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F-16CJ Block 50

by Scott Samo

 

F-16 CJ Block 50
77 Fighter Squadron, Shaw Air Force Base

 


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Introduction

 

This is Hasegawa's 1/48 scale  F-16 CJ Block 50 model.

Construction of the kit has been documented extensively elsewhere, so I will concentrate on the unique construction items of my kit. I will say, that the kit has great fit . . except for the big mouth intake. Other than that, it simply falls together.

Hmmm . . well, maybe it doesnít fall together, but itís your typical Hasegawa kit. Anyway, on to the model!

 

 

Construction

 

I began this kit about three years ago, hence the hesitation on the "falls together" part above. I have always liked the lines of the F-16. And Hasegawaís kit definitely has the perfect shape of the F-16. As with all my kits, I originally just wanted to build another F-16 out of the box to have on my shelf next to my modern US Navy aircraft. As some of you know by now, building an out of the box model is just not possible with me.

I spied the Black Box cockpit set at the model shop and was hooked.

 

 

While the cockpit set required a little work to acquire a nice fit, it greatly enhanced the kit and was much better than the stock cockpit. After some careful sanding, the set fit well and presented no problems in joining the fuselages. I used Vallejo acrylics to paint the interior. I think the finished cockpit looks great. The remove before flight tags were made using the Verlinden dry transfer decals and plumberís wool for the lanyards. The HUD was made from the Teknics HUD set. Cutting out the kit cockpit and replacing it with the BB set was a lengthy process. However, once I had the cockpit installed and joined the fuselages, the construction process moved rather quickly.

The only complaint that I have is the big mouth intake fit. It was not too bad a fit on the outside, but the inside would prove to be an absolute pain to fix. Thank goodness for intake covers! I crafted the intake cover from lead foil from a champagne bottle. This is the best material I have found to replicate anything made of cloth. It is the perfect thickness for intake covers. I highly recommend getting your hands on some of this stuff. It is extremely easy to work with and the results have been fantastic! I should have used one of the resin aftermarket big mouth intakes, but I had been bit by the model bug and I didnít want to wait. Next time . . . Iíll wait! Other than the intake, everything else fit together well.

 

 

Next came the landing gear and wheel wells.

I realize the F-16 wheel wells are very busy and loaded with detail. But I wanted to finish this model sometime this century, so I moderately detailed the wells and gear with copper wire. I think the finished product looks nice. I also used my usual mix of Turpenoid and Winsor and Newton artistís oils for the wash.

Before I installed the gear, I had to do my favorite thing . . . PAINT and WEATHER!

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

Paint

I used Gunze and Tamiya paint for the entire project. H 308, 305 307 were used for the surface of the model. After I had the base color applied, I masked several panels and sprayed a lighter color for highlights. I like to use Post-it Notes for this process because they have the perfect amount of adhesion to the painted surface. The smaller panels were masked with Tamiya tape. This is a lengthy process but looks really nice on a finished model. After the lighter color was applied, I removed the Post-it Note and shaded again with a mixture of Tamiya flat black. This mixture is extremely thin which gives me a tremendous amount of control when spraying through the airbrush. After the model was weathered, I used microscope lense paper and a buffing pad to polish the surfaces where the decals would go.

 



Iím sure many of you think I am absolutely NUTS, not use a gloss coat. Believe me, I am scared to death of silvering decals too! Trust me on this one . . next time you build a model, use Gunze or Tamiya paint and polish it with the lense paper first. Then take a soft T-shirt and polish the surface a little more. Finally, use the buffing part of a sanding stick. (You know, the one that looks like rubber or latex.) And by all means...DON"T USE A GLOSS COAT! I promise you will not need it. If you follow these steps, the finishes on your models will look much smoother and more uniform in color. Oh, one more thing, make sure and allow the paint to fully dry before buffing, usually a few days is sufficient. Or . . . you can be lazy and spray that Future stuff on your beautifully painted model and forget everything Iíve written. Itís up to you, but I guarantee your models will look better if you do not use a gloss coat.

Okay, okay... Iím off my little soap box now. Back to the model.


 

Decals

One of the reasons this kit took so long, was that I couldnít find any decals I liked. Finally this past November, I found the Two Bobs set #48-024 and here we are! Anyway, I do not use a gloss coat with Gunze. Samo theory: The less crap you put on the surface, the smoother the finish will be. After the decals were on, I used a wash for the panel lines. I allowed the decals several days to completely dry, then I used a thinned down flat coat from Polly Scale. Itís the best stuff made.

Once the majority of the parts were painted, I continued building the remaining items of the kit. I dressed up the weapons just a little by re-scribing a few panel lines on the pylons and fuel tanks just to add a little detail to them. I used the decals for the weapons from the Hasegawa kit. The only addition to the weapons load out that the kit didnít provide, was the ALQ-131 pod under the centerline. I think it looks great on the model. I snagged it from the Verlinden 1/48 F-111F detail set that is presently on my built 1/48 Academy F-111F. It looks much better on the CJ than the F-111!

 

 

Also, I used Alclad II for the metal areas on the model, replaced the tail light with a clear one on the top of the tail and I used toothbrush bristles for the static dischargers on the wing tips. Lastly, I used Tamiya smoke and clear yellow to tint the canopy.



 

Resource Summary

 

Here is a summary of the work I performed on the kit:

  • Black Box cockpit.

  • Teknics HUD set.

  • Vallejo acrylics for cockpit detail painting.

  • Copper wire for landing gear and wheel well detail.

  • Verlinden dry transfer REMOVE BEFORE FLIGHT tags.

  • Plumbers wool for the RBF tag lanyards.

  • Lead from a champagne bottle for the intake cover.

  • Verlinden ALQ-131 pod.

  • Clear plastic for the tail light.

  • Toothbrush bristles for the static wicks.

  • Tinted canopy with Tamiya clear smoke and yellow.

  • Alclad II for the metal areas.

  • Two Bobs decals sheet # 48-024.

  • Gunze and Tamiya paint.

  • Polly Scale acrylic flat.

  • Winsor and Newton oils thinned with Turpenoid for the wash.



     

Conclusion



I am very happy with the result.

 

 

The work involved was not too difficult, just time consuming. I know I could have finished this kit years ago, but it would not have looked this nice.

Feel free to email me with any questions or comments. I hope you all enjoy the model.

Happy modeling!



 

Additional Images

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model, Images and Article Copyright © 2004 by Scott Samo
Page Created 01 March, 2004
Last updated 17 March, 2004

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