1/32 Academy F-16CG

Gallery Article by Jay Vlad on July 17 2018



I present to you my latest addition to the model shelf: Academy's 1/32 F-16CG Block 40. This is my first completion in about four years, because I fell victim to that thing that plagues all modelers, that thing called "other obligations". This kit is very straight forward and easy to build. My hat off to Academy for making such a large scale subject with great detail easy to build. Because of the size, the possibilities for added detail is endless, so I decided to tune up this Viper in many ways.

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I opted to stay with the kit's cockpit, as it is pretty well detailed. The aftermarket list grew from one item to many. 

In total, I added on the following aftermarket sets to the kit: 

  • Aires exhaust nozzle 

  • Aires landing gear bays 

  • Wheelliant wheel and brake assemblies 

  • Eduard GBU-24 laser guided bombs 

  • North Star AGM-65 Maverick missiles 

  • Wolfpack Sniper targeting pod 

  • Master Model radome AOA and pitot sensors 

I also scratch built the fuselage reinforcement plates that are found on the Block 40 from a template. The static wicks were replaced with brass wire, as well as adding brake lines. As I was undecided as to which ordinance to hang from the multi-role Viper, I opted to challenge myself and added small, very powerful magnets to the middle pylons and to the air to ground ordinance. This allows for an interchangeable display. 

I used Tamiya paints for the two tone fuselage colors. The radome and ordinance were painted with Model Master enamels. The exhaust nozzle was painted with AK Xtreme Metal colors. For weathering, I used Mig AMMO, Tamiya, and custom made washes for all of the panel line washes and other types of weathering. Alcald II was used for the base primer, gloss as a decal layer, and a final matte coat. Once everything was painted, weathered and sealed in, the orchestrated process of adding everything on was the final step. 

When I started this kit, I had big dreams and aspirations for it. While it didn't turn out to be 100% perfect (nothing ever does), this build challenged me in every way possible and really pushed my skill set and creativity well beyond the boundaries. I couldn't be happier with the results. I hope that you find inspiration in this review to challenge yourself in your next build. 

Jay Vlad

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Photos and text by Jay Vlad