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Kinetic 1/48 F-16I SUFA (Storm)

The F-16I nicknamed “Sufa” (Storm) is manufactured by “Lockheed Martin” and equipped with a “Pratt & Whitney” engine as well as advanced systems developed in Israel according to the IAF’s specifications by the country’s defense industries. Conformal Fuel Tanks (CFT) – These tanks are manufactured by the  “Israel Aircraft Industries”  and increase the aircraft’s amount of internal fuel by 50%. Their purpose is to significantly prolong the aircraft’s flight range and ability to remain in the air.

The tanks are installed the plane’s back and conform to it’s figure. AGP-68(V)X Radar – Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) enabling the tracking of ground targets day or night, at any type of weather.

The radar improves target-tracking performance and allows for automatic targeting instead of manual, thus saving valuable time. The radar also features improvements in the field of aerial targets including aquistion range and tracking quality.

Kinetic 1/48 F-16I SUFA

Let me start by saying that the Kinetic F-16I SUFA in 1/48th scale is one of the best model kits I have put together this year and probably it will for what’s left of it. This is my second Kinetic model kit after the 1/32 F-86 Sabre. I was impressed at the level of detail straight out of the box.

The kit included a small fret of photo etched parts and a brass pitot tube. Originally I wanted to build the 1/32 SUFA F-16I from Academy Models. But when I finally decided to take the plunge at my local hobby shop, the only one they had available was sold a few days earlier.

Opening the box reveals an exquisite amount of surface details, well laid out building instructions and a plethora of ordinance enough to dress a few more aircraft model kits. The weapons load is nicely done and crisply engineered with nice  zero flash to deal with.

The decal instructions has a nice guide to use them on the right weapon. In my most sincere opinion, you don’t get a model kit with weapons, you actually get a set of weapons that happens to include a nice F-16 SUFA Fighter from Israel.

Painting the model

The kit lower and upper fuselage fit so well, that they were literally painted separate to save time in masking and Tamiya masking tape of course. The underside was painted with at hand Testors Model Master Acryl Light Ghost Gray.

The top was had a complete coat of Vallejo Pastel Green 109, Tamiya Flat Earth XF-52 and Tamiya XF-57 Buff. All colors were airbrushed free hand with my loyal AZTEK Double Action Airbrush A470.

After a coat of Acryl clear gloss coat, the decals (very nicely printed and thin) were put in place. Another coat of clear gloss was added selectively over the decals to protect them from the upcoming sludge wash with lamp black artist oils diluted with Testors Universal Enamel Thinner. Once the wash was done, a coat of Acryl Clear Flat Coat was added to seal the entire model.

As you can see on the pictures above, the only glitch I found with this kit was a big seam on top of the canopy from the molding injection process. I took care of it with a Squadron Extra Fine (Red) sanding stick with plenty of water. Once the line was removed, I used PlastX with cotton swabs to polish.

The Kinetic 1/48 F-16i SUFA is highly recommended!

George Collazo
George Collazo

George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.

  • Dale Hutchinson

    As I’ve mentioned to you before, this is a beautiful build. When I built this kit it turned into a Murphy’s Law kit to where I had problem after problem. But the problems were not with the kit itself, but mistakes and idios with the finish were just too frustrating, so the kit saw the hammer (One of three in my life). But your build inspired me to give it a go again, so I ordered a Sufa recently and will give it another attempt.

    • George

      You know Hutch, the biggest headache for me on this build was actually the camouflage pattern. Building it was a piece of cake considering the high parts count. I wanted this kit to be in 1/32 scale to palce it along side my 1/32 Tamiya F-16 CJ. But that day the store didn’t have it in stock and left with the 1/48th instead. Speaking of Tamiya’s F-16, I have to add it here. During the domain name transitions, lots of posts and images didn’t make it. I was moving from a forum format to a WordPress platform so stick around.

      • Dale Hutchinson

        Problem I had was the with the camo as well. For some reason the paint would not come out smooth no matter what I did. The surface was real rough and it had this thick dust-like texture on the top that could literally be wiped away by hand. This never happened to me before that build nor ever after that build. I guess it wasn’t meant to be.