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.
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.
Work in progress pictures
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.
Trust me, PlastX works like a charm for this purpose.