Wednesday, April 27

Preview: Academy's beautiful french lady - the 48th scale Rafale C in pretty colours en route..

Here at TMN we love ugly - nasty looking aircraft that look tough & mean. We also love a pretty one too - & Rafale is one of the prettiest aircraft that ever flew. So Academy's forthcoming "Rafale C French Air Force 1st Fighter Squadron Provence 2012" in 48th scale is definitely on OUR radar. See more about the kit in our preview...

Rafale C "French Air Force 1st Fighter Squadron Provence 2012"
by Academy
1/48th scale
August Release
31.8cm long and 22.7cm wide. 
3 different decal options
Price: $29.54 USD from Hobbylink Japan
The Subject: The French Rafale C
The French multirole fighter Rafale is one of the nicest looking aerial fighters to ever take the skies. Its name translates literally to "gust of wind", or "burst of fire" in a more military sense). The Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation.

Dassault Rafale, Rafale C, French fighter, runway, military airfield, French Air Force
Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions. The Rafale is referred to as an "omni-role" aircraft by Dassault.
Rafale C:
The Rafale C saw the extensive application of composite and other materials, which both reduced the radar cross-section (RCS) and weight. Moreover, Dassault opted to reject variable engine inlets and a dedicated air brake, which lessens maintenance loads and saves weight. Developed as a modern jet fighter with a very high level of agility; Dassault chose to combine a delta wing with an active close-coupled canard to maximize manoeuvrability. The aircraft is capable of withstanding from −3.6g to 9g (10.5g on Rafale solo display and a maximum of 11g can be reached in case of emergency). The Rafale is an aerodynamically unstable aircraft and uses digital fly-by-wire flight controls to artificially enforce and maintain stability. The aircraft's canards also act to reduce the minimum landing speed to 115 knots (213 km/h; 132 mph); while in flight, airspeeds as low as 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) have been observed during training missions. According to simulations by Dassault, the Rafale has sufficient low-speed performance to operate from STOBAR-configured aircraft carriers, and can take off using a ski-jump with no modifications.
There are three main versions of the Rafale: 
Rafale C (chasseur, meaning "fighter" or literally "hunter") single-seater operated from land bases
Rafale B (biplace, or two-seater) two-seater flown from land bases
Rafale M single-seater for carrier operations

The Kit: Academy's Rafale in 48th scale 
Due for release in August, Korean model kit maker Academy roll out their 1/48th scale Rafale C model kit. In Academy's own catalogue they do say "New design" - but we think that it is just a case of new decals on the older Revell kit. 

The kit will be 31.8cm long and 22.7cm wide once complete and it includes three different decal types in the box. One of these will be the unique yellow tail scheme of the Escadron de Chasse 1/7 Provence fighter squadron.

Decal choices:
The kit includes decal choices for three Rafales. Each of them taken from the aircraft we have identified.
The boxart example is the French Air Force Rafale C from 2012. The Rafale aircraft belongs to EC 1/7 “Provence”. It is specially decorated in the colours of the SPA 162 “Tiger” squadron. Following the mothballing of EC 1/12 "Cambrésis", the "Provence" was assigned the SPA 162 "Tiger" squadron in place of the SPA 91 "Death's-head Eagle" squadron. This change of squadron allows the unit to join the Nato Tiger Association replacing EC 1/12.
Another choice is this, a Rafale "EQ-QA217" of the Qatar Emiri Air Force, taken at Bordeaux-Mérignac airport in France in 2018.
The third marking is a Rafale from the Egyptian Air Force. The EAF purchased 24 examples of the multirole type - eight single-seat Rafale EMs and 16 Rafale DM two-seaters—although one was subsequently lost in April 2019. They are operated from Gebel el Basur airbase to the northwest of Cairo by the 203rd Tactical Fighter Wing, which parents the 34th and 36th Tactical Fighter Squadrons. Experience with the Rafale has been positive, and the statement accompanying the announcement of the second-order references a number of attributes, including its “ability to carry out long-range tasks” and its cyber warfare characteristics.
Academy's model builders have already built the test kit - here are some shots of it completed and painted up. Looks like they could have spent more time on the side seam near the cockpit (😉)...
This kit will be released in August. It is available on pre-order now from Hobbylink Japan for USD $29  More on Academy's kits on their website