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(2022 F-16 Group Build) 1:12 F-16A Block 10 Cockpit


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Hi fellas. here's my contribution to the F-16 GB.   Block 10 cockpit by ESCI.

 

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The box cover is misleading with that big photo of a later model cockpit   But the upper photo is what the kit really looks like.    

 

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I lost the instrument decals and couldn't find anything online.   

 

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I see there was a 1/12 Verlinden instrument panel film released a long time ago with labels for the switches of the side consoles which the kit doesn't provide but it's long OOP.    I contacted a fellow modeler on largescaleplanes who printed his own on clear film and he's helping me out : )

 

A humbrol tin for reference:

 

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The toggle switches look like coneheads  : )   I'm sure that was done so the part can slide off the mold easily.

 

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Ejection seat is monstrous when you're so accustomed to 1/48 : )

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Hi Thadeus : )   That would be something, wouldn't it : )  

 

Ran into my first hitch.   The channels are too narrow for the glass to slide through so I had to widen them.   I hope I know what I'm doing and not mangling anything.  Still learning my way around F-16s : )     Was wondering about the HUD frame being solid blocks instead of those skeletal-frame HUDs on other aircraft but checking reference pics they do look like that.    The supplied glass has some tint to it but that's ok, I guess.

 

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Now it can slide in..

 

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Also scraped off some material from the front of the alarm panels on the side of the HUD to give the effect of the folded metal shield.

 

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Oops...some ejection pin marks to take care of.

 

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The glass looks a bit short at the bottom, doesn't it?  I can probably try cutting up a CD case to replace it if I have to but it might actually not be too noticeable once everything's slapped together and there's lots of other stuff to look at.

 

Edited by crackerjazz
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The A-model HUD frames were solid as depicted but the wide groove on the outer faces should not be there.  Also the kit depicts the "leading edge" of the frame with a slight kink/corner - it's actually a convex curve from top to bottom.  You might be able to address the short glass at the bottom by sanding the leading edge to the proper shape.  Jake's "Early Viper" book has some excellent pics, much better than the old Verlinden LockOn book.

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Thanks, Geoff!  : )

 

Thanks habu2, that Early Viper book looks like a very good reference.  The cheapest one I saw was from Reidair itself and second-hand ones were double the price; sent for one right away.   I envision more F-16A-related builds.  I used to wonder what people see in that plane -- it's really beginning to grow on me.  

 

Eliott Bros-made HUD:

 

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Pilkington-made HUD:

 

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I see what you mean about the shape now.  And the Pilkington HUD had those alcohol specs placards which were probably what ESCI thought should have a groove.    I do see a slit/opening that runs in the middle of the frame.   How I'd love to just scratchbuild the whole thing  : )   But, yes, a little sanding could probably do wonders.

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Thanks, guys! : )

 

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Re-shaped the top and ends of the HUD frame and slotted the middle then filled the groove with Apoxie Sculpt.  There's an Aves product that feathers the Apoxie Sculpt really nicely and it doesn't smell at all.  It feels almost like water with very slight oily consistency.

 

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Strangely, though, I feel the tips of my fingers go slightly numb after feathering the putty.  

 

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It does say it may be harmful in contact with skin so it's probably best to wear gloves.  The numbness is still there after a day.   I did wash my hands thoroughly with soap after using the product.   Anyway, will observe further. 

 

Here's some before and after shots:

 

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Edited by crackerjazz
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I wish I could pull off something like that, Steve.   That would be awesome : )    

 

Gave her a coat of 1500 surfacing primer:

 

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And a bit of whtie mottling:

 

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Edited by crackerjazz
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Some interesting stuff arrived in the mail today : )   The Jake Melampy Early Viper book I ordered and the instrument panels GregW/largescaleplanes sent : )

 

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I needed the instrument panel because of the missing decals from my kit.   As for the side consoles he says he didn't really use them and instead used spare decals from other kits.    So I'm still trying to figure out how I could incorporate these into my build.   I'm really after those white switch labels that are hard to replicate without decals.  They don't come in the kit either so the consoles are just supposed to be painted black without any labels on them.   

 

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The instruments -- I can use.   Just need to figure out how.   But I have to make it work unless I could get decals somewhere.  

 

One interesting thing I learned from the book was that the coaming takes on a mottled gray/black look after a few years of service.    I was on the right path already at the start and shouldn't have covered it with black too much to let more of the mottling show.   Anyway, fixed it with some oils..

 

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Edited by crackerjazz
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Great work Crackerjazz!

 

Ya gotta love those ESCI cockpits. It looks like you’ve done some really nice research on this and it’s got me riveted. 

 

Keep up your great progress.

 

Mr.Happy 

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On 2/1/2022 at 6:26 PM, crackerjazz said:

...and the instrument panels GregW/largescaleplanes sent : )

 

Those are copies of the cockpit layout from the Block 10 Dash 1 manual - ask me how I know....  😉

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Is that a flight manual, habu2?   : )

 

Ok guys, you'll be throwing sticks and stones at me for what I'm about to do.   But I have to satisfy my curiosity or I'll go crazy.  Just want to find out if this works or not.  Because if it does, I might employ the same technique for building other 1/12 cockpits I have in mind. 

 

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Slathered on some Vallejo white on the back of the film with a razor for an even coat.   Nope that doesn't look too even, heheh.

 

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Cut off the switches -- maybe I should punch out real discs from styrene for the bottoms.

 

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I'm thinking about just printing something on paper but film is better for depicting the glass faces of the instruments.   And paper doesn't take to having holes drilled through it too well -- it will just fray.   Painting the backs of the film is easier, too, for getting nice bright colors than that which comes out of a printer.  

 

This actually might look scratchbuilt in the end but I do like scratchbuilds : )

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Some group build progress:

 

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Excising more switches.  I found it better to just go around the edge of the switches slowly with a sharp blade until they break off rather than use the razor saw which eats away a good deal of material from the bottom of the switches.

 

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I decided to concentrate on building and completing one panel at a time so I can feel that I'm making progress.   Doing the jet start panel:

 

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I didn't know those white smudges on the side were actually labels.    I later stippled some gray paint over them to simulate weathering by mistake.    Maybe for future builds  I'll try to create my own panels with letters that are more defined.

 

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Some of the toggle switches have a helmet-shaped head.   Turned some styrene rods on the drill.

 

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Also bent some wires for the power switch cage.

 

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Gave the toggle switches a lick of paint and weathered the panel a bit.

 

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