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F-16 'Small Mouth' Seamless Intake

Cutting Edge 1/48 F-16 'Small Mouth' Seamless Intake First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2007 Manufacturer Cutting Edge
Subject F-16 'Small Mouth' Seamless Intake Scale 1/48
Kit Number CEC48509 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

First Look

If you're a Viper modeler, you know there are four key visibility areas on your Hasegawa kit that need to look right:

F-16 'Small Mouth' Seamless Intake F-16 'Small Mouth' Seamless Intake
  • Cockpit
  • Wheel Wells
  • Tailpipe
  • Intake

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 1/5/10/15/20/25/32/42/52 Vipers are all Pratt-powered and most of the Hasegawa F-16s have a very nice Pratt turbine face, afterburner can and the distinctive exhaust nozzle with turkey feathers. Where all of the F-16 releases suffer is down the inlet.

While all Hasegawa 1/48 Pratt-powered F-16 releases offer the small inlet, 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 remember the seamless wide mouth intake previously released by Cutting Edge (look here), the seamless intake was actually a three-piece conversion, with the aft portion of the duct molded separately from the portion that replaces the kit parts. What is interesting is how far Cutting Edge's casting and mold-making technology has progressed to turn that complex two-piece duct (plus compressor face) into one integral piece! This translates into even less work for you!

If you have any of the Hasegawa 1/48 Pratt-powered F-16 kits and want a better intake, this set is what you're looking for. If you have any of the other Hasegawa F-16 kits and want to accurately model a widemouth GE-powered aircraft, then you'll need this set instead.

My sincere thanks to Meteor Productions for this review sample!

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