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swbailey

Hobby Boss 1/72 Rafale B

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Hello! Joining the GB a little late, as I have not had much time to work on models lately. Hopefully that's changing! I've always loved the Tiger Meet schemes and its a real difficult decision on which one I wanted to do for this. Since I have not built a Hobby Boss kit before (I know, what rock have I been hiding under?) I decided to do the Rafale B from the 2008 Ocean Tiger Meet.

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Looks like a nice kit and so far, things are going together well. I started with the cockpit as per usual, and used the decals for the main instrument panels, but used paint and prismacolor silver pencil on the side consoles for highlighting.

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I used some medical tape given to me by a friend who works in an ER for the belts, but since my plan was to build this pretty much OOTB, I didn't do anything extra to the seats or cockpit. After a weekend's worth of work, I have the cockpit in place, and the tail on the upper half of the fuselage.

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While waiting for paint to dry in the cockpit, I went ahead and started work on the lower fuselage, putting in the nose gear well, drilling out the holes for the pylons,adding in the gear bays and main gear and doing the intakes. The nose gear well is a bit fussy in fit and I ended up using some Tamiya putty to fair it in. This is the first time I've used the Tamiya grey putty and it worked out well. (Usually, I use Squadron white putty or 3M Acryl Blue automotive glazing putty.) It was a little bit more liquid than I was used to, but it did a good job. Sadly there is no engine face detail inside, but again, I was working OOTB and it's all about the paint scheme on this one; not the details.

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Hopefully, I will actually get this one done by July!

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Andrew-

Thanks so much! I actually think I will get this one done!

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Have made a bit of progress this week, and the airframe is pretty much together.

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The fit of this kit ranges from good to excellent with the only area that needs some work is where the fuselage joins to the aft and below the canards. A bit of Tamiya putty and a little sanding cleans that up rather nicely. Although I assembled the engines and exhaust nozzles, I will leave them off until after painting.

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On the underside, I installed all the landing gear and gear doors as well as the weapons pylons.

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I also added the pilot's HUD, as the original kit piece slipped down inside behind the instrument panel and I couldn't get it out. I had to make a new one from some clear sheet plastic.

So, at this point all I need to do is add the canopy parts and clean it up to get some paint on the model. According to the Hobby Boss instructions, the color scheme is an overall Light Ghost Grey, although I can see from photos of the actual aircraft that the radome is slightly darker, and there are some other various grays on different panels. Still, it should be a simple paint job... The fun will be the decals.

Edited by swbailey

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Hi sw,

The radome is indeed darker in colour. There are various area that are also darker/lighter in colour. I used Prime Portal which has an excellent set of photos of a Rafa B. here's the link... <<LINK>>

There are also a few parts that are Matt black like parts of the wing tip missile rails, the front of the blisters next to the canards etc. those sensor thingies on the underside of the fuselage also have a pale emerald green face as well. Happy to give you some pointers if you want to PM me.

Looking good mate!

Edited by Crazy Snap Captain

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Andrew-

Thanks so much! I've been using all the detailed photos from your excellent 1/48 scale build as a guide on this one, and thanks for the link! There's a lot great shots on that site, that will come in handy. I will PM you about the colors you used, as they really hit the mark.

I am doing the second scheme in the Hobby Boss kit; 330-EC, the Ocean Tiger with the "tiger eye" on the tail, and I've read that it's going to take a barrel of decal solvent to get the big decals to snuggle down all over the back and spine of the aircraft. Should be fun!

tiger-meet_213566a.jpg

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Well, it's been a while since I worked on my Tiger... took a trip to see my stepson graduate from US Marine Corps boot camp in San Diego, then had him home for 10 days of leave, on top of all the other fun that happens in life. Anyway, I got back to it and started working on finishing. I've masked off the canopy using BareMetal foil (my usual) and sprayed the internal frame color. While I was at it, I did a little pre-shading of the panel lines. I didn't go to heavy on this since this is a display aircraft and I figured they probably kept it pretty clean with the new paint scheme and all...

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It was nice to get a little modeling in over the holiday weekend and I was able to lay down a coat of paint on my Rafale. The overall color was Modelmaster Dark Ghost Gray (although the instructions called for Light Ghost Gray). Not sure if that is right, but it looks good to me. I only allowed a little bit of the pre-shading to show through, as I didn't figure that a freshly painted Tiger would have built up a lot of "grunge." I then painted the radome with Modelmaster Neutral Gray...it was similar in tone, but gives the impression of a different material / color.

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Next, a good gloss coat will be needed before launching into the decals. With so much of the surface covered with decals, I'm guessing its going to be a challenge.

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This weekend, I was able to give the Rafale a good gloss coat, with three layers of Future floor polish. After a day or so to dry, I began the decaling process, which has me a little nervous. The Hobby Boss decals are very thick and I'm concerned about how well they will form to the aircraft's curves and all the detail, especially when covering such large areas.

I started with a couple small decals like the canards and around the canopy. The decals are thick, and did not respond to Micro-Sol and Micro-Set. I then pulled the "sledgehammer" of decaling out and used Solvaset. It got the decals to snuggle down pretty well, so it appears I'll be going through a lot of that.

Anyway, here is the start of the decal work.

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One thing that is not good about the decals is that they are 4-color process printed rather than silkscreened. Thus, as you can see from the photo, the black is not a true black, but kind of a purplish-brown, that is going to be hard to match in touch up. Would have loved to see someone like Syhart do this scheme.

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The weekend offered me the opportunity to work with the decals, and I got most of the major ones on, but Boy! what a headache! As mentioned before the decals are thick and are certainly not up to the quality that one would hope for. I heated my decal water for 45 seconds in the microwave to get it good and hot before dipping the decals. This helped a lot with getting them to form over the fuselage curves. I did the spine piece first, but some misalignment caused some gaps that will have to be touched up later. Then I did the tail decals and lastly, the major one piece decals for each wing. The wing decals were too long, and had to be sectioned in one of the black areas near the cockpit to fit. I also had to use a ton of Solvaset to get the decals to lay down into the detail. Normally, when you put on Solvaset, you leave the decal alone and don't touch it. With these Hobby Boss decals, I was having to use a cotton swab to push them down into the details and smooth the ripples out of them. It was a time consuming process.

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Next I have a bunch of small stencils to put on before I hit the whole model with a semi-gloss and start painting all the antennas and other details. With luck, I should finish before the end of the build!

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