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A tale of three little F-16's

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Hi there,


So there I was, sitting in my chair, thinking, what could I build, annoyed a bit with my 72 scale Academy Phantom decals. I figured, I could have an F-16 for dinner.

After quick stroll I found three little houses, with three little 1/48 F-16's. One lived in a straw house, one lived in stick house and one lived in brick house. Now the question was, which one was where.

So I huffed and I puffed and I blew this one in:




Not having enough, I huffed and I puffed once more, and blew this one in:




Still not enough for a wolf like me, I huffed and I puffed, and blew this one in:




Hopefully, by the end of this build I'm going to find out, which one of them piggies F-16's lived in which house. Muahahahaa! Muahahahaaaaa!



Edited by Thadeus
Some pic swapping ;)
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2 hours ago, habu2 said:

Sorry, your pics are not showing up for me....  ☹️

Hopefully, everything is sorted now 🙂 Not much to see right now though 😉


Thanks for stopping by!

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Ok, after a bit of fiddling with the builds, I do have an idea which piggie might live in a straw house. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Let's begin with a bit of complaining:

I've no real problems with Hasegawa, which I expect will be the easiest build. Italeri will probably have some simplifications, fake details and such, which I will have to either correct or leave as they are. Kinetic, if the reports are true will fight me, I truly fear the nose assembly.

But the first surprise came from Hasegawa. A missing part. Unfortunatly it's quite an important part, that goes under the canopy. I'm probably going to have to make it form scratch. There's also one more part missing, that goes on the spine, but it's just a flat plate. Still, a bit annoying.



What I love about new Italeri kits is their decals. Nice options, good quality decals. Just don't trust the paint diagrams. Sometimes there's some color problem with the decals themselves. But I've noticed it can be traced to different lighnting conditions and such of reference photos. Usually nothing major. And there's this kit. I'm going for the Oregon ANG option. My very first F-16, an Italeri 1/72 B wore similar decals. Quite fitting to use something similar for my first F-16 in 1/48. Just the color of the lighter parts of the eagle are off. More in terms of 36270 used on the tail. Should be much lighter gray. So I either have to mask the tail, or forget it. Masking the eagle would be easy. But the Oregon legend is going to be tricky. I've had some bad experience trying to cut out letters. So that's a minus for the Italeri Kit.




Oh look. Italeri again. That was expected. Panel lines on the spine insert don't line up.



Yes. Much better now. Gap should be easy to fill with plastic card.




But there will be a problem with the canopy. It would probably disturb the shape of a model. So I guess rescribing is the way to go. BTW. Notice how nice the panel lines are? A bit soft, but nice.




Funny thing is, the Italeri kit, in my neck of the woods is a little more expensive than Hasegawa F-16CJ. About 3$ or such. Hasegawa F-16F I bought for about 10$ more than Hasegawa F-16CJ. I wonder if the more expesive Deser Falcons would have all the parts 😉 Kinetic I managed to get for 1,5$ less than Tamiya, which was again, about 10$ more than the F-16F from Hasegawa. So I guess I should've gotten the Tamiya kits. Not much of a showdown would that be though 😉


Next up, cocpkits. Thanks for stopping by.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for having this GB. I really like comparing what's out there. Different kits might have a lot of common ideas, and yet still be totally different. Italeri and Heller 1/72 Mirage 2000 come to mind. Or Italeri and Hasegawa Kfirs. Sometimes one can be quite surprised with the outcome of such comparison.


I've been doing a lot of on-off modeling, at least by my current standards. So what mysteries are there in my favourite place in the aircraft - the cockpit?


First the Hasegawa one. This one, quite surprisingly required the most work. Front IP is OK-ish for an "C" - not really for any block 60's though. The aft IP doesn't even cut it for anything other than "B".



After a bit of work, I made up something vaguely resembling the cockpit of block 60's. That's actually pretty good by my standards.




Both the tubs feature nice raised details. I hope to pick them up after painting. The aft bulkhead is inaccurate at least for the front office. I don't really know about the aft one. There are probably some other inaccuracies in the buttons and such. I can't seem to find a picture of block 60 rear cockpit.





And here's the front office with seat in place. That's not a lot of space for the pilot.




Hasegawa seat consists of four parts. It's quite basic but acceptable by my standards.




With Kinetic kit, You get a nice, Tamiya'esque cockpit tub, with separate side consoles. Fit is quite good. Way better than I've heard.




Seat is a bit better detailed than Hasegawa, save for the aft part which is just a blank wall.




Italeri. Well. I gotta say I like that cockpit. Detail seems nice, there are some omissions such as lack of radar screen on the lower middle console, simplified dials, hud control panel strangelly lowered. Still,




And look at that seat. If it wasn't for the ejector pin markings.




All three seats are a little different. There is significant difference in height with Hasegawa being the biggest one. I placed them, as I rate any other ejection seats, with seat cushion on the one level. It lets me check how high the seat is regarding the side consoles. Usually, it is more or less levell with the side consoles, so with adding or removing material from the lower part of the seat I could adjust it's height.

Oh, its Italeri to the left, Kinetic in the middle, and the Hasegawa to the right.




But frankly, each of the seats have something that annoys me. Italeri has too short headrest and weird back cushion - too thin.

Kinetic is fiddly, and the headrest looks weird, flat or something. There's no portruding part on the aft plate, which is present on two other seats.

Hasegawa is just huge. I'll have to compare it to some other seats in 1/48. It could also use a proper flight data recorder (?) box on the side, as the one in the kit looks like a dimple.




I've added some sidewall details to the models, totally made up. But at least it's there, right? 😉


I've been doing a lot of subassemblies. One such I was very anxious about was mating the forward and aft portions of the upper fuselage of Kinetic kit. Gotta say. WOW! Nice fit with almost no step. Great! BTW check out that details.



Curious thing about the wingtip launchers. From top to bottom Kinetic, Italeri, Hasegawa. Obviously, I'm not using Hasegawa launchers. I'll replace them with LAU-127's from the kit. Kinetic will also get their appropriate -127's. But Italeri? I separated the kit launchers and I'm planning on using the Kinetic ones even though the look "a bit" too skinny.




I've a bit of a plan regarding the stores. While I know exactly what I'll hang under the Kinetic and Italeri ones, I've not yet decided what will hang under the wings of the Hasegawa one.

Italeri will have 4x aim-9L's with centerline tank, Kinetic will have 9x and 120 combo, with centerline tanks. Hasegawa will 100% have the centerline tank. The rest is still in the unknown.

Well. I'd be hesitant to use the Italeri or Kinetic wing tanks. Italeri are just weird and too skinny. Kinetic has too bulbous tanks which look weird. They do however have the best detail and correct fins.



And so I figured, why not experiment with magnets. Out came the drills and 1x1mm neodymium magnets.






And voila! In the hindsight, I probably should've used 2x1 mm magnets. Might be stronger. I'm not 100% confident small ones will hold the fuel tank with pylon. Plus drilling so many holes and then fitting the magnets the correct side was annoying. Note to self, if I ever do this again, reverse the polarity on the wings, so I  won't be able to mix the right pylons with left ones.




Oh, I've cut the flaps on the Hasegawa one. Will do the same on the Italeri.




Thanks for stopping by! Stay tuned for the intakes, that's where the fun starts!



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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Guys for the kind words. I've contemplated adding Tamiya to the mix. But frankly I suppose this would not be too fair. Neither Hasegawa nor Kinetic have all the stuff Tamiya Viper has - details, fit and such.


I've done some minor work on the Italeri kit. Right now my Hornets take up most of the time.



After filling most of the panel lines on the insert, I put a bit of black paint to check the work.




Some rescribing work. I HATE rescribing rectangles. Lots of mistakes.




I'm a bit scared to put some paint on. It will probably look like it was carved with a finger nail.


Thanks for stopping by!

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  • 4 months later...

So how about some update? I've managed to complete the cockpits. Even glue them in, but that's another story.


From left to right: Italeri, Kinetic, Hasegawa.




I painted the ejection seats black, as a base. They're nowhere near finished.











Love the details on both the Kinetic and Hasegawa cockpits. Italeri is slightly behind.


I also fitted the wings to the upper fuselage of the Hasegawa Viper. I found this the preffered solution for the 1/72 version. Works so so for the 1/48.


Next time I hope to have the main fuselage assembly of all three Vipers.






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On 8/14/2020 at 11:10 AM, Kurt H. said:

That is very nice detail painting on the cockpits. I had to double check and verify it was 1/72 scale... very tiny details cleanly painted. 

Thanks. They're actually 1/48 😉 I'd love to get that much detail in 1/72.

My current work setup (the kitchen island) is not optimised for modelling. No good light source, as the MoD (Ministry of Decorations) prefers the dimmed lights there. Gotta get myself a portable lamp that'd make painting small details easier. Or at least that's my excuse for the shaky hand painting for now 😉

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On 8/15/2020 at 7:47 AM, Thadeus said:

Thanks. They're actually 1/48 😉 I'd love to get that much detail in 1/72.

My current work setup (the kitchen island) is not optimised for modelling. No good light source, as the MoD (Ministry of Decorations) prefers the dimmed lights there. Gotta get myself a portable lamp that'd make painting small details easier. Or at least that's my excuse for the shaky hand painting for now 😉

My fault.  I was pretty tired when trying to catch up with this thread and I thought these were 1/72, and I figured you used a microscope to paint them. They look really good.

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  • 4 months later...

Oooh little pig... ekhem Vipers where are You.

Here we are here we are, You won't catch Us.


I'm still at it. And plan to finish the job. Though my attention is shifting nowadays to other projects.


Here's the both newest and oldest one. Hasegawa. The one I have the least problems with I'm dead set on markings (not much else to do with a block 60. Right?), decals are ok-ish for the build. Basicly what's left is to paint, glosscoat, decal, glosscoat, weather, flatcoat and do the final assembly. 




Some filling was needed but I expected that from a kit of such age.


This is how it looked yesterday. Apparently I can no longer make fine lines with my airbrush.




The biggest problem I had was with that damned radome. Here's the better side.




Kinetic will take some more time, as I have to do some more assembly. I'm having slight problem choosing markings. Either I'll go with the box markings with decorated fin, or for just a plain gray bird. I'm not yet sure if I'll blackbase this scheme or do a preshade. Or perhaps just postshading. That'd be interesting. All 3 Vipers with different painting techniques. I'll think about it.




And Italeri. This one will get color first. Here's all made up.




And with some ultra stealth black paint.




Apparently the rescribing job came out not that bad. Obviously that's the better side. There's still some filling to do around the aft part of the canopy.




Well. But there are some significant problems with this build. I really dig the Oregon ANG scheme. Both on F-16's and F-15's. I really like the Italeri decals. Their choice is pretty nice despite kits being so-so. Decals are thin and apply nicely. There are often some problems with the actual decals, color. This time it's the light gray on the eagle. It's very dark. The OREGON legend is of the wrong font. Shame really.




The color scheme is most definatly wrong for the decals. 1. It's the early scheme of the F-16's. 2. the OREGON font is of the different (and correct!) type. 3. Eagle light gray is of the different gray (much more proper-ish). The upper drawing (without the inscription "City of Sweet Home") is pretty much correct for this bird as it appeared sometime before 1994. Frankly, this verision of the scheme appeals to me much more.


See? : https://www.f-16.net/g3/f-16-photos/album38/album68/81-0691


Decals however (and boxart) seem to be based on this version / picture. I doubt the eagle head and legs were really that dark, but they seem close to the fin color.




It looks as if the jet was repainted in 1994. Oh. There are no ejection seat triangles for this scheme. Isnt this fun? It might be that my eyes are playing tricks on me, or the decal itself will come out much lighter once applied (i'm not counting on it). I might have to go and get some f-16 decals just for the stencils. Or rob the Hasegawa or Tamiya kits of some stencil. That seems like a waste of good decals.


Whatever the case, I'll huff, and I'll puff and we're off to paint barn to paint it the way I want.


Thanks for stopping by!

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So I slapped some paint on the Italeri F-16.




There's still some touching up to do. Mainly on the Neutral gray area of the nose and the intake. I've lightened the 36118 a tiny bit. I'm not too happy with the 36375 shade on the underside. Very little contrast between this and neutral gray.



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With touch ups done I gloss coated this little piggie. I experimented with polishing the surface after gloss for more even finish 2000 grit wet sandpaper was used. The surface was indeed smoothed out. I polish every matt coat with paper towel and it works like a charm. Gloss color and gloss coat I can't. This I hope will eliminate any silvering problems.




Now, the first decal to go was obviously the Oregon ANG Eagle. And success! Great! There's a lot of color difference between the head of the Eagle and tail of the jet. Only the font is wrong. I still feel the light gray on the Eagle should be a bit lighter, but it's ok.  This is right after application.




As predicted/suspected the warning triangles were ehkem... Yes, that. For a boxart scheme, they'd do. For my version or the instruction version they do not. Wooohooo! As I'm pretty new to 1/48 I don't have spare decals. Luckilly, I have two more F-16, one of which has 4 warning triangles. They are significantly larger though.




Here's the "darker" triangle on.



One more fun fact. My light ghost gray is perfect match for the underside national insignia. That's good to know! I might have read somewhere, or seen, the lower stars and bars should be much darker, like 36118. Ok I might have to check what I can rob of other kits. I do have the F-16CJ's from Hasegawa and Tamiya. I might have the Authentic decal sheet for F-16. It might have the proper insignia. I'll have to dig it out. As a matter of fact, the gloss coat significantly darkened the Light Ghost Gray (way more than I'm used to). I'm hoping the final matt coat will make it lighter.




See - all dressed up. Notice the Kinetic warning triangles. They are a bit too large IMO.






Frankly I kind of regret swapping the wing rails for the Kinetic ones. When I dry fitted intended missiles they look thicker than the rail. I guess I'll have to figure something out. Perhaps use the 9m's from Kinetic. But they're too nice for this kit. I could take the ones from Block60, rob two from the Hasegawa block50 in the stash. I'll think about it.


Thanks for stopping by!


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  • 1 month later...

I seem to be painting nowadays everytime I have some workbench time. This time I painted the F-16F. Gotta say, while the 36495 went on pretty smoothly, the 36320 was a paaaaain(t).




Frankly, I'm not really happy with the freehand job I've done. I might have to go in and do a repaint.



 IRL it's waaaay more blue that that. I used Model Master dark ghost gray instead of gunze or pactra. I find it to have a nice blueish tint. Probably the nicest one I've seen. The paint itself is a tad too dark for 1/48 though.


Thanks for stopping by.


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Looking good. It is hard to translate a paint pattern to an F-16... I lost my mind trying to draw the pattern on an F-16 I painted. It looks like you did pretty well with the freehand camo.


Glad to see you are sticking with it... The group build goes ever onward.

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