Hasegawa 1/48 F-16F Fighting Falcon Kit First Look
|Date of Review||December 2009||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Subject||F-16F Fighting Falcon||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||07244 (PT44)||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy build, nice details||Cons|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$64.95|
For a quick history of the F-16, look here.
For a look at the differences between F-16 blocks, look here.
Hasegawa reissued their F-16D kit with some new-tool sprues to render the Israeli Air Force's F-16I Sufa ( look here). It was clear from examining those sprues that we'd be seeing other interesting variants in our future. Sure enough, we have the ultimate Viper - the F-16F.
This release is molded in the standard light gray styrene and rendered on eighteen parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. The surface detailing is scribed, but the detail is a bit soft in comparison with the more recent Tamiya and Kinetic 1/48 Viper kits.
The kit provides all of the parts for a standard Block 52 F-16D that we've seen before, but also includes the six parts trees new for this release and a few parts trees that were introduced into earlier late-block F-16 updates. There are other trees still that are in the box for one or two small parts, but leave lots of left-overs for your spares box.
Among the features and options in this box:
- Nice cockpit straight out of the box
- Optional crew figures
- Positionable canopy
- Small mouth (NSI) inlet (not used on the F-16F)
- Large moutn inlet
- Pratt F100 nozzle (not used on the F-16F)
- GE F110 nozzle
- Positionable speed brakes
- New-tool dorsal spine for F-16F
- New-tool GPS dome (not used on the F-16F)
- New-tool conformal fuel tanks
- New-tool antennas for F-16F
- New-tool antennas NOT used by F-16F
- New-tool APX-113 IFF antennas
- Optional boarding ladder
- Updated missile rails for stations 1/2/8/9 for AIM-120 and AIM-9
With the production of these new-tooled sprues, we'll be seeing more contemporary versions of the F-16 coming from Hasegawa. This will be a welcome development for those who enjoy the way which the Hasegawa kit goes together, but this kit series has fallen behind the Tamiya and Kinetic kits in several areas:
- As mentioned above, the detailing is scribed, but it is soft and not accurately laid out as opposed to the newer kits
- The APX-113 antennas are individually molded, so you're on your own to get the four of them positioned, aligned, and properly spaced. Even so, I'd rather do these in styrene than the photo-etched versions that were the only other option for MLU and CCIP Vipers prior to the Tamiya and Kinetic kits.
- Hasegawa still insists that you buy this kit and then buy the appropriate weapons sets separately. That makes this kit much more expensive than the Tamiya and Kinetic kits that come with a wide range of weapons and pods
So in terms of external stores:
- 1 x 300 gallon centerline fuel tank
- 2 x 370 gallon underwing fuel tanks
- 1 x baggage pod
- 2 x AIM-120
- 2 x AIM-9L/M
- 1 x AN/AAQ-32 IFTS pod (marked as a camera pod in the instructions)
Markings are provided for four aircraft:
- F-16F, 00-3001, UAE Air Force
- F-16F, 00-3005, UAE Air Force
- F-16F, 00-3008, F-16 OCU, AZ ANG, Tucson AZ
- F-16F, 00-3010, F-16 OCU, AZ ANG, Tucson AZ
The decals are nicely done and include maintenance stenciling, and national markings.
The F-16F represents the best production variant of the Viper produced to date but has been adopted by the UAE Air Force. Lockheed Martin did offer the USAF a domestic variant of the F-16E and F-16F which would have been ideal gap-fillers to replace the Block 25/30/32 airframes that are exceeding their operational lives to keep the active duty, air reserves and air national guard units up-to-date with a familiar airframe until such a time that the F-35 can get sorted and be deployed in numbers. Pity that the Air Force didn't go that route, but then again, we're still flying tankers that as old as my sister!
At any rate, Hasegawa has done a nice job this this variant and with all of the parts in this box, you can certainly work out a few other variants as well.
My sincere thanks to HobbyLink Japan for this review sample!