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Rafales! JASDF B & USN VFA-31 M in 1/144 --- UPDATE #1 (07/18/09)

Started by ChernayaAkula, July 13, 2009, 06:54:26 PM

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ChernayaAkula

So, a couple of days after the kick-off of the GB, here are my entries. Both are Revell 1/144 Rafales.

First off an JASDF Rafale B in camo inspired by the Mitsubishi F-1. I had originally planned for a Rafale M in F-2 camo, but the F-2 camo is considered a "whif of mass destruction" and therefore ineligible. :lol: Actually, I'm quite happy about it as the Rafale as per Doudou's profile has grown on me.



I'll go for a different load-out, though. AAM-3s on the wing-tips, AAM-4s on the rear fuselage flank stations, one large drop tank on the inboard wing station and a triple launcher of GSC-1 equipped Mk 82 on the centrer wing stations. A recon pod will go under the centre fuselage station. Maybe a targeting pod on a chin station and further AAMs under the outboard wing stations.  

Markings will come from a Platz sheet for F-4s.

Next up is a Rafale M as a CAG bird of VFA-31. I think it will look great in these markings.



Load-out will comprise of a large drop tank on the centreline, AIM-9X on the wing-tips, AAM-4s (masquerading for AIM-120s :mellow:) on the rear fuselage flanks, GBU-31 JDAM on the inboard wing stations, twin GBU-12 launcher under one centre wing station and a HARM on the other (subject to change).

Markings will come from the Dragon F/A-18E kit with some stencils from Fightertown Decals sheets. The red stripe (that Dragon forgot) will be courtesy of Platz F-4 engine stripes.

Hardest part of these builds will be fashioning a double-seater out of the single-seater for the JASDF B. I got another kit for the second cockpit, seat and IP coaming. I used a 1/48 RoG Rafale B for comparison. 1/48 is exactly three ties bigger than 1/144, so converting figures was easy.
Here's a pic of fit trials.



Around an hour later we have this:



Some white styrene was used to fill resulting gaps.



Another comparison of the now glued 1/144 version to the 1/48 kit. Note the notch for the side-opening canopy. I've tried to end the 1/144 WSO pit at around the same spot as on the 1/48 version. It's a bit further to the front on the 1/144 kit as the second seat in 1/48 kit seems to have a less reclined angle. It's not 100%, but it'll work! :thumbsup:



The single-seater was, as expected, a lot less trouble.



Close-up of the pilot, who was press-ganged into the USN cockpit from a Platz JASDF F-2.  :wacko:

Cheers,
Moritz


Must, then, my projects bend to the iron yoke of a mechanical system? Is my soaring spirit to be chained down to the snail's pace of matter?

ChernayaAkula

#1
Both of these will be in-flight displays. So the gear had to be up (some tight fit there) and a stand has to be built. I picked up a 4mm x 4mm steel rod at the hardware store. For the stand, I want to use GARY WICKHAM'S METHOD. This involves drilling a hole in the fuselage and inserting a plastic tube , which will make for a stable stand.

As I had no proper plastic tube, I constructed one.



The idea is evident, I guess.



What seemed a great idea in my idea turned out to be a stoopid idea after all.  :banghead: The size is appropriate for a 1/72 or even 1/48 fighter, but absolute overkill for a 1/144 fighter. Will have to look at getting a thinner tube. I'm guessing a 2mm diameter tube will do the trick.



Tomorrow (later today :rolleyes:) will see painting the cockpits and, hopefully, start on the spine and canopy of the dual-seater.  As I have the 1/48 kit for comparison, the spine shouldn't pose too much of a problem. Pulling the canopy, on the other hand.....  :o
Cheers,
Moritz


Must, then, my projects bend to the iron yoke of a mechanical system? Is my soaring spirit to be chained down to the snail's pace of matter?

Weaver

Nice one!  :thumbsup:

1/144th fighters are at my fiddling-with-tiny-bits limit OOB, so respect for modifying one... :bow:
"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."
 - Morpheus in Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

"I dunno, I'm making this up as I go."
 - Indiana Jones '

nev

Ambitious, but I like your thinking!

Where are you getting the weapons from, ISTR Platz do a JASDF weapons set in 1/144.  As for targeting pods, APW F-2s have been seen carrying LANTIRN, although whatever the Frenchies latest targeting pod is may be another choice.
Between almost-true and completely-crazy, there is a rainbow of nice shades - Tophe


Sales of Airfix kits plummeted in the 1980s, and GCSEs had to be made easier as a result - James May

ChernayaAkula

Cheers, guys!  :cheers:

Yeah, I usually don't bother trying (much less succeeding) to detail-up 1/144. The parts are fiddly enough as it is. :lol: But since Revell are dragging their feet regarding the twin-seater.... Revell obviously had a twin-seater in mind when they did the moulds. The parts break-down would easily allow for that.

Yes, weapons courtesy of the Platz weapon sets. I'll have to see about the targeting pod, though. Either I'll use one from Dragon (Hornet's ATFLIR or Tomcat's Lightning) or I'll try and cobble together a Damocles. The Revell 1/48 Rafale includes a Damocles, so I could get the measurements from that.

The recon pod will be an ASTAC, as seen on JASDF RF-4EJ KAIs.
Cheers,
Moritz


Must, then, my projects bend to the iron yoke of a mechanical system? Is my soaring spirit to be chained down to the snail's pace of matter?

cthulhu77


Ian the Kiwi Herder

"When the Carpet Monster tells you it's full....
....it's time to tidy the workbench"

Confuscious (maybe)

ChernayaAkula

Cheers, guys! :cheers:

I promise to post more photos later today (probably very early Friday in my time zone). The spine was sculpted with Magic Sculp (splendid stuff!) and is drying right now. Some sanding on that and I can get crackin' on the canopy. While all that stuff dries I hope to paint the cockpits and pilots. That way, construction can be finished tomorrow and I can start painting.

Tik-tok, tik-tok, tik-tok, tik-tok, tik-tok, tik-tok.....
Cheers,
Moritz


Must, then, my projects bend to the iron yoke of a mechanical system? Is my soaring spirit to be chained down to the snail's pace of matter?

Taiidantomcat

That is just excellent I can't wait to see more!  :thumbsup:
"Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality." -Jules de Gaultier

"My model is right! It's the real world that's wrong!" -global warming scientist

An armor guy, who builds airplanes almost exclusively, that he converts to space fighters-- all while admiring ship models.

nev

If you're short for time, concentrate on the Japanese one - its more important ;)
Between almost-true and completely-crazy, there is a rainbow of nice shades - Tophe


Sales of Airfix kits plummeted in the 1980s, and GCSEs had to be made easier as a result - James May

ChernayaAkula

#10
Thanks, Taiidan Tomcat! :cheers:

Nev, I'm afraid I may really run into time troubles. Problem is, the Japanese one is the more complicated one, both in terms of construction and painting. And I'll have to get something done for University on the weekend, because next week will be Mon-Fri, 0900h-1800h in University.

UPDATE #1: The spine and canopy for the B!

Got the construction on the spine and the canopy master for the double-seater done. That's one major hurdle taken!

Here's how it looks from the side:



Top view:



Construction was done using the kit parts as guidelines regarding planform. On that I sculpted the spine and canopy master using Magic Sculp (awesome stuff!). The rear end of the canopy master was beefed up with some plastic sheet for ease of sanding and rigidity.

Some comparison pics to the big sister in 1/48:
I couldn't decide on which pic would be best, so you'll have to look at all three of them!  ;D







It's nowhere near 100%, but close enough for me.  :thumbsup: I didn't bother with the exhausts/heat exchangers in the spine. Since I probably won't make the deadline, I'm thinking of casting some resin copies and adding the heat exchangers to that.

And here are some views from different angles to show more lines than just top and side view. The white plastic near the canopy hinges (well, where the canopy hinges would be on other aircraft) will need some more putty. The gap ato the front of the white plastic "bulkhead" is not really a gap, but filled with CA.









Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with how it turned out.

Cheers,
Moritz


Must, then, my projects bend to the iron yoke of a mechanical system? Is my soaring spirit to be chained down to the snail's pace of matter?

Eddie M.

Look behind you!

coops213

Looks awesome Moritz, any more progress on these guys?

Chris