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IDF F-16I "Sufa" IAF Tayeset 119 "The Bats Squadron" - completed


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Well this is my first monster build of the year and hopefully a real Mojo stimulus build…..as the old modelling mojo has taken a bit of a hit recently…….though it hasn’t stopped me from growing the stash!

 

I have wanted to build a F-16I Sufa for quite sometime, though I’m not sure what possessed me to for this monster!

 

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This isn’t the first time I’ve built a 1/32nd beast, around 40 years ago I built the Hasegawa version….which I still have packed away somewhere…… a little bit worse for wear!

 

The box is huge and packed solid with lots of lovely plastic as well as some PE and brass bits.

 

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There is a choice of 4 schemes, well squadrons to choose from, which one I haven’t quite decided on yet.

 

You even get a lovely large poster as well, which on the back of is the painting/decal guide, not the easiest to handle.

 

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….. and yes there are extra AM bits to go with her of course! :D

 

The main one is Zactomodels resin F-16 NSI “Small Mouth Intake”. This is a beautifully cast seem-less replacement intake for this model and will certainly save all the hassle of sorting out intake seems!

 

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 With the cockpit I resisted the urge to replace it with resin but will add Quinta Studio’s gorgeous 3D decals  :wub: , the first time I’ve used these in 1/32nd. The detailing on them is stunning, even the knobs on the side panels even have a tiny white position marker on them! 😍

 

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The kit exhaust is quite nicely done but a replacement resin one will look much nicer. Though they did suffer a wee bit of damage in transit, I will ResKit would use larger boxes!

 

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Same goes for the wheels, these resin replacements will look much better.

 

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And finally (for now) some Zactomodels AIM-120 ARMAAM’s, they are an improvement to the kit ones.

 

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I am looking forward to this build, it should be nice and straightforward (would like one for a change), I’ve done some test fits with the new resin intake and all looks good there. For sanity’s sake I may leave out the resin wheel wells….no one will be picking up this model!

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"Straightforward" + trickyrich build.....yeah right.  :rofl2:

 

It should be glorious nonetheless.  Look forward to watching this one come together.  :drink:

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That's some serious extras Rich, which should really enhance your Sufa.

 

Will follow with interest as I've got the same kit and could be tempted to start it.

 

Mike

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3 hours ago, FortyEighter said:

That's some serious extras Rich, which should really enhance your Sufa.

 

Will follow with interest as I've got the same kit and could be tempted to start it.

 

Mike

 

The Quinta Studio IP decals are a must for her, with such an open cockpit it's crying out for this level of detail.

 

Am still deciding if I should add some nicely detailed resin ejector seats.......sort guess I have to now........time for more shopping! :doh:  Have a pair of SPICE bombs on the way, may do the "magnet" trick to allow me to change the stores as well.......am dying to fit some AGM-142 Popeye's to her as well :D

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Hi Rich.

Those 3d printed decals from Quinta look excellent.

Quick question about them. Are the self adhesive, or do you treat them as normal Decals?

 

Cheers

Paul

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9 hours ago, trickyrich said:

am dying to fit some AGM-142 Popeye's to her as well :D

 

Sorry Rich, but I don't think the Sufa, or Barak for that matter, is cleared for the Popeye's. 

I've not found a single picture of one carried. So I guess Popeye's are for Baz and Ra'am only. 

/Bosse

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2 hours ago, diases said:

Hi Rich.

Those 3d printed decals from Quinta look excellent.

Quick question about them. Are the self adhesive, or do you treat them as normal Decals?

 

Cheers

Paul

 

Pretty much... you release them with some water.....well just dampen them. White glue/Cockpit/PVA is recommended to actually "glue" them in place. They also mention Clear varnish but that takes tooo long to dry, the white glues are the best. 

 

1 hour ago, Marlin said:

 

Sorry Rich, but I don't think the Sufa, or Barak for that matter, is cleared for the Popeye's. 

I've not found a single picture of one carried. So I guess Popeye's are for Baz and Ra'am only. 

/Bosse

 Mmmm I think the same, the actual weapons sprue supplied with the model are quite strange, there are quite a few things which are not identified in the instructions..... in any of the Academy F-16's for that matter. I don't know where they got them from or what they are for.

 

I know the Israeli's tested the Popeye II with the F-16I's, the II model was a later and a bit shorter version of the original version, they even tested a 3rd smaller version as well. The use of the version II models in combat is not known, it was a mid 80's missile. the "SPICE" bomb did evolved out of these and other weapons of this era. I did shorter a set for these for my 1/48th Kiwi F-16CK! :D

 

I may have to save these for a possible future IAF F-4E build! :D The SPICE Bombs will look super cool on her.

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oh yes I've ripped into this one, doing lots of sub-assemblies plus building up lots of stores....just for fun! :D

 

Will drop a proper update with photos later this arvo.

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Will look forward to how the Quinta Studio interior works in this scale - have used their F-16D in 48th, very easy to apply with a spot of PVA.  I suspect your aftermarket parts have at least doubled the cost of this build 😂

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On 6/20/2021 at 8:44 AM, FortyEighter said:

I suspect your aftermarket parts have at least doubled the cost of this build 😂

I try really hard not to think about what I spend on AM stuff, way to scary to think about!!!  :yikes:

 

Ok we’re off and running with this one, so a first update…..which as usual is all over the place, I really don’t follow instructions! Most of the work so far has been building up subassemblies, no painting yet.

 

No not some medieval torture device just trying to hold the main wheel well together while the glue dries. Am using the kit one as I can’t justify spending nearly $60US for a resin replacement when you can’t really see it anyway.

 

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Oh and the Inspector General has shown up to check the work…..he's a bit cross with me :rant: and refuses to look at the Bf-109E any more….reckons it’s a lost cause!

 

Ok the next part did take a while, preparing the cockpit for the Quinta Studio’s panels, the original moulded bits were quite nicely done, but even with careful painting they wouldn’t have come even close to how these new ones will look.

 

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Some filling was required to tidy up some joins and fill in some injection holes!

 

The seats were also subjected to the same treatment, they are both now ready for painting. I had planned to buy some resin replacements but the cost!!!!! Resin seats aad resin main wheel well would have cost more than the model itself….which wasn’t cheap to start with!

 

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The model so far builds quite nicely, there are some areas where the mould joins are a bit off and some of the detail is lost of the sides, case in point the “hump”. It’s a 2-piece affair with the sides nicely detailed but the top, which you’ll mostly see, the detail is very faint and almost missing in places. “Slide” moulding would have fixed this and other bits, but I guess costs become an issue, and this is not a cheap model to start with. 

 

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Plus they want you to assemble the “hump” and Conform tank now before the fuselage is joined together. This will be interesting as the fuselage is quite flimsy and I can already see some possible fit issues…..oh what fun to come!

 

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The wings and tail go together quite nicely, I’ve already fitted one of the rails.

 

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While I was playing with the fuselage I started to do some more test fitting and aligning of the new Zactomodels resin intake…..I can tell you now she’s not going to need any nose weights! I’ve drill some holes (on both sides) for the AN/AAQ-28 Litening pod & AN/AAQ-13 LANTIRN pod I'll use pins to hold them in place.

 

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It fitted almost perfectly first go, just some tweaks needed, next I need to join the nose to the intake trunk, this is then re-fitted (after painting the inside) into the fuselage in one piece…..it’s meant to be easy, so we shall see!

 

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…and den some fun stuff! Bombs and other things that go bang!

 

…and there are heaps with this model ½ of which aren’t mention in the instructions, even though they are on the same sprue with weapons unique to the F-16I. Plus even more strange is that none of the instructions for the other Academy 1/32nd F-16;s even mention them either!

 

Anyway these are the choices so far from L to R;

 

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AIM-120B , Python 4, AGM-130, 600gal wing tank, 300gal centre tank, AN/AXG-14 Pod, 370gal wing tank, GBU-31(V)3 JDAM, pair GBU-12 Paveway II’s.

 

Plus there is also some resin SPICE bombs on the way as well. I may try the magnet trick so I can change around the weapons loads as well…. Oh and here are the associated pylons as well, 2 different types for the wing drop tanks.

 

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Finally, I have decided on the scheme well squadron, 119 Squadron “The Bats”.

 

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By some strange coincidence I already have built an aircraft from this squadron, a Meteor NF.13 and plan to build a Kurnass and RF-4E(S) (big nose Recon bird) in this squadron/scheme as well…….guess I’ll now need to add a Mirage/Shahak and Vautour IIN as well…..now where am I going to find a 1/48th Vautour IIN for less than a gazillon dollars!!!!  

 

 

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  • trickyrich changed the title to IDF F-16I "Sufa" IAF Tayeset 119 "The Bats Squadron"
37 minutes ago, trickyrich said:

By some strange coincidence I already have built an aircraft from this squadron, a Meteor NF.13 and plan to build a Kurnass and RF-4E(S) (big nose Recon bird) in this squadron/scheme as well…….guess I’ll now need to add a Mirage/Shahak and Vautour IIN as well…..now where am I going to find a 1/48th Vautour IIN for less than a gazillon dollars!!!!  

 

 

Great start Rich. :thumbsup:

And your project is something I can relate to. 

The big nosed Phantom recon bird is one of the longest project I've built. 

It took me almost three years to complete, with lost of loss of interest during the period. 

But I'm glad I finished it. 

And as for a 1/48 Vautour IIN, guess what I have in the stash. :evil_laugh:

/Bosse

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A good start Rich, that loadout looks heavy!  I'm sure I read somewhere that the Israeli Air Force refuels its Sufas after take off as otherwise they couldn't get off the ground with the armament they carry.

 

Mike

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Wow!! never built a 1/32.soooooooo huuuuuuge!!

 

 

Miko (strictly one inch to six feet)

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On 6/27/2021 at 3:06 AM, Miko said:

Wow!! never built a 1/32.soooooooo huuuuuuge!!

By herself she is quite large, but compared to other modern jets she's quite small, an F-11 or MiG-31 are both 1/2 as long again!!! :yikes:

 

Ok time for another update and a lot has happened since the last one. I’m almost to the stage of closing the fuselage.

 

I have to say this is quite a nice model to build, not too many dramas and it goes together quite quickly as well. There are a few areas that have given a few issues but so far all is good.

 

Again, in no particular order…….

 

…. the ZactoModel AIM-120B’s were assembled, they are a wee bit different to the kit supplied ones, the fins are so fine.

 

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Plus they fit nicely as well, they have since been undercoated.

 

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The undercarriage and wheel wells have been painted (had/have to repaint a couple of bits……..  :wall: ), forgot to take photo of main wheel well!

 

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…and as can be seen it’s now fitted, it took some clamping to get to fit right at the sides as the fuselage appeared to be squished in a wee bit. All good now.

 

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Plus, I fitted this tail radar warning (?) part, the PE bit took a bit of work to fit snuggly as the fuselage curves both ways here. 

 

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The new intake and intake tunnel have been joined up ready to start work on the insides, the fit is nice but took a bit to get right. This unit will side in once the fuselage is together which will make life a bit easier.

 

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some added straightening bits...

 

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The same goes for the new exhaust, once painted, undercoat done, it’ll slide right in at the end, again making life and painting much easier!

 

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Plus the cockpit frame has been done as well.

 

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Right now the cockpit, it was painted the colour everyone seem to reckon is the right colour but of course the new cockpit decals are a lighter shade of grey (that would make a great song title!    )!! But I have come across a couple of photos showing different grey in an F-16 cockpit…… but the colour difference isn’t frightening plus the attention is drawn to the new details….. and boy they look nice!

 

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From the Quinta instructions, you do not used the kit side panels as backing for the new ones, rather you make some new ones, but as can be seen they needed extra work for them to sit right.

 

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I still have a little bit more to do here before it’s done.

 

Same for the seats, they’re about 70% done, and I think look not too bad, they look better in place and nicer that the $60 odd for resin replacements!.

 

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The IP’s look amazing, the detail in them is incredible, photos don’t do them any justice, in the flesh they are stunning in detail!

 

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Next the upper fuselage, the “hump” was fitted, it took a bit of fiddling to remove some of the gaps on the sides in places. The conformal tanks also needed some work to fit and sit correctly. The kit parts fitted too snuggly to the fuselage, where they actually sit slightly away from the fuselage and the mating edge is a bit rounded (slightly) and not sharp like the kit bits.

 

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These “extra” bits certainly changed the look of the F-16, from a beautifully sleek looking shark to a bit of a muscular bruiser that only a mother or Israeli's would love!

 

Finally with everything sitting in place (the cockpit tube has since been glued in place) it looks amazing….. just ignore the dust!

 

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As mentioned earlier, she’s going together quite quickly and reasonably trouble free. The fuselage is next to be closed. Test fitting has revealed that it may require some fiddling to get it all to sit right with minimal gaps……hopefully! 

 

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  • trickyrich changed the title to IDF F-16I "Sufa" IAF Tayeset 119 "The Bats Squadron" - update 28Jun

Those pits are impressive.  Be interesting to see if they will add enough to Tamiya F-15 pit to make it passable.

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Ok a big update, lots done..

 

…. first it was time to close up the fuselage and that was fun! Test fitting showed there would be a couple of issues and there was!

 

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As can be seen it needed some help! As mentioned earlier there is no real structure in the fuselage sections and they appeared to have been squashed a wee bit, most notable on the top piece, so lots of tape and clamps were required to get all the joins nice and reasonable. I a couple of places I needed to use CA glue to hold it together and add some strength.

 

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The joins ended up being not too bad, some stretched sprue sorted out the front ones.

 

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After initial clean up.

 

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The wings were next and just as problematic as well, like the fuselage there is no actual structure to the wings, or the wing/fuselage join. The wing glue together on 3 ½ sides and are hollow and flimsy. The flap adds a tiny bit of support, but it doesn’t really slot in all that well. 

 

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So to help set the wings correctly I needed to add this…

 

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… it’s hard to see (sorry for the quality) but the LHS is nice and level but the RHS sits up.

 

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It took a bit of work to correct but all is good (forgot photo), there was a gap/s, so they were filled with stretched sprue and a bit of filler to tidy up the join.

 

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Plus the shape of the “Cans” on each wing needed to be corrected, LH one is the correct shape.

 

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The intake joins (between front and rear sections) tidied up and then painted…really hard to get a good photo.

 

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The intake side antenna’s sit back further than the ones normally of F-16’s and are a completely different shape as well…..Academy unfortunately got the shape all wrong, they should be fatter and are asymmetrical, flatter on the top and fatter underneath. Plus the antenna face actually points slightly downwards as well. Little things, but as most know it’s the little things that are most annoying (kids included!!!). :D

 

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There are some AM replacements by Wolfpack which are now really hard to find…… I may have found some.... maybe, but will wait and see what’s in the box when it arrives. In the meantime I’ve started to modify the kit ones using photos as a reference.

 

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The new resin intake was next to be fitted and actually went in without too any issues and fits really nicely, just some sanding to sort out the joins and that’s it, no filler required.

 

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The wheel well has a wash in it, I have yet to start work on it. The exhaust can is painted and almost finished, it can be fitted last which is nice, the the intake fan is done.

 

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The canopy has had the mould line removed, it was actually quite involved to do, the mould line was easy to remove but getting the shine back took ages, the plastic used was quite soft so even using a 12000 grit micro fibre didn’t bring up a shine like it normally would. It ended up taking some careful polishing multiple time.

 

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Plus speaking of the canopy, I plan to leave mine open so I check how this would all work….and not I found! Using the kit parts the canopy sits way too low, plus the lifting actuator fouls the front ejection seat.

 

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It needs to sit this high, nearly the height of the rudder.

 

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I made a new actuator strut using the needle from an old Revell glue bottle. Now I just need to get the position right. That cross bar in the canopy looks to be wrong position wise going by photos, the actuator should be more parallel to the front edge of the rear instrument panel shroud. Modifying the bars position should sort out these fit issues.

 

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Wheels/U/c are nearly done.

 

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Plus I finally found out what these are, the instruction make not mention of them at all (for any of the Academy 1/32nd F-16’s for that matter), well it turns out they’re GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs! These are soooo cool!  :thumbsup:  The IDF issues orders to buy them in 2008 (even the RAAF has order 2800 of them) and they are cleared for use of F-16’s. I only have enough for one rack so I fit the one rack on one wing and a GBU-31 JDAM on the opposite or I go exotic precision and fit them to the centre pylon with a pair of SPICE on one the wing and rack on the other……… decisions decisions!

 

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Things going to plan I maybe planning to start to painting her after next weekend.

 

Plus for anyone building one of these is the Isradecal book on the F-16I, it’s an absolute MUST!

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  • trickyrich changed the title to IDF F-16I "Sufa" IAF Tayeset 119 "The Bats Squadron" - HUGE update 05Jul

...and yes the GBU-39's SDB is in use of F-16I's, this is a news article from 2015. 

 

107 Tayeset aircraft with GBU-39's fitted

 

Tayeset 109 "Knight of the Orange Tail" Sqn was the first to be operations with them, so I suspect they would have been rolled out to the other squadron there after. Finding photos of them fitted much operational info is really hard. 

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Right another big update, I've now completed the basic priming stage now, though things may slow a bit while I wait for the new sensor pods for the intake sides to arrive before I can go further.

 

I finished up doing all the joins by using some Tamiya Surface primer that I’ve had sitting around for years, this stuff is in the bottle and not can. It actually worked really well, it went on nice and thick. Then once dry a quick rub down with a Micromesh pad or a cotton bud soaked in nail polish remover and the joins were sorted.

 

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The nose was next to be fitted, I added quite a bit of weight too it just to make sure she’d sit right. Actually fitting the nose was a real pain, because the fuselage was a bit squashed the profile didn’t match the nose cone at all. Plus Academy have decided that you REALLY want to build this model with the nose cone open to show the radar, so there are guides at all to help everything to sit right if you decided to build it closed.

 

Needless to say I eventually got it glued in place and sort of square…..but I did manage to get liquid glue all over the place and fingerprints in it!!  :doh: Once it had enough time to dry I reprofiled it as well as removed my glue fingerprints.

 

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With all the sanding/joint work done I could then start to add all the smaller fairings etc.  Plus, I added the pylons for the smaller drop tanks, I decided not to use those huge ones.

 

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With all this done it was time to undercoat/prime everything. I had intended to use Tamiya XF-19 Grey but ran out so used XF-80 instead, which matched the plastic colour better. The Tamiya paint works so well as a primer for Lacquer topcoats, gives them something to really grab hold of.

 

I’m really happy with the finish, only a few rough bits to clean up in a couple of spots, the resin intake has blended in quite nicely as well.

 

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All the extra bits are done as well.

 

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The canopy was masked inside and out then painted black, then re-masked (there’s a black edging to the canopy on the outside, before being given a good coat of XF-80 so as the topcoats all match.

 

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The AIM-120’s have had their final main coats done, all the stores are now ready for detailing/washes and decals.

 

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Speaking of stores…… here are my options…plus they are now all main stores interchangeable as they have magnets fitted to them….

 

AGM-130’s (BMFB's) and Data pod

 

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…. GBU-31 (V3) JDAM & centreline tank

 

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….. pair of GBU-12’s & centreline tank (didn't fit the other pair for photo)

 

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…… GBU-39S SDB’s* + GBU-31 (V3) JDAM & centreline tank

 

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* Small Diameter Bomb

 

Plus I still have the SPICE Bombs on the way, so many choices.

 

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She’s now basically ready for painting, just a couple of things to do, the proper canopy is glued in place for now (PVA glue) so I can get the camo pattern right. I’m hoping to start painting her next weekend. In the meantime I’ll finish off the weapons and may even make a start on the F.2!! :wicked:

 

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  • trickyrich changed the title to IDF F-16I "Sufa" IAF Tayeset 119 "The Bats Squadron" - completed

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