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F-16C

Afterburner Decals 1/48 F-16C/D Arctic Aggressors Decal First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2008 Manufacturer Afterburner Decals
Subject F-16C/D Arctic Aggressors Scale 1/48 and 1/32
Set Number 48034 Pros Nine 1/48 aggressor Vipers in three different flavors...plus markings for two different 1/32 Vipers
Cons Nothing noted Skill Level Novice
MSRP (USD) Out of Production    

First Look

Afterburner Decals has turned out some impressive decal releases covering contemporary US subjects and this one definitely is one of their best! This set covers the aircraft of the 18th Aggressor Squadron, assigned to the 354th Fighter Wing at Eielson AFB in Alaska. When this squadron took up the aggressor mission, they adopted to of the existing 'Flanker' schemes: Lizard and Blue. They didn't stop there as they've added a third and very distinctive scheme: Arctic Flanker.

F-16C F-16C F-16C

With this decal super set, you markings for all of the aircraft listed below, and stencils to outfit two F-16Cs in 1/48 scale and one in 1/32. That's right, this one set does both scales. The 1/48th scale aircraft covered in this set are:

  • F-16C Block 30, 86-0314, Red 14, 354 FW Wing Commander's aircraft, 2008
  • F-16C Block 30, 86-0290, Red 90, 18 AGRS Squadron Commander's aircraft, 2008 (Arctic)
  • F-16C Block 30, 86-0305, Red 05, 18 AGRS/354 FW, Eielson AFB, AK, 2008 (Arctic)
  • F-16D Block 30, 87-0375, Red 75, 18 AGRS/354 FW, Eielson AFB, AK, 2008 (Arctic)
  • F-16C Block 30, 86-0301, Red 01, 18 AGRS/354 FW, Eielson AFB, AK, 2008 (Lizard)
  • F-16C Block 30, 86-0310, Red 10, 18 AGRS/354 FW, Eielson AFB, AK, 2008 (Lizard)
  • F-16C Block 30, 86-0335, Red 35, 354OG Ops Group Commander's aircraft, 2008 (Blue)
  • F-16C Block 30, 86-0298, Red 98, 18 AGRS/354 FW, Eielson AFB, AK, 2008 (Blue)
  • F-16C Block 30, 86-0322, Red 22, 18 AGRS/354 FW, Eielson AFB, AK, 2008 (Blue)

The 1/32nd scale aircraft covered in this set are:

  • F-16C Block 30, 86-0314, Red 14, 354 FW Wing Commander's aircraft, 2008
  • F-16C Block 30, 86-0301, Red 01, 18 AGRS/354 FW, Eielson AFB, AK, 2008 (Lizard)

48034There are 11 color pages that provide detailed four-view painting and decal placement diagrams for these aircraft, including notes on the specific stencil styles used for things like ejection seat triangle warnings and PACAF shields. This set is very thorough. What's more, these decals are printed by Cartograf, so you won't be seeing any decals here that you'll have to stack one atop another to replicate artwork. If you wonder just how good the Cartograph printing is, look at this image to the right showing two of the multi-colored symbols on this sheet. I still get a chuckle out of some of the decal folks that try to justify forcing the modeler to stack the colors one atop another to replicate this type of artwork.

Note: This set is intended for the Tamiya F-16 in both 1/48 and 1/32. You can use these on the Hasegawa (or other) kits, but the air refueling door on the 1/48 scale Hasegawa kit is not shaped quite right so these air refueling door markings won't fit right on that kit.

Note: These aircraft are Block 30s. That means these are GE-powered aircraft with widemouth intakes, but they have the earlier non-bulged main gear doors, landing lights are still on the main gear struts, and a few other details. You can go here to see the differences between F-16 blocks. The problem is that so far, Tamiya has produced the Pratt-powered Block 25/32 and the GE-powered Block 50 kits so far in 1/48 and 1/32 scale. This means you'll have to swap intakes and nozzles between these kits to render the Block 30 (and leaving you to model a Block 52 or Block 52 CCIP with the other kit).

You can see color profiles of these subjects and other useful resources here.

My sincere thanks to Afterburner Decals for this review sample!

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