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Dassault Rafale

Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful fighters to ever grace a carrier deck and arguably the best fighter produced by Dassault. In 1983, France, Britain, West Germany, Italy and Spain decided to produce an agile multi-role fighter that could out-match the next generation of Soviet fighters ie. Su-27 Flanker and Mig 29 Fulcrum. France, early on in the design phase, wanted to gain design leadership and a major share in production in this joint European venture. However, due to objections from the other European partners, France decided to leave the consortium in 1985. By July 1986 Dassault had produced one technology demonstrator known as Rafale.

Rafale was conceived as a twin-engined single-seater of canard delta configuration. Rafale had to replace the Mirage F1 and Jaguar in the French Air Force as well as the Crusader and Super Etendard in the French Navy. The engines for Rafale had to be improved for naval operations thus giving rise to the SNECMA M88-3 spool augmented turbofan. Max speed is rated at Mach 1.8. Climb rate is 305 m/sec with max operational ceiling at 16 750 m. Armament comprises of one 30mm GIAT 791 cannon. A typical AAM load would comprise two Magic R550’s and 4-6 MICA heat-homing missiles. For the ground-attack role a variety of bombs and laser-guided munitions could be carried. Recently the Rafale M saw combat over Libya.

This is Revell’s Rafale in 1/48 scale. I built her OOB. This kit has very good surface detail and Revell has recently upgraded the kit to include air-to-ground munitions. The kit goes together easily and the colour scheme makes this a less labour intensive build. Be warned, she comes with MANY small stencilling on the decal sheet and that prolonged the build considerably. The model was painted using Model Master enamels coated with Future. Weathering was kept to an absolute minimum.

30 additional images. Click to enlarge.

41 responses to Dassault Rafale

  1. Nicely done build, Morne…..two thumbs up!

  2. Good clean build and finish, good job, Morne.

  3. Good attention to detail Morne.
    Very sharp.

  4. Nice work Morne! That is my favorite modern jet. What shade of gray did you use on it? I have one calling from the stash to be built.

  5. Nice undercarriage and tyre details from Revell.

  6. Stunning build on a lovely aircraft! Good effects on the exhausts.

  7. Quite wicked Morne, I like the details and with a cleanish look to her , makes her appear very sharp.
    Well done Morne

  8. Hello Morne
    Undoubtedly a very beautiful model. I share your opinion on this plane, one of the most beautiful. And your assembly pays her well tribute.
    Well Done

  9. Thanks Emmanuel. I appreciate your assessment of my model.

  10. Great looking Rafale Morne. Nice detail.
    California Steve

  11. good job ! and “vive la France” lol

  12. Well done Morne, nice clean build. I think it took me 3 days to apply all the stencil decals, but I didn’t get them to lay down as well as you.

  13. Hi Morne
    nice looking build!

  14. Morane,
    Excellent job on this.

  15. Hi Morne. I am late joining in and can only echo the comments above. It is a very nice looking plane – both your model and the real thing.

  16. I agree with the others, your model is superb!

  17. Really nice work Morne, and I agree with you: one of the best looking carrier jets out there.

  18. Morne, I think you’ve excelled yourself with this one. She’s just beautiful & you’ve more than done the kit justice. Nice detail photos too!

  19. Well done, Morne. It looks great ! It’s a kit I never really noticed before, but I think you’ve changed my mind about adding one to my stash..

  20. Great build Morne, again with great photography and a high informative
    text. And you are right, from the aesthetically point, the Rafale is the best
    looking “new” fighter aircraft.
    A good inspiration to start a new generation jet .

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