The fun part can now begin. The original TNI F-16As were delivered in a very striking three tone scheme and the few photos found online showed that it was medium blue, light and medium gray colors. However I was told by a good friend that the light gray was actually a light blue. He sent me a link to a 1990s Indonesian film ‘Perwira Ksatria’ where it’s quite clear that the light gray was actually a light blue instead. Screenshots from the film are compared to the original online photos below. Besides the somewhat complicated masking involved, the two blues would also need to be custom mixed.
I did something different this time by not starting with a base color of black. Instead I preshaded Tamiya NATO Black and filled random panels with blues and various shades of gray. Note that I had already painted the exhaust and IFR door and have masked these off. I had also carefully painted the black sealing around the base of the canopy.
I decided to mask and spray the walkways instead of fussing about with decals, which will come from Zotz Decals. I matched the color of the walkway and refueling door marking of the decal to Tamiya XF-54 Dark Sea Gray. After spraying the walkway pattern I masked these off with 0.7mm masking tape.
Now comes mixing the color scheme of FS35414 for the light blue, FS35164 for the dark gray and FS35109 for the dark blue. I played around with various ratios and tested on an old F-16 kit tailfin. Luckily for me Tamiya XF and Mr Hobby GSI Creos readily mixed with each other. Once I was happy with the results it was time to really paint the kit.
First up is the light blue color which was FS35414 (mislabeled as light gray in the post-it note above). The ratio for this was 5:0.5:5 of Mr Hobby H308 Gray FS36375, H25 Sky Blue and H21 Off White. I was careful to dilute the paint more than usual so the preshade and colored panels would still affect the overall tone of the color I painted over them.
I then carefully masked the demarcation lines using rolled up blutack.
The next color was FS35164 Dark Gray. For this I ended up using (again) thinned Mr Hobby H56 Intermediate Blue.
Then it’s more blutack masking.
Last on is the dark blue color of FS35109. The ratio for this was 4:1:1 of Mr Hobby H328 Blue FS15050, H308 Gray FS36375 and Tamiya XF-8 Flat Blue.
Once all the three colors were on I carefully fixed any overspray and wonky demarcation lines with multiple sessions of re-masking and spraying all three colors.
The bottom received the same treatment as the top.
Multiple sessions of finetuning later I get the following:
It took quite a bit of time before I was really satisfied with the result.
Next comes painting the nose, wingtip pylons and the sides of the rear fuselage. These areas were masked off and painted My Hobby H306 Gray FS36270 for the sides of the rear fuselage and Tamiya XF-54 Dark Sea Gray for the nose and wingtip pylons.
I then removed the walkway masking tape and checked the work so far. The results look pretty good except… the walkways didn’t look quite right.
To be continued…