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Hasegawa's 1/32 scale
General Dynamics F-16A

by Ion C. Tesu


General Dynamics F-16A


Hasegawa's 1/32 scale F-16A is available online from Squadron




Although the 1/32 scale F-16A kit from Hasegawa is showing its age, the injected parts still look generally good.

The mixture of recessed and raised panel lines is probably one of the most annoying “features”. I just had to recess all panel lines and deepen down all the rivets. This slowed me down a little bit, but hey, in the process I figured out how to do it. Also it made my weathering more predictable.

Going back to the scribing procedure: I did not sand off the entire surface of the model. I just used a scribing tool and positioned it against a flexible sheet of metal such that in the first pass the raised panel line was gone. It took a strong hand and equally strong resolve, but it worked pretty nice.

After this rescribing experience I strongly believe that instead of using only the standard scribing tool it’s better to use it first and then use just a pointy scriber refill in the X-acto handle.





I like to start with a part of the kit that I can finish fast (including painting and weathering it!). The ladder seemed a natural choice. So, here I was with a finished ladder and nothing else… 

The armament and fuel tanks followed. I did not want to spend too much time and energy on it so, I went just for the GBUs and all four AIM missiles. One note, the GBUs are quite basic. Almost no detail is present. I swapped the kit supply of AIMs for the BlackBox ones. Also, Greif plastic lenses (GF214) came in handy. I cut the very top of the missiles and glued the lenses. Their bluish hue gives a nice touch to the overall missile.  



I like to detail the cockpits, so I chose the resin one from CAM as well as the Eduard photo-etch (used just for the front instruments panel). It took a while to put all the little parts together. Fitting the cockpit tub between the two halves of the fuselage required some heavy filling of the bottom of the cockpit tub.



Without any specific indication in the kit, it looked like 10grams of extra weight are required in the nose. Probably it’s not necessary. A serious downside is that the model turned out just a bit heavier than the landing gear could bear. A had to reinforce both wheels with pieces of steel paper clips. The front gear is still okay. 

I started on the body by fitting the seamless intake from CuttingEdge. It looks much better than the kit supplied one.

I continued with the wheel bays. I finished them completely (glued, painted, weathered, and applied a couple of placards from Eduard). Then, I glued to the upper and the lower parts of the fuselage with the cockpit in between. From this moment on it was pretty much routine.



Painting and Markings


The finishing required the usual steps: painting, gloss finish, decal application, decal setting with MicroSet and MicroSol, another gloss finish, weathering and finally the dull coating. The painting scheme and decals represent the 35th TFS 8th TFW (Wolf Pack) stationed at Kunsan AFB, Korea. The painting scheme ia as follows:

  • radome: FS36231
  • top half: FS36118 (dark gray) and FS36270 (light gray)
  • bottom half: FS36270
  • the jet nozzle: Burnt Metal Buffing Metalizer

The weathering was done with “Raw umber” and mineral spirits. The decals were a mixture of mostly DACO and kit supplied decals. 



One interesting issue: I wanted to tint the canopy. It took me a while to figure this one out. On Aircraftresourcecenter a possible solution was presented (it looked like the solution has not been tried ). Well, I tried it and it works fine. So, after spending some time buffing the canopy,  it is time to do the following:

  • mix Tamiya Smoke, Tamiya Clear Yellow and Tamiya gloss Clear (X-24, X-19, X-26) in equal parts.
  • add 50% thinner (X-20A).
  • Using the airbrush, apply coat after coat of this concoction until you think its thick enough. It has to be thick to allow for serious polishing with Tamiya Polishing Compound (fine). I had to do the polishing twice: once after I applied the tinting on the canopy. The second time was after I removed the Cutting Edge canopy masking. I did not expect this to happen, but I could remove all residues with the same polishing compound.





It took almost 7 months to finish this project, working mostly on week-ends. I enjoyed every moment of it. Okay, maybe the rescribing was not that much fun... 

One final note. Once I finished the model, I heard word that Tamiya is ready to release an F-16C block 50. My paramount rule is to never build a plane of certain type twice. Well, I might just have to pass an internal resolution to abolish this rule… 

Enjoy the pictures





Regarding bibliography and pictures, there are many useful titles. I used primarily, the F-16 “bible” from DACO, Lock On No. 2, as well as Squadron’s F-16 Fighting Falcon Walk Around.



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Images and Text Copyright © 2005 by Ion C. Tesu
Page Created 08 February, 2005
Last Updated 08 February, 2005

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