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Heller Rafale A in 1/48th Scale.

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G'day Chums,I'd like to join in with this one If I may.




I bought this one at Waddington Airshow many moons ago and have been meaning to have a go at it ever since.The obligatory what's in the box shots.




With it being the Hi Tech boxing there is a suite of white metal and brass etch included.Back in the days when we had a club at this end this was used as a demonstration item one evening hence some of the straps being attached to the seat.



In the spirit of my so far failed attempt to build something in the manufacturer recommended sequence I started with step one.I'm not sure about the metal seat so I fished out the three plastic seat components to see how they look in comparison.



The underwing fairings come in pairs of halves.These were put together in a way that left them attached to the frame because they look the same to me but I'll put money on them being handed to their locations and I don't want to mix them all up.



The speed brake panels were my next victims.



I'm going to have them closed.They didn't seem to sit too well in their wells so as an experiment I poured in the liquid glue and clamped them in place to see if that would make them sit down properly.They should do,my limited experience of Heller stuff is that the fit is generally good.



The missile bodies were de-part lined and are now ready for paint.



This is where we are tonight.More soon Chums,thanks for looking in.

Edited by Alex Gordon
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Wow, the even more sleek Rafale A! :thumbsup:

Are you aware of the dedicated resin intakes and nozzles for it? from BAM models?

Highly recommended!

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My goodness Alex, you never pick an easy one do you?


Good luck with it.

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Hello again Chums,a little progress to show this time.


Dennis,thanks old chum.Good to catch up again.


Exdraken,it would be good to see a full spread of Rafales in this GB,they are such a shapely beastie.Oddly enough I've been contemplating the intakes,I'll tell you about that bit shortly.


Wez,good of you to chip in old fruit.No-one ever said it was going to be easy.In case you are wondering I still haven't finished that Mirage from last time :fraidnot: .


A is usual I've been looking round for images of my chosen subject and I've come up with http://cyberplasticmodeler.blogspot.com/2018/04/experimental-aircraft-walkaround-vol7.html for this one and http://walkarounds.scalemodels.ru/v/walkarounds/avia/after_1950/rafale_c/ which will give a feel for the bits that the first one doesn't show.


I've used the odd bit of etch on my travels but I'm a bit selective as to whether or not it adds anything to a build.I thought I'd have a play with the rear view mirrors. 




These are tiny little half etched flat things and a mirror finish would be difficult to replicate with the paint I have.I put a tiny dab of soldering flux on to the mirror bit and then placed a tiny sliver of solder on it.



Tiddly isn't it.The twist of 0.3mm wire strands was used to place the flux.



These were then heated from the back to spread the solder.



These will have another heat and then a polish and a coat of Klear to slow the tarnishing of oxidation before the paint is slathered on and that'll do.I'm quietly chuffed that this seems to have worked.

The cockpit tub was my next port of call.There is raised detail on the plastic which I feel looks better than the brass offering.



I will use the rudder pedals but the rest doesn't really add anything for me.The levers can be made from copper wire.



The intakes are not a full depth item.I'm aware of aftermarket goodies to spruce them up but I'm just going to put some bungs in.



There are two pairs of components for them.




I taped them together and offered them up.



The fit isn't easy but that would be a tricky mould to make.Anyway I should be able to mark out some plastic card for the bungs while I can still get at the insides of them.



The speed brake panels had set so off came the clamps to reveal a nearly fit.This one was the worse of the two,the other side was nearly spot on only needing a light sanding at the hinge end to level it up.There will be Milliput further down the line after the major construction is finished.  



The missile bodies have been painted.The map recommends Humbrol 82 Orange and 40 Grey but photos look more red to me so I used the same Revell 31 red as I used in my Bearcat build and Humbrol 140 Grey 'cos it was to hand and meant I didn't have to go rooting through the paint store.



Thanks for looking in Chums,more soon.

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nice start!

 I have to admit that I never had such a close look at he A model up until now! Thanks!


A full complement of Rafales you say... I was thinking about the M in Tiger stripes... but we have an M already, thanks @Marlin :thumbsup:

the B is also covered, I did not see a C yet.... hmmm maybe in some special color.

But I am also thinking about a Mirage 2000 prototype with the high/ narrow fin...

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G'day again Chums,a little progress to show.


Werner,thanks old fruit.So many choices,so little time.


I've made the intake blanks from 10 thou card,just the handles to make.




The cockpit tub has been glued into the upper fuselage.It will be easy enough to get into for painting and fitting out.



I had every intention of putting the fuselage halves together.This was going to involve jetpipes,side panels and intakes.



I just happened to look at the underside and thought that all those vents and intakes could do with a little tweak.



So I went piccie hunting and found this




which looks markedly different to the kit offering.Anyway,the net result of that has been some chopping and hacking and opening of holes and slots.



The two through vents have had a centre made from filed down kit runner.



Some 10 thou card has been used to make roofs for all of these and glue is now setting.More soon Chums,thanks for looking in.


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As I’m already watching two other Rafale builds it would be rude not to follow this one also.

When thinning out my stash in preparation for the move to France I sold my Heller ‘A’.  Doh.:rage:



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Hello again Chums,a few more twiddly bits this time.


John,thanks for dropping by.This one is good old fashioned plastic bashing.Shame you moved yours on,you'd probably enjoy rattling this boxful.Did you ever finish your Aussie Spitfire Vc?


The outside of the through vent that I cut off was blocked off with a number tag from the frame.




The inside was gobbed up with Milliput.The circular vents had a length of runner with a blind hole drilled in it glued over them to give a bit of depth and prevent see through.



The instrument panel and coaming were fished out and cleaned up.The brass for the panel is fairly extensive.



The panel itself has some raised detail on it.The gauges on the port side don't line up with the holes in the relevant etch panel so we'll not use that bit of brass.



A start has been made on joining the fuselage halves.The aft end has been aligned and glued,there is a warp in the rest of it so that will have to set before the forward end is wrestled into place.



The fin halves were offered together.The trailing edge will need to be thinned down to something sharper.



I had just embarked on that endeavour when my lamp went out.It's one of those magnifier jobs,the same one I replaced the tube in last year,and the cable seems to have developed a work hardened break at the lower articulation so I will have to stop until the cable is replaced.It's a good job I was going places tomorrow,Mr Goodwins' fine establishment will be getting a visit and some of my hard earned and we should be back operating in the afternoon.


More soon Chums,thanks for looking in.

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Your illuminated magnifier sounds a bit like Trigger’s broom!

Straying on to Spitfires, the Aussi Vc is in the box of ‘ to be completed ‘ Spitfires, but I did finish an Otaki Aussie VIII last year which I started in the UK about 20 years ago. That should give you some idea of my build time.




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G'day again Chums,some more wrestling to show.


John,the lamp has done about seven years solid service so far and I can't really complain about bits wearing out.I can echo the glacial pace of some builds,I've a Dynavector Javelin near the bench which has been on the go since around 1997 and might cross the line sometime this decade.Or maybe the next.


Once the back end had set I wrangled the nose together.I had to spread the centre fuselage to make it line up properly.




Once that had set the centre section could be aligned and glued.While I was at it the upper wing panels were glued at the roots so that the joint was fettle free.There is a good lot of warping on the lower wings so that will have to be a separate setup.



The rudder had a saw cut along the length of the joint to remove a lot of the thickness. 



This left me with two nice thin edges which I tried to take a piccie of but it came out even worse than usual so I haven't used it.The joint was re-glued and the whole lot taped down to a sheet of glass to keep it straight.



The instrument panel has had some paint.The dark grey is part of the attempt to replicate the screens and will be covered by the transparent blue acetate before the etch goes on the top.



We're soon going to need the wheels.There's not much to choose between the plastic and the metal ones,they are the same diameter.I'm going to try the metal ones because there is a decent tread on them but if the texture shows up when painted then the plastic ones it will be.



Thanks for looking in Chums,more soon.

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Hello again Chums,lamp suitably repaired and we can see what we're doing.My photography is still not up to much though.


Werner,thanks for the link old chum it was well worth a look.


The instrument panel has had a bit more attention.The blue could have been a tad thinner but it doesn't look too bad and does the job for me.The brass will need to be filed back to the shape of the panel though,it overhangs most of the way round.




There is some wing warpage to sort out,not a huge snag but there is a washout to take into account and I'll put a pound to a pinch of spider :poop: that I can't find a head on photo that shows it.



There are a couple of cheek plates just aft of the intakes to be fitted.



The shape is complex and it takes a bit of pushing and shoving to get them to sit flush with their surround.It's a nearly fit and I've had to go for a best fit for minimum sanding.Once they have set the wings can be glued.



The tailcone halves that were removed from the fin have been glued in.



The texture on the wheels doesn't seem to be too prominent so I'll give them another slathering of paint and use them.



More soon Chums,thanks for looking in.


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Alex, great work so far on this Rafale-ish kit.  Some proper modelling going on there well done!

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G'day again Chums,a spot of fettling this time.


Wez,thanks old chum.


The intake blanks are going to need something to sit on.I cut some number tabs off the frame,they have a tapered edge that will work with the shape of the outer intake lip.




Some slivers were cut and glued just inside the the lip and then the intake halves were glued together.Once set these were offered up to the fuselage on a spot of blu-tack to see how they were going to sit.



Not good is the answer.




The intake blanks will need some reshaping but nothing too drastic.



I decided to work on the hard to reach joint first.Insulating tape was stuck to the fuselage.



Some Milliput was made up and placed on the intake contact faces.



The intake assemblies were then positioned and squashed down to the point of the outside edges sitting flush with the fuselage.



These will be left to set and then removed for tidying up.The cockpit coaming was gobbed into place with a drop of Maskol.The instrument panel was then offered in to see what needed to be removed from the brassware.Once that had been sorted out the rest of the brass was superglued to the panel and tidied up.



A bit of detail painting and this bit will be finished.More soon Chums,thanks for looking in.


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Oh geez, that's some surgery.  Now I'm a bit concerned what I might be in store for when it comes time for my M2000C to M2000-5 conversion (1/48 Heller).  :blink2:  

Getting there though, little by little.  I personally find this type of work half the fun of modeling.  I'm not sure I've ever had something that just stuck together...and even if I did I'd probably find unneeded ways to complicate things.  :rofl2:

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Hello again Chums,a little more to show.


Chris,thanks old fruit.Every build I start ends up being a festival of unnecessary complications,I seem to have lost the ability to work out of the box and unadulterated but that is the joy of decent reference material and can it be lived with.If I couldn't take a joke I shouldn't have joined :rage:.


The wings have been glued together.




The Milliput job sort of worked.



The snag was that the Milliput didn't stick to the plastic too well so I re-did it but using another of my little ruses this time.Before I put the Milliput on the intakes I ran a bead of superglue on the bits I wanted the Milliput to stick to.This has a limited immediate effect but comes into its own when the Milliput has set and is solid.



With that having worked (I don't know why I didn't do it in the first place) I started prepping for paint.There is no danger of painting behind the splitter plates once they are fitted so they will be painted beforehand.Maskol was run on to the intake contact faces and pushed on to the fuselage.That's that bit of masking done.



The wing leading edges in the kit are rounded.I tried to take piccies but they weren't good enough so you'll have to take my word for it.Photography shows that they shouldn't be so there has been some scraping and file wielding and I'll try to take a decent piccie next time.



More soon Chums,thanks for looking in.


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As someone who will also be building a Rafale, though thankfully not a Heller one, I'm really hoping that mine goes together better than this one, especially as I don't have your skills!

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G'day again Chums,a little more to show.Real life has taken up far more time than I'd have liked but we're here now so here we go.


Chris,thanks old chum.


Jason,thanks old fruit.I hope your build goes easy.Never be afraid of trying something,it's knowing what you want it to look like and how you're gong to go about it.Most of what you've seen here is a series of lucky bodges made to look tidyish.


Some gloss white paint was sprayed on to the inaccessible bits of the intakes.Once dry they were positioned for least amount of fettling and glued.I've seen worse.




The biggest chunk of Milliput I have used in a long time was prepared



and liberally distributed everywhere needed.



Some smoothing off with a  flat edge and water later has left us about there.


Thanks all for looking in,more soon.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello again Chums,real life has been solidly in the way recently so I've only managed to do a little bit.The lights in the wing leading edge need to go in sometime.As issued they are not particularly clear and have fairly convincing sink marks in them.




They have been glued into their relevant recesses,having fettled the recesses to the right size and shape.




This image,from http://avia.lpsphoto.us/en/dassaut-rafale-a-le-bourget tells me that I have some more shaping to do before these are done.




More soon Chums,thanks for looking in.

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  • 2 weeks later...

G'day again Chums,just a little bit to show.


Jason,Werner,thanks chaps.Glad you're enjoying this one.


I'm in mid flurry of finishing my Scots Grey in the LTAT II GB so that's why progress is slow at the moment.The light glassware and surrounding leading edges have been shaped appropriately.




I wasn't happy with the look of them so I've engaged Plan B.Rebates have been scraped out around both lights to take some thin clear sheet,there is going to be some more scratchbuilding in the near future.



Thanks for looking in Chums,more soon.

Edited by Alex Gordon
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello again Chums,lots of piccies for a little progress this time.


A drop of yellow zinc chromate paint in the lamp recess.




The lamps themselves were made from a couple of odd ends of clear runner



cut to length and pushed into a suitable hole drilled into the corner.



Some thin clear sheet was cut to width and cold bent over the adjacent leading edge to make a decent defined bend.



This was then fettled to go into the underside first and fixed with a drop of superglue,making sure it was flush with the surrounding surface.Once set the upper side was fettled and fixed the same way.The finished item looks fogged up here but it is actually crystal clear.This all has been done to both lamps and there will be Milliput to smooth it all off and hide the joints.  



Sooner or later I'm going to have to use the decals,the missile bodies have some to be applied so this seemed like as good a time as any to find out if they were useable.



They soaked off the backing paper fairly rapidly and went on to of a drop of Klear with no real problems.



They are a little on the thick side and the adhesive needs to be cleaned up a bit but they didn't disintegrate so it's looking promising for using them on the main paint job.




The seat has been de-harnessed ready for paint.



There's quite a lot involved in the canopy.



I started with the bigger bits



and offered them together to see what's involved.The inside of the framing needs to be painted before the bits go in.



Before that could be done the mirror frame needed to be put in.



This was taped to the bench to save me spending yet more time merrily crawling round the floor trying to find the thing and roughly bent around the end of a scalpel handle,being as it was the nearest match to the curve of the plastic.



This was offered up.It was a sod to do and there was no way I was going to superglue it in without smearing stuff everywhere.Added to that it was never going to sit down properly and would always be visible from the outside.Time for a different approach.



Some clear runner was stretched and little lengths were superglued to the backs of the mirrors.A pair of handles were bent too.



These were then pushed through some 0.45mm holes drilled through the canopy.



The mirrors were painted before glueing in.The glue was applied from the outside using the long ends to guide it into the holes.Once set the long ends were trimmed off and the inside framing painted.



More soon Chums,thanks for looking in.



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