General Dynamics /
Lockheed Martin F-16I 
SUFA "Storm"
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F-16 models in 1/32 scale

F-16I SUFA  using the Academy kit   

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The Academy kit #12105 is a very good kit. For more details on the real SUFA plane, look at page 1.
This kit from Academy has many common parts as with their single seater F-16 CJ kit described here....

Wolfpack of Korea issued a SUFA cockpit detailset #32030. It has a resin tub, two seats and smaller cockpit resin parts. However, the additional details compared to the standard Academy SUFA kit are not that many. Most noteworthy is slightly more detailed ACES ejection seat section with ejection rails and some more detail at the central instrument cover.

I will use only probably some parts of this set.

Let us start modelling this kit

Basic preparations
Almost no flash is present on this excellent moulded 1/32 Academy kit, so only minor clean up is needed. Next, some parts were given a coat of matt white to have better coverage like the air tunnel intake. 

NOTE: If you wish to have a detailed ammunition and gun bay on your two seater F-16 model, cut-out the upper fuselage panels now, look here for instructions...

Steps 1 - 4
The SUFA cockpit area for the two seater is pretty well detailed and additional special instrument panels are provided. and assembled as indicated in the instructions.The main areas are dark grey. The ACES II seat is OK but straps are moulded on (Remove these and make separate straps). You can use details sets like Quickboost for seats or Wolfpack for additional details.

In the aft cockpit, the right side panel K24 should be set a bit more vertical than as suggested in the kit instructions. So trim this part and fit more vertical directly next to the right instrument panel. Some trimming also is than needed at the rear panel K18. 

The small ejection pin marks in the tub were filled with white glue.
The main areas in the cockpit are Fed.Standard FS36320 medium grey (using e.g. Humbrol 128 or Gunze Sangyo H307 acrylic) details like at the seat tubs. So, the whole cockpit tub assembly was given first a coat of medium grey and the black areas hand painted. ..
(note.. above picture shows black painted tub sidewalls, this is not correct for the SUFA; will be overpainted medium grey later).

The instruments were are painted black and the raised details were high lighted by simply SANDING off the black paint in areas and by inscribing with a scriber the individual panels. The same was done on the main central instruments, to be set in place later. Tiny coloured details were are now added, not a lot of work here. 

Step 5
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

OK, how to fix this?
First, simply saw in a slot and bend the lip a bit inwards as the SUFA does not have an RAM intake lip/slot! This now enables bending the lips.

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

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
Main gear bay 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 some painted details.
bay still white, details to be painted later..

Step 8
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). It was needed to fit it now on top of the main gear bay, although this will make aligning it later on with the forward intake more difficult. 

Skip step 9 for now!

Step 10
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.... .

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

Step 11
Fitting in the cockpit tub can now be done. Gaps need some filling using white glue.

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. 

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Created this page 
November 27, 2010