General Dynamics /
Lockheed Martin F-16I 
SUFA "Storm"
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F-16 models in 1/32 scale made by
by Meindert de Vreeze
F-16I SUFA  using the Academy kit 

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The Academy kit of the F-16I SUFA, a two seater variant of a Block 50/52 used by the Israeli Air Force is a very good kit. For more details on the real SUFA plane, look at this page.

A very good book is the book from Ra'anan Weiss about " F-16I SUFA in IAF Service" ; it has all the pictures you need. 

This kit from Academy has many common parts as with their F-16 CJ kit described here....
However, the F-16I SUFA kit has many more parts added such as a two seater cockpit (the first two seater in this 1/32 scale of any F-16 kit) and particular parts for the SUFA like the CFT, large fuel tanks and dorsal spine. 

This kit is very good looking and the details are excellent. In addition to 13 parts trees (with 5 new ones) surprisingly two sets of clear parts (clear or smoke tint) are in the kit and also a few photo-etched set and some metal parts for the pitot tube and AoA sensors.

Many parts are in this kit that are unused but suggest that ACADEMY will issue other two seater kits. It seems that parts for a F-16D are included like fairing aft of the canopy as replacement of the dorsal spine and additional instrument panels. The standard F-16C/D vertical tail is also still in the kit as well as different armament and both large and small intakes. tail para packs and housing options are also still there. The bulged main gear doors are there and an extra sprue with the pilot figure parts. 

In the kit are many many armament parts including the 1/32 Israeli Python missiles. In the box are GBU-31 and GBU-38 JDAMs, GBU-12 Paveway II, AGM-130 and AIM-120B AMRAAM, the special Python-4 missiles, the AAQ-13 LANTIRN pod and a new LITENING II targeting pod. In the kit are also the very large 600 gallon fuel tanks besides the 300 gallon centerline tank and 370 gallon wing tanks. Extra's, not mentioned, are the Sidewinders AIM-9M and AIM-9X, the HARM missiles AGM-88 and the ALQ-184. 

SUFA markings are very nice with nice emblems on the tail, e.g. for four SUFA Israeli Air Force planes of squadrons 253 'Negev', 119 Sqn 'Bat', 201 Sqn 'The One' and 107 Sqn 'Knights of the Orange Tail'. Decals for the armament with loads of stencils are also in the kit. 

Lets look at the parts sprues:

Some comments on the parts sprues:

A- the two seater upper fuselage part is new but the lower part is similar to the single seater part of the Academy F-16CG/CJ. The SUFA part has no internal ammo drum may in the kit. 


B- the wing and fin part sprue is identical as to the Academy F-16CG/CJ.

C- the sprue with intake tunnel is similar to that of the Academy F-16CG/CJ.

D- this sprue looks at first glance similar to the Academy F-16CG/CJ, but the wheels, brakes and their hubs have been improved as compared to the first kit: 

E- the rear F100 engine exhaust parts and others are similar to those of the Academy F-16CG/CJ.

F- the armament and other parts are similar to those of the Academy F-16CG/CJ.

H- the parts are similar to those of the Academy F-16CG/CJ.

I- the parts are similar to those of the Academy F-16CG/CJ but you get an extra sprue for the navigator.

J- all new sprue of which 2  are provided with mainly armament including the Python missile and the new large 600 gallons tanks: 

K- all new parts with the CFT and two seater cockpit tub. An extra (but similar) ejection seat is provided as well. The vertical fin is almost similar to the one of the Academy F-16CG/CJ but has a very tiny extra panel line and misses the base for which the dorsal spine is used.

Here you will find the unused fairing on conventional two seater F-16 planes like the F-16D:
and other unused parts. They will be of use on other kits and are very welcome. 

L- two smaller sprues with transparent parts in a clear and smoke tinted variant. You get 2 !!! two seater canopy parts!

M- all new parts with the dorsal spine of the SUFA for the F-16I. 

In addition a small etched metal parts fret and a metal pitot tube and sensors.

Some comments on the Assembly instructions

The cockpit area of the two seater is pretty well detailed and assembled as indicated in the instructions.The main areas are dark grey. The two ACES II seats are OK but straps are moulded on (Remove these and make separate straps). Alternative is to use e.g QuickBoost resin seats (but these later appeared to be too small). 

Cockpit details can be added as desired like better side consoles etc. But the basics are there. 
Spare instrument panels are in the kit, e.g. for an upcoming Block 60 kit?

The SUFA kit has the appropriate small type F-16 intake but the spare parts include the "big mouth" or older type F-16. 
Unfortunately an issue is still there 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 and even worse.... on the real SUFA no RAM intake is present at all. Widening up the gap and filling/smoothing the RAM intake area is thus needed. (NOTE: I did not notice this error on my first F-16 CJ build). 
   real SUFA                      Academy intake

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 stretched sprue and some card. 

The intake tunnel is a very nice feature as in the first Academy F-16 kit but with for the SUFA indicated part H1 (which is different from the F-100 part of the Academy F-16CG/CJ kit). 

The kit has the dorsal SUFA spine with the particular fairings and sensors. Nicely done. 

Spare part K17 can be used for conventional F-16D two seaters. 
The ACADEMY SUFA kit will also be used to create an older style F-16B Fighting Falcon with two seater cockpit. 
Look here for the F-16B modelling report....

The two CFT (conformal fuel tanks) which are a very special feature of the kit. 

The gear assembly shows to used slightly different wheel parts as compared to the Academy F-16CG/CJ kit. (probably the wheel hubs and brakes were improved). 
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.  The kit has the correct main wheel hubs and bulged gear doors. Probably for the SUFA, the inner nose gear door has a different structure as on the kit part. 

Additional fairings and adjusted air intake scoops provided for the SUFA.

Two types of engine exhausts are still provided, either for the F100 or F110 engine. For the F-16I SUFA, (block 52+ and higher) , it seems that the PW229 is needed and the kits parts are not entirely correct for this engine. Maybe a resin exhaust will be issued in the future?
So for now, assemble as shown. 

The air brakes 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. (look here...)

The wing assembly is as on the Academy F-16CG/CJ kit. 
The parts B13 for the static dischargers are best replaced with thin electric wire as they are very vulnerable for damage. 

The vertical fin is similar to the Academy F-16CG/CJ kit but with the base removed as it is to be fitted on the dorsal spine. The older vertical fin as of the Academy F-16CG/CJ kit is still in the kit (parts B11 and B12) can be used for a normal F-16D. 

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.

The instrument cover part K67 is all new for the F-16I SUFA as well as the mid fairing part K68. The HUD looks similar as in the Academy F-16CG/CJ kit. 

Canopies: 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). Central mould seam is very small so can be easily polished away. 

The F-16I SUFA 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. Additional SUFA fairings are also provided for the nose and intake area. 

The missile launchers are very 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. 

Lots of external stores are provided in the kit. The stores are of very good quality and you get lots of decals for them. Nice are the Python missiles and large 600 gallon fuel tanks. The shape of the larger tanks needs further checking.
A new Lightening II target pod is provided but probably NOT used by the SUFA F-16I. 

You are also provided with figures for a pilot and a navigator/weapons handler. They are very good. 

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

The kit will be made as a F-16I SUFA:

Look here for F-16I SUFA modelling report.....

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Created this page 
June 19, 2010