Written by 1:59 pm On the Bench

WIP : Hasegawa 1/72 F-16C Blk 30 Pt.2 – Painting & Finishing

Time to finish this build. And I lucked out by finding a photo of the exact F-16C that I’d be modeling. The subject of this build will be serial 85-1552, an F-16C Block 30 of the 23rd TFS ‘Fighting Hawks’, 52nd TFW. She deploted to Desert Storm wearing this eye-catching sharkmouth scheme. Interestingly she has non-standard colors on the tailfin. As far as I know this is unique to 85-1552.

I pre-painted the fuel door on the topside of the fuselage and masked this off before everything else.

I decided to go with a pre-shade this time and filled various panels with a medium brown color to add some variation to the finish of the paint scheme.

Note that I did not mask of the wheel bays. At this point, it’s easier to simply paint over any resulting overspray than having to figure out a way to mask off the landing gear struts.

Another pre-painting that needs to be done are the walkways. Photos of 85-1552 show that she already had the original light gray walkway lines with the caution markings painted over by this time. To match the gray decal that goes over the refueling door, I went with Mr Hobby H307 Aqueous Gray FS36320 for the lines.

This was then masked off with 0.4mm masking tape..

At this point, I noticed that on the right side of the nose there should be a square shaped vent that is missing on the kit. I replicated this with plastic card.

This F-16 was still painted in the standard 3-tone gray of FS36375 (Mr Hobby Aqueous H308) for the bottom with FS36230 (Mr Hobby Aqueous H307) and FS36118 (AK Real Color RC244) for the topside. The base and leading edge of the tailfin were masked off and painted FS36118.

The intake lip was masked off and painted in FS36230.

The nose was painted 71274 Model Air Aggressor Grey. The masking tape for the walkway was then removed to check the work. For once I didn’t have to do any corrections!

The weapons were then painted. As usual all the missile bands were masked and painted instead of using decals.

I then painted the small details like AOA probes and formation lights. These were all handpainted. A gloss coat follows and the decals were next. The main markings were from Print Scale 72-377 ‘General Dynamics F-16 Fighter Falcon Desert Storm’ sheet with most of the stencils from the kit.

The Print Scale decals are nice and work quite easily although the fin tip band required trimming. The decals worked with Mark Softer although it takes some time before they softened. The shark mouth in particular took a few sessions of adding Mark Softer before I was happy with how they conformed around the nose.

Even now I’m surpised how little stencils an F-16 really has compared to other aircraft. I’m not complaining though!

Once cured, I wiped everything down with a damp microfiber cloth, then sprayed a coat of satin to seal the decals in. After that is my usual panel wash with thinned AK Abteilung Starship Filth.

The moment of truth comes when I remove the canopy masking to check my work on the black trim. Glad that it turned out well this time.

Next comes attaching all the things underneath like wings. I had some problem attaching the AGM-88s: there’s just not enough surfaces to have a positive connection to the pylon. If I ever use Academy’s AGM-88s again, I’ll need to figure out a better way than just simply butt joining it to the pylon.

The last thing on is as usual, the nose probe. in this case, I replaced the kit part with a brass one from Fine Molds which is really a vast improvement. If you can spring for one, you won’t go back to styrene ones, which are fiddly and are hard to deal with.

In any case, I finally have a ‘proper’ Block 30 F-16C! Now I’m considering converting the old one to a Block 25 by changing the markings. Let’s see how it goes.

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

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