Sharp Nose French Aircraft: 1/48th Revell Rafale B
Originally released in 2000 my Rafale B version is the 2008 release featuring the 2006 Tiger Meet markings. There are not many kit makers of these French jet aircraft in 1/48th scale, but luckily Revell's kit is decent and reasonably priced. (Also in Revell's mix are the C and the M versions.) Model makers usually have to rely on Heller for French aircraft and I have always had challenges with their products.
Notable Kit Features:
Well detailed cockpit
Finely scribed panel lines, rivets and details (not sure on the accuracy)
Movable front canards
Good assortment of fuel tanks & weapons
I haven't built many newer French jet aircraft however when I came across this bargain, complete with Tiger Meet decals, I was sold on this build. The French certainly do design elegant, fast looking jets.
If you want more build inspiration, check out Istvan Michalko's model at the following link: Istvan Michalko's scale models: Dassault Rafale B - Revell, 1/48 (michalkomodels.blogspot.com)
No engine inlet trunks (I recommend you fit a piece of plastic card stock in the interior fuselage to block off any see-through aspect to the rear engines, which if positioned properly can also block off light-bleed into the interior from some of the upper vents
Decent fit, however many of the seams will require some attention or sanding to smooth off the parts transition. This will result in some loss of scribed details
For a closed canopy you will need to do some reconstructive surgery as it appears the kit was designed for open canopy display. The tab hinges do not align or sit flush with the fuselage and will have to be cut off and rebuilt
The refueling probe should be trimmed to correct the angle that it attaches to the fuselage (or was that just my error?)
I did not do extensive research to determine how accurate the kit is, however it looks like a Rafale to me when looking at my reference photos
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Built out of the box (seatbelts are molded into the ejection seats)
After some research into the paint colours (Officially AFNOR A620 & A625) I came to the conclusion that a variation of FS 35237 for the main colour and a variation of FS 36320 for the nose would be a close match to the AFNOR and the reference photos I was using. The decals were a bit thick and not overly flexible however I managed to get them to work with a bit of decal setting solution.
The After-Build Report:
An out of the box build can get you a good model aircraft display result, as far as I can tell, therefore I would recommend this Revell 1/48th scale Rafale B kit. Most model makers will be able to tackle this one (as well as afford it) without too many problems and add a not often seen, sleek French fighter to their inventory.
Completed build #239 - October 2020 using the 1/48th scale Revell #04610 kit.
Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers