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VTANG 50th Anniverary F-16C

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Here's the current status of my build:

The kit seat with added lead foil straps with wire buckles.

I added a wire "hose" to the oxygen bottle on the side and added the pull ring and emegency release handle to the sides. Also some little bits of rod on either pitot arm.


I used the kit decals on the consoles and panel since I want a fairly simple build. The only additions here are a couple of discs punched out with a Waldron set for the buttons and knobs on the stick and throttle. I have a piece of guitar string to make the G-suit and oxygen lines out of.


Here's the intake after filing, fitting, filling and sanding. And paint. It took a little time but wasn't a real trouble. How come Academy left that bit step on the front edge of the intake bottom piece? I'll mask off the part to remain white before I attach it to the fuselage.



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Oops, I never posted the obligatory box and contents shots:

I'm going to try and use the kit decals. I hope they work! I'm glad someone mentioned the trick to Academy decals is very hot water. I guess I'll have to get one of those coffee cup hot plate thingies.




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A quick question..

How does the Academy F-16 differ from the Hasegawa offerings? (Other than the cockpit decals) They appear to have the same parts break-down. In building my F-16ADF, I found the Hasegawa kit to have some fairly significant fit issues...it was a fun build, just frustrating at times.

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Cockpit is looking great, Dave, and I really like the seatbelts. You've also got that intake cleaned up really well, and I think it'll look great when completed.

BTW, you're right....you've got to keep the water very hot when soaking those Academy decals. I've found that the best way to get them to release from the backing paper is to let them soak for at least ten seconds in hot water, lay them on a piece of paper towel for about 90 seconds, and then dunk them one more time. Also, you might want to avoid using MicroSet until after you have the decals positioned; if you use it beforehand, you might not be able to move them around into position easily, and this is where they sometimes crack and shatter. Instead, get it where you want it, blot it with a paper towel, and then apply MicroSet.

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I forgot to ask this the last time, but how did you paint the interior of the intake?

Thanks for the kind words, all!

Keith, just a couple of coats of Floquil Reefer White followed by a few of coats of Testors "Boyd's White". It's marketed for the car guys but I think it's the best gloss white around for opacity. I thinned what was left in the cup after each coat to get it as glossy as possible and just shot it in the intake from each end. There's a ridge right around the lip but I can sand that off since it's going to be gray in the end. No special trick. Having the last coat so think prevents orange peel pretty much.

I was hoping Habu would chime in with the differences between the kits. I can say that the guy that cut the Academy mold had the Hasegawa pieces in his hands while he was doing it. The panel lines on the fuselage are identically positioned.

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OK, I'll chime in and try not to be too negative. IMO the Academy kit is second only to the Hasegawa kit in 1:48. (I expect that to change when the Tamiya kit hits the streets but that is then not now)

Yes the Academy kit has several (identical) similarities to the Hasegawa kit but it has some important differences. The Academy kit also has several similarities to the Revell kit, like the wing/fuselage construction, etc. IMO the Academy designer based the molds on a combination of these two kits.

The "problems" with the Academy kit are not unique to it, several other manufacturers have similar errors. Specifically, the Academy kit has:

- incorrectly shaped aft fuselage strakes & speedbrakes (due to simplifying the mold design)

- non-bulged canopy (due to simplifying the mold design)

- inaccurate inlet opening (just plain wrong)

- lack of cockpit detail (easy to fix as you can see here)

- the usual complaints about parts fit & seams etc (just like 95% of the kits out there)

If you can live with these (few) problems then the Academy kit is a great F-16 model and can be found for a very good price. It takes someone who really knows the Viper to even notice the differences.

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  • 2 months later...

At long last, another update. It's almost ready for the paint barn. I think all the filling is done, the first coat of paint will confirm that, or, reveal what faults remain.

The exhaust is painted with Alclad II, I forget the shades, Magnesium and dark aluminum I think. Then I masked and painted the areas where the petals overlap with Floquil grimy black. The interior is Floquil reefer white with some areas of grimy black and then streaked with W&N oils, burnt umber and Payne's grey. It is too reddish - should be more tan - but I'm going to leave it.

The missiles are LGG with Alclad Magnesium for the fins, which I thinned quite a bit and tried to fashion the "faceted" look to the 120s fins. The seeker heads of the 'winders are a mix of MM Helo Drab and steel. The rollerons were masked and painted Alclad dark aluminum. Since I took the picture I added the bands between the 'winders sections out of Bare Metal matt aluminum foil.

I just added the anti-skid cables to the main gear and used Bare Metal foil (chrome) for the bands and for the retraction struts and the oleo part of the main gear leg. I've seen both polished metal and sort of an O.D. there. I think the O.D. is more correct but most people won't know. I drilled the landing and taxi lights and put in conical disks of a heavier adhesive foil I got as part of some electronics packaging. It works good for this, I punch a disk and then slit it from the center to the edge in one spot. That way, when I put it in the drilled depression it automatically forms into the conical shaped depression the tip of the drill left. Then I put in a drop of 5 minute epoxy. It makes a very convincing lens - easy and cheap!


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The paint is on. Model Master FS36270 - Neutral Gray and FS16118 - Gunship Gray, both lightened with about 25% white. I had the tanks and stations 2 and 8 painted with straight neutral gray but it looked way too dark to me so I repainted them along with the airframe. I had already decaled the tanks but there are sufficient duplicates on the decal sheet to do them over again. The radome is a mix of I think neutral gray and and light ghost gray, the instructions tell which and give proportions. I used more of the lighter of the two colors to make it over all lighter.




Glossed with MM clear gloss enamel. I'll give it a few more days to dry and then start gluing on the decals. The nice, thick, stiff Academy decals...

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  • 2 weeks later...

The decals are on, some a little crooked... I used a Future-Solvaset mix to apply them and once that stuff begins to set up you can't shift them. I didn't notice the hoist marker on the vertical tail was so askew until it was much to late to fix. I guess I need more practice!




All that remains is a light panel wash, dull coat and the attachment of the sticky-outy bits.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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