1/48 F-16C from the 61st Fighter Squadron

The next build is an F-16C from 61st Fighter Squadron. I am using Tamiya’s F-16C as well as Ares resin accessories. The Ares accessories include the resin cockpit, resin landing gear bays, and the resin exhaust. This is a commission build for a veteran who worked with the 61st FS at MacDill AFB in the 1990’s. The decals for this will be custom made for this aircraft.

To start with I washed, trimmed and shaped all the resin parts. The ejection seat uses photo etch details like signs, seat belts, and handles. It was weathered with pastel chalk. Moving to the dashboard I used a photo of a real F-16C dash and made decals for the digital screens. Added some photo etch details and detail painted the rest. For the cockpit tub I added the photo etch details and detail painted the knobs, switches and joystick. The cockpit side walls were added completing the cockpit. There will be some trimming required to fit the resin cockpit assembly into the fuselage which I am working on now.

This week’s update on the F-16C covers the resin landing gear bays and the intake and exhaust of the engine. To start with I primed the resin bays with Tamiya white primer. They were then sprayed with Vallejo off white. Wire harnesses were painted flat black and 32 awg wire was used for the hydraulic lines. The main landing gear bay required very little trimming to fit but it took some careful alignment. The nose gear bay required a lot of trimming and shaping to fit. The cockpit required some minor trimming and was installed into the fuselage and the fuselage was then assembled. Lastly the landing gear was installed into the bays installation was very easy.

I then detailed and painted the intake. The resin exhaust was then assembled, painted and weathered. The inside was painted burnt umber and weathered using light gray, dark gray and black paste chalk. The inside cone has the edge weathered in light gray at the very edge. The outside was painted aluminum at the base and jet exhaust for the feathers. The exhaust was assembled and initial fit into the fuselage require a lot of trimming where the tail mounts. There are mounts for the tail on the inside that needed to be trimmed down to half their height. The large tab for the tail needed to be trimmed down as well for the tail to sit flush. Once done the exhaust was aligned and glued in place.

Working on the fuselage details now and getting ready to paint the base coat of paint.

Getting closer to completing this F-16C. The base coat of paint for the scheme is done. Missiles and drop tanks have been built, base coat painted and decaled. Added the general decals and the custom made decals for the 61st Fighter Squadron and started weathering the fuselage and more on the tail cone.

All the weathering was done with pastel chalk as outlined in my tips and tricks section.

Weathering with Pastel Chalk

The kit decals are great. They went on and conformed very well to the surface details.

Once the weathering is finished the top coat will be sprayed on. Then the canopy will be detailed and installed along with the drop tanks and missiles. Still have to finish the AIM-9M IR sensor head details and the various lights on the fuselage.

The F-16C from the 61st FS is now complete. For the finishing touches I made the AIM-9 IR sensor heads as noted in my Tips and Tricks section.

How to make Laser and IR sensor heads

Then I started to detail the canopy. First thing I needed to do was to remove the mold seam down the center of the canopy pieces. They were wet sanded down with 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper then polished with Meguire’s PlastX inside and out. Painted then applied the decal for the pilot and finaly mounted the canopy in the open position. All the lights were mounted and the ones that required paint were painted with Tamiya clear colored paints. All the missiles and drop tanks were installed and the model was finished.

The completed model was then presented to the client.

Overall the Tamiya F-16C kit is a very nice kit to build. Only some minor areas required a little filling with putty. The pieces all fit very well. The kit decals went on nicely and allowed the surface details to show. The only thing that requires extra care is removing the seam in the canopy parts. If you are looking to build a nice F-16C, I recommend this kit.

 

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