Written by 10:32 pm On the Bench

WIP : Hobbyboss 1/72 Rafale Pt.3 – Painting & Finishing

I picked the build up again in February 2024 and while looking at what else needs to be done I reaalized that I had missed out on the a pair of lights on each wingroot. These were quickly handpainted. Based on pictures the inner one is actually a clear panel with the outer one being colored. Hobbyboss molded these as solid plastic so I did the best I could. The ‘clear’ light was painted with Vallejo Model Air Metallics Gungrey while the colored ones were Clear Red and Blue over a base of silver.

A light panel wash was done with (my usual) thinned Abteilung Starship Filth which adds some subtle depth to the kit. Operational Rafales are not that dirty so I kept the staining to only some spots like the area around the canopy opening.

I added additional staining to the rear quarters as per the reference photos.

It’s nothing as bad as US Navy aircraft though.

Once the weathering is done I removed the canopy masking and found that overspray has gotten inside the canopy. I popped it off and cleaned it up using Vallejo Airbrush Cleaner.

With the canopy popped off I decided to go ahead and stick a piece of Aurora film onto the HUD to give it the distinctive prismatic effect I always see in photos. Note how the canopy just doesn’t quite fit flush. Clear parts are more brittle so I decided not to force it.

While doing final assembly on the nose gear, I realized that both gear doors have gone missing.

I didn’t want to leave it alone nor buy a new kit just for the parts so I scratchbuilt the doors myself using 0.5mm and 0.18mm plastic cards. I also gave the whole assembly a slight bend.

The result is not bad and I believe is actually more accurate than Hobbyboss’ part because the kit didn’t replicate the actuators.

And then of course, another disaster struck. Somehow a drop of sprue glue plopped onto the kit…

I masked off the canopy and slowly sanded and buffed away the sprue glue. I then rescribed the panel lines.

The repainted area looks lighter than the surrounding area.

So I tried my best to blend everything together with weathering.

Luckily for me this area is where the crew climbs in and out of the aircraft so it sees more wear and tear.

Finally it’s time to attach the stores starting as usual from the inside to out. Oddly none of the holes on the missiles fit the pins on the wingtips. I ended up cutting one of the pins off each missile so they fit.

So after almost a year, this kit is done.

I took a final look around the kit and realized that I missed out on painting the top part of the SCALP EG so I carefully sprayed them while they are in place. Now I’m really done with it.

Build Log
Pt.1 – Construction | Pt.2 – Painting & Finishing | Pt.3 – Painting & Finishing

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