General Dynamics /
Lockheed Martin F-16B  Orange Jumper
[ Page B-3 ]
designer
   
F-16 models in 1/32 scale
F-16B converting the SUFA Academy kit 

... continued from F-16B page B2......

Steps 12-14
The gear assembly can be slightly improved. 
First, 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 choosing the nose gear door (#D77 / D76) but I could not see a difference.  (note that the SUFA has different anit torque parts D31, D32). For the F-16B these seem OK to me. 

The nose wheel leg hub on part D11 seems a bit different on the real F-16B. I recommend using nose wheel part D13 instead.

The nose gear bay and door seems OK with the typical lighter style lights (parts L15+D45). This is also appropriate for F-16 MLU types were the lights were placed on the nose gear door to avoid pilot blinding when using MLU night vision goggles. (so if you make a very early block F-16, do not fit these lights but set 2 different type of lights inside the main gear doors).

Step 13
Main gear leg assembly seems OK to me. I am not sure if the legs should be thicker or not for later heavier blocks; for the F-16B model, I simply used kit parts as instructed. 

Step 14
It seems that Academy has changed in the F-16I SUFA kit slightly the shape of the main wheels (parts D7,D8,D9,D10) as compared to the similarly numbered wheel parts on the F-16CJ kit. Also, for later heavier block F-16 planes, the wheels may need a more accurate representation.
For this F-16B model, I simply decided to stick to the supplied main wheel parts. But if you have a spare set of main wheels of say a Hasegawa 1/32 kit, use these. These tyres look a bit thinner and better. Look how the F-16B wheels look like here....

The main gear doors were NOT bulged on earlier block F-16's like the F-16B. These are not included in either Academy kit.
Fortunately, I have a couple of spare old Hasegawa kit main doors, these were used. Strangely enough, they are 5 mm too short, so some bended strip is still needed to lengthen these Hasegawa doors. 


The door hinges parts D21, D22,D23,D24 were used on the Hasegawa doors as well to have additional details. 

Step 15
Additional fairings and adjusted air intake scoops are provided for the SUFA but are not needed for the F-16B model. So the scoops (K7, K8, and K9,K10,K11,K12) are not needed. 

Steps 16
The instructions show the F-100 engine exhaust. This is OK for the F-16B. (Please note that for the F-16I SUFA, the exhaust is not 100% correct as the SUFA has block 52+ PW229 engines).

But for the F-16B no problem, assemble as shown. On the exhaust panels, decals numbered #K67 could be applied after painting the exhaust. 

Step 17
The extra etched metal parts are not required for the F-16B. So no cut-off or modification needed at the arrestor hook area. 

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 18-19 wing assembly was tackled before). 

Step 20
Assemble the trailing edge flaps as shown. Some putty is needed here at the lower gap. 

Step 21
The vertical tail with the thin base of the F-16B was already converted and tackled as seen here. It is now time to fit this vertical tail. It is highly recommended to use metal pins here to get a strong joint. Now fill the remaining gaps and sand in shape.

As maybe I want to make in the future another number of early block F-16 models, I made a rubber mould for the thin base vertical tail and with resin poured this vertical tail: 

On the parachute housing fairing, some small additional fairings are still to be set, using thick pieces of plastic rod sanded in shape. These fairings depend on the air force. 

Step 22
The radar is similar as in the Academy F-16CG/CJ kit. The nose radar cone is now 2 parts but almost 95% identical as on the Academy F-16CG/CJ kit. The metal pitot tube attachment base is a bit different with very tiny differences in the anti-lightning lines. For my F-16B model, the radar was not further assembled, only a clean nose. The metal parts in the kit are a nice touch. 

Step 23
The instrument cover part K67 is new and looks much better than part C57 on the older kit. 

The HUD looks similar as in the Academy F-16CG/CJ kit. The central cover part K68 unfortunatley not wide enough at the top, so this was corrected by cutting a slot and bending the part. The tophousing was made thicker with piece of card.
..
   and sprayed black...

Step 24
2 two seater canopies are provided, a very nice feature: tinted "gold / smoke" or clear. The small kink in the canopy base (part K3) is very well done (this was an important error in the resin ISRACAST two seater conversion set, which missed this kink shape). 

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 canopy frame has some gaps, fill these as seen here:

For the F-16 MLU, like the F-16B MLU, night vision goggle sensors should be added from thin plastic strip. Look here for a picture....

For the F-16B, parts M18 and M19 are not needed. I suggest to use parts D49 for the F-16B MLU. 

Step 25
The ladder is a very nice feature but as in Academy F-16CG/CJ kit .

Step 26
The antenna parts D72 look OK as well for the F-16B MLU. For early block F-16 planes, do not fix these antennas.

The remainder SUFA antennas and ECM fairings like the ASPJ antenna are not needed for the F-16B. For the F-16B fix the anti-collision lights parts G10 still found on the sprues, as well as the pitot tube D47. 

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

Now I fitted the re-enforcements plates at the upper fuselage that were later MLU modifications including on the F-16B of the Dutch AF. I simple used the pattern seen here and cut these panels from thick tape. The tape was cut in shape with a very sharp scalpel knife and than added on each surface as required.
Look here at the Dutch IPMS site for the shape of these re-enforcements plates.



NOTE: early F-16's before and up to block 30 like this Dutch AF F-16B 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. As the newer Academy F-16I is used, one "finger" should be filled with some putty. 

Also note that the panels at the aft spine are a bit different as noted here. The black circle should be inscribed and the rest filled and sanded.

and the result....
..
and the tailbase (note that the additional parapack side fairings are still to be added for the particular F-16B of the RNeth Air Force)
 

At the rear of the wing-fuselage joint, there is a step when fitting the metal part PE5 / PE6. This a radar absorbing panel. I had to fill the step with putty to get a smooth result. You can also see the added re-enforcements plates a bit here. 
The major F-16B assembly was ready. The overall kit was given a coat of light grey to check for any flaws like unfilled gaps etcetera. After fixing the small problems with putty and sanding, it was now time to move to applying the other top coats. 

For the lower grey Fed.Std. 36375 I used acrylic paint Mr.Color/Gunze Sangyo H308

 and the upper area....

The correct Fed.Std. top coats are still to be sprayed on. And the next step is moving to add the detail parts. 
 


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Created this page 
December 18, 2010