1/48 Hasegawa F-16C

using decals by Two Bobs Graphics

by Lin Bo-Shiun (Stephen)

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Introduction
Having already built 2 Hasegawa Fighting Falcon in 48th scale, I would say this is an easy kit to work with. Since I built them out of the box before, this time I decided to incorporate some after market accessories and scratch-built parts to enhance the detail of this falcon.

In addition to detailing, the other thing I'd like to do was to get this falcon dressed in an unusual appearance rather than the normal 3-tone gray camouflage. At the moment of my planning stage, Twobobs released an F-16 decal Sheet featuring 3 different aggressor painting.  I'm especially fond of the blue "Fighting Flanker" one, so I got my hand on one sheet immediately.

1.The Cockpit
The construction started form the cockpit.
I airbrushed the resin parts with gray color first and dry brushed with lighter color to bring up the details.  The kit's anti-glare shield was carefully cut for the BB's resin replacement.
It took lots of sanding and dry fitting the resin part before the anti-glare shield got entirely fitted.

The instrument panel and cockpit tub were then glued in place after several times of sanding and dry fitting too.  After that, both sidewalls were attached to the cockpit.
Boy, BB's detailing set brought the cockpit alive.  But I quickly found that the canopy was unable to close properly because the resin anti-glare shield is too wide. This doesn't bother me because I want the canopy to open from the beginning.

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2.Radome
The radome of Hasegawa's F-16 has an accurate shape but the static electricity conductors which prevent the radar from being struck by lightning was omitted for unknown reasons.  In my opinion, the lines on the radome should be visible on a 1/48-scale model.
So I cut a piece transparent film for over head projector into very narrow stripes and glued them to where the static electricity conductors should be. After painted, they gave the radome a more realistic look.

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3.External Loadings
The Kit's missile is OK but I'd like make my falcon more delicate, so I elected to mount a SOL's resin AIM-9L on the port wing tip pylon.  A TACTS pod form Hasegawa X48-8 weapons set was mounted to the pylon on starboard wing tip.

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The ALQ-188 pod that simulates enemy's radar cross section on the centerline pylon was from Cobra company.  It is well casted in cream-white resin. The steady braces for ALQ-188 pod was borrowed from Revell's A-6E kit.

4.Painting
I prefer to use Gunze Mr. Color paints because they cure quickly. No. 306 Gray FS36270 was first airbrushed overall as a base coat.  Tamiya masking tape was carefully cut and masked the regions where Gray FS36270 should be retained. And a coat of lighter blue FS35450 was then airbrushed.  Since there's no bottled FS35450 in Gunze Mr. Color line, I did a custom mixing of No.73 and No.65 in the ratio of 9:1 to achieve this color.  Again, masking tapes were applied to protect the second coat of lighter blue.  Finally, it was turn for the darker blue FS35109. According to the decal instruction, Gunze No.322 is equivalent to FS35109.  But I found it too dark. I toned down No.322 a little bit with small amount of No.62 Flat white so it wouldn't look wired once applied.  When the camouflage was done, I gloss coated the entire airframe for easy decaling.

5.Decaling
Twobobs decals are nicely printed and their carrier films are fairly thin which make the edges almost invisible once attached to the model.  In order to make the decals adhere better, they were dipped into water with small amount of white glue added before applying.
I found that thinned white glue is rather useful if the decal refused to adhere well.  In comparison to the picture of the real aircraft, the red code numbers "67" on both sides of the intake are apparently over-sized.

6.Weathering
As for weathering, I mixed raw umber and ivory black artist oil thinned down with kerosene for wash. Tamiya enamel thinner can also be used but kerosene dries much slower which allows wiping off the excess with ease. The washes commenced to dry after about 15 minutes, and I used a piece of soft rag to wipe off the excess from nose to tail to simulate the effect of air flow. I applied chalk pastel powder in the burner can to mimic the exhaust streaks. When all done, I flat coated the model to protect the decal and paint.

Bo-Shiun (Stephen)

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Photos and text by Lin Bo-Shiun