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The Rumourmonger's Barak build


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MEDIOCRE MODELING ALERT!!!!....AROOGAH....MEDIOCRE MODELING ALERT!!!....AROOGAH...THIS IS NOT A DRILL!

Ok I finally got my Kinetic Barak finished late last week. And here it is, viewer discretion advised.

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The kit is the basic Kinetic F-16C with Israeli specific ECM antennas included. The areas that differ include the forward ECM blister in front of the cockpit behind the radome, fairings along the intake that stand out further than the original, Israeli 'Beercan' ECM antennas on the wing leading edge, a heat exchanger that goes on the lower left fuselage just aft of the main gear bay and 4 'Pizza Box' ECM antennas that go around the engine in front of the exhaust. One thing that influenced me as to which Barak to build was influenced by the lack of specific Israeli weaponry in the box. Skunk Models has since issued sets which include Python 3 and 4 missiles as well as various air to ground missiles such as the Popeye, Delilah and GBU-15. I will be purchasing these to go with my Sufa and future F-16D Barak builds. Here I went for an early F-16C loaded for an air to air mission - complete with wrong markings. More later.

Many of the pros and cons of the Kinetic Viper versus the Tamiya and Hasegawa kits are well known, and as much as I love a good old fashioned donnybrook I am going to only deal with the issues that pertain to the build.

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One reason I like the Kinetic kits is the ability to do foreign operated F-16s out of the box, and I freely admit the detail problems that others have had with the kit do not bother me as much as I am usually lucky to get within 1000 feet of the real thing at an air show.

One aspect that causes problems are the knockout pins, some are pretty badly placed, such as those on the fin and flaps, but a little bit of work with putty and sanding sticks takes care of them. I use Tamiya putty and once I get the depressions filled I will put a thin skin of thin CA over them with a toothpick and another swipe of the sanding stick, the CA helps keep the putty from showing any shrinkage over time. It has not been as much of a problem with the Tamiya brand, but I got into the habit when I worked with Squadron Green Putty a while ago. Many have commented on the pins in the intake above the main gear bay. On my first build of a Norwegian F-16AM, I think I spent the better part of a week trying to get the pins knocked down and smoothed out, only to realize that unless I had a dental mirror and a pen light I could not see up that far in the intake. So on this and any future ones, I’ll snip the pins in this area and give a rough coat of white and not lose any sleep over it again. It is one aspect of building jets that I hate - intakes, sort of like greenhouse canopies on WW II aircraft - think Devastator or Me-110, except on those any shortcuts are glaring, on jets I just don't gaze longingly into them.

The rest of the kit went together well. I have been doing this long enough to remember in the 80’s when I started to look far a field for new subjects and started to run up against some really 'challenging' builds to say the least such as the KP line of 72nd Migs (what was the flash and what was the part?) They may not be as much of a 'Shake and Bake' kit as the Tamiya but all in all not bad. The couple of areas that I do different than what the instructions call for are in attaching the intake mouth (Step 8 - minus the nose gear) prior to attaching the upper and lower fuselages. It facilitates fiddling with the back end of the intake and the front of the trunking above the gear bay that would not be accessible if the upper fuselage was attached.

I'd also attach the instrument panel into the coming atop the fuselage rather than attaching it to the tub as the instructions show. It may be too small but it seems to get lost otherwise in the cockpit. The other general advice to look out for on all of the Kinetic builds is that one sands and test fits the panels that go around the nose with the antennas as well as the gun muzzle (A10 in the kit) My AM build had them standing just a bit proud so on this one I spent a couple of minutes sanding them to get them to fit well, the gun part took the most fiddling to get right.

One thing I tried new with this build was the ‘pour’ method of painting the mouth of the intake. Tape up the back of the assembly to seal it and pour in whichever ‘thickish’ white paint you have lying around - I used Tamiya and made a hell of a mess. Fortunately I was working over a pie tin and caught the paint as it poured out of gaps in my 'seal'. It looks okay but not really stellar. Perhaps on my next one I may try white Millput into the seam and smooth it out with a damp finger…..or I may just grab some Steel Beach intake covers.

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That experience sort of ties with my next bit of advice - especially for those of us modeling Luddites who hate their airbrushes. Assemble the entire landing gear prior to painting ANYTHING. The fit tolerances were such that on my AM build I had trouble getting the main gear pins to go into their sockets due to paint build up. The other bit that this benefits from is the 'uvula' strut in the intake - you know the strut that hangs down from the top of the mouth - right? It is part C2 in Step 8. I attached it prior to painting and did not snap it when I put it in. I think this is literally the first Viper I have build where that stupid thing has survived my ham fisted assembly. As for painting the wheel bays I painted them with a pale gray - I think it was Polly Scale WW II Japanese Navy Gray - the color we USED to think Zeroes were painted in. Once that got a good coverage I used a couple of passes of Refer White - also from Polly Scale before following up with dry brushing white. This way it seemed to do a better job in avoiding a build up around raised detail that brushing white straight onto bare plastic often brings.

So I got it completed up to being onto its gear struts and was about to put the wheels onto it the next morning when I went to bed. Next morning I found out my cat had sat on it and collapsed the landing gear. Minutes of cursing and swearing at the cat followed. I was able to fix it with CA and drilling small holes for reinforcing the gear with wire. It is a fix that I am unfortunately getting used to - my youngest son wiped out my Airfix Spitfire this weekend and I had to do it again.

Here is one of two places where I suggest aftermarket for the kit, the wheels. The wheels are designed to handle the various hub and tire combinations with two tire sections sandwiching the hub on all three wheels. It actually makes for easier pre-painting of the hubs and tires but two things stood out on my AM build, paint build up making it hard to get the tires on and then having a gap between the halves of the tire once I got them on. On this build (as well as my Sufa and second AM) I purchased Royale Resin tires. Emailing Doug I asked about which tire sets would work with the Kinetic kit as he not yet released a specific set for them. It turned out that a combination of I believe the Hasegawa nose gear and Tamiya main gear was what he suggested and ended up selling me. I think it was as a result of the way Hasegawa designed the main gear to attach to the axle - it differed from the way Tamiya did it. I though I saw a week or so ago that he was starting to offer Kinetic specific sets so give them a look, they were the easiest aftermarket wheels I had as of yet used. My favorite aspect is that the axle location is already partially drilled and to the right size, so all one needs is to get a pin vise and micro drill and they fit exactly. I have often resorted to a small blob of Milliput in an oversized hole using True Details wheels over the years when I misjudged either the center or size of the axle I needed to attach them to.

The other area I’d go for is an aftermarket seat. This is one aspect I really think Kinetic did not get right (see I can get a bit 'anal retentive modeler' on a kit) but I have yet to figure out which aftermarket ejector seat fits, the ACES I have from both True Details as well as Quickboost both hit the top of the canopy. Eduard with their new Brassin line of resin is, I believe, doing a Kinetic specific seat in their next group of releases. I have had a bit of a problem getting the kit supplied ones together square, but at least you get a pair in each boxing so if you muff one up you have another to mess around with. But I have had to sand down the sides of the seat to get them into the cockpit tub, it’s below the sill and consoles so no real great loss.

Now onto painting…..

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For some reason recently I have been losing interest in builds when I get to painting them and the Barak was no exception. I used Polly Scale and Acryl paints for the camo. One thing to remember for those of us who brush is that the Sand color (FS 33351) is classified as a yellow by the Feds and it behaves just like a yellow for brushing it, lots of coats and poor coverage. It is almost enough to get me to want to dig out the airbrush…nah. The other top colors are TAC Tan, aka Vietnam Tan (FS 30219), and Pale Green (FS 35622). Now honestly I don’t know if that is the right FS as it is basically WW II RAF Sky. One must make sure that the color has enough of a green tint to it, I recall some brands Sky Type S that were more yellow than green, but I have used Polly Scale now for years. Though I may have to look at Acryl if the demise of the Polly Scale brand rumored around here for the last couple of months is true. Light Ghost Gray (FS 36375) is the underside and Modern Neutral Gray (FS 36270) is what I used for the radome and antennas. The exhaust was painted with a combination of Games Workshop Boltgun Metal and Polly Scale Engine Gray for the carbon fiber parts of the exterior. The interior is a poorly applied white gunked up with washes and dry brushing to show the ceramic interior to the nozzle that is often found today - thanks to some guys around the net for helping me with the painting back there. The wash is Pro-Modellers dark wash, I love the stuff.

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I had picked up Grunze paints to try out on this build but honestly I don’t like their brush painting properties. They seem to take forever to dry so that one can apply the next coat and then because they are glossy the second and subsequent coats don’t go down easily. I don’t know if it is Japanese paints in general but I have yet to really find one I like brushing. I use ½†sable hair brushes for large area coverage and various pointed ones for detail painting as well as 'cutting in' the camo to it’s final standard.

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Now here is where I got bit on the rear end by a decal instruction sheet. I had picked up the Aeromaster F-16 sheets probably 12 years ago when they were released. I could not wait to do an Israeli F-16....then I found out what was involved and the cost of the conversions so they sat in the decal dungeon under my bench. I always like the Test and Evaluation units markings - the red striping on the tail and the instructions showed it as a ‘C’ model, numbered 020...wrong. 020 is an Block 30 F-16D two seater, my Isradecal book even has 3-4 pics of it, but I went ahead anyway, I liked the look. I had done my build as an early Barak with the Pizza Box antennas around the back end and the decals in the Kinetic kit are very up to date with markings for the First Squadron with the winged skull on the tail and Scorpion Squadron - with a - well scorpion on it. In both cases one must make up your mind before starting painting as the tails are painted differently from the 'standard' scheme to accommodate the tail art. I’ll build another eventually with these markings. One thing to remember that the Pizza Box ECM has been removed from Israeli aircraft and those that had them still show a plate where they were, probably something for .005 plastic sheet or PE. And now come to think of it I probably built this up as a wrong Block Viper also - The closest pic to this one in the T&E squadron is #301on page 83 of the Isradecal book and I think that is a Block 30. Oh well nobody is going to see this - right?

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The final touches were adding the 4 AIM-9L/M Sidewinders I had originally painted up for my Norwegian F-16AM build when I realized they were using IRIS-T now. I left off the other underwing pylons and only assembled the centerline tank which you may see in a few pics. Yes it is orange, in a pic somewhere in my reference library is a pic of a Viper with a red or orange centerline tank, probably used as an adversary aircraft, don’t know why an operational Viper would have one loaded with live missiles but I thought it looked cool, and if I can find it I’ll add it, otherwise I have about 5 under fuselage tanks either still on the sprues of unbuilt kits or in the spares box. I have not made up my mind yet. I sort of like the look of a Viper lean and mean - especially as the next one will probably be a Sufa loaded for bear.

I was all ready to go when I looked around for my canopy....found it. My son had knocked it off and stepped on it. Lucky Model sent me a replacement within two weeks so as long as I was able to keep Number Two son and the cat away from it, al I had to do was wait. It survived and here it is an outstanding example of mediocrity in modeling……my Kinetic Barak

Refs:

Isradecal’s F-16C/D Barak by Ra’anan Weiss ansd Alon Koren

Thanks to:

Certain people around the web who survived the Kinetic Wars of last year and still put up with me

Raymond at Lucky Model for the great service both when I bought the kit and when I needed the replacement canopy

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Matt

Edited by Matt Roberts
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That's one sharp looking Viper....if I could brush paint half that good, I would throw away the airbrush tonite. I just wish my airbrushed jobs came out looking that good. That's AWESOME. :cheers::nanner:

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That's one sharp looking Viper....if I could brush paint half that good, I would throw away the airbrush tonite. I just wish my airbrushed jobs came out looking that good. That's AWESOME. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

It looks better from farther away! Especially tha Sand - I hate that color BUT I love Israeli birds.

One benefit of using the Promodelers wash PRIOR to the gloss coat is that it 'grubbies' up the paint and 'weathers' it a bit. Makes coverage mistakes not so obvious

Thanks for the kind words

Matt

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