Revell 1/48 Dassault Rafale M & Bomb Rack
Kit No: 04517
Plastic Sprues: 5
Clear Sprues: 1
Decal Sheet: 1
Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit www.revell.eu
In 2007, after a "crash program" enhancement six Rafales were given the ability to drop laser-guided bombs, in view of engaging them in Afghanistan. The first mission occurred on 12 March 2007, and the first GBU-12 was launched on 28 March in support of embattled Dutch troops in Southern Afghanistan, marking the operational début of the Rafale.
On 19 March 2011, French Rafales began conducting reconnaissance and strike missions over Libya in Opération Harmattan
In January 2013, the Rafale took part of "Opération Serval", the French military intervention in support to the government of Mali
In Sep 2013, France is likely to replace Britain in the international intervention to defeat Syria government. France will most likely use Rafale and Mirage fighter jets to attack Syrian targets. It is reported that Scalp air-to-surface missiles equipped Rafale fighters are deployed and ready for battle in Corsica
I actually built that kit and remember being impressed with the quality. Here’s a sample of what the base kit builds up to:Fast forward to 2012 and as discussed above the Rafale has now been involved in many combat operations and cleared for delivery of many advanced weapons systems since the initial 1999 Revell kit release.
Revell has quite cleverly “tweaked” the original kit (which after all was an accurate representation of the basic airframe) with an added weapons sprue (containing 6 x GBU-12 with racks), some minor airframe updates for an operational aircraft and a new sheet of decals to represent operations over Libya etc.
In this review of the new 2012 kit I do not plan to cover the basic kit as released back in 1999 but concentrate on what’s new in this updated release.
The kit comprises five (5) light grey sprues, of these one is entirely new (the GBU-12 and rack sprue) and two of the remaining 4 have been slightly updated since the 1999 release.
Parts 98 are the four airflow sensor vanes fitted to the underside of the forward fuselage as shown in assembly step 36a
Part 310 is fitted to the lower fuselage as per step 46
All is not lost as upgrade parts are available in resin from Wolfpack Design for those wishing to go one step further in building an F1 or F2 Update standard Rafale.
The new weapons sprue provides 6 x GBU-12 500lb laser guided bombs as commonly seen fitted to Rafales over Libya and Mali.
The assembly steps for the bombs and racks are covered in steps 41-45.
These racks are then fitted to the outboard pylon position in assembly step 47
The end result is a fairly impressive payload that would give any ground target on the receiving end a headache for a day or two.
The thing that interests me most about building another Rafale is that they have now been in service long enough to have gotten worn and grimy just like a war machine should be.
Thanks to Revell for the review kit. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit www.revell.eu
Appendix A – Full Sprue Layouts