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Completed : Hasegawa 1/72 Lockheed Martin F-16A Fighting Falcon ‘Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Udara (TNI-AU)’


Kit Info
Brand: 1/72 Hasegawa 00188
Media: Styrene
Markings: Kit and Zotz Decals 72-016 ‘Vivacious Vipers #2’

The Subject
The Lockheed Martin (originally General Dynamics) F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multirole jet fighter. With over 4,400 aircraft built, it currently serves in 25 nations. Commonly known as the ‘Viper’, it features a frameless, bubble canopy for better visibility, side-mounted control stick to ease control while under high g-forces, and reclined seat to reduce the effect of g-forces on the pilot. It is also the first fighter to be built to sustain 9-g turns.

In 1986, The Indonesian Air Force (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Udara) ordered a total of 12 F-16A/B Block 15 OCU aircraft under the ‘Peace Bema’ Foreign Military Sales program. The first F-16 was delivered in 1989 with all 12 delivered by 1990. Indonesia’s F-16s are employed in both air defence and ground attack roles but lacked systems to operate at night.

The subject of this build is TS-1605, an F-16A Block 15 OCU from Skadron Udara 3 ‘Sarang Naga’ (3rd Air Squadron ‘Dragon’s Nest’) based out of Iswahyudi Air Force Base in Madiun, Indonesia. It is painted in its original delivery scheme. Skadron Udara 3 is one of the oldest unit in the TNI-AU, having been established in 21 March 1951. The squadron took delivery of its first F-16s in 13 December 1989.

Sources:
F-16.net – Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Udara Indonesian Air Force – TNI-AU
Wikipedia – Skadron Udara 3
Wikipedia – Iswahyudi Air Force Base

The Kit
This is the old Hasegawa F-16A kit with a resin extended tailfin base thrown in and reboxed as the RSAF Black Knights’ Block 15 F-16A. Having built a few of these kits I can say that it results in a good looking F-16 although it has since been overtaken by more modern offerings when it comes to the details.

This is pretty much the same kit as my previous F-16 build.

The Build
The TNI-AU’s F-16A Block 15 are slightly different in configuration to the RSAF’s so modifications were required. Photos online are rare for these earlier F-16As so I had to rely on information from friends to get as accurate as I could. The two major difference from the TNI-AU and RSAF F-16s were: reinforcement plates on the side of the nose and on top of the wingroots and detail differences in the extended tailfin. Modifications include:

  • the reinforcement plates were self-adhesive photo-etch parts from Crossdelta
  • the parachute pack was added at the end of the tailfin using epoxy putty
  • RWR blisters on the tailfin were made using the wheel arches from the engine cart included in the Fujimi 1/72 F-14A kit
  • I added the static lines on the side of the nose using stretched sprue
  • the nose probe was replaced with a brass one from Fine Molds

For the weapons, I added 3x Mk.82 iron bombs on TERs (Triple Ejector Racks) on each wing’s center pylon and a pair of AIM-9J Sidewinders on the wingtips. TNI-AU F-16s usually only fly with the centerline fuel tank so I left the wing tanks off.

Construction went smoothly with only the wing alignments being the major issue. In my previous builds of this kit I had a lot of problems installing the landing gear after everything has been painted so I decided to install them during the construction stage instead.

Painting & Markings
The TNI-AU F-16 was delivered with a very unique color scheme of light gray, medium gray and a medium blue color. Based on the Zotz decal sheet the color call outs were FS35414, FS35164 and FS36109. But then I was given a link to a YouTube video of the Indonesian film ‘Perwira Ksatria’ from 1991 where the color scheme was clearly light blue, medium blue and medium gray color instead. I was also shown some close up photos which clearly shows the light blue color instead of light gray.

I didn’t have any of the matching paints on hand so I had to mix them from the stash of paints I had. Accuracy was based on eyeball 1.0. Other than the initial difficulty in getting the tone of the light blue correct and the endless blutack masking required for the color scheme, everything went down OK. I also ended up masking and spraying the walkways (twice) as I couldn’t find the correct match from the decals. Lastly, the canopy included in the kit was clear so it required tinting with a transparent brown color.

Finishing
Final assembly was straightforward except for me breaking one of the main landing gear in the last minute. The result was the fixed landing gear being just being ever so slightly shorter. Unless you’re looking at it straight on it’s not too obvious though. I think I’ll continue assembling the landing gear works: I just have to be more careful next time.

The biggest challenge for this kit was getting the color scheme right and I think did OK based on conversations with fellow Indonesian modelers. To be honest, I prefer the ‘wrong’ color scheme still makes for very striking color scheme.

Build Log
Pt. 1 – Construction
Pt. 2 – Painting & Finishing
Pt. 3 – Painting & Finishing


Build 9 of 2022

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