1/48 Hobby Boss Rafale B

by Andy Harsanto

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This is my first post for ARC, although I have made some modern jet scale models for quite some time.  I pick the 1/48 Rafale B from Hobby Boss.  I will discuss the Rafale B aircraft as many reference already have it.  For the kit itself, its one excellent kit to my standard and there are few model maker that create the training version of the Rafale.  Hobby Boss being close to the famous Trumpeter produce a very good kit (closing in to Hasegawa/Tamiya quality).  I purchase this online via my favorite online store in Hongkong.  When the package arrived, I immediately tore apart the boxes and awe the kitís boxes, and of course the content of it.  Although some people might dislike the exaggerated recessed lines.  However to me itís just fine as I donít need to re-scribe the panel lines.

The box contained 7 main spure including body, wings etc, 3 pairs of Mica missiles, one pair of Magic, one pair of Apache, and two pair of external fuels (one 1250 lt and the other 2000 lt).  As Iím using the Airforce magazine as reference there is a Rafale B flying equipped with full armament of one pair of cruise missile Apache, one pair of Magic in wing tip and one pair of Mica on the underside pylon.  In the picture the aircraft carries 3 external fuels of 2000 liter quite a lot.  Problem is it only has two pieces.  So I get on to my Revell Rafale kit and take out the other 2000 liter fuel tanks.  Luckily Iíve planned for the Revel Rafale to be posed without fuel tanks in standing position.

As usual Iíve constructed the kit from the inside which is the cockpit.  As it will be posed as a flying Rafale B.  Then I need two acting pilots, again the excellent Hasegawa pilots are in.  I cut the oxygen hose and moved it to the left side of the pilot oxygen mask.  I painted the pilot figures in the usual olive drab etc.  I put several seat belts using a reference book.  I added a bit of reflective plastic (holographic effect on the rear seat HUD, front/rear MFD.  I didnít do too much detailing here as it will be a closed canopy anyway.

The kit fits perfectly except in the air intake area where it needs a bit of a stretch to make it blend with the body.  One issue that bothers me is that the kit doesnít have an intake trunk.  Itís basically hollow inside. Although when itís built it wonít be too apparent (too dark without lights toward it).  But I took the challenge to create a proper air intake trunk. Thus came the resin (using the F-18E compressor blade component as the master mould, Iíve created a pair of compressor blade from resin.  I used a wide jelly drink straw as an almost perfect size.  I cut it to make the painting easy and glue it while the aircraft body is still in  separate halves.

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Done with the construction, next came the painting, using model master light ghost gray and dark gray combination to create a pattern one.  Initially the instruction is to use light ghost and dark ghost gray, but learning that the combination will result in a weaker gradation, I needed something a bit more striking. Just to look more aggressive.  It might not be accurate but I like the results.  Coating is straight forward. Decals were amazingly good with its thin decal which almost settled into the recessed panel lines, rivets etc, without much difficulties.  I needed to add self made decals for the canopy (the white stripe in each of the canopy sides). Other than that is out of the box.

As I made it for a fly by aircraft, I did put some flaps/aileron/horizontal stabilizer open, to create a more dynamic feel and put it in a steel bent pole and wooden base.  If you want to see more picture and review in Bahasa Indonesia please visit my personal website www.jetplastik.com

The Hobby Boss 1/48 Rafale B kit is one excellent kit at least to my standard.  Having just recently completed the F-18D Hornet from Hasegawa, I could tell that the hobby boss kit is not a new kit on the block it has all the detail, features, good things about new generation kit.  An excellent value for money especially if youíre trying to collect some of the rare species of the jets or kits.  A recommended for all the jets lover.

Feel free to visit my personal website in Bahasa Indonesia www.jetplastik.com

Andy

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Photos and text © by Andy Harsanto ďroadrunnerĒ