1/48 Hasegawa F-16 ADF

by Darren Roberts



     Growing up in Upstate New York, I’ve always had a fondness for the two Air National Guard units that were stationed in that area. At one point, both units, the 174th TFW out of Syracuse, and the 107th TFG out of Niagara Falls, flew F-16’s. The 174th’s mission was Close Air Support while the 107th’s was Air Defence. Having already done a Syracuse jet, I wanted to complete a Niagara Falls Viper. Unfortunately, there were two major problems. The first was that there were no decal sheets that covered the 107th. The second was that Hasegawa never did an ADF version of their F-16, and the Revell kit just wasn’t as good. But by combining both the Hasegawa and Revell kits, I was able to come up with a decent looking F-16 ADF.

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     I started with the Hasegawa F-16A kit, since ADF Vipers were converted from F-16A Block 15 aircraft. I installed a Seamless Suckers small mouth intake along with a Black Box cockpit and parts from the Verlinden F-16 update set. To complete the conversion, I used the “bird shredder” antennas from the Revell kit and put them in place. Surprisingly, they fit quite nicely. I cut off the bases of both the Revell and Hasegawa kits’ tails and swapped them after I had scribed the lines on the Revell piece. The last thing that needed to be done was to drill a small hole for the search light and pop in an extra landing light from my spares box. An MV lens would also be perfect for this.

     I painted it in the standard F-16 scheme (FS36118, FS36270, FS36375) using MM Acryl paints. I did change the FS36270 to FS36320 only because I think is has a better “look” to it. The Neutral Gray has always looked too dark in my opinion. After looking at some reference photos of 107th aircraft, I lightened the Gunship Gray a bit and picked out some specific panels to break up the monotone finish.

      Now I had to tackle the problem of not having markings. Thankfully, the scheme isn’t too complex. During the painting phase, I sprayed white on the tail, masked it off in the appropriate pattern and then sprayed light blue next and masked it off with trim tape. After I sprayed the tail gray, I peeled off the striping tape and I had my “waterfall”. I used a “Niagara Falls” script from an old Monogram F-4 decal sheet and found the ANG shield and letters and numbers from my spare decals box.

     One unique thing about the F-16 ADF is the fact that it was wired to carry AIM-7 Sparrow missiles. I chose the loadout to be a complete air defence set up, with four AIM-9 Sidewinders and two AIM-7 Sparrows along with the centerline fuel tank.

     In all it was a pretty easy conversion. If you have a Hobby Lobby near by, you can many times find the Revell F-16 for $5 with the ½ off coupon, which is probably just as cheap as a conversion set would be. Plus, you get an extra F-16 model out of the deal. The Revell kit really isn’t all that bad.


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Photos and text © by Darren Roberts