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Heller 1/48 Rafale A demonstrator


Icarus
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Morning.  My first entry for this GB is the somewhat basic, but still beautiful, Heller 1/48 Rafale A demonstrator:

 

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The decals look ok.  The cockpit detail is somewhat basic, so this will have the canopy closed.  I probably would have opted for this anyway to try and preserve the sleek beauty of this aircraft, in its striking scheme, so no issue there.  The ordinance that comes with the kit looks very suspect - will need to find some photo references to see what this carried when on public display.

 

Thanks for looking,

 

Icarus

 

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Nice!

Actually the kit is almost perfect and spot on, including the weapons! If you want to improve on ut, VAM model released dedicated intakes and nozzles for the A model.

If you want to dress up the pit, I am sure you can adapt Eduard PE for the C model and nobody will complain too much.... :D

 

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Thank you exdraken - that's really helpful.  I wanted to do this one out of the box to keep it simple, but I'm tempted to get the seatbelt set from Eduard, as the seat will be so visible and this will disguise the somewhat basic one in the kit.  Will have a think.

 

Icarus

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B

14 hours ago, Icarus said:

seatbelt set from Eduard

Be careful , I think the Rafale A still used the MK.10 ejection seat as in the Mirage 2000. Aires makes beautiful ones with seperate PE  belts, probably Eduard as well!.

 

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Welcome to the GB Icarus, a great choice too!

 

Good luck with it and welcome to the GB.

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  • 1 month later...

Good morning.  With the Draken contribution to the Nordic GB approaching the "final straight", I thought I would make a start on this.  Initial priming and painting shows that the kit supplied ejector seat will be fine with the addition of the PE belts, but the cockpit and instrument detail is pretty laughable (middle bottom on the photo below).  I will need to get some aftermarket reinforcements for this, even if I'm mounting the canopy closed...

 

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So much for this being an out of the box build!

 

Thanks for looking,

 

Icarus

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Regarding the cockpit, There are some hints on how it could have looked like in the PE I this link

 

 

I do not think it had the peculiar R afale BCM cockpit style!

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I have to agree,the cockpit is rather sparse and I haven't yet found a photo.I've not looked for any aftermarket for this kit,tightwad that I am I'm just going to make the best of what's there.I don't know if these piccies will be of any use,I didn't use all of the brassware in my boxful,some of the moulded detail was good enough for my eyesight.

 

Heller-Rafale-A-39.jpg

 

Heller-Rafale-A-56.jpg

 

I haven't finished the panel yet but the side consoles have been painted and the high points rubbed off to reveal the moulded detail,easier than drybrushing and looks a lot finer.

 

I hope you enjoy your crack at this one,it takes a bit of getting round,and if you're having the canopy closed the control sticks are in the way.

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Agreed - no easy solution here, but great work Alex. 

 

So I am going to go for a little bit of artistic license, and follow the (invented) line of thought that the demonstrator might have been used as the basis to test some of the MFDs/instrumentation present in the modern Rafale C cockpit.  Following this (invented) logic, I will see what bits from the Rafale C cockpit PE I can cram into the very interesting interpretation of a cockpit that comes with the Heller kit.

 

Anyway, as I always said to my brother when we were building kits on the very same day that we bought them with our pocket money, "it's my kit, so I can do with it what I want".

 

Just as well he ended up as the engineer!

 

 

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Hi @Icarus,

 

nice start on your Rafale. Having a soft spot for prototypes, I'm eager to see what you will do with the Heller kit.

If you need cockpit photos for the Rafale A, I think this is what you are looking for: https://www.museeairespace.fr/aller-plus-haut/panoramas-360/360-cabines-de-pilotage/panorama-360-rafale-a/

 

Cheers

Markus

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So, early steps.  I have used the kit plastic and then added the Eduard PE seatbelts, plus a bit of weathering.

 

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At least this is accurate.  Unlike the cockpit tub that I will start work on today, which will by necessity will incorporate a fictional upgrade, to accommodate as much of the Eduard Rafale C PE that I can fit in!

 

Thanks for looking,

 

Icarus

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Cockpit coming together, with the PE detail really working for the instruments.

 

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I found some ancient 1990 Reheat 1/48 generic instrument decals, that have enabled me to make a pretty accurate representation of the original Rafale A i/p.  Can't get the photo focus quite correct, but in reality it looks pretty realistic.

 

The flash has accentuated the weathering in the rest of the cockpit, but I do think I may need to tone down the seat cushions a tad.  Of course, when its all in the murk of cockpit tub the contrasts will be useful.

 

Thanks for looking,

 

Icarus

Edited by Icarus
Typos
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So, cockpit now complete (apart from the HUD, which I will add later to try and stop it getting knocked off in the build).  The extra PE and those Reheat decals work well.

 

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A test fit of the canopy looks promising, but also illustrates why I went for somewhat exaggerated weathering - even with the canopy as clear as this, I am likely not to fix the canopy, as it just clicks into place at the moment.  This will also give me the option of mounting the cockpit open later if I wanted.

 

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Will need to touch up the base of the MFD with grey as well.

 

Next steps are building up the main airframe, and then working out how to mask off the upper fuselage for the colour scheme.

 

Thanks for looking,

 

Icarus

 

 

Edited by Icarus
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Very nice seat/cockpit! If you need seamless intakes or detailed exhausts let me know ;)

https://bam-models.com/product/bam48006-1-48-rafale-a-late-exhausts/

https://bam-models.com/product/bam48008-1-48-rafale-a-early-exhausts/

https://bam-models.com/product/bam48009-rafale-a-seamless-intakes/

 

I look forward to seeing the next steps,

 

Arnaud

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Thank you Arnaud - what beautiful potential additions.  However, having spent quite a lot on the PE to try and get the cockpit reasonable, I will try the kit components initially to see how they look.

 

Icarus

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So, major airframe components now on.  There was quite a lot of flex in the plastic, and as can be seen a fair amount of filling and sanding is required, which is still ongoing on the intakes.  

 

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I have elected to add the canards later, as inevitably they would have been knocked off if added at this stage as per the instructions.  Similarly I have cut off the nose probe.

 

Will do some more sanding and filling on those air intake seams today, then aiming to lay down a layer of white primer - to show where I need to rescribe panel lines/detailing.

 

@Shorty84 - good to see you've succumbed to temptation, acquiring a model of one of this beautiful aircraft!

 

Thanks for looking,

 

Icarus

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