1/48 Revell Rafale C

Gallery Article by Jay Vlad on Mar 30 2020



The latest from the work bench is the premier aircraft serving in the French Air Force, the Armee de l'Air; the Dassault Rafale C by Revell. This aircraft is an amazingly well designed and battle proven example of French aerospace engineering. The Rafale comes in three versions; the B, C, and M. The B and C are the dual seat and single seat, respectively, serving in the French Air Force, while the M version is the carrier based version serving with the French Navy. With wanting to display as real of an example as possible, I chose to add the decal sheet from Syhart, Damocles targeting pod by L’Arsenal, and four GBU-12 bombs from Eduard. This best represents the unit markings and ordinance load of the Rafale C that has been engaged in French military operations in recent years.

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The Revell kit is very impressive. The details are very crisp on every part of the model as well as very accurate when compared with reference photos. The build was very simple and problem free. The only area that was a challenge were the intakes. It is a complicated design, so I expected some difficulty. After testing fitting, I felt it was best to assemble the full intake to the lower fuselage half first, then join it with the top half. Some putty was needed to smooth the transition where the parts join but it wasn’t too terrible. 

The color of the Rafale is not as simple as one FS paint number. I did a lot of research and found the color selection to be as difficult a task as selecting a color for Russian aircraft. The Syhart decal sheet suggested a mix of 75% FS 36270 (Neutral Gray) and 25% FS 36320 (Dark Ghost Gray). I tested this mix with Model Master paints and found that it lacked the blue hue that I have seen in majority of the Rafale photos. I inverted the mixes to test and ended up with about 85% Dark Ghost Gray and 15% Neutral Gray for the final recipe. The other components of the model were also painted with the recommended Model Master paint. When moderately thinned and airbrushed in light coats, Model Master finishes beautifully. After that it was the process of panel line washes, decals, and metallic areas, all with the appropriate Alclad Klear Koats in between. The greatest accomplishment of this build was having knocked off the inflight refueling probe only one time! 

Lastly, I'd like to thank my long time friend I.R. for buying me this kit. 

Jay Vlad

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Photos and text © by Jay Vlad