Hasegawa 1/72 F-16E Fighting Falcon Kit Build Review
By Chuck Holte
|Date of Review||May 2015||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Subject||F-16E Fighting Falcon||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||01944||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Accuracy, Decals, Extra Parts||Cons||None noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$47.95|
The F-16E/F Block 60 is the latest operational evolution in the continuing 40 year Viper saga. Developed by Lockheed Martin to provide an advanced multirole fighter for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it builds on previous F-16C/D Block 50/52 success. The F-16E/F brings improved Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, advanced avionics, Conformal Fuel Tanks (CFTs) and a more powerful engine to the fight. The Viper modeled is based with the 162FW, Arizona Air National Guard, Tucson International Airport and used by the 148th Fighter Squadron in the UAE F-16 Training Program.
Several years ago, Hasegawa issued a Limited Edition kit of the Block 60 F-16E. The kit included a new vertical tail, CFTs, electronic countermeasures (ECM) mods including antennas, air inlets, vents and a nice set of decals for seven UAE Air Force Vipers including two aircraft that also carried Arizona ANG tail markings. Also included are a full set of underwing pylons, AIM 120B Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missiles (AMRAAM), AIM 9L/M Sidewinders, three external fuel tanks, and an inlet-mounted Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod. Parts trees included unneeded parts for alternate small mouth inlet/exhaust for the P&W engine, vertical tail, pylons, "iron" bombs, three nicely molded seated pilot figures and a boarding ladder. The eight-page 7"x10" black and white instruction sheet and painting guide is well illustrated and includes Federal Standard (FS) paint color numbers for the UAE camouflage scheme.
Construction proceeded in the usual steps with the cockpit and two main landing gear well bulkheads installed and trapped between the upper and lower fuselage halves. Also, several mounting holes for antennas and scoops must be opened from the inside prior to closing the body. Once I had the inlet tail and wings firmed up with the fuselage, I added the pylons to the wings, CFTs and antennas to the body, insuring proper alignment before the liquid cement set.
The model was primed overall with Tamiya rattle-can primer. I then airbrushed the light color, Light Gray FS 36495 over the entire model. Once dry, I hand drew the camo demarcations per the painting instructions using a soft lead pencil. This was followed by airbrushing the darker color, Dark Ghost Gray FS 36320 in the penciled pattern outlines. After a few touch ups and a day to dry, I airbrushed several light coats of Future to prepare the matt surface for decaling.
After another day to dry, the decals were applied, per kit instructions. I brushed another coat of Future over the decals to seal them and make most of the edges disappear. When everything was properly aged (another day) I added the landing gear/doors, weapons, Sniper pod and the gas bags. The cockpit detail was adequate with decals for instruments and screens. The ejection seat needed a little help, so I added some straps and handles from a spare Eduard cockpit PE set. I also plugged the big mouth inlet with a homemade FOD cover.
I think this is the only proper injected kit of an E model Viper in 1/72 scale. It's a beautiful kit and I was quite pleased with everything from the fit to the decals. Hopefully it will reappear in another boxing someday. Highly recommended.