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Alan P

1/32 F-16 Double Bill! One down, one to go!

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Hi all,

 

Back again with another build blog. This time it's a double build of the 1/32 Academy F-16CG/CJ kit.

 

The first is a Norwegian F-16 from the Gulf War 2 era (2004):

aai.jpg?m=1370460136

(pic credit: f-16.net)

 

The other is a Turkish F-16D Block 50+:

a-turkish-air-force-f-16d-block-50-giova

(pic credit fineartamerica.com)

 

The first comes from the vanilla F-16 kit:

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The D comes from limited edition kit from Korea:

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The customer has provided me with a dazzling array of aftermarket items including Big Ed photoetch for both, Aires wheelwells and Wheelliant wheels, Aires cockpit for the single-seater and tailpipe set for the Block 50.

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The Aires cockpit set looks particularly good!

 

Trying to build these side by side in record time. Wish me luck!

 

Alan

Edited by Alan P

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Started where I usually start - the cockpit.

 

The customer provided a double set of ACES II seats for the two-seater:

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Sadly they are just the seats and don't come with ejector rails. So I nicked them from the kit seats. Just a nifty bit of work with a razor saw and...

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Close enough!

Next, decided to give all the resin a scrub and wash:

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Aires might be a pig to fit, but it looks amazing!

 

Speaking of a pig to fit....The cockpit set would have you remove an awkward chunk of the kit fuselage aft of the cockpit tub. Rather than a lot of cutting followed by the inevitable fiddly filling and sanding, I hit upon a better idea.

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It was much easier to cut the back off the cockpit set and cut and sand it down into fascias which fit the kit parts perfectly. No surgery required on the kit parts and no messy filler required! Job done.

There was a bit of material to remove at the front coaming but it was easy to measure using the resin coaming as a guide.

tn_IMAG1161

Much tidier, and a lot quicker.

 

Alan

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Next, I moved on to the interior. You might remember from my F-16F build I used emulsion paint to obtain a seamless intake. Same story here.

 

The two aircraft have different intakes, but the Academy kit supplies both GE and P&W MCID and NSI intakes. Nice one, Academy!

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Not so nice - the NSI intake had some impressive sink marks owing to the nose gear wheelwell moulded to the bottom:

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We'll need to come back later.

Here are the two upper fuselage halves - the single-seater has the option to show the M61 cannon and ammunition drum, but the twin-seater is closed up.

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One weakness of the Academy kit is the splitter between the fuselage and the intake lip is far too narrow. It requires a shoe to expand the gap:

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Here are my pair of shoes ready for cutting and shaping!

And fitted to the respective aircraft:

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Meanwhile, both intakes are ready for the seamless treatment:

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More on that coming up...

 

Alan

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While all that was drying I quickly got to assembling the flying surfaces:

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The fit of the parts is excellent. I don't think I'll need any filler on the leading edges at all. No warping either, it all sits nice and straight. The eagle-eyed among you will notice the wrong tail for the Block 50+... this was because the brief for the build changed today, so I have a new spine to fit and the tail will be updated!

 

Okay, now for the intakes again. First I sealed the end of the intake with blu-tacked milk bottle caps and paper towels. I stopped up any other holes with more blu-tac:

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The filling process was so messy, I didn't get any photos! But I filled both intakes up to the lip with goopy satin white emulsion. I left it for a while and then let it pour out the bottom back into the paint pot.

 

I'm left with nice seamless intakes.

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Last job was to fit the cockpit sidewalls to the D cockpits and then add the photoetch. 

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Although I've posted these all at once, this was just one and a half days work.

 

Just primed all the cockpit parts, so the next pictures will be painting the interior.

 

Alan

Edited by Alan P

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Long time no update, but I have been busy...

 

Doing the open gun bay on the MLU

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Also on the MLU, I've made a solution for the bulged gear doors:

First line the inside with white Milliput:

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Then get the dremel out and sand that sucker down!

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Before (left) and After (right).

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Both now done.

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Managed the tedious job of preparing and cleaning up all the landing gear components for both aircraft, including the intake sections. My plan is to all the white parts in one go to save a lot of time later.

 

Alan

 

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After a short break (got my third novel back from the editor!) I was trying to get the fuselages together, but there's a lot of work involved on the cockpits and wheelwells before that happens.

 

First, I shot all the white (mix of satin and gloss)

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Then the interiors - I completed the painting but haven't done any other effects like washes or dry-brushing. I'll finish that when everything's put together.

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These Aires wheelwells are things of beauty - just very fiddly to paint! This is pretty untidy (if you look closely) but all will be made pristine!

Dry-fitted the fuselages:

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Note the new spine for the Block 50+, lots of filling and sanding later!

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Still not finished but looking more like a Block 50 than a Sufa now!

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The nose wheelwells are the kit version - the Aires ones are such a job to fit I've opted to detail these myself using Aires as a template.

 

Cheers,

Alan

Edited by Alan P

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Impressive work! It looks real nice. :)

 

Two of them big ones at the same time too..!

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22 minutes ago, Paramedic said:

Impressive work! It looks real nice. :)

 

Two of them big ones at the same time too..!

Thank you! (Looked at your bio and thought, "two of them big ones", eh?!) :D

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LOL! :D^_^

 

Really like how you solved the fit of the cockpit into the fuselage. Instead of bashing the head to fit the helmet like they suggested, you did the other way around. Seems smarter.

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2 minutes ago, Paramedic said:

LOL! :D^_^

 

Really like how you solved the fit of the cockpit into the fuselage. Instead of bashing the head to fit the helmet like they suggested, you did the other way around. Seems smarter.

'Bashing the head to fit the helmet' is a great expression! Is that a direct translation from Swedish?

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No, I actually read it in English some time and it popped into my (not too bashed-) head just now! ;)

 

As a kid I played and painted those Games Workshop thingys and there was this background story about this Orc, I believe. They were more cartoony, Cockney-brutes not too smart but pretty fun. This one found a shiny helmet that did not fit his head so he solved it. Dunno why that was the first thought that came up when I saw your work, maybe I have bashed that head a few times too many after all. Or sniffed too much glue and paint fumes... Sorry..? ;)

 

Do you get the same armament options in the two boxes? And any plans what to hang on those pylons - if anything?

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Ah, I see!

14 hours ago, Paramedic said:

Do you get the same armament options in the two boxes? And any plans what to hang on those pylons - if anything?

 

Yes, it's the same plastic. I'm going to build everything and attach magnets to the pylons and ordnance so theoretically I can load anything!

 

Alan

 

 

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Looking good Alan. I have seen a few people use this technique for seamless intakes now. Will have to give it a go when the need arises.

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8 hours ago, Alan P said:

Ah, I see!

Yes, it's the same plastic. I'm going to build everything and attach magnets to the pylons and ordnance so theoretically I can load anything!

 

Alan

 

 

Ah nice! Looking forward when you show how to do that! I have toyed with the idea but do not have small enough magnets to do it in 1/48.. Or is that the excuse for beeing ham-fisted and not brave enough to try? ;)

 

 

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11 hours ago, snapper_city said:

Looking good Alan. I have seen a few people use this technique for seamless intakes now. Will have to give it a go when the need arises.

It's effective but very messy. I wouldn't recommend it unless you like cleaning :D

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On 10/10/2017 at 6:43 PM, FortyEighter said:

Impressive work again :clap2:

Thanks very much, sorry for missing your earlier comment!

 

Alan

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I've not posted in ages! Quite a bit of work to catch up with...

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Fuselages stuck together. The fit of this Academy kit is very good. the next pic shows the extent of the areas that need puttying - mostly it is just to hide the seam gaps rather than any remedial work.

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Here are the twins looking more like F-16s!

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In the meantime I finished up all the landing gear and airbrakes:

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These little compartmented boxes are perfect for keeping track of everything.

 

More coming soon...

Alan

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I next got started on the tailpipes. The two aircraft have the different engine options so the turbine/afterburner sections look quite different.

tn_IMAG1311

I'm using the Aires turbine (left) for the Block 50 and the kit parts for the P&W-engined Block 15. But there's a surprise...!

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Both engines will use the Aires afterburner section - the Aires interior petals on the left, the kit P&W interior on the right is grafted on to the resin afterburner section.

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Here you can see the resin and kit parts painted up on the left. On the right are the nozzles - I'm using the Aires GE nozzle and the kit P&W F100 parts.

 

Next - armament!

 

Alan

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There is a shedload of armament in the Academy kit, and some of it is very nice. I'm using the magnets mentioned above, so I will be providing a lot of bang for the customer's buck, as it were!

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Here it is all assembled and ready for paint:

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This can be pretty tedious for just one airframe, never mind two! I'm offering these combinations: 2x AIM-9M for both aircraft; 2x AIM-120s (Bs for the MLU, Cs for the Block 50); 2x TERs with two GBU-12s for the Block 50, 2x single GBU-12s for the MLU; ALQ-184 or centre tank for Block 50, ALQ-131 or centre tank for MLU; JDAM or HARM for the Block 50 only; Pantera targeting pod for MLU, LANTIRN for Block 50. Both will have standard 370-gal tanks on the inboard stations.

 

This is an interesting build!

 

Alan

 

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Posted (edited)

Once the fuselages have been puttied and sanded down, it's time to do some airframe details:

tn_IMAG1347

The RNoAF F-16s carry an intercept identification light on the left side of the nose, which I'm reliably informed is called a "Russian Light!" Wonder why. I drilled out a hole and will fit a 3.5mm lens from little-cars.

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Some PE vents and air scoops from the Eduard set.

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Forward gear bay detailed with Eduard PE.

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These stiffener plates from Astra Decals are great. I know my MLU airframe didn't have all of these fitted but they add a lot of interest, so this one got the full reinforcement package!

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I also went ahead and added the tiny PE details to the gun bay even though I'll probably knock them off at some point!

 

I think we're ready for paint!

 

Alan

Edited by Alan P

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A lot of masking later, and the first coat of primer goes on!

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Those scab plates stand out nicely!

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I painted the Block 50 with the pylons fitted to save time, as they're the same colour as the underside anyway. The canopy is the old Sufa canopy I used for my last F-16 build so no masking required.

 

Quick explanation of my pre-shading technique...I'm not a fan of the fashionable "patchwork quilt" approach to shading. I think it is too stylised and unrealistic to be called 'weathering'. In my opinion, it's simply an artistic application for visual interest. And I say that with the greatest respect and appreciation for the skill of those who practise it. But as someone who spent their working life around aeroplanes, I just can't call it 'weathering' except to make myself understood by other modellers!

 

If you've managed to put your stones down and are still with me...I don't often use pre-shading, but it's useful for large areas that are ostensibly the same colour. Here's a quick example from my back catalogue, a Tamiya F-15C:

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Dirt collects unevenly on an airframe, and is affected by the proximity of actuators, inspections panels, walkways and so on. So when I pre-shade, I'm trying to create an underlay for my paint colour to minimise the amount of post-shading effects I'll need to get that authentic look.

 

What that translates to in reality is probably not everyone's idea of pre-shading!

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I'm basically making a mess. I use a thick, splattery mix of dark paint and let her have it!

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You might think I've ruined this, but there's a method in the madness. All I'm doing is creating an optical illusion for when the main paint coat is on and I start working on the panel lines.

 

One last thing before the main paint goes on:

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I've painted the walkway lines in Gunship Gray for the Norwegian bird. It's all over Medium Gray FS36270 with FS36118 walkways and stencils for this vintage.

 

More soon!

Alan

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Starting with the Block 50:

tn_IMAG1399

FS36375 Light Compass Gray is on. The value of all that blotchy pre-shade will become evident once the panel line effects are done.

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I also used this opportunity to paint the walkway lines in FS36375.

Walkway lines were now masked in preparation for the next colour:

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And that's where I'll leave it for today!

 

All the best,

Alan

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These are absolutely tremendous Al, looking forward to seeing these shape up, particularly the Norwegian bird. Like your method for doing the walkways, and I have to agree with your thoughts around pre-shading/weathering.

 

Great work so far and good to see your works in progress again.

 

Grae

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