F-16 Fighting Falcon in 1/72 scale
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General Dynamics F-16 in 1/72 scale : kit review & modelling reports of TAMIYA kits

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In 2014 a brand new kit was released by TAMIYA of JAPAN in 1/72 scale. I was unaware of these (thinking these were Italeri re-pops), but it turned out they were real TAMIYA engineered kits so I purchased a few.

THIS IS A FIRST IMPRESSION

TAMIYA picked for these kits the F-16 CJ Block 50 that was an upgraded "MLU like" USAF F-16C block 50 with the General Electric GE F110 engine rear section and exhaust. So the kit has also the wider style "big mouth" intake (its wide is about 20 mm in 1/72 scale). 

The kit looks very good and was released in two packages:

(1) No. 60786 : F-16 CJ / Block 50 with a few missiles only: two AIM-9M Sidewinder and two AIM-120C AMRAAM ;

(2) No. 60788:  the same kit called "with full equipment" that comprise additional stores so not only two AIM-9M Sidewinder and two AIM-120C AMRAAM but also:
two 370 gallon standard wing tanks with pylons,
one 300 gallon standard central tank with pylon,
two AIM-9X advanced Sidewinder missiles,
two AGM-88 HARM ground attack missiles,
two AN/ALQ-184 ECM pods,
two AN/ASQ-213 HTS pods,
AN/AAQ-33 Sniper XR pod and pylon,

The instructions are fine and there is also a separate F-16 history information sheet which is nice. It shows the main F-16 variations. 

Most sprues with parts are common. Two ejection ACES seats are in the kit as parts (it suggests also that TAMIYA will issue later on a dual as the forward upper fuselage is a separate part).


There are 6 sprues in each kit with fine medium grey parst and a single clear canopy sprue (not tinted, so clear). 


The package 60788 so for the "full equipment" has sprue inserts to complement the parts as seen here in the red squares:

and two sprues of these:

 the "equipment" , some of it seen here

The decals are common in both packages and comprise three USAF schemes:
[A] F-16CJ block 50 of USAF 5th air force based at Misawa Japan, 2010, coded "WW";
[B] F-16 CJ block 50 USAFE, 52 fighter wing at Spangdahlem, Germany, 2011, coded "SP";
[C] F-16 CJ block 50 USAF 79 FIS/ 20 Fighter Wing with Tiger badge, based at buckely AFB, Colorado USA, coded "SW", 2001;


The kit has the thicker main wheels with correct bulged main gear doors. 
The tail has the thick fin base but with the standard rear tail fairing (USAF like). The edges look a bit too sharp, I think the lower thicker section should blend a bit more towards the upper fin section.  
The IFF antennas in front of the canopy are in the kit in part #A11 but also the option to fit a clean part #A12 without these. 
The later style wing tip missile launchers are integrally moulded with the wing halves. 

The cockpit is small but looks good with instrument panels with raised details and HUD seems to be the later style one. There is also a fine pilot figure in the kit. 

There are some unused parts, such as to have a clean intake edge without the small side intakes with parts #H4, H5. There is also a spare nose wheel. 

The surface engraving with fine recessed panels looks great. There is even a loose separate panel at the upper right fuselage next to the vertical tail. (though I do not know why..). The RWR fairings on the nose sides are on separate parts 3A13, a14. 

The insides of gear bays and wheel looks very good. The GE F110 engine exhaust pipe is one part, is deep but has no rear afterburner ring moulded inside. The lower outside shape ("a somewhat big oval") looks based on the 1/32 Tamiya F-16 kit research and so not more circular shaped. 

The wing has two halves so needs carefull setting the dihedral but I am sure the fit is positive and will be great. (the wing halves for the kit with "full equipment" has holes to fit the different pylons; the basic kit has no pylons so no holes in the lower wing. 

Great that TAMIYA has released this F-16 CJ kit in 1/72 scale. Several kits will be made, so....
 



Assembly started following the kit instructions.

STEP 1
The cockpit looks great but I did not bother to paint it at this stage, it is reachable later on. The gun nozzle part G4 fits pretty good. The main undercarriage bay has enough detail including the battery. The forward fuselage halve was glued FIRST to the aft section to ensure a flush fit. 

STEP 2
There is an alternative part A12 without the IFF antennas. 

STEP 3
The wing halves have outboard advanced wing tip launchers for later generation missiles including the AMRAAM. 
Ensure here that the wing is horizontal and flat so without dihedral. In the right fuselage a hole needs to be opened up and a grill to be filled. 

STEPs 5,6, 9
The undercarriage will be fitted later.

STEPs 7, 8
The wider style big mouth intake is in the kit and was assembled as per instructions. (Its width is about 20 mm in 1/72 scale as opposed to the smaller intake 17 mm width). 

The intake tunnel is deep enough. There is an insert with parts H2, H3 but unused parts are also in the kit to fit the small auxiliary  intakes at the sides (but not used for this version). 

Now some basic checking is done for the overall assembly. It looks great and it seems no filler / putty is needed.

The vertical tail is one of other parts still to be fitted but the rear and lower base fairing depends on the particular F-16 air force model to be made, so still awaits deciding. I feel the kink between the lower F-16C tail base and upper tail is a bit "too pronounced / too sharp". Maybe I will sand it a bit more flush. 


Some parts were give a base white coat like the insides of the doors, undercarriage struts and so on while still on their sprues. Also the main gear bay got a first white coat with the airbrush.

STILL WORK ON THESE TAMIYA KITS IN PROGRESS.  I AM ALSO LOOKING AT "BACK DATING"  THIS KIT INTO EARLIER BLOCK TYPES.



On to next F-16 [ Page 7... ] with Kinetic kit
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Created this page 
August 24 , 2016 ;
updated
Sept 9, 2016