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Rafale C Kit

Academy 1/48 Rafale C Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2022 Manufacturer Academy
Subject Rafale C Scale 1/48
Kit Number 12346 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice details and options Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $52.95

First Look

Rafale C Kit
Rafale C Kit
Rafale C Kit
Rafale C Kit
Rafale C Kit

During the 1970s, the French armed forces were looking for a new multirole fighter and they initially signed on with four other countries to develop what would become the Eurofighter Typhoon. Unfortunately, the French could not agree with workshare and differing requirements, leading them to break off and work on a French-made solution. A technology demonstrator was built and flown in 1986 and was successful in meeting the needs of the French Air Force and Navy. Unfortunately, production of what became the Rafale was delayed due to budget cuts and changes in priorities after the fall of the Soviet Union, but deliveries of the aircraft to the Air Force and Navy began in 2001. In addition to France, Rafale was also sold to Egypt, India, Qatar, Greece, Croatia, Indonesia, and the UAE. Rafale has seen combat action over Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq, and Syria.

I was a bit surprised when Academy announced the Rafale in 1/48 scale, but they will occasionally get a surprise or two out there. In this case, the kit looked like a new-tool release with options for land-based or naval versions of the aircraft. But then I noted the external fuel tanks and while they (sort of) got two of the distinctive area rule external fuel tanks in the box, they're not mentioned in the instructions. Instead, three more conventional external tanks are provided and called out by the instructions. I vaguely remembered a similar kit having the same problem and sure enough, this Academy kit is actually a rebox of the 24-year-old Revell Rafale tooling.

The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on seven parts trees plus one tree of clear parts. The kit offers the following features and options:

  • Detailed ejection seat
  • Detailed cockpit with decals provided for instrument panel and side console details
  • Canopy can be positioned open or closed
  • Detailed landing gear

The kit provides some external stores including

  • 2 x vertical ejector racks
  • 6 x GBU-12
  • 2 x supersonic external tanks
  • 3 x standard external tanks
  • 4 x MICA missiles (radar and/or IR)
  • 2 x SCALP-EG

Markings are provided for three aircraft:

  • Rafale C, EC 1/7 'Provence', 2012, French AF
  • Rafale EQ, Qatari AF
  • Rafale DM, Egyptian AF

Despite this kit's age, this is still a nice version of the Rafale and will build into a beautiful replica. Get a hold of one of these (or one of the original Revell releases) and see for yourself!

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!