General Dynamics /
Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon
Venezuela
[ Page H8 ]
designer

F-16 models in 1/32 scale
Hasegawa kits : building a F-16A of the Fuerza Aerea Venezuela (FAV)

 
 
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A few years later I got a couple of additional old Hasegawa 1/32 kits of the F-16A. It was decided to make a model of the F-16A as operated by the Fuerza Aerea Venezuela (FAV).
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I had obtained a special decalsheet from "Colorful Decal" set 32002 from 2006. It had very nice marking for a FAV F-16A with "20 years" F-16 ops in the FAV of the Group 16 "Dragones".

Basically the kit was assembled similar as seen on the previous Hasegawa modelling report [H1 etc.].
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This F-16A has the small air main intake as per kit.

I did not bother to put too much effort in cockpit detailing as the canopy would be set closed with a pilot figure. Closing the canopy saves a lot of work as on previous kits.

The FAV F-16A's have the later common and standard larger stabilizers. The kit parts were enlarged at the trailing edge with card, puttied and sanded. 

I had casted a couple of resins tail with the thin base (as for early F-16's)  that could be used. The FAV F-16A tail has a parachute housing with fitted small fairings, probably for small RWR antennas. 

The parachute bay extension is seen. Some small fairings will be fitted much later after decalling!

Model assembly was basic with all panels closed, ventral fins fitted and all gaps filled with putty and sanding needed. Only some panellines are recessed. Gears and stores and details were not yet fitted.


The model got a base grey coat to check for any sanding and gap errors using a light grey acrylic paint applied with the airbrush. There were no problems, only the intake gaps needed some more work. Next, the intake interior and gear bays got a base white coat.

The FAV F-16A "Dragones" has a very interesting camouflage scheme. A look at the internet on a FAV forum revealed this information:

Initially FAV F-16A had colours with Fed.Std 34079 dark green, 34102 green, 30219 tan and lower very light surfaces. Later on, colours changed after major maintenance to about 31092 dark green, 34373 medium green and 36642 sand/tan, again with almost white under surfaces.

For this model I used the later scheme Gunze Sangyo acrylics as (in this order) :

Lower surfaces: 
Gunze 80% H11 (FS 36875  white) + 20% Gunze (FS 36375 grey) .
Wheel gear bays and undercarriage struts and stuff are dirty white. The tail was kept white.

Upper surfaces:
- for the FS34373: Gunze H312 (FS 34227) with some 20% white for the medium green;
- for the FS31092: Gunze H302 (FS 34092) with some 20% white for the darker green;
- for the FS36642: Gunze H310 (FS 30219) with some 20% white mixed in for the tan-sand;

The colorful "20 anos" tail requires careful planning to get it right. Although there are full decals supplied, the blue colour varies over the tail. So the loose decals on the sheet are to be used to get a better result.

(1) The first step is to mask the surrounding tail areas on the fuselage (with low tack tape and paper). 


(2)  Next apply a base white coat over the vertical tail with the airbrush
(3) apply a varying blue hue that is darker at the tail leading edge going into the white at the rear. For the "blue" I used Revell Aqua 752 acrylic.

Gloss coat
After all paint has dried apply an overall clear gloss coat over the model and tail to prevent any decal "silvering" that will spoil the later appearance. For the clear gloss undercoat a mix was used of 70% Johnson Future/ Pledge with 30% alkohol "ketonatus" thinner. This airbrushes much finer than pure 100% Future. Apply at least 3 coats allowing 30 minute drying time between their application. 

Continuing with the tail....

(4) Apply the base black checker decals for the tail base. At the rear, I had to remove about 3 mm. Apply also a decalsoftener to get the decals wrap around curves. I used MicroScale Set and Sol. The decal are very good and thin. Also apply the large "dragon decal" and the red upper tail tip decal, (painting the red section is also possible if you prefer that);



(5) allow drying time and clean up any softener residue with a piece of wet cloth.
(6) now with the airbrush apply again the "blue" coat on top of the applied checker decals and a bit of the "dragon" front. Only a little blue!
(7) After drying apply the other tail decals like "Venezuela" and "20 anos". 
(8) cover the edges of the fin with paint, e.g. red at the top and the striping.

The result is a very spectacular tail!
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Now the remainder of the decals can be placed. Luckily the "Colorful Decal"s  are very good and also the fine medium grey walkway lines are there which is very nice. 

The instructions on the "Colorful Decal" F-16a decal 32002 instructions sheet has a few numbers mixed up:
walkway decal 73 > should be 74
walkway decal 78 > should be 76
walkway decal 74 > should be 73
The warning decal 46L below the cockpit is a bit too long. Cut in two and apply. 
The decals for the fueltanks are also on the sheet but not mentioned! But they are very welcome to be applied on the 2 large fueltanks.

After decal application it was time to complete the remainder of the kit.


The missing small heat exhaust in front of the left gear bay was added made from some strips of plastic card.

The "thin wheel" F-16A  wheels and doors as in the kit were fitted with some extra detail from rod and wire in the bays. Also some hydralics tubing was added on the undercarriage struts of main- and nose strut.

The two fairings at the tail parachute pack were added. They are probably radar warning receivers. Bits were used from the spare box. They were painted green. 

To have a "used" effect PROMODELLER wash was applied inside the bays and on the undercarriages. The missing battery pack was added in one bay as well made from a bit of plastic.

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I first thought that the cockpit opening, that is a bit too LARGE in length on the kit, would hardly be noticeable with closed canopy. But it was better tio make it smaller as seen here on page [H1]...

Raised instrument and switched and knobs were drybrushed. Some extra details were added at the aft coaming. All was painted mat black. 

The very basic ACES ejection seat of casted metal as supplied in most Hasegawa F-16 kits was simply used as canopy would be set closed. I found it necessary to cut away 3 mm of metal at the rear to have a better tilted fit. I sourced a nice 1/32 pilot figure from my spares box, probably this an Academy kit figure. The legs were "removed" to make the pilot fit in the seat and tub. From masking tape seat straps and harnesses were made and some spare metal buckles added as well. Will be painted olive drab for the pilot suit and light greys.

The canopy was set closed as noted first and it fits pretty good. A HUD display was added on top of the instrument coaming. Inside two handles were added from stretched sprue inside the frame as these are visible. Some white glue was used to fill the canopy-fuselage gaps and when dry some camo paint airbrushed at it using the very fine Harder Steenbeck Infinity airbrush. Masking was not needed as a piece of carton was held by hand to protect surrounding areas while airbrushing the paint.

Also, the nose discharging strips were forgotten first, but very apparent on FAV F-16's. So these were applied made from stretched sprue and set on with super glue. The nose was airbrushed again "panzer grey"using Revell Aqua 78.

Some additional weathering was done at some spots. With a paper hand held mask some "long strokes" were applied with the fine airbrush with some dark grey acrylic paint in it. Areas are the long flap hinge gaps, slat gaps and the maintenance panels on top of the fuselage. Also at the wing fuel tanks and aft of the gun nozzle. The effect is subtle but very good.

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Final touches to the model were now done:

From the spare box I retrieved an AIM-7 Sidewinder of an earlier generation. It was set on the left wing tip launcher.

The anti-collision lights from the kit as well from a bit of clear plastic were set on tail end, aside the launchers and at the main air intake. They were painted transparent red and blue with Tamiya clear paints. The nose pitot tube and temperature probes were set as in the kit.

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The rear of the parachute was painted very light gray. Inside the jet exhaust pipe a thick white oil paint was brushed in strokes parallel to the pipe. Note also the added fairings for the radar warning receiver, painted green. 

The small static dischargers at the trailing edges of wing, stabilizers and tail were made from thin flexible copper wire. At their end a blob of white glue was set and after drying the discharger painted black. 

Semi-gloss coat
Now the model got an overall semi-matt varnish coat. This was airbrushed on (except over the clear canopy) using a mix of Johnson Future/Pledge with mixed in 10% Tamiya  X-21 Flat Base. This mix was thinned with Alkohol Ketanonus for better airbrush flow. This coat gives a nice sheen and protects all decals. 

The model is ready....


The result....

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In Venezuela military aviation started with the Air Academy in 1920 with some French Caudron aircraft and Breguet aircraft. In the 1930's a first base was established at Boca del Rio and aircraft purchased from France, England and the United States. Venezuela had  larger oil fiels important for the Allied War Effort. During the  Second World War more US support was obtained and locally in the Caribbean Sea German submarines on some occasions attacked oil  tankers and ships.  
The Fuerza Aerea Venezuelana (FAV) was formally established in October 1947. Also transport aircraft were used and aircraft like the Venom, Vampire, Canberra and F-86 Sabre. Politics were not always stable and meanwhile many air bases were established aircraft deployed. Forces were strengthened also because of fears on Communism propagated in Cuba. Venezuela exported large amounts of  oil so financing was not an issue. Aircraft like Mirages V, and Northrop CF-5 arriving from 1972 and OV-10 Broncos were bought. Training and support aircraft were also Jet Provosts and later the T-2 Buckeye and various helicopters. Later on, also 10 F-16A and 2 F-16B block 15OCU aircraft were put in service. In November 1992 a coup was launched by the FAV general but that failed as some F-16 pilots still supported the existing government and shot down rebellian aircraft. The FAV was renamed Aviacion Militar Venezolana in 2001. 

  FAV F-16A with celebration "20 years" F-16 of the Group 16 "Dragones" VENEZUELA


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 at at a Venezuelan airbase with mountain range in the background....

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      flying over the Venezuela coast...... the camouflage works!
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        Celebración "20 años" F-16 del Grupo 16 "Dragones" VENEZUELA

I hope you liked these models using the older Hasegawa kits. 

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Created this page 
September 12, 2014