The Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon (originally developed by General Dynamics) is a multirole jet fighter. It currently serves in no less than 25 nations, with over 4,400 aircraft built.
Commonly known as the â€˜Viper’, it features innovations including 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.
The current 414th Composite Training Squadron (CTS) is a US Air Force unit based in Nevada. It is responsible for hosting Red Flag, Air Combat Command’s largest air training exercise. It is assigned to the 57th Wing’s Operation Group and currently flies F-16C Block 32s in the DACT (Dissimilar Air Combat Training) role.
I actually finished this kit one day (December 3, 2008) short of the 3rd year anniversary of starting this project. It was supposed to be for a groupbuild I had with 3 friends of mine. But they have finished their kits way sooner than me heh. I’ve finally taken good pictures of my build so it’s finally up on the site.
Anyhow, I tried to replicate some of the features that Hasegawa left out in their what is now close to 20 year mold. These modifications include:
- Resin ejection seat from Legend Productions
- My good friend Gerald contributed a scratchbuilt oxygen tube in the cockpit (which can’t really be seen unless you peer into the canopy)
- Scratchbuilt RWR sensors on the wings
- Scratchbuilt AOA vanes on the nose
- Scratchbuilt static dischargers on the wings, horizontal stabilizers and tailfin
- TwoBob’s ‘Fighting Fulcrums’ decals
The build didn’t go as smoothly as I’d hoped though. In between starting and completion of the project, I had a kid, had 1 more coming, moved house twice and moved between countries once. And those aren’t even related to the build itself 🙂 .
Some inaccuracy and mistakes remain due to various reasons:
- No reinforcement plates on the fuselage
- Wrong placement of the checkerboard band on the tailfin (TwoBobs’ instructions were wrong and I didn’t research firstâ€¦ sighâ€¦)
- Two decals (the numbers on the nose) went missing
- The placement of the plane number on the base of the tailfin is wrong (again, I based on the TwoBobs instructions)
- I had to guesstimate some of the camouflage demarcations (yup, TwoBobs again)
- My oil wash looks a bit heavy handed in hindsight
- In my hurry to finish, I left a fingerprint near the ‘eject’ decal on the left side of the fuselage. I think I didn’t wait long enough for the flat coat to dry before handling the kit
- A friend pointed out that I forgot to attach an air scoop on the base of each side of the tailfin. Found out the base F-16N doesn’t have it so the instructions didn’t reflect them. Not enough research on my part
- I also missed painting the wingtip and tailfin lights
- I need to figure out a way to reduce the amount of dust that landed on the kit
Lessons learned. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed this build as I find Aggressor schemes to be very distinctive (though challenging) and will look good among the normal dreary greys of modern aircraft. Certainly won’t be my last colorful aircraft.
I entered this kit into the 7th Jakarta Miniature Model Expo and Competition organized by Peter & Partner. It was put under the 1/48 Aircraft (Advanced) category and didn’t win. But it served as a good lesson for future entries into the competition.