1/48 Italeri F-16A Viper

(World’s Highest Scoring F-16: The IAF’s “107“)

by Jan Mikes

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The Subject

I built my F-16A to represent machine serving with Israeli Air Force, the „107“ - historically the world’s highest scoring F-16.

The machine is credited with 6.5 air-to-air kills. The victories were achieved against Syrian pilots in 1981-1982. The first 1.5 victories were against Syrian helicopters that violated no-fly zone over southern Lebanon (unilaterally declared by Israel). Five victories were trophy from the greatest air-to-air battle of recent times- IAF’s  clash with Syrian AF over Bekkaa valley in Lebanon in 1982. The result of this air battle confirmed superiority of Israeli AF in the middle east that lasts to these days. It is reported that the final score of the battle was 65-82 shot down Syrian airplanes without a single loss on side of the IAF!

F-16s contributed about 50% to the number of air-to-air victories scored by IAF. Among them my "107“. 

The “107” is interesting also because the machine took part in 1981 raid on Osirak nuclear power plant in Iraq in 1981. Israeli government decided to destroy Osirak because of reports of Saddam Hussein’s attempts to acquire nuclear weapons. The Osirak facility was crucial to Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program.

The raid on Osirak was another of great successes of IAF – the reactor was well beyond ‘official’ range of F-16 but still, IAF managed to destroy it and to return home without losses.

The successful participation on the Osirak raid is represented by Iraqi insignia (the black-green triangle) on the nose of “107”. 

Click on images below to see larger images

The Kit 

My F-16A is Italeri 1/48 kit. While it is universally agreed that Hasegawa produces best 1/48 Viper, I can recommend 1/48 Italeri kit without hesitation. The kit is very good on detail, has nicely engraved panel lines and the fit is perfect. May be Hasegawa kit is bit better, but it is also 50% more expensive.

My opinion: Italeri 1/48 Viper has most favourable quality vs. price ratio of all 1/48 on the market.  

With exception of „Remove Before Flight“ flags (Tally Ho) I did not use any after market items.

Modifications and extras I did:

  • 1)    Add some detailing to the cockpit, especially ejection seat –seat belts, some wires etc.

  • 2)    Cut flaps and horizontal control surfaces to enliven the model

  • 3)    Scratchbuilt chaff/flare dispensers (on the fin and under the fuselage)

  • 4)    „Scratchbuilt“ jet intake cover (soft paper plus white glue)

  • 5)    Missile head covers

  • 6)    Remove Before Flight flags

Painting and Decaling 

According to my references, the markings of „107“  has been changed during the years. My model represents the „107“ as it looked like while serving with the Negev squadron in 2000. 

Israeli insignia and F-16 stencils for Israeli scheme were taken from 1/48 Italeri F-16C sheet.

Other decals on this F-16 are my own design. They are: symbols of kills on the nose, „107“ on fin and jet intake and squadron insignia on top of the fin.

The problem with custom made decals (if you do not use ALPS printer) is that it does not print white.

So it was essential to make white base for squadron insignia and kill symbols. Here is how I did it:

  • -I did first photocopy decals on normal paper,
  • -then I put Tamyia tape on the reverse side of the paper
  • -I cut the kills symbols and squadron insignia
  • -airbrushed white on the places where the decals would go (Before I applied the camo!)
  • -put „masks“ on the exact places where the decals go
  • -I airbrushed camo scheme
  • -then I simply put the masks off and –voila- perfect white base for custom made decals.   

The camo turned out quite good, but unfortunately the grey stripes to limit „no step“ zone on top of the aircraft (I masked and airbrushed it) turned out to be much wider than on the real machine. But thats life – I will be more careful with details next time. 

Comments, questions, critique welcome! 

Greetings,

Jan, Prague, Czechia

Click on images below to see larger images

P.S. My thanks to IAF guru Albert Moore for helping me to find references on the particular machine that was subject of my model. 

Photos and text © by Jan Mikes