Here is my recently completed Hasegawa 1/72 F-16C. I was looking for a quick easy build after several big projects with too many resin and detail parts. This project fit the bill and was quite enjoyable.
The instructions call for removing the molded on AIM 9 rails from the wing and replacing them with the new AIM 9 rails provided in the kit. This too is appropriate for a Block 52 Aircraft. The wing mounted RWR antennas, commonly known as “beer cans”, do not fit very well. If you just glue them on they look like they are hanging below the wing and this is not correct. I thinned the fairing by cutting down the mounting surface of the antenna. When installed, this raises the forward antenna portion so the leading edge of the wing splits the circumference of the “beer can”. Using putty, blend the top portion of the antenna into the upper surface of the wing. When complete the fairing should be on the top and bottom of the wing, with the larger portion of the fairing on the bottom of the wing.
Paint & Decals
I used Twobobs sheet #72-06 “Taxi Cab Viper” decals. This is probably the best decal sheet I have ever used. I was a bit worried before using them because several of the decals are multiple parts that must be layered over each other. Some markings required three different decal layers. Even the checkered band around the nose is two different layers. I placed them over the top of the RWR bumps on the nose and with plenty of Micro-Sol they snuggled right down over the complex curves of the antennas and look painted on. Amazing. I was pleased to find that all the decals fit absolutely perfect on this kit and I was amazed at the detail and resolution of these decals in 1/72 scale, they look really really good.
Finally, time to tackle the canopy color. I have built several 1/48 Hasegawa F-16’s over the years and have never been happy with their “smoked” canopies. The parts in this kit are clear so I decided to try and paint the gold/smoke color seen on many F-16’s. After thoroughly polishing the canopy with Tamiya Rubbing Compound I masked all outside surfaces of the canopy. For a paint color I used Tamiya Clear Smoke and Tamiya Clear Yellow mixed at approximately 80% Smoke 20% Yellow. Don’t over do the yellow color, as it is very powerful and can easily look too yellow. I thinned the paint slightly with water then sprayed the canopy from the backside using several very light coats. Do not spray too heavily as the paint may easily run and pool in the top of the canopy making an uneven shade. Overall I was very pleased with gold tint on the canopy and it was easy to do.
Overall this was a good little kit and a nice break from some of my more complex projects in the works. Just what I wanted when I started it.
Photos and text © by Darren McTee