The F-16F is the latest version of the F-16. They do not exist in the USAF inventory and are currently an export variant only. Originally, the single-seat version of the General Dynamics F-16XL was to have been designated F-16E, with the twin-seat variant designated F-16F. This was sidelined by the Air Force’s selection of the competing F-15E Strike Eagle in the Enhanced Tactical Fighter fly-off in 1984. The ‘Block 60’ designation had also previously been set aside in 1989 for the A-16, but this model was also dropped. The F-16E/F designation now belongs to a special version developed especially for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and is sometimes unofficially called the “Desert Falcon”.
- Exquisite airframe surface details
- Detailed cockpit
- Detailed nose and main landing gear
- Clear canopy
- Waterslide decals for the UAE Air Force Code: 3001
- Illustrated assembly guide
- Stock Number: HSGS7244
- Mfg. Number: 7244
- Skill Level 3
- 164 pieces
- MSRP $64.99 USD
Hello fellow model builders. Here I humbly present you all this finished project that started almost 3 weeks ago. This is the 1/48 F-16F Fighting Falcon from Hasegawa. Among 3 projects I’m currently working on, it took me about 16 hours to complete this kit.
The Hasegawa F-16F UAE has finely engraved panel lines and rivets on the light gray plastic we are used to from Hasegawa Models. Out of the box, the cockpit is well appointed but detail on the ejections seats are a bit on the shallow side. This didn’t bother me at all because I had intended a closed canopy since I started this project. If you intend to display this kit with open canopy, a set of resin ejection seats are recommended.
The clear canopy has a thin yet bothersome mold line to deal with as you can see on the pictures below. After getting rid of the seam line with a ultra fine sanding stick, several coats of Meguiars X was used to bring the canopy back to life. Apply Meguiars X and polish as many times as needed.
A word of caution: Using Future Gloss coat or in my case, Alclad 2 AQUA GLOSS 600 over the polished canopy it is *not* recommended. Doing so will ‘bead’ the gloss coat. Also, after masking your canopy, use the same fine sanding stick to sand on the canopy frames so the paint can have something to bite on.
There is some minor surgery to be done on this model kit and that’s on the wing tips. The ones molded on should be trimmed off and the proper sidewinder pylon will be ready to be cemented on. Using the back of your exacto knife or your scribing tool repeatedly over the area will to the trick in no time. There are small parts to fiddle with in the wheel wells. But the fit was nice, way better than my Italeri F-16’s.
The supplied AIM-9 and AIM-120‘s are OK but they are showing some mold lines already. They were cleaned and used but I wanted an ‘agressive’ look on this kit. So I went to my leftover parts bin and pulled out a pair of CBU-87 and MERs from the Kinetic F-16I SUFA.
Side note: Not only the SUFA from Kinetic is a great kit, it comes with a wealth of 1/48 armament and pylons and if you love modern aircraft, this is great because one can cast copies (for personal use) of these often hard to find or not even produced resin equivalents. With a bit of ingenuity and brass wire, one can make the weapons of our 1/48 aircraft interchangeable 😉
The over all fit of the Hasegawa F-16F is very good. The conformal fuel tanks did fall on the fuselage like a glove leaving no gaps to deal with. The fuselage halves in my opinion are designed to fit together better that those on the Kinetic SUFA. Not that it is a big deal on Kinetic’s, but the lower fuselage on the Hasegawa meets the upper one in a male/female fashion whereas Kinetic’s meet half way leaving a seam to deal with.
This model was painted with Model Master Acryl Light Gray FS-36495 and FS-36375. Decals are of great quality and responded very well to Microsol Decal Solution.
My main issue with this kit was the instructions. The instructions are the fold out style with 13 steps crammed on 3 pages leaving little room for illustration insets. I found myself going back and forth like crazy and still found on some steps that I had missed small parts on previous sub-assemblies.
As I have mentioned before, I don’t repeat builds of many subjects. Too many models and subjects, too little time. But I have a soft spot for Vipers. This model would be a nice addition to your modern aircraft collection. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this kit to a friend.