General Dynamics /
Lockheed Martin F-16C Block 40/50  (52D)
Fighting Falcon
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F-16 models in 1/32 scale made by Meindert de Vreeze
F-16C "late Block 52D" using the Academy kit 

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The Academy kit of the F-16CG/CJ block 40/50 (52D) is very good as seen on this page with details. (this page compares it to other 1/32 F-16 kits, like the one of  Tamiya).

For more details on the real plane, look at this page.



This kit from Academy will be used to model a KF-16C Block 52D of the Korean AF, an option supplied in the kit. It will also be improved in some areas (but more on that later on). The kit provides a number of options, such as an opened gunbay, ammo drum bay and opened up radarnose. To keep the nice lines of the model, it was decided not to use these options. 

The steps as indicated in the Academy instructions are not entirely followed in that order. In this build, a more logical order is followed... 

so let's start !

Begin first by making small sub-assemblies and "pre-painting" smaller parts. This will take quite some work as there are many parts in this nice kit. Some airbrushing is done with parts still in the sprues. 


Steps 1 - 2
The cockpit area is pretty well detailed and assembled as indicated in the instructions.The main areas are dark grey. The ACES II seat is OK but straps are moulded on (Remove these and make separate straps). 

Step 3
You get either the "big mouth" or older type F-16 intake parts, a very nice feature of the kit. For the KF-16C, the small old type intake was needed. I recommend that you only glue the intake heating probe part C34 at the lower end.
Issue found later regarding the small intake: on the Academy kit the distance between the intake and the lower fuselage is too small. The RAM intake and duct are barely visible. (Some modification may be needed here, a good alternative being to use an old Hasegawa F-16 intake). 
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               kit                                        real

Steps 4-5 Main gear bay
The bay is OK, but can use some extra detail by adding tubing and hydraulics through stretch sprue and some card. 


Step 6 
The intake tunnel is a very nice feature; you get 2 types of engine compressors. 
Issue found later:
on the small intake: on the Academy kit the distance between the intake and the lower fuselage is too small. The RAM intake and duct are barely visible. Some modification may be needed here. 

Steps 7-8
It was decided not to show an opened gun bay. The basic bay was assembled and glued inside the fuselage to give some strength. The panel #C44 was carefully aligned with the edges to get a perfect fit. The gun went to the spares box. 

Steps 9-10
Assemble as appropriate.

Now go to step 17 , dealing with the main assembly including main wing to fuselage.
Assembly main wing halves, do not use the parts B13 for the static dischargers; these are best replaced with thin electric wire.

NOTE: early F-16's before and up to block 30 have at the slat at the inboard position only "2" slat rotating fingers". Later block beyond block 30 F-16 have there "3" fingers. Probably this is modification applied later to cope with more stress.
The old Hasegawa kits have indeed "2 fingers" which is correct for the earlier F-16's. This Academy F-16C has the "3 finger" style inboard slat rotating fingers" which is OK. 

Step 18
Assemble the wing to the main fuselage; take care to get a good alignment. let dry for 24 hours, the mating surfaces are a bit thin. I had to use filler here to close the gap.
Do not fit the horizontal stabilizers, leave until later.

Step 19
Assemble the trailing edge flaps as shown. 

Steps 11-13
The gear assembly was OK, but I had to reduce the beam part #D27 2 mm in length to get a correct setting of the forward gear nose leg. Academy provides 2 parts for the nose gear door (#D77 / D76) but I could not see a difference.  The kit has the correct main wheel hubs and bulged gear doors. 

Step 14
Assemble as shown.

Step 15 
Two types of engine exhausts are provided, either for the F100 or F110 engine. For the KF-16, the F100 is appropriate. Assemble as shown. 

Step 16
The airbrakes are OK, but were selected "closed" for this model; if  you want to display them open, add a couple of two very tiny spring doors at the hinge base from thin card. 

Steps 20-21
The tail and brake parachute fairing are OK, but the edges at the base of the vertical fin a bit to "sharp". I simple sanded these a bit smoother at the forward leading edge. 
A nice touch is the extra fairing with parts B1,B2, B17, B18 supplied on the kit (this was used on the Tamiya kit for a Chile AF F-16C).

I did not use the parts B13 for the "static dischargers"; replace with thin wire.

Step 22
As noted, the radar was not assembled, a closed nose was preferred.

Step 23
The instrument cover part C57 as a bit strange shape, but only an expert can tell. It is dark anyway and the older style HUD was assembled for the KF-16C

Step 24
Two canopies are provided, a very nice feature: tinted "gold / smoke" or clear. You will need to sand and polish the mid moulding ridge in the center. I was not able to get it completely polished smooth to be "unseen" however' ; some distortion is inside the transparant plastic. The locating pin on the rear canopy glass is not on the correct position. VERY CAREFULLY remove this pin, otherwise the part will brake!

In the main canopy, I added a missing horizontal bar at the rear made from thick rod. 

Step 25
The ladder is a very nice feature. 

Step 26
The KF-16C has a couple of very typical antennas and ECM fairings like the ASPJ antenna, carefully depicted by the Academy kit. They seem a bit strange but are correct.

Step 27
The missile launchers are very good. Also you get the wing tip lights. As noted, the static dischargers #B13 were replaced with thin wire and their bases made from a drop of white glue. 

 


Steps 28 up to  34
These deal with the external stores and lots of them are provided in the kit. The stores are of very good quality and you get lots of decals for them. 
Listed and provided are: AIM/9L./M, AIM-9X, AIM-102-B/C, AGM-88, GBU-12, GBU-12 W/TER, GBU-31 and tanks and pods like the 370 gallon and center 300 gallon tanks, AN.AAQ-13 / 14/ 213 / 184 and AN/ALE-50. A very big choice here and you also get the needed adaptors and pylons. The stores are to assembled later. 

Step 35
This gives you 3 figures: a pilot and two ground crew. They are very good. 
 


The final stages cover the decals for the  markings and stencilling.

During kit construction, hardly any putty was needed. Only at the wing-fuselage joint this was required. Tape and mask both sides of the gap and fill with putty. Remove with Nail polish remover, this will reduce the amount of sanding and will save the surface details.
 

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Created this page 
March 20, 2007