1/48 Hasegawa F-16

  Israeli Block 40 F-16C Barak 

by Albert Moore

--------------------

 

             Serving with IDF/AF since 1980, the Lockheed-Martin F-16 is the Israeli Air Force’s main workhorse.  Used for both air superiority and ground attack, IAF F-16’s have seen considerable action.  Most notorious is 1981’s Operation Opera, the attack on the Ossirac Nuclear Facility, outside of Baghdad, Iraq.  A year later in the war with Lebanon and Syria, IAF Falcons would leave around 40 Syrian aircraft decimated over Lebanon’s Bekka Valley, with no losses of their own.  Israel received the improved F-16C/D in July of 1987.  While A/B airframes were known as the “Netz” (hawk), the C/D airframes were bestowed with “Barak”, Hebrew for lightning.  Due to arrive in Israel in 2003, is the Block 60 F-16I Suffa (storm).  Together with the current fleet of F-16A/B/C/D’s, the F-16I will help to replace the remaining A-4 Skyhawks and F-4 Phantoms still in service. 

Getting Started

            Since building the F-15I Ra’am, I’ve become a bit of an IAF enthusiast.  The skill and sheer tenacity of IAF pilots through out the history of the Israeli Air Force is to be both admired and respected.  For my next Israeli aircraft, I settled on the Block 40 F-16C Barak.  The items used to build this model are: 

  1. Hasegawa’s 1/48 F-16N Top Gun kit (no. V7).

  2. Black Box ACES II ejection seat.

  3. Airwaves resin Big-Mouth air intake and enlarged nose RHAW blisters.

  4. Eagle Designs resin ECM equipment and main gear wheels/doors

  5. Hasegawa GBU-16 laser guided bombs from their U.S. Smart Weapons set

  6. Evergreen sheet styrene and rod

  7. Aero Master’s discontinued 1/48 IAF F-16C/D decal sheet (acquired through Ebay). 

            Most of the procedures used to build this model are from the December 1995 issue of Fine Scale Modeler, which featured an article on how to build the Barak from IAF historical researcher/modeler, Yoav Efrati.  It was seeing his model that inspired me to build the Barak for myself. 

Construction

            I started to install a Black Box resin F-16 cockpit set, but screwed it up trying to add it (I suck at trying to install these things) .  The kit cockpit was used instead and detailed with guitar string (oxygen hose) and parts from the botched Black Box set (the ejection seat was used as well).  

Click on images below to see larger images

Yoav Efrati’s FSM article served as a guide to make the tail extension/drag chute housing.  As described, the tail extension was made from laminated sheet styrene, sanded until the profile matched my references, and then blended into the base of the tail.  Styrene bits were used to detail the extension and the end of the chute housing.  Cut aluminum foil was used to replicate the jagged reinforcement plate.  The tail was added after the fuselage had been assembled.   

Next up was the integration of the Airwaves resin big mouth air intake.  All it needed was a little sanding for a better fit, and then the intake was added to the bottom of the fuselage.  Eagle Designs Rapport III antennas were cut to accept the kit position lights then reshaped to match reference photos.  These were added to the intake along with a 005” styrene reinforcement plate and a radar bulge from the above mentioned Eagle Designs set.  
Click on image below to see larger image

Styrene rod was used to add the RHAW antennas to the leading edge of the wings.  The large nose blisters and radome were added next, and the extra panels and chaff dispenser openings were scribed into the fuselage.  Next item to replicate were the extra chaff/flare dispensers found on IAF Block 40 F-16Cs.  Styrene copies of the chaff/flare dispensers were cast from foil molds, and then added to openings I had scribed during fuselage preparation.  

Click on image below right below to see larger image

In consulting with Mr. Efrati via e-mail, he mentioned that single seat IAF F-16’s sometimes carry a Pave Penny laser pod.  Hasegawa provides two Pave Penny pods in their Block 50 F-16 DJ kit, so I used one of them on my Barak.  The pylon was modified by reshaping it with a sanding stick (for reference, see Squadron/Signal’s original F-16 in action book, pg. 48), then added to the right side of the air intake.  The head was removed and replaced with a clear seeker head from a Hellfire missile (left over from an Apache kit), after the model had been painted and decaled.

Click on images below to see larger images

Painting and Finishing

            With all the fuselage modifications and assemblies completed, it was time to throw some paint on this bad boy.  Humbrol enamels were used for FS 33531 Sand and FS 34424 Green (equivalent to RAF Sky “type S”), while Model Master paints were used for FS 30219 Dark Tan and FS 36375 Light Ghost Gray.  

 
Click on image below to see larger image

Click on images below to see larger images

The radome, missile rails, nose blisters, and the vertical flat sides of the fuselage were painted Dark Gull Gray.  The camouflage was applied free hand with an Aztek airbrush, followed by what seemed like hours of touch-up.  I had intended to do a 101 (First Fighters) Squadron F-16, so the model was painted in the standard IAF camo pattern. 

Click on images below to see larger images

 I decided at the last minute to do a 105 (Scorpion) Squadron Barak.  More brown was applied to the tail to accommodate the large, sand color scorpion that adorns 105 Squadron F-16’s (If the Squadron tail art necessitates it, there is a deviation from the standard pattern applied to the tail).  

After the paint had dried, it was time to add a couple of coats of Future.  A thinner wash of Raw Umber and Gunship Gray was flooded into the panel lines and left to dry.  After the excess wash was removed, the model was cleaned with an alcohol wipe in preparation for applying the decals.  The markings are from the long out-of-production Aero Master 1/48 F-16C/D decal sheet.  I was perusing Ebay looking for some modeling stuff, when I stumbled across this sheet.  I had given up hope on trying to get these decals at an earlier time, so suffice to say, I jumped on them when I found the auction (Thank God for buy-it-now!).  There are several options for some really neat IAF F-16’s on this sheet, plus all the appropriate stencils.  The markings I chose are for an F-16 serving with 105 (Scorpion) Squadron.  The scorpion decal for the tail is too big (this has been noted both in print and on the web).  As prescribed in FSM’s Barak article, the last six segments of the scorpion’s tail were trimmed and repositioned on the vertical stabilizer.  All the add-ons were decaled at this time as well.  After applying the decals and letting them dry, the model was cleaned again and a few coats of Testors MM Acryl dull coat were applied.  This has become my dull coat of choice.  It dries fast and ya’ gotta love water clean up.  

Click on images below to see larger images

At this point, I realized I had forgotten the ground starter intake (mounted above and behind the left main-gear well).  The intake was fashioned from sheet plastic and putty, and then added to the model.  The next day, the landing gear, weapons, and fuel tanks were added.  For a load-out, I went with two GBU-16 LGB’s (from a Hasegawa weapons set), and two AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.  The main gear wheels and bulged doors are from the Eagle Designs set.  Most of the detail painting was completed at this time too.  The last items to add were the HUD, nose AOA probes (made from cut sewing needles), Pitot tube and canopy.  I also added grab handles to the canopy.  Stretched sprue was used to make the static dischargers (make 15).  These were added to the trailing edge of the wings, vertical stabilizer, and horizontal stabilators.  With that, the Barak was finished.  It now sits proudly in my display case, next to my F-15I Ra’am.  Now for a vintage IAF war plane, where’s that Avia S-199 kit?...   

            Special Thanks to Yoav Efrati for the e-mail correspondence. The technical information and photos he provided were an invaluable source. 

Albert

Sources:  

The Israeli Air Force Website- http://www.iaf.org.il/

Building an Israeli F-16C Barak- Yoav Efrati; Dec 1995 issue of Fine Scale Modeler; Kalmbach Publishing

Walk Around: F-16 Fighting Falcon- Lou Drendal; Squadron/Signal Publications

F-16 Fighting Falcon in Action- Lou Drendal; Squadron/Signal Publications

Click on images below to see larger images

Photos and text © by Albert Moore