/varnish they apply that subtly changes the underlying colour, not sure but it seems to change with the differing colours on the Qatari grey scheme opposed to the standard French grey Rafale.

 

On 7/8/2020 at 1:04 AM, SAT69 said:

Gorgeous work on the seat. Combined with the fine console and instrument panel detail, you have a world class cockpit built for your Rafale.

 

Thank you SAT69!

 

Cheers,


David

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi David,

 

from your photo it really looks to be some kind of clear varnish. The change in colour seem to result from the different sheen of this coating. Maybe it could be replicated the same way on the kit (matt base coat and semi-gloss/gloss for the skid areas, maybe with a slight tinting if the contrast is not high enough)? Anyhow, will be an interesting detail when added.

 

Cheers

Markus

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...