This is my second
article posted on ARC, my first being the F-4G about a year ago. After receiving
all the feedback (thanks!), I decided to post my most recent model, the F-16.
Please excuse the not-so-great quality pictures from my camera.
I used the
excellent Black Box F-16C cockpit for this project (the revised one with
the added rear section). It required a fair amount of dry fitting to
get everything lined up, but it wasn't too difficult. As an aid in
painting the cockpit, I used David Aungst's article on how he painted his
F-14 Black Box cockpit posted on Hyperscale. Using this, I
achieved a very nice finish on my cockpit. I also used Eduard
photoetch on the cockpit sils, HUD, and canopy.
image below to see larger image
The construction of the model
went without any major fit problems. I lowered the flaps to a slight
angle, much like the real Vipers after sitting on the flight line for a while.
The "big mouth" intake had several large gaps which were a pain to
fix. I almost sanded through the plastic, but eventually, I was able to
attain a nice, smooth finish. The nose pitot was replaced with wire
and faired into the nose with super glue. After breaking off the
antenna located in front of the vertical stabilizer several times, I waited
until just before paining before gluing it on the last time. I sanded the
molding line on the canopy smooth and polished it using Bare Metal Foil plastic
polish. This stuff worked so well, I didn't have to bother with dipping
the canopy in Future. On the real Viper I was modeling, the main section
of the canopy has a green tint. To try to replicate this, I added green
food coloring to future and tried painting it on. After several attempts,
all of which ended in dust particles being trapped in the surface or uneven
coverage, I tried something new. I took a green permanent marker and
heavily applied the ink over small sections of the canopy. Then, I rubbed
the ink with a rubbing alcohol soaked cotton swab until there was only a faint
green haze left from the ink on the canopy. It's not very noticeable,
especially in the photographs, but it is there. I created the ALQ-184
jammer pod from a Hasegawa ALQ-119 pod. After alot of cutting and gluing
and sanding, I got it to look pretty nice. I which one of the
aftermarket companies would produce this pod, considering it's widespread
use nowadays. The other weapons came straight from the kit. The
HARMs and AMRAMMs were especially well detailed.
images below to see larger images
used model master paints for most of the camouflage, except for the metal areas
of the afterburner, which was painted with SNJ aluminum. I used the
TwoBobs decal set 48-024 F-16C Shaw Vipers
for markings, which turned out very nice. They responded well to
setting solution and caused no trouble. After studying several pictures of
the particular aircraft I was modeling, I found that the decal representing the
ground crew names located on the inside of the nose gear door were too small.
Also, the last three digits of the serial number of the aircraft are located on
the outside of the nose gear door, but they were not included on the decal
sheet. I typed both of these items and printed them on decal paper using
an inkjet printer. I used chalk pastels and an enamel wash for weathering.
created the static dischargers from toothbrush bristles and glued them to the
back edges of the wings and stabilizers. I didn't permanently glue on the
main section of the canopy; it's held on with blue-tac so it can be easily
removed to see the cockpit. The clear navigation light at the top of
the vertical stabilizer was replaced with a piece of clear plastic. I'd
like to thank all the ARC'ers, and especially Steve B., who helped me with
this project and article! I could not have ever done this without you!