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F-16CG

Afterburner Decals 1/48 F-16CG Triple Nickel Decal First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2009 Manufacturer Afterburner Decals
Subject F-16CG Triple Nickel Scale 1/48
Set Number 48044 Pros Seventeen different marking options
Cons Nothing noted Skill Level Novice
MSRP (USD) Out of Production    

First Look

Afterburner Decals continues to turn out some impressive decal releases covering contemporary US subjects and this latest set is no exception. This set is just in time for the recent re-releases of Hasegawa's 1/48 F-16CG as well as the ability to transform recent releases from Tamiya and Kinetic into Block 40 F-16CG or F-16DG Vipers.

F-16CG F-16CG

Afterburner Decals is known for being thorough with its markings, especially witth crew names wherever possible, and this set is a good "who's who" in the Triple Nickel. Famous for its air-to-air prowess over the skies of Vietnam, the 555 TFS and the rest of the 8 TFW became one of the widest distributors of MiG parts in Southeast Asia.

The 555th was later transfered to Luke AFB where it continued to operate the F-4D before transitioning to the F-15A Eagle. The Nickel was later transitioned into the F-16 Fighting Falcon and in 1994, transfered to the 31st FW at Aviano AB in Italy. Today, the Nickel flies the night attack F-16CG and F-16DG Block 40 Vipers while its sister squadron, the 510th, operates the F-16CJ and F-16DJ Block 50 Weasel Vipers.

The examples presented here include:

  • F-16C-40E-CF, 89-2035, 555 FS/31 FW, Aviano AB, 2005-2007, CC's aircraft
  • F-16C-40E-CF, 89-2035, 555 FS/31 FW, Aviano AB, 2003-2004, CC's aircraft
  • F-16C-40E-CF, 89-2035, 555 FS/31 FW, Aviano AB, 2002, CC's aircraft
  • F-16C-40E-CF, 89-2035, 555 FS/31 FW, Aviano AB, 2000-2001, CC's aircraft
  • F-16C-40D-CF, 88-0550, 555 FS/31 FW, Aviano AB, 1999, Allied Force, CC's aircraft
  • F-16C-40D-CF, 88-0550, 555 FS/31 FW, Aviano AB, 1997, CC's aircraft
  • F-16C-40D-CF, 88-0550, 555 FS/31 FW, Aviano AB, 1994, CC's aircraft
  • F-16C-40D-CF, 88-0526, 555 FS/31 FW, Aviano AB, 1995, Deliberate Force
  • F-16C-40E-CF, 89-2009, 555 FS/31 FW, Aviano AB, 1996
  • F-16C-40-CF, 87-0350, 555 FS/31 FW, Aviano AB, 2005, OIF
  • F-16C-40-CF, 87-0351, 555 FS/31 FW, Aviano AB, 2007
  • F-16C-40E-CF, 89-2024, 555 FS/31 FW, Aviano AB, 2002
  • F-16C-40E-CF, 89-2038, 555 FS/31 FW, Aviano AB, 2005
  • F-16C-40E-CF, 89-2039, 555 FS/31 FW, Aviano AB, 2004
  • F-16D-40H-CF, 90-0800, 555 FS/31 FW, Aviano AB, 2006
  • F-16C-40E-CF, 89-2044, 555 FS/31 FW, Aviano AB, 1999
  • F-16C-40F-CF, 89-2057, 555 FS/31 FW, Aviano AB, 2001

You'll note that 035 is listed four times denoting the differences in commander and distinctive markings over four different periods of time, while 550 is listed three times as the previous mount for three different commanders. The remaining markings are representative line aircraft at different periods of time. In all, this set provides seventeen (17!) different marking options, with spare numbers to replicate the serial numbers of any Nickel Viper not listed above. If you acquire the separately available F-16 stencil sheet (reviewed here), you can replicate as many of these aircraft as you'd like. This set provides sufficient markings to replicate two aircraft of your choice.

This is another great decal superset from Afterburner Decals and will provide you with lots of colorful options for your next F-16CG or F-16DG project.

My sincere thanks to Afterburner Decals for this review sample!

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