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Hasegawa's 1/48 scale F-16N
Navy Falcon

by David W. Aungst

 

F-16N Fighting Falcon

 


Hasegawa's 1/48 scale F-16N is available online from Squadron
 

Introduction

 

One day, a friend showed me a 1/72nd scale F-16N he was working on. I have never been a big fan of the F-16, but I found I liked the look of the camouflage. So, I started working on a Hasegawa 1/48th scale F-16N of my own that I could put on my display shelves. A month later, I was done. Yes, it was that simple. The Hasegawa kit builds up very easily.

 

Construction

 

As mentioned above, this is the Hasegawa F-16N Fighting Falcon (stock#V007). It is one of the first flurry of F-16 kit releases from Hasegawa back when they first started to release F-16 kits. The kit is basically the original block 30 F-16C kit with the addition of a small tree of parts that are unique to the aggressor F-16s. This new tree includes the ACMI pod and the RHAW antennae mounted on the intake sides.

 

Model Picture

 

I built the model "almost out of the box". Yeah, I know. I hate reading reviews that say this, too. But in this case, it is true. I made three, and only three, very minor changes to the construction of the kit. The changes are only barely enough to remove the model from IPMS Out-of-the-Box judging. They are as follows.

  • I added the AIM-9L practise Sidewinder missile on the left wing tip rail. This looked proper to me on the model because it satisfied my need to balance the ACMI pod that was mounted to the right wing tip rail.
  • I replaced the pilot's plastic molded oxygen hose with Waldron's vinyl oxygen hose.
  • I cut off the control stick from its base on the right side console and inserted it into the pilot's hand. I could not get the pilot's hand to fit over the stick without removing the pilot's fingers. Also, the pilot's hand was bigger than the stick height. This left a gap at the base of the stick, but it is covered by the pilot's hand, so the modification works.

None of these changes really significantly changed the outcome of the model or altered the way Hasegawa molded the kit, thus I feel OK in saying "almost out of the box".

 

Model Picture

 

The kit accidentally is correct for an F-16N. When I built the kit, I was dismayed to find the intake was the original style, not the "wide-mouth" style used on the GE engined aircraft. None of the early Hasegawa F-16 kits had the proper "wide-mouth" intakes that are pretty much standard on the GE-powered machines. It took until the "Block 50" F-16 releases for Hasegawa to fix this short-coming. Anyway, research I did much later, long after I finished the model, showed that the F-16N aircraft did not get the wide-mouth intake. Hence, the kit (and my model) is correct without the wide-mouth intake.

This particular release of the Hasegawa F-16 kit deletes all the under wing stores parts (fuel tanks and weapons pylons) from the kit. Hence, I built the model without any stores. This is how most F-16N aircraft looked, anyway. The only thing I regularly saw mounted on the F-16Ns was the centerline fuel tank. Having no stores meant that I had to fill all the locator holes on the wing undersides.

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

As I mentioned in the beginning of this writing, the camouflage was the reason for building this model. This simple fact is the driving force behind so many of my model projects...

The camouflage is the standard F-16N camouflage in which most all the US Navy F-16N's were delivered - Graish Blue (F.S.35237), Aggressor Gray (F.S.36251), and Light Sea Gray (F.S.36307). After looking closely at photographs, I found that Testors Model Master Light Sea Gray was looking too dark, so I cut it with 40% of flat white paint. This lightened it enough to look more like what I was seeing in the pictures.

This was the first attempt I made at doing positive / negative markings. The national insignia and the wing walk stripes were masked and painted using contrasting colors of the camouflage. While time consuming, it was not as difficult as I thought it would be, paving the way for me to do other positive / negative subjects.

The decals come from various decal sheets, mostly SuperScale decals. The star on the tail comes from a Russian armor decal sheet. The data on the nose area is from an A-10 "Warthog" sheet. The tail code, nose numbers, and unit identification come from generic lettering and numbering sheets.

I have to own up to the fact that the model is somewhat fictional. When I built the model, VA-45 had only just gotten F-16N aircraft. I had only one picture to base the model on. Not knowing too much about the markings other than the star on the tail and VA-45 writing on the ventral strakes, I decided to wing it and just build the model. The data markings in particular are incorrect as I was just improvising to get something close that looked low-vis. SuperScale released some true F-16N data markings a few years after I finished this model, but I never returned to change the markings you are seeing in these pictures.

 

Model Picture

 

Another inaccuracy involves the nose number. Right after I finished the model, I learned that VA-45 used numbers in the twenties for all the F-16N aircraft (20, 21, 22, etc...). The lower numbers were used on A-4 and F-5 aircraft. Hence "AD-03" was actually an A-4E Skyhawk in VA-45, not an F-16N as on my model. Oh well...

For weathering, I used my typical style of thinned down enamel paint washes and air brush shading. I finished the weathering with some dry brushing to pop out the surface details. For a more complete discussion of what I do to weather my models, see my posting on "Weathering Aircraft".

 

 

Conclusion

 

It is a Hasegawa F-16 model -- what more can be said? It is easy, simple, accurate, and (for me on this build) lots of fun.

 

 

Additional Images and Project Summary

 

Click the thumbnails below to view images full-sized.
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Project Statistics

Completion Date:

November, 1991

Total Building Time:

31.0

Research:

1.0

Construction:

10.0

Painting (includes creation and printing of custom decals):

17.0

Decals / Markings (includes creating and printing custom decals):

3.0

Extra Detailing / Conversion:

0.0
 


Model, Description and Images Copyright 2005 by David Aungst

Page Created 24 April, 2005
Last Updated 24 April, 2005

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