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F-16 C - Block 30B***FINISHED***


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I have left this a bit late but I have been pretty busy with several other GB. Anyway I have reached a point when I should hopefully be able to complete  one entry, and it is high time I replaced my one and only existing F-16 which is the original Hasegawa moulding from 1976. As some of you will know that was based on one of the prototypes and as such is apparently pretty good, but if you don't want to build it in the attractive red, white and blue colour scheme Hasegawa provide markings for an in service "A", though I suspect that like all kits based on prototypes it is not entirely representative.

 

About 30 years ago I decided to spend some of my first redundancy money (I had another lot 25 years later) on an update and bought this from Beatties in Cardiff (long gone of course) for the princely sum of £7.49 apparently.

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To be honest I don't know that much about the F-16 so I have dug out half a dozen references, but given the fact that I only have 4 weeks before the deadline it is going to be pretty much OOB, though whether it ends up as a C or a D remains to be seen. Whilst I applaud Fujimi's effort to allow both single and two seat versions to be built from one kit, I have had bad experiences in the past involving a lot of filling and filing around poorly fitting fuselage inserts, but hopefully this should be not too bad. It looks quite a nice moulding. It comes with up to 4 Sidewinders, an alternative pair of what look like AIM 120 Amraams, a couple of Mavericks and some tanks but I may use some of the bits in my "modern US Weapons" set from Hasegawa depending on what I come up with in my research. The kit dates back to 1988 and I seem to recall that as with the F-15 the paint scheme may have changed since then as well. The "smoked" canopies are a nice touch.

 

More as and when I start, which will have to be pretty soon I guess.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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Welcome along Pete, great to see you in one of my GB's again.

 

By the sounds of it an updated (or newer) F-16 will be a nice addition to your collection. Having a look on Scalemates and she looks to be a nice model. Fujimi in their day produced some nice models.

 

Good luck with the build, there's still plenty in the build.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Rich,

 

It does not look too bad externally but the cockpit is a bit basic. I have neither the time nor the inclination to do a full re-work but as I was making an order to Hannants anyway I bouight a seat which should arrive soon - hence the delay in starting. I gather from one of the other builds on this GB the kit seat is not only wrong but may also be a bit too far forward and that it needs a bulkhead behind it as well so some fiddling around to do. I mentioned the "smoked" canopies earlier, but like the one that appeared from time to time on the Hasegawa Prowler, it seems not all of it should be tinted. Unfortunately both kits work on the all or nothing principle so I am going to have to live with it. I believe on the F-16 only the opening bit should be tinted and the rear section clear but it is moulded in one piece. If the fit is reasonable it should be a fairly quick build so I may take time to enhance the payload.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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Canopies are a complete mixed bag on the F-16s...especially after they have been in service for some time.  They can be clear to heavily tinted...and a mix and match thereof.  In fact there is so much variation in the canopies that they have a plaque adhered to them for the pilot to enter compensation numbers for the specific canopy into the weapon system computers.  If you have a reference for a specific airframe you are building to, you can use that.  If not, just run w/ whatever looks good to you.

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Posted (edited)

The seat has arrived so I have made a start. 

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I have added a rear bulkhead to the cockpit and some weight in the nose though that may not actually be needed.  I mentioned earlier that I am not a great fan of fuselage inserts but this seems to have fitted fairly well with just a touch of PPP - I will know more once it is primed, which may not be too long.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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Thanks Rich.

 

Before starting this build I had a look at Mario @Lifeline's build of the Fujimi A and was a bit puzzled when he seemed to add a bulkhead/blanking plate to what appeared to be the air intake - however I have now realised what he was doing. Fujimi provide a plate to blank off the rear of the main undercarriage bay but leave the front of the bay wide open!

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I have therefore added a plate as he did and am beginning to think that this is not one of Fujimi's best efforts - can't see Hasegawa missing that or the bulkhead at the rear of the cockpit. Still - easily fixed but I wonder what else they might have forgotten?

 

Pete

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I suppose it must be over 40 years since I build my previous F-16, the old Hasegawa kit, and over the years it has either gone into storage or been thrown so I had forgotten just how small it is!

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The wings and horizontal tails needed a touch of PPP as they were not a brilliant fit, but they are on and it is primed. Fujimi provide 2 different tail pipes, so I guess one is for the A version as I believe the engine was changed at some point. There are a few other bits that are not mentioned in the instructions so I will have to check my references to see what should be used. The discharge wicks or whatever they have moulded on the wings and tail are already bent so I will have to be more careful when handling it! The undercarriage is on, the wheels are  painted and everything else is primed so it will be camo painting time before long - 4 different shades of Gray as they say over the pond. I better make a decision on markings and payload.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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mmm looks nice!!!

 

Yes the tail pipes where changed with the engine type used on the block 30's and on....... not knowing the model they may have included the tail pipe for the GE engine version (it also had the bigger intake) your's is the PW engine version.

 

If I was to have a guess the extra one supplied (not part of the main sprue) is the right one. There should be a single line around the section behind the petals and it should be nice an straight.

 

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Hi Rich,

 

They are both the same size but the one they tell you to use has slightly longer, wider petals with an angled end, and the gap between the two lines is smaller. Both lines are straight most of the way round, but the one nearest the fuselage has a short section where it bulges out towards the line nearer the petals, goes back and then bulges out again - this may help. The text says it is a GE engine - I gather that from block 30 onwards blocks ending "0" eg 30/40/50 are GE powered and those ending "2" are P&W?

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The one on the main sprue has 2 parallel straight lines -according to the painting drawings the wobbly line should be at the bottom assuming it is correct, or should I be using the P&W version - not sure about the Fujimi intake but I have read that they now fit a "common" larger one nicknamed "Big Mouth" or something similar. The only C markings they provide that carry a serial is 85-1546 which I think from my listings was a Block "30B"

 

Like most modern jets there are numerous aerials, sensors etc forming bulges and bumps and Fujimi provide most of them as add-on parts - tiny and a bit of  pain but I got them on except for a couple I am leaving until later as they might break off. Not quite as bad as the old KP Mig 19 I built back in the 1970's which had over 20 such little intakes I believe and the plastic was white making them very hard to see against the fuselage! I then got a couple of thin coats of the main grays on.

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A fair bit of touching up to do but it is getting there, though it will look better once I have masked and painted the radome!

 

Cheers

 

Pete

 

Edited by PeterB
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yeah the one in the picture is for the GE power units, they also had the "wide mouth" intakes ( so Block 30, 40, 50 etc), and the one with the straight lines as mentioned is for the PW power plants with the narrower intake mouth (Block 32, 42, 52 etc).

 

And yes you're right, that serial number is for a Block 30 and a Ramstein bird as well.

 

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Thanks Rich,

 

I see that some of the 52TFW planes did take part in the first Gulf War, though apparently not 546 - most seem to have been from a later batch but were still block 30 planes. The Desert Storm website says that the ones using Lantirn were block 40, so I wonder if I would be wrong adding Lantirn to my block 30 - any ideas? I am not doing a Desert Storm bird but one back in Germany a year or two later. Accoring to one book I have, the big mouth intake was first fitted on Block 30D planes so my kit probably does not have it and it also says Lantirn capabiity was from block 40 onwards so I suspect I will have to give it a miss.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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it's a long spiral down the rabbit hole once you start with F-16 Block number....... trust me!!! :blink:

 

I'd probably stick with any photo's you have or the instructions

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Thanks Rich.

 

Yes, I will probably go with the kit options - either one from the 52TFW at Spandahlen or the leader of 432TFW at Misawa in Japan in the mid 1980's.

 

Pete

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I have ordered some Master brass for the kit but whilst I am waiting for it to arrive I think I am ready to start putting decs on.

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 I think that under the circumstances the only change I will make to the loadout is a jammer pod under the centreline - AN/ALQ 131 should be right for the period I believe.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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  • PeterB changed the title to F-16 C - Block 30B?

Don't know whether to laugh or cry as they say! Normally when I paint kits I use whatever make of paint I have to hand that is supposedly the correct shade. However in this case Fujimi specify Gunze Mr Hobby Colour H305 and H306 for the uppers and I have both of them so that is what I used. However, for some reason the decs for the national insignia and walkway lines are virtually the same colour and are effectively invisible!

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Not too bothered about the walkway lines but I will replace the stars with some from my decal stock that look a little darker, but then so did the ones on the sheet until I put them on and I rather suspect the "Grey Owl" insignia for the 432TFW will have the same problem as will the refuelling receptacle markings - sometimes you can't ruddy win! I may have to switch to the one from 52TFW - we shall see shortly.

 

Actually, looking at photos it seems that the stars should actually be lighter than the camo so I will see what I can find. It seems possible that my bottle of H305 is not coming out as dark as Fujimi expected - I see IPMS Stockholm call FS+6118 "Gunship Light Gray" as distinct to FS*6081 "Gunship Dark Gray" which I am pretty sure is what I used on my old Hasegawa kit, but they do say *6118 is correct for the F-16! It must be either the paint being a bit light or maybe Fujimi had the decs printed in the light version so they stand out from the dark one, maybe due to incorrect research?

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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I does look a little light.  This was the Model Master FS 36118 Gunship Gray I used on my blitzbuild (and will by using for my Diana builds).  Some of the overall grey birds were lighter, but those were typically flown by other nations.

 

51408292102_65e02642ab_c.jpg

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On 9/6/2021 at 8:26 PM, helios16v said:

I does look a little light.  This was the Model Master FS 36118 Gunship Gray I used on my blitzbuild (and will by using for my Diana builds).  Some of the overall grey birds were lighter, but those were typically flown by other nations.

 

This particular paint seems to be one of those colours that is sensitive to light level and angle.

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As you can see the Port wing looks quite a bit darker in the above pic. It may just be that once it has had a coat of flat varnish it may just look different again. The replacement stars look somewhat closer to the real thing. The grey I used for the nose is Xtracrylic Dark Compass Gray and I don't thing it is dark enough, but I am going to have to repaint it anyway once the AOA  sensors and nose probe go on.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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It looks pretty good from that angle.  The different sheens of the paint & decals are probably playing havoc like you were eluding to.

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yeah those grey's and the grey decal sometimes just disappear even when you use the correct colour they recommended. More often than not the kit supplied decals are a bit off colour wise. But light changes and viewing angle will make a difference as well, so don't get too worried about it.

 

The radomes, the colour variations can be quite dramatic, any of the common "camo greys" could be considered ok in this case. It's all down to how old and faded they are.

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6 hours ago, trickyrich said:

yeah those grey's and the grey decal sometimes just disappear even when you use the correct colour they recommended. More often than not the kit supplied decals are a bit off colour wise. But light changes and viewing angle will make a difference as well, so don't get too worried about it.

 

worry-crop

 

Pete

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  • PeterB changed the title to F-16 C - Block 30B-Decals on!

I have finished putting the decs on - at least those I am going to use as some seem to be more applicable to the F-16A.

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I do sometimes wonder if the USAF were taking the low-vis scheme entirely seriously back in the 1980's as they promptly plastered on some highly visible stencils - the F-15C I build earlier this year for the Interceptors GB was even worse! I rather think the nose of an F-16 is not quite the right shape for a shark's mouth - maybe the intake would have been better? The Master brass has arrived so I will put that on next, together with the wheels and pylons.

 

Pete

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A little touching up to do and then I can load it up.

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The centreline AN/ALQ 131 pod is already on.

 

Pete

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34 minutes ago, PeterB said:

load it up.

Pete, nice and busy load out. And you have got yours done in a fraction of the time I’ve taken.  :goodjob: 

 

Chris

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  • PeterB changed the title to F-16 C - Block 30B***FINISHED***

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