Cutting Edge 1/48 F-16C/D 'Big Mouth' Seamless Intake First Look
|Date of Review||June 2004||Manufacturer||Cutting Edge|
|Subject||F-16C/D 'Big Mouth' Seamless Intake||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||CEC48474||Primary Media||Resin|
|Pros||Drop-in replacement of kit intake, seamless, molded white so painting optional||Cons||Resin molding blocks require care for removal|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||OOP|
If you're a Viper modeler, you know there are four key visibility areas on your Hasegawa kit that need to look right:
- Wheel Wells
The cockpit is spartan in the kit, but Aires & Black Box have released solutions there. The kit's wheel wells are nice, straight from the box, but there are aftermarket replacements for these too. The Block 30/40/50/60 Vipers are all GE-powered and most of the Hasegawa F-16C/Ds have a very nice GE turbine face, afterburner can and the distinctive exhaust nozzle. Where all of the F-16 releases suffer is down the inlet.
While all Hasegawa 1/48 F-16 releases prior to the F-16CG and F-16CJ/DJ kits offered only the smaller inlet common to all F-16A/B, all Pratt-powered F-16C/D, and some of the early GE-powered Block 30 F-16C/D. With the F-16CG and F-16CJ/DJ releases, the kits offered both the smallmouth (Pratt) and largemouth (GE) inlets and tailpipes/nozzles. Nevertheless, ALL of the inlets end abruptly at a plastic bulkhead at the main gear wells.
This release offers a replacement inlet that offers significant advantages:
- The intake is seamless - no sanding/filling.
- The intake is molded in white, minimal painting/weathering is required.
- The intake wraps over the top of the main gear wells, has scale depth, and ends in a engine compressor face, just like the real aircraft.
- The intake is a drop-in replacement for the kit intake, contains an identical nosegear well
- Requires minimal surgery in non-visible areas of the kit to accomodate new intake.
If you have one of the CG/CJ kits and want a better intake, this set is what you're looking for. If you have any of the other Hasegawa F-16C/D kits and want to accurately model a widemouth GE-powered aircraft, then this set is what you'll need for the conversion. Note: If you're wanting to accurately convert one of the F-16C/D kits released prior to the CG/CJ/DJ releases, you'll also need the larger main wheels, bulged main gear doors, and the larger HUD (in the case of the CG). Check your references.
My sincere thanks to Meteor Productions for this review sample!