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Heller Rafale A in 1/48th Scale.


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G'day again Chums,a bit more to show.

 

Werner,thanks old fruit.The missile bodies do seem to be a good shape,that might have something to do with the access given to Heller being as their office was not far away from that of Matra.

 

The canard foreplanes have endured a severe lack of attention,this time it was their turn in the barrel.I left them off so that they didn't get in the way or broken off.

 

Heller-Rafale-A-88.jpg

 

The holes for mounting them are either side of the fuselage at the aft end of the canopy.


Heller-Rafale-A-89.jpg

 

The canards were separated and a length of plastic tube was cut slightly longer than the fuselage is wide.


Heller-Rafale-A-90.jpg

 

The spigots on the canards weren't quite round so I needed a method of rectifying that.I widened out one of the holes in my trusty SAM saw.


Heller-Rafale-A-91.jpg

 

The spigot was wound through the hole which sorted things out nicely and left me with a circular cross section which will fit firmly into the drilled out tube. 


Heller-Rafale-A-92.jpg

 

The ends of the tube were opened up to match the spigots and then was fed through the opened out holes in the fuselage using a drill bit for maneuvering and steering,leaving a little bit stuck out of each side for fettling.


Heller-Rafale-A-93.jpg

 

There are two noselegs,one plastic one metal.There is not much to choose between them but being as a small amount of noseweight is needed I thought I'd try the metal one.


Heller-Rafale-A-94.jpg

 

The only thing to choose between the two nosewheels is the tread pattern on the metal one.


Heller-Rafale-A-95.jpg

 

There are two rams and the torque link to be attached to the noseleg.I could have used superglue but,with nothing to lose,I thought I'd try soldering instead.I used a scrap length of metal runner to test the melting temparature of the white metal which I found to be about the same as my usual solder.Fortunately I have more than one coil of solder so I dug another one out from the Store of Eternity,it's full of things that might come in useful someday but someday had so far failed to arrive,and found its melting point was sufficiently lower than the white metal to not leave me with a big shiny blob if it all went wrong.While the finished job is not tidy it's near enough for a first try at soldering white metal.


Heller-Rafale-A-96.jpg

 

Thanks all for looking in,more soon.

 

 

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Hello again Chums,a bit more canopy this time.

 

Chris,thanks old fruit.It was easier to do than it looks.

 

Searching for images showing how the canopy is hinged has been surprisingly fruitless but on the way round I've found out who makes them,the set up is different on every other variant,the blue in the decals is probably too dark and the nearest I've found so far that shows me how the canopy should sit is an image large enough to give dial up users a fit of pique so from pure politeness I'll just link to it instead.

 

It should sit about here.I did toy with the idea of having the lid shut but that would mean moving the port side stick which interferes with the fit.

 

Heller-Rafale-A-97.jpg

 

I decided that,in the absence of any solid method provided in the kit,I'd use a piece of the brass fret.I filed out a lump of the canopy edge to the thickness of the brass and offered up to mark out for a slot.


Heller-Rafale-A-98.jpg

 

This was duly cut,a faff on its own 'cos my saws are either too narrow or too wide,and the bit of brass slotted in to test.


Heller-Rafale-A-99.jpg

 

This was then superglued to the canopy


Heller-Rafale-A-100.jpg

 

and it seems to work quite well.


Heller-Rafale-A-101.jpg

 

There is a flat panel that surrounds the cockpit aperture.This also quite nicely covered up my nice shiny new slot so some had to be filed out of the appropriate bit of edge.


Heller-Rafale-A-102.jpg

 

All put together it seems to work quite happily.


Heller-Rafale-A-103.jpg

 

There has been Milliputting of any last gaps,masking of the wing lamps and most of the fettling has been finished.She looks good stood on her legs and i forsee paint in the near future.


Heller-Rafale-A-104.jpg

 

Thanks for looking in Chums,more soon.

 

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That work on the canopy is really inspiring!

:)

interesting by the way that they chose that all over hinged approach and reverted to a more traditional one on the series!

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

 

Werner,thanks old fruit.It probably had a lot to do with the weight of the thing and complexity of mounting it.

 

The fin antennae have been de-part lined and added.

 

Heller-Rafale-A-105.jpg

 

The locating pegs are handed to each side and allow them to be positioned nearly where they should be,the fit is not tight so they can be rotated slightly.


Heller-Rafale-A-106.jpg

 

Anyway there has been a wipe down with white spirit to degrease and the first coat of gloss white has been sprayed on.


Heller-Rafale-A-107.jpg

 

This has all but covered the Milliput and shown up some smoothing off that needs to be attended to.The missile mounting rails are yet to be added to the underside and the wingtip rails will probably benefit from some wire pins but otherwise we're looking somewhere near decent.

 

More soon Chums,thanks for looking in. 

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Hello again Chums,rain stopped play today so I've been able to do a bit.

 

Bertie,thanks old fruit.A sharp drill bit and the touch of a midwife are the order of the day for that job.

 

The missile pylons were fished out of the box. 

 

Heller-Rafale-A-108.jpg

 

Copper wire pins were cut and fitted for mounting the missile bodies.


Heller-Rafale-A-109.jpg

 

These have been glued to the fuselage having scraped paint away first.One thing that was of note the two aft outer pylon part numbers were transposed on the map,part numbers 63 and 64 need to be swapped over. 


Heller-Rafale-A-110.jpg

 

The undercarriage doors have been prepped ready for paint.


Heller-Rafale-A-111.jpg

 

I've work to do tomorrow but if it's raining then it won't happen and I'll be here.More soon Chums,thanks for looking in.

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  • 3 weeks later...

G'day again Chums,work,life and dust in the paint have been in the way.The paint job is now as good as it's going to be and there has been some decalling.

 

I started with the canards.There are some complex shapes on the decal sheet,here are two of them.

 

Heller-Rafale-A-112.jpg

 

The decals were bedded on a drop of Klear and folded round the leading edge.They are a nearly fit and I'm starting to wonder if I should have masked and painted instead.


Heller-Rafale-A-113.jpg

 

The canopy decals were applied and we're now waiting to see if the slight haze underneath disappears with drying.


Heller-Rafale-A-114.jpg

 

The black panel behind the canopy has been masked and painted.


Heller-Rafale-A-115.jpg

 

I don't normally indulge in panel line highlighting but this photo shows them to be very visible.I've used the lightest grey to hand but it looks too prominent to me so the upper sides will be much lighter.


Heller-Rafale-A-116.jpg

 

Thanks all for looking in Chums,more soon.

 

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Hi Alex,

 

great progress on your Rafale.

I usually prefer to mask such stripes instead of using decals. One never knows how good they fit, and it is a chore to find matching paint to touch missed areas up. Furthermore, I despise using large decals as you never know how they settle, which may ruin the whole impression.

 

If you decide on masking the stripes, you can try to seal the edges of the masking tape with a coat of clear first in order to prevent paint bleeding and later touch ups (especially nasty on a predominantly white subject).

 

But I guess I'm trying to teach a granny to suck eggs, so I will just lean back and wait patiently for the next update 😆

 

Cheers

Markus

 

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