While waiting for the gloss coat to cure, I decided to tackle the exhaust. After a base of black and painting the inside white, the outside is painted with Vallejo Model Color Pale Burnt Metal.
I then masked off the exhaust petals with both 1mm masking tape and liquid mask. Yes each individual petal. The edge was masked off with vinyl masking tape.
Using Vallejo Metal Color Jet Exhaust, 20 minutes of masking and 20 seconds of painting later…
The small square shaped edges were then handpainted with the same color. After a gloss coat and a wash this should look nice enough.
I wanted to model the F-16 with the WW tailcode so the only option I have is the kit decal. These are quite thick but went on OK. It took a while for them to react to Mark Softer though. The tail marking also seem to be slightly oversized.
For a modern aircraft, the F-16 has relatively few stencils and I went ahead and added about 95% of them.
The top of the tailfin needed to be painted to match the fin flash.
So I handpainted Game Color Fiery Red and Model Color Deep Yellow over a base of white.
I decided to attach the intake lights at this point and once everything has cured and given a quick wipe down, I sprayed another coat of gloss to seal everything in. By this point, it had dawned on to me that the Mecha Color Medium Grey I used looks to be darker that what FS36270 should be. Unfortunately it’s too late to go back to fix it now.
The fuel tanks and weapons were also decaled and I think the stencils definitely add some ‘pop’ to the missiles and pods.
I went with using Raw Umber oil paint for the panel line wash.
The effect is subtle. I think next time I’ll need it to be closer to a black color.
I dotted white oil paint on the light gray color to try to lighten it a bit.
Once dried, I blended it with a damp paint brush.
I noticed in pictures that the area in front of the exhaust on the bottom tends to be dirtier than usual so I added some patchy filtering using raw umber here.
The landing gear are then attached. For 1/72 I think the details look great. Certainly more detailed than Hasegawa.
I then attached the rail, the ALQ-184 and the Sniper pod. The rail requires some shimming although I think it’s because I messed up the plate below it during construction.
I then attached all the pylons under the wings.
Working from inside to outside I attached the fuel tank, AGM-88 and AIM-9 using Gator Glue on the port wing. I worked slowly giving each store to cure a bit before attaching the next one.
With the same sequence, I attached the fuel tank, CBU-105 and AIM-9 for the starboard wing. I attached the wingtip AIM-120s only after all the other stores have been given some time to set.
I then removed the masking tape over the canopy. I notice that besides the belts, the details I added on the seat can’t really be seen. Hah!
I then attached the pitot tube and the nose antenna last. These were handpainted once in place. I also added a drop of Future onto the intake navigation lights to give them a shine.
It took a while with final assembly but I’m done!