in 1/32 scale: modelling report and conversion by Meindert de Vreeze
from F-16 kit
F-2 fighter from Japan always had my attention as an interesting aircraft
with its F-16 resemblance and nice colours. In 1/32 a model would be a
very nice companion to the F-16 models, and as I had been given a spare
F-16C kit from Revell
by my good modelling friend Peter and still had some spare parts from F-16
kits of Hasegawa, I started a conversion
F-16 kit is quite basic but has an accurate shape for a F-16 model.
The kit has been released in several variants, an F-16"A", "C" including
such schemes as the greys, agressor scheme, Tiger scheme etc. There is
no engine intake ducting and the cockpit has no details, decals being supplied
for the instrument panels. It has rubber wheels and the undercarriage bays
are not too bad. You also get some stores, but only 1 centerline fuel tank.
Stores like the Sidewinders are very basic.
This kit will
be extensively be converted into a Japanese F-2 fighter. So let's start....
history about the real plane:
The F-2 is intended
to be the latest generation fighter for the JASDF as companion of the currently
used F-15J's. Starting in the nineteen nineties, the Japanese aircraft
industry started to develop their own fighter, using expertise of General
Dynamics/Lockheed on the F-16. Mitsubishi acted as main contractor.
FS-X, the aircraft looks like a F-16 but is very different indeed. The
wing is significantly larger than the F-16 wing. The rear fuselage is one
frame longer; it has a tri-part canopy and lots of new Japanese avionics
and internal equipment. The radome is also slightly larger to host the
is the now standard F-16 engine, the GE F-110-GE. The subtype is the -129
The now called
F-2 has a lot of under wing pylons that can carry Japanese missiles and
standard US ordnance. First flight was in 1995. The F-2 has a good performance
but the project had lots of problems and cost overruns. At the end of 2004
it was decided by the Japanese Government that the number of F-2's that
will be put into service will be much lower than originally envisaged.
(including the tip launchers) is 11.13 m, length 15.52 m.
As a reference for the conversion
I obtained the 1/72 kit of the F-2 of Hasegawa number E15. It is
a state of the art kit for this scale and can be used a check up model
for the larger 1/32 model based on the Revell
F-16 kit to be made.
The F-2 fuselage has an extra frame
in the rear fuselage.
A cut was made in the upper fuselage
and at a more forward position in the lower fuselage to keep some strength
in the to be assembled fuselage later on.
An insert was made of bended card,
adding strength with longitudinal strips.
The extra fuselage length is here
one frame, being 11 mm in 1/32 scale.
can be seen the added card for strength inside the rear fuselage.
Measuring the Hasegawa kit it was
discovered that the F-2 has the smaller engine air intake, despite the
GE-110 engine used. This is the same as the first F-16C 's that were delivered
to the USAF at about the same period the F-2 project was started. This
meant that the older style F-16 intake was needed. Although the Revell
kit has the correct small intake, the kit gives you no intake ducting!
One looks straight into the bare fuselage and nose wheel bay. As I had
a spare Hasegawa 1/32 intake (of the Hasegawa S27/ 08027 or use the S25/
08025 kit), I decided to craft this intake onto the Revell kit. The result
is seen here and it fits very well indeed with some cutting, sanding and
The Hasegawa F-16 kit's intake is
much better and sharper moulded that the one of the Revell kit so this
is an improvement indeed. Also, the main wheel bay is also much better
and will be used as it is integrally moulded on the intake ducting of the
It can be seen here. A small part
of the Revell intake was still needed on the side of tha main gear bay.
This was cut-off and installed.
The F-2 wings are much (about 35
%) larger that the wing of the F-16. Also the wing span is larger. It was
discovered that the wing sweep is also a bit different but the larger area
is in the inboard wing sections near the to be blended in fuselage. The
outboard sections are very similar to that of the F-16 ! Using the Revell
kit's wing, a conversion using these parts can be done. Several cuts are
needed, see the pictures.
The tips needs some slightly different
angles of sweep, the launching rails for the wing tip missiles were cut
off. Note the small portion of wing that was also cut off here.
Below, the new added area made with
thick card is seen of the inboard sections. A lower and upper piece of
card was used to get body into the inboard wing profiles and the get the
appropriate wing shape. Make sure to get enough strength by using supporting
As can be seen in the picture, the
inboard card section is tapered as the wing sweep angle is not so big as
on the General Dynamics/Lockheed F-16. This is caused by the fact that
the wing loading is smaller than on the F-16, requiring less sweep for
The section added has the dimensions
as een in the picture, measurement in millimeters (mm).
In fact the triangular wing root
section is 16 mm at the leading edge and 32 mm
at the trailing edge. Also note the small fillet at the rear,
the flap section cut-off the F-16 wing and re-installed at the fuselage
with some extra card.
The radar nose of the F-2 is slightly
larger , especially at the lower section of the radar nose. A lower cut
was made in the Revell radar cone , the nose bended in a slightly different
shape and card used to get a smooth result. The radar nose width was kep
the same as for the original (F-16) nose.
The radar nose is also a bit more
tilted down when seen sideways, this can be done through sanding off some
plastic.. Filler is needed later on.
Nose wheel bay can be used as supplied
for the F-16.
Below can be seen massive amounts
of filler to smoothing things up. A lot of sanding , patience and work
is needed here... but the F-2 is beginning to emerge as a model...
The F-2 cockpit section is also changed
compared to the F-16, with a 3 piece canopy and the cockpit is also slightly
more forward in the fuselage. A cut was made, some material removed. The
rear section of the F-16 cockpit canopy can be used. Of the main canopy,
the rear part can be used. A new windscreen is needed however that is more
straight curved (will be done later on)
Some blending and filling is seen
here. Also note the wider sidewalls made with some card.
The stabilizers of the F-2 are also
much larger than those of the F-16. The F-16 parts can be used as a basis
however, supplemented with again pieces of plastic card. An 8 mm wide root
section was added, the tip section trailing edge was sanded in a triangular
and sanding gives the correct larger stabilizers.
The basic shape of the F-2 is seen
here. Also note the wing root edge/fuselage LEX , made from card and blended
in with putty. The wing is much bigger now!
The F-16 vertical tail can seen with
a thin base section (at the older F-16A's) or a thick base. The thick section
tail is normally used on the later variants of the F-16, from the F-16C
The F-2 tail is similar to the later
F-16C tail. The kit's tail however does not have the long parachute fairing
as seen in also in for example the actual F-16C. As I had a spare
1/32 scale Hasegawa vertical tail of the F-16C with a thick lower base,
I used that part. The fairing at the rear was extended with card, filler
and sanding was needed off course.
Below, the forward windscreen can
be seen made using a spare part from the spares box. (note: It can also
be made from a simple straight curved section of clear plastic acetate
Also note the wing root fillets made
from card and filler , making the F-2 wing more blended into the fuselage
and air flow being guided aft the cockpit.
Also, at the wing leading edges, 2
small fairings (I think for ECM antennas) were added from a piece of plastic
rod and sanded in shape.
on to F-2
to 1/32 models