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TheRealMrEd

The Wayback Machine -- Back When They Were Young

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While chompin' at the bit, waiting for the Mustang GB to begin Dec 14th, so I can jump in with the Piper Enforcer, and as we are approaching the end of another year, I thought it might be a good time to take another trip in the Wayback Machine, back to a time when the now old and venerable F-16 family were just getting started.  All these models were built decades ago, and I forget some of the details.  Also, the blankety-blank Microscale Clear enamel topcoats have yellowed, and there's a little dust, but here goes anyway.  First up, the F-16A, in an early scheme:

 

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Next, the two-seat version, the F-16B:

 

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These were both made from the same kit (can't remember which one) that allowed you to build either an A or B models.  The decals were from an early Microscale offering which provided the tons of light grey stripes needed.  Also, the same type of kit was used to help mod the next offerings, the F-16XL family:

 

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Busy little bugger on the bottom side, isn't it.  These F-16XL's are of course the Monogram kits much modded, according to an old article in one of the IPMS USA mags.  Still have it kicking around somewhere. I think I could find it if anyone needs a scanned copy...    The model has to have the intake moved further back under the fuselage, a hump added to the top, the rear end kicked up a few degrees, and a few other things.  Even more fun is the F-16XL #2, done up in the Ferris-Heatly "as above, so below" type paint scheme:

 

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Note the dot on the nose gear door, to spoof the image of the rear-seater's helmet, as well as the upside-down star and bar on the fuse near the rear Sparrow missile on both sides, not to mention the black and white shadings on the rear fuse, to spoof looking at the vertical stabilizer upside down. A very unusual scheme and a variant rarely seen!

 

Up you enjoyed our little journey back in time, and any comments or questions are always welcome; as well as are any criticisms (other than those about yellowing or dust!).

 

Ed

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Thanks for posting - they've weathered well!

 

It is interesting to see how plastic models age. It would be lovely if all our models were enduring and eternal, like the August F Crabtree ship models, but in practice I find mine look tired after a few years. Yellowing varnish is the first thing, then decals yellowing, and after 10 years or so I've found superglue fails and bits start falling off.   

 

Anyway, your vintage models look way better than mine! (Mine lived in my parents' shed for 20 years..)

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Thanks guys!

 

Bangseat, for me the big takeaway has been  --ZERO, NADA, NEVER -- use any clear enamel topcoats.  Maybe the formulas have gotten better over the years, but I don't trust 'em!  Now I use only water-based clear acrylic topcoats, such as Alclad II Aqua coat for  BMF, white, etc.  For the ones with yellowed decals, I have had great success with old yellowed decal sheets sealed in Ziploc type plastic bags and taped to sun-facing windows for a couple of weeks.  Same should work on models, just leave inside, in the sunlight.  Can't say about the paints, however -- haven't tried that..   Oh, and watch the temperatures...

 

As far as glue, I have never built the plastic models with CA, I only use Weld-On #3 hot liquid glue, with occasional Testor's tube glue inside wingtips and vertical stabs and the like.  I have used CA on resin models, and for years, I used CA as my main filler to "build up" things on models.  For example, the "hump" behind the canopy on the single-seat F-16XL is all CA, sanded down.  So far, I've not had any problems, bu then I only use Zap-A=Gap CA of various types, and everything is primered and painted, and perhaps that helps.  Oh, and also, all the paints are enamels (except more modern topcoats!).  All mine have always been in climate-controlled environments as well.

 

Also, I believe it was some of the Crabtree ships models that used to be on display at the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, Virginia USA.  I used to love them as a kid.  I went back there a couple of years ago and they were gone -- likely returned to England.  I used to study them for hours.  They were and are magnificent, and anyone who ever gets a chance to see any, should never fail to do so!

 

Ed

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41 minutes ago, TheRealMrEd said:

 

 for me the big takeaway has been  --ZERO, NADA, NEVER -- use any clear enamel topcoats. 

 

This is a 24 year old clear enamel topcoat.

y4mzJ8IVIrqkKMPmsyloLtfUxwGbmodKi6Sfh4Bq

 

In fact I wish I had done some more older models this way - they've fared way worse.

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Thanks guys,

 

Alt-92,

 

Flat enamel-coated, 47 years old:

 

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Semi gloss enamel coated, still a whippersnapper at 36 years old:

 

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Don't be so impatient.  Give yours a few more years to "season" -- you'll see.  As granny used to say "Let a word to the wise be sufficient"!

 

Ed

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On 12/10/2019 at 3:32 PM, TheRealMrEd said:

according to an old article in one of the IPMS USA mags.

That was my article in the IPMS Quarterly. Really like what you did to make a "family model" XL. My Monogram single seater didn't survive my PCS moves and I never finished the XL-2 - the carcass may still be about somewhere. I've posted images of both XLs in the Aviation Photography forum here on BM

 

As for the identity of the early Viper kits. Testors boxing of the Italeri(?) kit offered alternate parts for either an A or B and was what I used to for the two-seat cockpit of my XL-2.

 

Sven

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Well Sven,

 

Thanks for doing the article that inspired me to do these.  Your work has borne fruit...

 

Ed

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