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F-16C

Afterburner Decals 1/48 F-16C Desert Roadrunners Decal First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2008 Manufacturer Afterburner Decals
Subject F-16C Desert Roadrunners Scale 1/48
Set Number 48043 Pros Eleven 'Taco' Vipers
Cons   Skill Level Novice
MSRP (USD) Out of Production    

First Look

Afterburner Decals has turned out some impressive decal releases covering contemporary US subjects, but here is one that is a favorite of mine. This latest set covers the F-16Cs of the New Mexico Air National Guard. I had the pleasure of writing the history of this unit for the 1995 IPMS/USA Convention Journal whilst I still lived in New Mexico (look here for the written and photo histories). This unit was the first Air National Guard unit to receive the Block 40 Night Attack Viper in the 1990s, then turned them back for Block 30s which now have greater strike capabilites than Block 40 (for now).

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

These decals represent the current markings of the New Mexico Air National Guard after they removed their 'NM' tailcodes in favor of a much larger roadrunner logo that had previously distinguished the tails of their A-7 Corsair IIs.

The examples presented here include:

  • F-16C-30E-CF, 86-0350, 188 FS/150 FW, NM ANG, Kirtland AFB, NM, 2008
  • F-16C-30E-CF, 86-0357, 188 FS/150 FW, NM ANG, Balad AB, Iraq, 2007-2008, 'Lethal Injection'
  • F-16C-30H-CF, 87-0277, 188 FS/150 FW, NM ANG, Balad AB, Iraq, 2007-2008, 'Team America'
  • F-16C-30H-CF, 87-0292, 188 FS/150 FW, NM ANG, Balad AB, Iraq, 2004, 'New Mexico'
  • F-16C-30H-CF, 87-0292, 188 FS/150 FW, NM ANG, Balad AB, Iraq, 2007-2008, 'POW-MIA'
  • F-16C-30H-CF, 87-0304, 188 FS/150 FW, NM ANG, Balad AB, Iraq, 2007-2008, 'We Will Never Forget'
  • F-16C-30H-CF, 87-0306, 188 FS/150 FW, NM ANG, Balad AB, Iraq, 2007-2008, 'POW-MIA'
  • F-16C-30H-CF, 87-0310, 188 FS/150 FW, NM ANG, Kirtland AFB, NM, 2004-2006, CC's Aircraft
  • F-16C-30J-CF, 87-0328, 188 FS/150 FW, NM ANG, Balad AB, Iraq, 2004, 'Dedicated to all...'
  • F-16C-30J-CF, 87-0334, 188 FS/150 FW, NM ANG, Balad AB, Iraq, 2004
  • F-16D-30C-CF, 86-0044, 188 FS/150 FW, NM ANG, Kirtland AFB, NM, 2004

The instructions show some these aircraft have been updated with the APX-113 IFF systems (the bird cutter antennas ahead of the windscreen) that usually distinguish the CCIP and MLU Vipers. The good news is that you have these parts if you're bashing a Block 30 from the Tamiya or Kinetic kits.

This decal set provides you with the sufficient stencils and markings to replicate two of these aircraft. If you look over the decal sheet, you can see that this set is complete with the names of the flight crews and maintainers.

If you're looking for a nice subject for your next Viper project, this is the right set to get you there.

My sincere thanks to Afterburner Decals for this review sample!

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