General Dynamics /
Lockheed Martin F-16B  Orange Jumper 
[ Page B-2 ]
designer
   
F-16 models in 1/32 scale
F-16B converting the SUFA Academy kit 

... continued from F-16B page B1......

Step 5
The SUFA kit has the appropriate small type F-16 intake as also used for the earlier blocks, like the F-16B.
Also "big mouth" intake parts are still in the sprues, can be dropped into the spares box. 

The kit instructions in step 5 are thus OK for the F-16B as well.

Unfortunately an issue is still there on the intake as such: on the Academy kit the distance between the intake and the lower fuselage is too small. The RAM intake and duct are barely visible but should be: 
...
   real F-16                                                      Academy intake

Also, the earlier block F-16 planes including the F-16B have also a more visible/prominent small side air slot lips. 
(NOTE: not applicable for the F-16I SUFA; these planes do not have the air slot). Widening up the gap and filling/smoothing the RAM intake area is thus needed on the kit. (NOTE: I did not notice this error on my first F-16 CJ build).

OK, let's fix the problem....

First, simply saw in a slot and bending the air slot lip. Bend the lip a bit outwards

The intake was assembled now as per instructions of step 5. 

Nothing spectacular yet.

I recommend not yet to fix the forward section part D79 to avoid sanding damage still needed.


Tip: the small gaps in the intake can be filled with "TIPEX" correction fluid.

Next, a section of plastic card was set on top of the main intake after assembly. This will enlarge the gap between the intake and the fuselage later on as needed.

Set putty on the lips, let dry and sand smooth... with here the result...

Now, let's move to the lower fuselage.
Cut out a section of say about 10 mm of the lower fuselage intake area. Make a triangular section of white plastic card and insert in the area. Sand flush.

Do not yet fit the intake to the lower fuselage! Leave for later.


Steps 6-7
The main gear bay is OK and similar to the Academy F-16CG/CJ kit, but can use some extra detail by adding tubing and hydraulics through stretch sprue and some card. Some effort was put here to get a nice result.

The assembly got a white base coat and next painted details....

Step 8
The intake tunnel is a very nice feature as in the first Academy F-16 kit but use fan part C65 vfor the F-16B. 
The aft intake tunnel was simply assembled. Fit the aft intake on top of the main gear bay section, although this will make aligning it later on with the forward intake more difficult. 

Step 9
The dorsal SUFA spine with the particular fairings and sensors is not required for the F-16B. So step 9A is not applicable. Also the parachute housing is different, look at the verical fin instructions above here for the F-16B MLU of the Dutch AF. 

Fortunately Academy F-16I SUFA kit provides an "unused " spare part K17 that can be used for conventional F-16D two seaters, seen here.... (for future kit releases?)

This eases the F-16B conversion considerably!!!  The bulkhead part K53 can also be used.
I suggest to leave fixing this fairing K17 at a later stage after major fuselage assembly. 

Step 10
The gun nozzle and fairing is better now assembled and set in place as it can be better handled now. For the F-16B I used the kit parts D67 + D68 which seem a little better and finer than SUFA part K35. 

 Inside the gun nozzle area, a piece of tape was set to prevent any see through. 
The rest of the Parts like the conformal fueltanks (CFT) are not applicable for early block F-16's like the F-16B, so can be dropped into your spares box.

Please note that kit instructions for the ammunition bay are not provided, but the parts of the F-16CJ are still there should you wish to have this detail in your F-16B model. If this is desired, cut out the bay panels and add the details. I opted not to add the internal gun and bay detail. Look here for the instructions.... .

Step 11
Fitting in the cockpit tub can now be done. Gaps need some filling with some strengthening rod at the tub.

The lower and upper fuselage parts are now joined. Take care to carefully align symmetrical the main gear bay, exactly in the middle.
This is an important stage and will require careful glueing. The end result is that you will find that the fit at the forward fuselage needs filler and some filler at the rear area.



As the upper and lower fuselage halves are set aside to dry and to become a stiff assembly.

After 24 hours drying, it is now time to set the prepared intake to the lower forward fuselage.

This requires quite some aligning and may be some slight removal of material at the edges of the fuselage intake gap. Force is needed with tape and clamps to close the gape between all parts.

I could not achieve a flush assembly, leave for a couple of hours to dry.  Some thin card and putty is now needed and followed by sanding to get a good result.  This takes some effort, but do it now as the model can now easily be handled.

Sanding and filling is needed a couple of times here.


As noted before, the older block F-16's like the F-16B have the orginal thin base vertical tail. The tail was already prepared as seen here on page 1.
Now it is time to adapt the rear fuselage joint. This needs a curved area to be added to fill the flat area of the "thick base" Academy kit tail.

First, section of 0,5 mm card was shaped and added on top op the rear fuselage joint area. Note the opened slot to accept the Hasegawa tail stab for a stronger joint.

Then, the curve was achieved by filling and sanding.


.. with the results...

The vertical tail itself will be set later after main wings are set onto the fuselage. 

Steps 18-19
The wing assembly is as on the Academy F-16CG/CJ kit. But for the F-16B, the moulded leading edge RWR receivers are NOT needed, so cut-off, sand in airfoil shape to have a straight clean leading edge. 

The Parts B13 for the static dischargers; these are best replaced with thin electric wire. 

Please note that the strength of the wing joint-fuselage is very weak, so make a strongth joint with lots of glue. 
Filler and sanding is needed here as well. 

In step 19 I had some trouble here with the radar absorbing panels parts PE5-9 provided as etched metal with the kit. These are aft of the trainling edge and at the stabilizer rotation points. To get a good flush fit is quite difficult. Take some time to do it, I found out later....
 

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Created this page 
November 27, 2010