In my opinion, the Rafale is one of the most beautiful modern planes. The past year it has become a very popular model in my home country, Greece, after the Greek Airforce bought them. The problem for me is that their color scheme is a bit boring: only the blue-white greek roundels break the monotonous gray overall colour.
That being said, a short while ago I received a newsletter from Syhart decals, advertising some limited edition decal sets. Among them was a Rafale M with a tigermeet scheme that piqued my interest. I had to have it, so I ordered it immediately!
Now it was time to research the model to accompany the decal set. There are two Rafale kits on the market, one from Revell and one from HobbyBoss. Apparently the HobbyBoss kit is a near exact copy of the Revell one. I chose to go with the “original” kit. These days, Revell sells it as the C model but the kit includes all the necessary parts (different nose gear) for the M model as well.
Unfortunately, this is not a good kit. I had to use a healthy amount of putty to hide all the seam lines, especially around the jet intakes.
Speaking of jet intakes, Revell’s idea of jet intake ducts is… nothing! Just two gaping holes that allows you to see all the way to the back of the jet exhausts and the inside of the main landing gears! Apparently this is the case for the HobbyBoss kit as well (remember, it’s almost identical).
However, what is more inexplicable to me is that, 9 out of 10 reviews or construction videos of this kit just don’t mention these gaping holes at all! Most reviewers just make sure to omit any head-on photo that would clearly show this.
As soon as I realised this, I had to do something. In the end, I designed and 3D print the compressor blades, and part of the intake ducts. I combined these with ducts sculpted using miliput epoxy putty. As you can see in the photos below, it is not 100% accurate but it is much better than just leaving two huge holes there.
Finally, I had to trim the inward bulges on the wingtip pylons, as the way that they are represented in the kit is fit only for the Rafale prototype.
As usually, I used photo-etched seatbelts from Eduard but did not add any other extras.
The work in progress
The finished model
|Revell Dassault Rafale C||1/48||03943|
|Eduard Rafale C Seatbelts STEEL||1/48||FE959|
|Syhart Rafale M #44 “Celtix Tiger – Tigermeet 2018” Flottille 11F||1/48||126|
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